OK, this is no offense at all to the Ventura Fusion or the Dearborn Stars or any of the other smaller clubs that clawed their way into Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s 68-team field this year. After all, those clubs make the U.S. Open Cup the gem that it is.
But when the big boys get involved, creating the possibility of storybook upsets, that’s when this tournament really gets a good, frothy head on it. Ahhhh!
Following first-round play earlier this week, the third-round matchups are now set for the tournament’s milestone 100th edition; MLS teams enter in the third round.
The best of the best in Open Cup greatness – think about ice cream with Oreo and hot fudge greatness in the toppings department – happens when MLS teams visit the smaller sides.
For instance, in the matchups set for May 28 or 29 include:
- Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union will travel to play with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds or the Ocean City Nor’Easters. No offense, Ocean City, but we want to see a Pennsylvania derby play out at that fantastic little stadium that just opened across the river from downtown Pittsburgh. Yes. Please that.
- Houston Dynamo at the San Antonio Scorpions’ swell new home? Yep. (Houston could also host FC Tucson.)
- D.C. United at the Richmond Kickers of USL is a regional rivalry deserving of mention. (Or, similar to Houston and others, they could travel or play at home, depending on second-round outcomes next week.)
- How cool would be be to see the San Jose Earthquakes at Charleston Battery’s darling home ground, Blackbaud Stadium (pictured above)?
You get the picture.
More information and the entire third-round rundown for the 100-year old tournament’s third round can be found here. (Actually, about everything you could possible want to know about the U.S. Open Cup can be found at that site, a fantastic labor-of-love resource for all things U.S. Open Cup.)
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]
Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.