July 19, 2007
Thanks to Seattle's 3-1 win over Chivas USA last evening, the USL has five teams through to the Quarterfinals of the 2007 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament to MLS' three. The most surprising part of that result is that Chivas USA did play most of their regular starters in the match and yet were unable to make their 16th minute goal from Laurent Merlin stand up.
These results will guarantee that at least one USL team will advance to the Semifinals as the USL 2nd Division's Richmond Kickers will travel to Cary to take on the USL 1st Division's Carolina RailHawks.
The other Quarterfinal match ups will see the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL 2nd Division traveling to Ludlow, Mass (Home of the USL 2nd Division's Western Mass Pioneers) to face the New England Revolution, FC Dallas will travel to Blackbaud Stadium to take on the Charleston Battery of the USL 1st Division, and the Seattle Sounders will host the Colorado Rapids.
While I love to see the USL doing well in the tournament, it's too bad that so many MLS clubs looked at their 3rd round matches more as friendlies than competitive games.
MLS News & Notes:
MLS always likes to make news around the All-Star Game and this year is no different. Here are just a few headlines bouncing around today:
- San Jose is officially back starting in 2008. It's great news for their fans. But, I really wonder if rushing into this with the short term and long term stadium plans up in the air is the right move.
- The 2008 All-Star Game will be played at BMO Field in Toronto. Toronto FC and their fans get a just reward given how the expansion team has been one of the best stories of the MLS season.
- SI.com's Grant Wahl talks to AEG's Tim Leiweke and Tim rocks the boat by saying the best and brightest soccer players in the US should move to Europe to elevate their games. I'd love to hear Soccer Sam's response to this one!
- SI.com's Jonah Freedman talks to Chelsea and England captain John Terry ahead of tonight's All-Star Game. I'm stunned that Terry didn't give the usual hint that he'd like to play in the US some day.......
- MLSNet.com has an article on the Six Degrees of Scotland at the All-Star Game. They should have called it "If it's not Scottish, it's rubbish!"
- Ives Galarcep gives the MLS All-Star starting XI if he were running the show. Five out of eleven isn't that bad..........
The LA Galaxy & Beckham-mania drama is starting up
With loads of media in town ahead of Beckham's debut, there were plenty of people on hand to witness LA's 3-0 loss to Tigres. The LA Times headline that "Galaxy plays like a scared team" was certainly nicer than say British media member saying "Frankly, Becks' new team resembles a Sunday morning pub side."
I wonder if things will calm down or just get crazier once Beckham plays a few matches for LA?
Some USMNT news of note:
- MLS Underground is reporting that the USMNT will travel to play South Africa on November 17th. This match would be the fourth friendly the US has scheduled for across the pond as they have already announced matches to be played in Europe versus Sweden, Switzerland, and Catalonia.
- Yanks Abroad are reporting that Oguchi Onyewu could be back with Standard Liege in Belgium has he doesn't have clubs from bigger leagues knocking down his door after his less than stellar stint with Newcastle United at the end of last season. I'm surprised a team like Derby County isn't taking a look at Gooch.
- A fan asked Ives Galarcep to break down his A, B, C, and D squads for the USMNT after the whole Copa America debate and he delivered.
I love how Maurice Edu knocked Freddy Adu off the D Squad. And I'd love to hear people's takes on Cherundolo and Hejduk being slotted ahead of Spector and Simek at right back.
Looking at this, I like the US' depth, but not their frontline talent at this point in time. But, that's where US Soccer has been for a while, I guess.........
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.