For the second consecutive game, the Carolina RailHawks will welcome a rookie franchise when they face the NSC Minnesota Stars at 7 p.m. today at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The RailHawks, which beat first-year club AC St. Louis 2-0 Saturday in the season-opener, are hoping to put forth a more complete effort tonight.
Both RailHawks goals came from offseason acquisition Etienne Barbara in the game's first 25 minutes.
After going up 2-0, there was little reason for the RailHawks to continue pressing.
"I want to make it so the team doesn't want to come back and play us again," RailHawks coach Martin Rennie said. "You want to press them so hard that they're worried, they're scared. We didn't do that, but we did enough to win the game pretty comfortably."
"We just want to try as a team to finish strong," midfielder Joseph Kabwe said. "We start hard, but we need to finish hard. That'll help us in the long run."
Although the Stars are technically a first-year franchise, Minnesota had a team last year - the Thunder - but the club folded during the offseason after going bankrupt. Several of the players from that team signed on with the Stars.
"In my mind, I'm not looking at them as a new team. It's very similar to the Minnesota Thunder. A lot of the same players, a lot of the same people involved in it," Rennie said.
Rennie hopes to have a few injured players back for tonight's match, including last year's leading goal scorer Gregory Richardson. Floyd Franks could also be ready to go if Rennie needs a second-half substitution.