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Éamon Zayed's Hailstorm Prepare to Face Colorado Rapids in the US Open Cup

Éamon Zayed inspired USL One shock troops Northern Colorado Hailstorm as they slayed Major League Soccer giants Real Salt Lake in last season’s US Open Cup.

Now, the 39-year-old Football Careers client is plotting another Cupset as his team prepares to face MLS rivals Colorado Rapids on Wednesday 26th April.

Zayed’s Hailstorm is off to a league flyer this time around with an opening day draw at Chattanooga Red Wolves backed up by a superb 0-3 triumph on the road at reigning USL One champions, Tormenta, on Gameday Two.

When the focus switched to the Cup, Hailstorm pulled off a dramatic 3-1 extra-time win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks to set up another glamour trip to face MLS opposition in Round Three. Éamon reflected:

“In our opening game, defensively, we did the job — and we had to do that again against Tormenta. I was looking to see who’s going to step up and score the goals and we’ve done that since.”

Now the team, who are building towards a future playing at the 6,500-seat TicketSmarter Stadium at the multi-sport Future Legends Complex, are making headlines again.

Zayed has previously opened up on his fascinating playing career in an in-depth interview with footballcareers.com.

The Irishman played international football for Libya and once scored an incredible hat-trick off the bench for Persepolis in the powder-keg Tehran derby against Esteghlal to secure a 3-2 win in front of 96,000 screaming fans. He has lived a life less ordinary as a player and is now excelling as a coach.

In his playing days in Indiana, Éamon dipped his toes in the waters of coaching working as an assistant with NCAA Division 1 women’s side, Ball State University Cardinals. He relished the challenge of improving the players and helping to mould them both on the field with their soccer and off it with their academic life.

Éamon enthused: “I loved the idea of working at that level and it opened my eyes to how all-encompassing the coaching job can be. I liked helping the players juggle their hectic lives to produce the best in their games.

“I have always also been fascinated by the mental side of the game and how I would switch on when the big crowds were there. If I had could have been as switched on in the run of the mill games, I might have gone further in the game.

“I have a friend called David Gillick who is a 400-metre runner and won the European Championship for Ireland. It fascinated me speaking to him about mental preparation and I would look at that side of things. Then I would think about how the man-manager coaches I had worked with had clicked into a team’s psychological state and improved them.

“So I have always been thinking about this process of coaching and how I can work with and improve teams.”

Now Éamon is living that process day to day — and as his side gear up for a return to league action away to Richmond Kickers on 15th April, they have that date with the Rapids on the horizon.

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