The 2014 Carolina RailHawks schedule has been finalized after the North American Soccer League announced its fall schedule Thursday.
For the second straight year, the NASL will be broken up into spring and fall seasons.
Unlike last year, however, this is an unbalanced split schedule. The NASL will not play games during the World Cup this summer, which makes for a longer break and uneven scheduling.
NASL teams will meet each other just once during a nine-game spring season – when the RailHawks are one of the five teams with four home games and five road games. Teams will meet twice during the 18-game fall season. The winner of the spring season will host the NASL Soccer Bowl championship against the fall winner.
Last season, the RailHawks had the most points over the separate seasons, which clinched the Woosnam Cup even as the team finished out of the running for a Soccer Bowl spot in the spring (runner-up to Atlanta Silverbacks) and fall (runner-up to New York Cosmos).
Carolina will enter the 2014 season on a 16-match home unbeaten streak. It has not announced any new additions, but lost NASL leading scorer Brian Shriver in free agency to the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
“The support we receive from our fans at home is second to none,” Carolina coach Colin Clarke said in a statement. “Whether it’s the nonstop passion and excitement coming from the 309 Depot or the RailHawks chant across the stadium, WakeMed Soccer Park has become a place that visiting teams do not want to play.”