Ty Shipalane of the Carolina Railhawks has been named 2013 TheCup.us Lower Division Player of the Tournament. Shipalane and the Railhawks upset two MLS sides en route to a Quarterfinals appearance in the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Many players earned votes for the award, which is voted on by TheCup.us staff and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters. Others receiving consideration were Dom Dwyer of Orlando City SC, Georgi Hristov of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Conner Bevans of FC Tucson, and Kwadwo Poku of the Georgia Revolution.
Shipalane was instrumental in the Railhawks’ opening game against the Carolina Dynamo in the Second Round. He scored the opening goal and assisted on Zack Schilawski’s tally that put the game away in the 75th minute. The RailHawks won 3-1, earning them a home game against an MLS team.
In the Third Round, Shipalane played all 90 minutes in a 2-0 home win over the Los Angeles Galaxy. They hosted another MLS team in Round 4 and he played a major role in another upset, beating Chivas USA 3-1. Shipalane scored the opening goal and assisted on the game-winning goal by Cesar Elizondo in overtime.
Carolina’s run ended in the Quarterfinals against Real Salt Lake in a 3-0 loss. However, the Railhawks were the only NASL team to make advance that far in the 2013 tournament, and one of two lower division teams to make it to the Quarterfinals. For the RailHawks it was their third and fourth MLS upsets in their seven-year history as a franchise, and it marks just the seventh time a lower division team has upset two MLS clubs in one tournament.
2013 TheCup.us Player of the Round Honors
Final: Bill Hamid (DC United)
Semifinals: Joe Willis (DC United)
Quarterfinals: Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
Fourth Round: Dwayne De Rosario (DC United)
Third Round: Frederic Piquionne (Portland Timbers)
Second Round: Brandon Fricke (Des Moines Menace)
First Round: David Geno (Seattle Sounders U23)
Preliminary Round: Gustavo Villalobos (FC Hasental)