The week of July 4th! We celebrate our independence which, in turn, gives us the freedom to review the greatest American sport; US Soccer. Let’s get into this week’s action.
The drama surrounding the men’s exit from Copa America has settled down, and has even shifted to talk of Jurgen Klinsmann taking over the England managerial position after their surprising (to say the least) loss to Iceland. Do you think Jurgen has done enough for the US to be among the contenders?
Clint Dempsey has come out and said he is willing to take a reduced roll for the USMNT in 2018, as a “super sub” which could suit the team well with letting the youth such as Bobby Wood, Aron Johannsson, or vet Jozy Altidore (do we really want him still?) take the helm up front.
The women are back to friendlies, getting ready for Rio in August. They face up against South Africa this week, the 9th, at Soldier Field in Chicago.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) July 2, 2016
Nike released the kits for Rio, looking slick. As the tweet mentions, no federation logos on the tournament jerseys. Lookin’ fresh.
— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) June 28, 2016
Happy birthday, Alex Morgan!
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) July 3, 2016
US Open Cup
Round of 16! Two NASL underdogs came into the round of 16, only one made it into the quarters. Let’s see who was the weakest link.
Chicago Fire 2 Columbus Crew 1
We kick it off with a match between two sides who could use a run of form in this competition, since they are looking pretty gloom in the regular season.
David Accam, one of Chicago’s only hope, looked great and showed what he should be doing week in and week out. He struck twice, pretty quickly, before Columbus got theirs.
Ethan Finlay got on the board for Columbus, after a handball late into the second half.
Columbus out, Chicago move on. Could it get any worse for Columbus currently? They were MLS Cup finalists last year…let’s move on.
Real Salt Lake 1 Seattle Sounders 1
One of the few matches that took us into extra time, with some other entertainment as well. Joao Plata struck first for RSL after a mistimed challenge from Seattle just before the half.
Nelson Valdez got one back just AFTER the half off of a pretty bad attempt at goalkeeping by the RSL keeper (he’s no Rick Rimando), but good on Valdez for sticking with it.
This one went into extra time and penalties, and Seattle saw it through. Good news for them in a pretty lackluster season.
Seattle took it home, but it seems the RSL fans had a good time.
Philadelphia Union 2 New York Red Bulls 1
Battle near the top of the East! Mike Grella got us started in the 17th, with a well hit ball from a deflection.
Chris Pontius showed up for the Union though, grabbing the equalizer in the 54th from a nice through ball.
He grabbed the would-be winner just a few minutes later.
Could the Union be looking at a treble opportunity? This could be good news for the Red Bulls as they can focus on taking the league. Exciting race in the East…
Houston Dynamo 3 Sporting KC 1
Now we have the opposite from the previous match, underperforming teams from the West. Mauro Manotas struck first in the 7th, putting it away with a close volley.
Alex got the next from a corner, a nasty dipping header, in the 55th.
Brad Davis (of course) pulled one back for SKC in the 61st, after receiving the ball from a lucky deflection.
Manotas got his second late on, in the 84th, with a strong strike past the SKC keeper. Woof.
Good looks for Houston.
Orlando City SC 1 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2
A battle from the Sunshine State! Our first NASL feature as well. Jose Angulo scored first for the Strikers, a great left footed finish. How about those jerseys as well?
Kevin Molino equalized before regulation after stealing the ball and taking matters into his own hands. Good looks.
Victor “PC” grabbed the winner late on into extra time, from outside of the box with a quality run. You gotta love that support! See ya in the quarters.
New York Cosmos 2 New England Revs 3
Our second and finals NASL feature fell short of the win, but not without trying. Ruben Bover took the first for the Cosmos in the 38th.
Teal Bunbury equalized just before the half with a rocket to the near post, beating the Cosmos keeper.
The Cosmos took the lead again after half through Sebastian Guenzatti and his nasty cut back.
Kei Kamara (there he is!) equalized after his attempted cross was deflected, which landed perfectly for him in the 75th.
Bunbury sealed it in the 83rd after a skeptical challenge freed him and Kamara for a relatively easy finish.
FC Dallas 2 Colorado 1
Two big dogs from the West squared off with Dominique Badji giving Colorado the lead in the 37th, after some great team play!
Mauro Diaz equalized after Castillo did two Colorado players on the side line, freeing up so much space for Diaz.
Maxi Urruti spoiled the party and took it home for Dallas in the 96th, in extra time. He needed this goal.
This was a feisty one, it’ll be a great finish in the West.
Portland Timbers 0 LA Galaxy 1
LA, with their controversial goal from two weeks ago, took it to Portland at home. Raul Mendiola’s early goal (a great left footed one) was the difference in this one. LA’s controversial run continues.
Week 16 and we have some exciting results! Let’s check out the major ones.
Chicago Fire v San Jose: The Fire win through John Goossens and his first goal of the season! The Quakes struggling to find the goals while Chicago have a perfect week.
Montreal Impact v New England Revs: Kei Kamara finding his 2014-15 form by opening this one up with two, but Michael Salazar and Ignacio Piatti spoil his night by getting three back within 14 minutes! Montreal looking like strong favorites in the East.
Houston Dynamo v Philadelphia Union: It’s the week of the underdog as the Dynamo take down Eastern juggernaut of The Union at home, with a VERY late winner. The hype.
New York City FC v New York Red Bulls: Ha! Remember this one from last time? NYC FC rocked 7-0? Not this time. City look strong, even stronger than the Red Bulls this season, taking them down 2-0 at home. Jack Harrison was the star, grabbing the goal and an assist to David Villa. This season is full of surprises. Good ole’ parity.
Sporting Kansas City v Columbus Crew: A pretty lackluster season for both squads, but a run for the playoffs is still totally possible for these usually contending sides. This matchup made Soccer Sunday pretty exciting, with Columbus taking the lead through Ola Kamara, SKC grabbing two back from Feilhaber and Zusi, Kamara to tie, and a late winner from Besler. Big names, big goals.
It’s back, baby! Hello to the fall season and hello Puerto Rico FC!
With Indy Eleven taking the Spring Season in style, one would think they would be the favorites for the Fall season. I’m going for Minnesota or The Cosmos. The clout is too high around them.
There are only two constants in life…Louisville stays atop and Cincinnati not losing! All jokes aside, these teams are in great form, FC Cincinnati just a few points from their state neighbors on a terrific run of 11 league games unbeaten…keep an eye on this race.