A lot has been going on with the Carolina RailHawks as of late.
- Yesterday, the team announced it was looking for more investors with hopes of improving its sales and marketing.
- On Sunday, coach Martin Rennie sat the first of his two-game suspension, which was handed down by the USSF for his comments and actions following a controversial 2-2 tie at home with Montreal last month. The team didn't announce the suspension, but the guys over at the Independent noticed he was missing from the sidelines on the webcast. Turns out, Rennie was in the stands.
- Rennie also sat out last night's game which saw the RailHawks lose 1-0 to Montreal. And again, it ended in controversy. RailHawk players clamored for a handball in the box in extra time, but none came. Carolina midfielder Daniel Paladini received two yellow cards within minutes and will have to sit out Saturday's match at Rochester.
- The loss was the RailHawks' first loss on the road this year.
- Scottish forward Allan Russell was expected to sign with the team yesterday, but no announcement has been made because he hasn't arrived yet. He could arrive as early as Monday, according to team officials.
- The RailHawks have a huge Saturday tilt at Rochester — the third-best team in the USSF D2. Carolina is currently in sixth.
- For his actions after the first controversial game with Montreal, assistant coach Paul Ritchie will sit out tonight's match.
- For his actions (going out onto the field to argue with referees) in that same game, team president Brian Wellman has been suspended from having access to the field for two games.
- When not busy getting cheated out of games and suspended for questioning authority, the team donated a bus to an Indian Youth Club.
Not since I've been here have I experienced that many RailHawk stories in a week. Most months don't have that much action.
The whirlwind isn't done just yet. While the RailHawks court potential investors, the future of Division II soccer will be discussed on Aug. 9 in New York City. The USSF, USL and NASL will all be on hand to work out something for next year.
The USSF doesn't want to operate the league again next year, but neither the USL or NASL appear to have eight viable teams. How the USSF decides to maneuver around that is the biggest question going in.
Quarstad, as always, has done his homework and wonders if some realignment among the second division teams couldn't save franchises six-digit figures in travel costs. Sounds great to me. I'd love to see the RailHawks be in a league with any of the following: Charleston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Richmond or Baltimore. It'd beat the going to Puerto Rico and Montreal in the same week, which the team has done twice this year.
How some of the other divisions would work out, however, I'm less unsure of.
Quarstad raises some great questions on the sport, which according to his numbers, has a 75% fail rate of its franchises since 1995.