FC Dallas beats RailHawks
FC Dallas captain Matt Hedges said it was cool to come back to the area and face goalkeeper Scott Goodwin and midfielder Enzo Martinez, his former teammates on the 2011 NCAA champion North Carolina men’s soccer team who now play for the Carolina RailHawks.
Even better, Hedges said, was getting the win.
Despite a goal and an assist from Martinez, FC Dallas beat the RailHawks 5-2 in a U.S. Open quarterfinal at WakeMed Soccer Park, keeping the NASL squad from achieving a third straight upset over an MLS opponent in the tournament.
“It’s cool that all those guys are still playing and doing their dream,” said Hedges, who transferred from Butler to UNC as a senior and started all 20 games during the Tar Heels’ championship season. “They’re good players, and you want to see them succeed — but at the same time, you want to succeed more.”
FC Dallas also featured five-year starting fullback Zach Loyd, who went to consecutive College Cups with the Tar Heels in 2008-09. Another UNC product, 2012 ACC freshman of the year Danny Garcia, is also on the FC Dallas roster but did not play Wednesday.
“Those guys are there for a reason,” said Martinez, who played with both Hedges and Loyd at UNC. “It was good to see them again. It was really good to be on the field and play against them. I really enjoyed it.”
Martinez had 22 goals and 20 assists in his three seasons at UNC from 2009-11, while Goodwin still holds the Tar Heels record with 41 shutouts during his collegiate career, which ended in 2012.
Goodwin had given up only one goal in three previous U.S. Open games with the RailHawks, which included two games against MLS opponents — a 120-minute shutout of Landon Donovan and the L.A. Galaxy in which he made eight saves and a 1-1 tie against Chivas USA that saw Carolina advance 3-2 on penalties when Goodwin stopped three shots during the shootout.
But Goodwin (four saves) had a much tougher time against FC Dallas.
“We paid for every single mistake,” Martinez said.
The RailHawks were making their third appearance in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. Their best-ever finish was in 2007, when they reached the semifinals before losing to the New England Revolution in extra time. They lost 3-0 at Real Salt Lake in last year’s quarterfinals.
The RailHawks actually got on the board first when Zack Schilawski, a Cary native and Wake Forest graduate, scored in the ninth minute off a cross from Martinez, who said he watched the World Cup semifinal earlier in the day and tried to copy the Argentinian players’ movement.
Panamanian Blas Perez then converted two crosses to put FC Dallas ahead — first on a header off a pass from Kellyn Acosta in the 23rd minute, and then on a shot off a cross from JeVaughn Watson in the 34th minute.
Martinez tied the game at 2-2 in the 37th minute after a hand ball by an FC Dallas defender in the box created a penalty shot. Martinez went into the left corner after sending the goalie the other way for his third goal in 12 games this season in the NASL and U.S. Open Cup.
But FC Dallas went ahead for good in the 44th minute, when Fabian Castillo cut through the middle of the defense, dribbled around Goodwin and deposited the ball in the back of the net to make it 3-2 at halftime.
FC Dallas put the game away late. With the RailHawks pressing for a tying goal, FC Dallas got numbers on the counterattack and Mauro Diaz scored in the 89th minute. Perez then completed the hat trick in added time on the final kick of the game.
The RailHawks fell to 5-5-1 all-time against MLS teams and lost for the first time in 24 games across NASL and U.S. Open competitions, while FC Dallas improved to 16-1-2 against second-division opponents.