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.)
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Chris Coleman says he chose to remain as Wales manager despite interest from Premier League side Hull because he’s in a job that is “close to his heart.”
The Football Association of Wales rejected an approach for Coleman from Hull this month, with the Welshman deciding to stay on rather than resigning.
Coleman, who guided Wales to the European Championship semifinals against the odds, said on Wednesday that “if someone comes and it’s the Premier League, anybody, you kind of look at it sideways. Of course.”
But, Coleman added, managing your country “comes around once, if you’re lucky.”
Coleman has made no secret of his desire to manage in club football in the future, but says “what I’ve got here is something very special and close to my heart.”
Who’s going to join Porto, Monaco, Legia Warsaw, Ludogorets Razgrad and Celtic as playoff teams to join the UEFA Champions League group stage?
The biggest names of Wednesday’s slate are cruising after their first legs, with Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach putting five and three goals on the board, respectively.
[ MORE: Champions League Tues. roundup ]
Could the match be Joe Hart‘s last for City? The longtime backstop gets the call with the transfer window a week away.
In the other three cases, things are wide open. Rostov plays Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg faces Dinamo Zagreb, and APOEL lines up Copenhagen.
Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League slate — FOLLOW LIVE
Borussia Monchengladbach (3) vs. (1) BSC Young Boys
Rostov (1) vs. (1) Ajax
Red Bull Salzburg (1) vs. (1) Dinamo Zagreb
APOEL (0) vs. (1) Copenhagen
Manchester City (5) vs. Steaua Bucuresti (0)
The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.
American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.
Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.
Wednesday’s EFL Cup schedule — FOLLOW LIVE
Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town
Robbie Keane is ending a big chapter in his career.
Fear not, Galaxy fans, the 36-year-old living L.A. legend isn’t calling it quits on club soccer, but Keane is done with representing the Republic of Ireland.
Keane will play one more game for the Boys in Green, a friendly against Oman next week, before leaving the Republic to qualify for the World Cup without him.
[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]
In a sprawling and understandably emotional — if not moving — statement, Keane says he isn’t going to stop playing for his club anytime soon, and that he hardly dreamed he’d get to this point.
No player has been capped (145) or scored (67) as many times for Ireland than Keane.