Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
The Rhinos are in Harrisburg tonight to take on the City Islanders in the 2nd round of the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament. The winner advances to face the Chicago Fire of MLS.
The game is especially big for the Rhinos organization as they won the bid to host the Fire next week, should they advance tonight. The Rochester-Chicago match was the only one of the 16 bids that an MLS team lost as the other 7 MLS clubs are guaranteed to host their 3rd round match, regardless of the outcome of the 2nd round matches.
The Harrisburg-Rochester match should be relatively even as both teams have a 1-0 home win over the other this season. But, the Rhinos may have more offensive firepower at their disposal than in either the of the previous two matches with 2010 Rhinos leading scorer Isaac Kissi seeing his first action of the 2011 season on Friday against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Coach Bob Lilley will have a variety of attacking options to choose from to try and open up a stingy City Islanders defense that is backstopped by former Rhinos GK Chase Harrison.
It will be interesting to see if a win tonight and the Chicago Fire match create a little buzz or not.
Worst case scenario is that it will give the Rochester Chapter of the American Outlaws another opportunity to embrace the Free Beer Movement.
USMNT moves on to the Gold Cup semifinals
Going into Sunday's Gold Cup Quarterfinal between the US and Jamaica the talk was about how the US didn't look sharp in the group stage and Jamaica was playing some of their best soccer ever.
Add in that two of the stars of the US squad, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, were traveling Friday, Saturday, and into Sunday to take part in their sisters' weddings, and you had a lot of people wondering if the US would get knocked out early and then the Bob Bradley deathwatch would be on.
But, Bob Bradley made a bold move by putting a jet lagged Donovan on the bench to start. And the move paid off with the US dictating play for most of the match, Jermaine Jones getting lucky twice (his goal that deflected off a Jamaica defender and then taking a dive that drew a straight red on Jamaica as opposed to his second caution), and Clint Dempsey calmly putting the game away late.
The only bad news for the US was forward Jozy Altidore going down early with a hamstring injury that could easily end his tournament two games early.
Tomorrow they get a rematch with Panama which defeated the US 2-1 in their second match of the group stage. Panama needed to go to PKs to advance past El Salvador.
Women's World Cup
We are a week away from the US's World Cup opener versus North Korea. So, you can expect the Women's World Cup coverage to continue to grow.
If you want a great preview guide for the price of a lot of magazines available at your local newsstand, check out this from Jenna Pel and Jeff Kassouf who have both been a part of Flash Through The WPS.
US opens up U-17 World Cup with a big win
The US opened the U-17 World Cup with a nice 3-0 win over the Czech Republic.
Alejandro Guido got the US out to an early lead with a goal in the 5th minute. Esteban Rodriguez & Alfred Koroma added second half goals to seal the deal.
Up next for the US is Uzebekistan tomorrow afternoon. The game will be available on tape delay on ESPNU.
News & Notes:
- The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have received a 6 month extension on their lease of Lockhart Stadium. So, they won't be homeless in a couple of weeks!
- Inside Minnesota Soccer & the11.ca have coverage of the official announcement that Ottawa will join the NASL. The interesting thing is that IMS says that they will be making the move in 2013 and the11.ca says 2014.
- It looks like Charlie Davies was looking to Jermaine Jones for inspiration. And not in a good way.....
- MLS Rumors talks about the New England Revolution siding with STHs over their supporters groups. This is weak sauce.
- The Houston Dynamo have a stadium construction webcam up.
- The Free Beer Movement digs up an awesome Clint Dempsey beer online game promotion.
- Red Bull's GM Erik Soler is the latest person to blast MLS officiating after Thierry Henry was given a rather harsh red card versus Seattle.
- FIFA VP Jack Warner has stepped down. Thank goodness.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.