Red Bulls upset, Cal FC seen out as U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals set


Major League Soccer saw another team upset by a lower-division side, though compared to the third round, Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup results were a relative reprieve. Only New York suffered a shocker, and although two other Major League Soccer sides also bowed out, the league avoided the type of stumbles that defined the previous round.

But Tuesday was still a day for some of U.S. soccer’s under-appreciated teams. The Harrisburg City Islanders sprung another upset of the Red Bulls, while fellow third-tier sides Dayton and Charlotte also find themselves in the final eight, both winning in extra time.

In all, four of the eight matches needed an 30 extra minutes to produce a winner, and while the round didn’t produce the same headlines as last week, the excitement returned.


Seattle Sounders 5-0 Cal FC

The dream is over, woken up with revelry at the break of night, just as Cal FC started to believe it could craft one more miracle.

For 45 minutes, the fifth-level upstarts stayed with Seattle, looking slightly better than they did while upsetting Portland. Then the second half came, a 50th minute penalty was called, and the flood gates opened.

Osvaldo Alonso opened the scoring with the first of his two second half goals. Fredy Montero scored twice, and Seattle ended Eric Wynalda’s cinderella story, continuing their quest for a fourth straight U.S. Open Cup.

Harrisburg 3-1 New York Red Bulls (aet)

Harrisburg went up early with a 13th goal through Brian Ombiji Conor Lade’s 54th minute equalizer started New York’s second half push, though it was goalkeeper Ryan Meara who saw the most pressure as regulation time ended. Still, when extra time started, there was every reason to believe New York, despite the early set back, would avoid a second loss in three years at Harrisburg City.

Four minutes into extra time, Sainey Touray squelched that belief, lobbing Meara to restore Harrisburg’s advantage. After a New York hand ball shout was controversially denied late in extra time, Lucky Mkosana added Harrisburg’s insurance goal, sending the Islanders through.

D.C. United 1-2 Philadelphia Union (aet)

Brian Carroll and Josh Wolff traded goals just before half time before the teams shut it down for the second. Two minutes into extra time, Antoine Hoppenot put home on a Freddy Adu set up to send Philadelphia into the quarterfinals, where they’ll host Harrisburg.

Sporting KC 2-0 Colorado

Matt Pickens was charged with an own goal after a first half header from Aurelien Collin ricocheted off the post, off the goalkeeper’s back, and in for the winning goal. A late insurance tally from Teal Bunbury sealed the victory on a night the hosts controlled.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 Minnesota

There was an attritional aspect to this one, the last match of the night. The sides went scoreless into halftime, but San Jose was the better of the two teams in the second. Finally, four minutes from time, Steven Lenhart broke through, preventing the fifth extra time match of the night.

The win sets up a quarterfinal meeting with the holders: Seattle.

Carolina 1-2 Chivas USA

Juan Agudelo’s 32nd minute goal gave Chivas USA a lead they held for 46 minutes, with Micheal Palacio’s late second half equalizer convincing Railhawks’ supporters of the second-division side was lining up another scalp.

It wasn’t meant to be. A late hand ball on USMNT prospect Gale Agbossoumonde gave Juan Pablo Angel a chance to win this one from the spot. Sending the Railhawks’ goalkeeper the wrong way, Angel sent Chivas into the quarterfinals, restoring Chivas’s one goal advantage.

Michigan Bucks 1-2 Dayton Dutch Lions (aet)

Eli Garner’s 14th minute opener gave Dayton a lead to take into halftime. Nine minutes after intermission, Anthony Grant equalized, putting the teams on a course for extra time.

A penalty kick awarded in the 96th minute allowed Joel Delass to send the USL-Pro team into the final eight, eliminating the last surviving PDL side.

San Antonio 1-2 Charlotte (aet)

Charlotte took a 1-0 lead into half time after Devon Grousis put the Eagles up in the 26th minute. Fifteen minutes from time, Pablo Campos provided life support, sending yet another match into extra time.

There, another NASL side saw a hand ball undo their night. In the 116th minute, Mauricio Salles converted from the spot, making Charlotte the third USL-Pro side to qualifying for the final eight.

Quarterfinal matchups:

Sporting KC vs. Dayton

Chivas USA vs. Charlotte

Philadelphia vs. Harrisburg City

San Jose vs. Seattle Sounders

Joint World Cup bidders: Trump hasn’t sparked voter concerns

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Organizers of the North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup insist FIFA members have not expressed concern about President Donald Trump’s harsh words about foreigners or the U.S. Justice Department prosecuting corrupt soccer officials.

[ MORE: Digging into the latest USMNT roster ]

“Look, this is not geopolitics,” new U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro said Monday during a conference call. “We’re talking about football and what fundamentally at the end of the day, what’s the best interests of football and our footballing community, and we’ve had no backlash. We’re very focused on the merits of our bid.”

A joint bid by the United States, Mexico and Canada was submitted to FIFA on Friday along with a proposal by Morocco. The 207 other members of the international soccer governing body will vote on June 13 in Moscow.

Cordeiro, Mexican Football Federation President Decio de Maria and Canadian Soccer Association President Steven Reed spoke from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where they were meeting with members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, a subset of the Asian Football Confederation.

A solo bid by the U.S. for the 2022 World Cup was favored going into the 2010 vote but lost to Qatar. FIFA then changed the vote rules to give the decision back to the entire membership, which chose hosts prior to 1986, when the choice started being made by the roughly two dozen members of its executive committee.

“We believe that the member associations are going to judge us on the quality of the bids, on the merits of our bid, and that’s it,” Reed said. “We’re very confident about what we’re putting forward, and I don’t think that we’re concerned about politics.”

Sixty games would be played in the U.S. under the bid plan, including all from the quarterfinals on. Three cities were included from Mexico and Canada, and both of those nations would host 10 games.

Holding a tournament in the U.S. would subject many of the documents generated to subpoena by U.S. federal prosecutors, who have secured numerous guilty pleas to corruption charges from soccer officials since 2015 and obtained convictions at trial last year against Juan Angel Napout, the former president of South American soccer’s governing body, and Jose Maria Marin, the former president of Brazil’s soccer federation.

“We haven’t had any of those concerns raised by any of the members that we’ve met so far,” Cordeiro said. “The reforms that FIFA undertook some years ago I think were spot on and we feel very confident that ultimately the right decision will be made.”

Morocco’s bid envisions spending almost $16 billion, including $3 billion to construct nine new stadiums, refurbish five others and build or renovate 130 training grounds.

[ MORE: Brazil to face Austria in final World Cup tune-up match ]

The North American bid proposed venues be selected from among 23 stadiums that exist or already are under construction, including three each in Mexico and Canada. Sixteen of the U.S. stadiums are sites of NFL teams.

“The split of matches that we have proposed to FIFA frankly reflects the resources of the three countries,” Cordeiro said. “We in the United States are blessed with some very substantial resources in terms of stadium infrastructure, of cities and so on, and that reflects the 60 matches that we have on the table. But at the end of the day there is a reason why FIFA have asked for or have encouraged joint bids and we do think that our joint bids taken together provide for a vastly superior bid than our competition.”

AP Sports Writer Rob Harris contributed to this report.

Ailing LA Galaxy could miss as many as 10 players this weekend

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We’re less than a month into the new Major League Soccer season, and one club is already left scrambling to find players for its next match.

[ MORE: A deeper look at the USMNT roster ]

Between injuries, international call ups and a suspension, the LA Galaxy could be without as many as 10 players this weekend.

Ola Kamara, Romain Alessandrini and Giovani dos Santos are among the notable names likely to be absent for Saturday’s match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, but seven more players could be left unavailable for Sigi Schmid’s squad.

Kamara was the latest player to be named to his respective national team, with the striker being called up to Norway on Monday.

Meanwhile, both Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos have earned call ups to Mexico, and Emrah Klimenta has been selected by Montenegro for its next friendlies against Cyprus and Turkey.

Both Dos Santos brothers are battling injuries of their own, so they may not feature for El Tri, but that won’t necessarily help the Galaxy either as they are kept sidelined.

Of the ten players possibly missing the Whitecaps match, five of them (Michael Ciani, Cole, Gio dos Santos, J. dos Santos and Kamara) started in the Galaxy’s last game — a 2-1 loss to New York City FC.

Report: Chelsea, Real Madrid could make sensational swap

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Real Madrid’s interest in a certain Chelsea star has been well-noted for some time, and with the World Cup nearing this summer, Los Blancos may finally be able to get their man.

[ MORE: Brazil to play Austria in final World Cup tune-up ]

Eden Hazard has long been a Madrid target, and with the Belgium international seemingly more and more interested by a move away from Stamford Bridge, the veteran attacker could see himself join Real after the World Cup in Russia.

According to Spanish outlet Diario Gol, Real could secure a move for Hazard this summer, while sending young attacker Marco Asensio to Chelsea.

While hypothetical at this point, the move makes sense for both clubs, particularly from a Blues perspective as they look for young attacking players.

The 22-year-old Asensio has been seeking regular minutes at Madrid, and with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale regularly included in the starting squad, that has been nearly impossible for the Spanish international.

Meanwhile, Real would be gaining another incredibly talented attacking piece to go along with Ronaldo and Bale, although the latter has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu for some time.

Real has also been strongly linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain winger Neymar, who has spent less than a season in France.

It’s a ways away from happening, but a front three of Hazard, Ronaldo and Neymar would certainly make El Clasico even more intriguing than usual, with Real facing off against a Barcelona squad that currently boasts Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.

Andrija Novakovich: “It’s a good feeling” to earn USMNT call up

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As the U.S. Men’s National Team continues its transition towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, a new face has emerged for the Stars and Stripes ahead of its upcoming friendly against Paraguay.

[ MORE: USMNT adds Kekuta Manneh to roster ahead of Paraguay friendly ]

Striker Andrija Novakovich earned his first call up on Sunday when U.S. manager Dave Sarachan named the Telstar player in his squad, which will play the South American side on March 27 in Cary, North Carolina.

The 21-year-old forward has been nothing short of brilliant in his first season with the Dutch second-division club, scoring 18 league goals for Telstar — who sit fourth in the Eerste Divisie.

“It’s a good feeling to get the call-up and hopefully it will be a very good experience,” Novakovich said. “They [the U.S. national team] sent the club and myself an email saying that I was on the preliminary roster and we were just waiting, and then this week I got another email saying I was on the final roster.

“I called my Mum right away and she’s proud, she’s happy.

“I’m just there for the experience — of course I want to play, of course I want to get the opportunity and hopefully that will happen, It’s an honour to be called up and I’m very proud and very happy.”

Novakovich, a Wisconsin native, is currently on loan at Telstar from English Championship side Reading.

The young USMNT player moved to England back in 2014 to join Reading’s academy, despite originally planning on playing for Marquette University following high school.

Despite this being his first senior-team call up, Novakovich is familiar with the U.S. national team setup. Novakovich has previously represented the Under-17, U-18 and U-20 national teams.