At last, a chance for revenge for Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy against Colin Clarke’s Carolina RailHawks in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Galaxy fell to the RailHawks last year at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. 2-1. Los Angeles do not want history to repeat itself, especially after coming off a massive 4-0 shellacking of the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer action.
Kickoff is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29 at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for this Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup third round tie.
1. Here comes Gyasi Zardes
Gyasi Zardes has been a phenomenon worth seeing for Los Angeles, and he will be in on goal at least once for the Galaxy. Expect Zardes to slice and dice the back line of Jordan Grave, Kupono Low, Paul Hamilton and Austin King. Zardes scores a brace in the first half.
2. At least an assist for Robbie Rogers
This will be the match where Robbie Rogers makes an impact for the Galaxy. I expect Rogers to start this match and prove that he will be a force to be reckoned. Rogers will get at least one assist.
3. Brian Shriver on goal for Carolina
Forward Brian Shriver is the driving force behind the Carolina RailHawks, with five goals to his credit. Shriver will get one past Brian Rowe, who will have his work cut out for him. And speaking of Rowe…
4. Brian Rowe with at least five saves
This is where Rowe will need to be at his best because the back line Arena expects to send out will not be the best back line out there. At least five saves will need to be made from Rowe this contest.
5. Akira Fitzgerald with at least five saves
Also itching for a big game this game is Carolina goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, who has a 1.17 goals against average this season, to go with 27 saves. The tendency for smaller teams is to have their best performances of the season against bigger names, and Fitzgerald will look to bump his stock up on Wednesday.
6. Jose Villareal surprises everyone
Another young gun that has a knack for goal is Jose Villareal. Even though JV has had a difficult season, against Carolina it should be a straightforward deal when he heads out on to the pitch. Villareal will score late in the second half.
7. Floyd Franks, the most unexpected of goal scorers
Every U.S. Open Cup game deserves an unheralded player, and one of them is Floyd Franks. The Carolina Railhawks midfielder has two goals to his credit, but he knows how to finish, and will be on the scoresheet against the Galaxy on Wednesday.
8. A penalty will be called…and saved
This is the type of game that will see a penalty called and collected because Los Angeles has a massive chip on its shoulder that it wants to brush off.
9. Over 20 fouls and three yellows issued
Over 20 fouls will be whistles and more than three yellow cards will be issued in this tie. It’s going to get ugly real fast because the RailHawks are aware of payback and they will need to do all they can to prevent the successful bid.
10. Los Angeles wins a great contest
In the end, the Los Angeles Galaxy will get their payback, but it’s not going to be easy against a team that had their number last season. Up next…Chivas?
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Carolina RailHawks 2