- West Ham United complete US Tour by facing NASL side Carolina Railhawks
- Pre-season game is second of two being played as part of 12-day US Tour
- Hammers seeking victory after going down to 3-0 defeat at MLS club Seattle Sounders
When and where?Carolina RailHawks v West Ham United
Tuesday 12 July 2016, 8pm ET (Wednesday 13 July, 1am BST)
WakeMed Soccer Park, 201 Soccer Park Drive, Cary, NC 27511
What’s the story?West Ham United complete their two-match pre-season US Tour by taking on ambitious NASL club Carolina RailHawks in the town of Cary, North Carolina.
Like their previous opponents, Seattle Sounders of the MLS, the RailHawks are in the middle of their domestic season, having played 12 of their 20 regular Conference fixtures.
Coached by former Northern Ireland international forward Colin Clarke, the RailHawks sit sixth in the combined summer/fall league table following a 4-1 victory over Joe Cole’s Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday evening.
West Ham will be seeking to add more valuable match-time for their senior players and the many promising youngsters who are with the squad in the US, with avoiding injury also a major aim.
That said, Slaven Bilic has said publicly that he wants to end the tour on a high following a 3-0 defeat in Seattle, to give something back to the many American fans who have turned out to support the Hammers Stateside.
Team news?West Ham will again be without their Euro 2016 and a number of other international players, including Dimitri Payet, James Collins, Angelo Ogbonna, Darren Randolph, Cheikhou Kouyate and Enner Valencia. Diafra Sakho has not travelled to the US due to illness, while Michail Antonio remained in London to attend the birth of his baby daughter.
The RailHawks boast a cosmopolitan squad containing no fewer than three Englishmen in the shape of former Oldham Athletic defender Paul Black, midfielder Matt Watson and ex-Hamilton Academical centre-half Simon Mensing.
The hosts’ stars are creative midfielder and NASL Player of the Week Nazmi Albadawi and new signing Matt Fondy, who scored his first goal for the club against the Rowdies and finished as the leading scorer in the USL – the third-tier of professional soccer in the United States – in 2015.
Any links between the two?In a word, no, until now! Well, there is one tenuous link, as head coach Clarke played and scored against the Hammers during his time with Southampton, Queens Park Rangers and Portsmouth in the 1980s.
Fans of the two clubs are set to strengthen the new ties that now exist with a pre-match social event at the London Bridge Pub at 110 East Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, while a Support Diversity Tailgate party will take place in Parking Lot C at WakeMed Soccer Park on match night.