RailHawks vs Pumas UNAM – Match Preview
Today the RailHawks will face Pumas UNAM of Mexico as part of their preseason schedule.
The RailHawks are no stranger to international competition. They have faced the Panamanian National Team, Olympia (Honduras), and have faced more than a handful of Mexican teams including the Mexican Under 20 National Team. The RailHawks tend to fare well in the international spotlight as they have met the challenges of the raised level and tallied wins against teams such as Pumas Morelos and the Mexican U-20s. Currently in preseason the RailHawks hold a 0-2-2 record and the team would most likely relish the chance to pick up their first win of 2013 in front of their biggest crowd of the preseason.
Pumas are using this game to bridge the gap made by the international break between their regular season games. The team will most likely feature several regulars mixed in with some reserves, as is the norm with these types of friendlies. While some may think Pumas wont go into this game playing hard or giving it their best, the fact remains that the team is unbeaten in eight games (two months) and no player on the Pumas roster will want to see that come to an end, particularly to an American team, a second division American team, in front of what is sure to be a pro-Mexican crowd.
For the RailHawks the game is all about figuring out the pieces. Sure a win would be fantastic, but the reality is it’s preseason and work still needs to be done with this team. The RailHawks have lost to all professional opponents so far this season, losing to the Whitecaps 4-0 and falling to Charleston 2-1. Against college teams the RailHawks have only mustered draws against Wake Forest and UNC Wilmington.
So the point stands that all Colin Clarke and his RailHawks need to take away from this game is a sound game plan moving forward and some way to stop the bleeding at the back. If the RailHawks can do that and players like Tiyi Shipalane, Nick Zimmerman, and Brian Shriver combine well, then this game will have been a success.
I think the RailHawks will put up a good fight and given their history in these events, will play fairly well. They could possibly get a goal up early on, but Pumas will most likely have the majority of the 7,000 plus crowd cheering them on and will get the better of the RailHawks as the game goes on.
Final Score Prediction: Pumas 2-1 RailHawks.