Wow. Is it that time of year again already?
That’s right folks buckle up for some cup upsets, because the Centennial edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will kick off on May 7.
The 68 teams that will participate in this seasons competition were released last night, as US Soccer’s oldest cup competition celebrates its 100th birthday.
16 teams from MLS will be joined by 6 from NASL and 12 from the USL Pro, along with other clubs across the nation who’ve qualified to compete for the prestigious trophy.
Interestingly enough, three U-23 MLS sides have qualified for the Open Cup proper, with the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers U-23 PDL sides advancing and the New York Red Bulls U-23 NPSL squad also making the cut.
MLS sides will join the competition in the third round, which is set for May 28.
Each season this competition gets overlooked by many, but is a truly unique trophy that reignites the romance of the game. And I love it.
Last year saw numerous upsets of MLS sides by lower-league opposition, with the US Open Cup generating a real feel good factor around the US soccer scene.
Who will go all the way this season and lift the title, let us know. I will be hoping a NASL or USL Pro outfit makes a strong charge, but it is hard to bet against the top MLS teams.
Maybe this is the New York Red Bulls year to finally grab a piece of silverware, with local hero Mike Petke at the helm, he will know how much this competition means. While reining champs Sporting KC are hard to look past and the Seattle Sounders will be eager to reach their fifth final in a row.
Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]
So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:
- A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.
The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?
With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.
[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]
Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.
Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.
Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.
Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).