We’re back this week with some juicy US Soccer discussion and highlights. The men take on Ecuador in Seattle, the US Open Cup sees some new faces in the 4th round, and the MLS makes its mighty return! Let’s go.
The US stormed into the quarter finals of the Copa America in their great run of form after the Costa Rica and Panama games, looking to keep that going at home against Ecuador. How would they do without DeAndre Yedlin? Just fine. Matt Besler jumped into the defense and had a solid game, though the US did lack the pace that Yedlin provided.
The boys got off to a great start in front of the Seattle crowd, as it only took 22 minutes for Dempsey to do what he does best. Jermaine Jones with a delightful cross as well.
The US dominated the first half not only through their solid office but their wonderful defense, blocked shot galore. I mean, when’s the last time the USMNT looked like this?
It wasn’t all pretty though, with Brad Guzan coming up with a huge save just before the half, after some sloppy play.
The second half opened up in chaos as Ecuador’s Antonio Valencia and the US’s Jermaine Jones got send off. Valencia received his second yellow for tripping Bedoya intintially, while Jones couldn’t handle his temper and hit an Ecuadorian in the face. Classic. He’s out for the semi-final.
So, 10 vs. 10. Still an even match. The US grabbed their second in the 66th through Gyasi Zardes (really Clint Dempsey) but a great goal nonetheless! The first for Zardes.
Just seven minutes later though, Ecuador get one back through Michael Arroyo. Nasty finish.
Ecuador kept probing throughout the last few minutes, but couldn’t get it past big Brooks and Guzan. A great showing from the USMNT all around, taking their opportunities well while staying calm at the back You gotta love it.
The US moves on to Argentina in the semi finals, Tuesday night. A tragedy as Bobby Wood and Bedoya miss the match through yellow card accumulation, while Jones is suspended due to the red card. Bring it on, Messi.
Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
Enter MLS. Round 4 brings us the last group to enter, so you know it’s important. Let’s check out the action.
Western Conference juggernauts, Colorado Rapids, hosted semi-local rivals and USL side, Colorado Springs Switchbacks. The underdogs weren’t able to produce much but neither were the Rapids, only grabbing the win through Dillon Serna’s 84th minute strike. Rapids advance with the dreams of the treble still alive.
Real Salt Lake hosted the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL in a cracker of a match. Mael Corboz got the Hammerheads off to a great start in the 34th and Jeff Michaud extended their lead to 2 in the 58th, they were flying high. Joao Plata of RSL grabbed one back in the 65th with Burrito Martinez doing the same in the 86th to tie. This one went to pens with RSL coming out on top 3-1. So close for the USL.
Portland took out San Jose 2-0 at home, with goals coming from Dairon Asprilla and Jack McInerney.
The controversy this week came from the LA Galaxy and La Maquina (USASA) matchup. LA had pretty dirty goal, see for yourself.
LA played with a man down and won 4-1, but good on La Maquina for taking them into extra time. Without that LA goal, who knows how far they could have gone in the cup.
The Union hosted USL side Harrisburg City Islanders (not sure where that island is) in another close one. Philly grabbed the first two through Walter Restrepo and Roland Alberg. Harrisburg got theirs in the 79th (Craig Foster) and a red card in the 88th to Jose Maria Barril. They still managed to tie it up in the 90th but Union’s Roland Aberg got the winner in stoppage time. One for the ages. Here’s the winner, and the best footage I could dig up.
Columbus thrashed NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-0 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at THE Ohio State University (holla). Goals came from Justin Meram, Christian Martine (look out for him), Ethan Finlay, and Marshall Hollingsworth. That’s the Crew we know. The best I could find was a Justin Meram highlights video from an Iraqi Football Channel. You gotta love soccer.
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) hosted Orlando City in a 1-0 win for the away side. David Mateos got his in the 66th which turned out to be enough for the Lions. A tribute at the 49th minute was held for the victims of the Orlando mass shooting. Good on them.
The Rochester Rhinos of the USL faced up against ‘New York’ rivals Red Bulls. Sacha Kljestan’s penalty proved the difference with his goal in the 20th.
So this was a cool one. New York City FC hosted the New York Cosmos at Fordham University in the Bronx. The Cosmos won (hooray underdogs) resulting in NYC FC still winless against in state teams. Amazing. Cosmo’s Danny Szetela had the only goal, in the 88th with his head.
Carolina Railhawks of the NASL faced up against New York Revolution in yet another 1-0 win, this time for the MLS. It had to be decided in extra time, but Zachary Herivaux got it in for the Revs.
The NASL proved victorious in this one as DC United hosted Fort Lauderdale Strikers in Maryland. It only took 120 minutes and penalties.
Sporting KC traveled to Minnesota United for their first US Open Cup match. Benny Feilhaber (SKC) and Christian Ramirez (MU) got on the scoresheet from the penalty spot, sending this one into extra time. SKC’s Diego Rubio found the winner in the 109th.
Chicago Fire played host to midwestern rivals and recently crowned NASL Spring Season Champs Indy Eleven. No goals caused extra time, and Indy’s Justin Braun netted in the 105th but Chicago’s man David Accam tied it up in the 111th. MLS successful on penalties once again.
FC Dallas hosted USL side OKC Energy who pulled off a thrilling game. OKC scored first through Jordan Rideout, but Dallas got two back through Carlos Lizarazo. OKC tied it up in the 89th via Michael Thomas, but lost on penalties. Penalty shootouts proving to be just as important as free throws.
Houston Dynamo beat up on their opponent (yes, you read that correctly) at home, USL side San Antonio FC 4-0. Goals came from Mauro Manotas, Alex, Raul Rodriguez, and Leonel Miranda.
Last but not least, Seattle hosted PDL side Kitsap Pumas. The Sounders got the win through Christian Roidan and Joevin Jones (who needs Clint?).
Thanks for joining me (and Lamar Hunt) through he fourth round action of the US Open Cup.
Let’s take a look at the results of the MLS return. The results in the East sure make for a tight race, the top 6 within four points of each other. Watch out for RSL in the West, a ridiculous 3rd place.`