Landon Donovan's no good World Cup period continued on Tuesday night when the LA Galaxy lost 1-0 in extra time to the second-division Carolina Railhawks in front of about 3,000 fans at a secondary venue in Cary, North Carolina. The Galaxy fielded a strong side that included the likes of Donovan and Robbie Keane, but still lost to the Railhawks for the third time in as many meetings. As a result, the Galaxy have been eliminated from the round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup — the country's oldest ongoing soccer competition that this year included a record 80 teams from the amateur to professional ranks.
Since the Railhawks' WakeMed Soccer Park was being resodded, the match was played on a secondary pitch with limited seating that has hosted high school state championships — a slightly more intimate venue than a Brazilian stadium packed with 40,000 fans and being watched by hundreds of millions more on TV from around the world.
Before the match, Donovan told the Galaxy's website, "We’re sick of losing to Carolina and we’re sick of going out of the Open Cup early." Coach Bruce Arena's team selection showed that he was in agreement with that sentiment, but, the magic of the cup once again won the evening with the Railhawks' Daniel Jackson scoring the match's only goal in the 105th minute.
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The Railhawks will now face another MLS side in FC Dallas in the quarterfinals, where they lost last year. In 2007, Carolina made it to the semifinals.
Landon Donovan, meanwhile, will resume his stint as a World Cup analyst for ESPN and prepare for the Galaxy's next match on Saturday against San Jose.