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.)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is off and running for Manchester United.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
The big Swede was fully expected to immediately provide a Zlatan-sized impact from the outset of his time in the Premier League, but four minutes into his Man United tenure? It was unthinkably quick, even by Zlatan’s otherworldly standards and expectations. Good to see the scissor-kick make an appearance so far in advance of the PL season, which kicks off two weeks from today.
As for the rest of Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils, seeing Wayne Rooney bag a second-half brace, just three minutes between goals, could well be the most welcome sign of all for the red half of Manchester. His positional deployment on this day? The no. 10 role, just behind Zlatan.
Man United went on to defeat Galatasaray by the final score of 5-2.
At the risk of tooting my own horn, count me among the few who thought Hugo Lloris might’ve done a bit better on Eder‘s EURO winning goal.
It wasn’t a howler. But the French goalkeeper, one of the best in the world, seemed a tad slow to explode toward the right post when Eder let rip with a new legendary Portuguese shot.
[ MORE: Gameiro joins new club ]
It seems there’s good reason for this, as Lloris was injured just before the goal. Raphael Guerriero bent a gorgeous free kick off the cross bar, as you might remember, one that sent the goalkeeper clattering into the goal post.
This new video shows the Spurs goalkeeper favoring his right side or leg for the next minute, and that’s the leg he uses to drive his body low toward Eder’s bounding shot.
What do you think? Did it make a difference? Or was Eder’s shot plenty good on merit?
New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies is in remission after being treated for liposarcoma this Spring.
The 30-year-old striker took some time off from the team this Spring, and revealed his battle on Saturday.
[ MORE: Gameiro joins new club ]
According to the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, “Liposarcoma is a rare cancer of connective tissues that resemble fat cells under a microscope. It accounts for up to 18% of all soft tissue sarcomas. Liposarcoma can occur in almost any part of the body, but more than half of liposarcoma cases involve the thigh, and up to a third involve the abdominal cavity.”
Davies has had his fair share of obstacles to overcome, having been involved in a massive car accident in 2009 that lacerated his bladder, left bleeding on the brain and broke several bones.
He missed six months for then-club Sochaux, and struggled to regain the form that saw him score four goals in 17 caps for the USMNT. He enjoyed a renaissance last summer with 10 goals for the Revolution.
From a release:
“Today, New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies shared that earlier this spring he was diagnosed and treated for liposarcoma and that he is now in remission. It was important for Charlie to concentrate on his family and treatment during the past few weeks and the club honored his wish for privacy. The New England Revolution will continue to support him through full recovery and are looking forward to seeing him back out on the pitch. Any fans who wish to share support should tweet or tag messages to Charlie at @CharlieDavies9 or use the hashtag #CD9.”
All our best to CD9 and his family, who braved two children born three months premature.
Make no mistake about it, Jurgen Klopp has his team at Anfield.
The Liverpool manager, 49, took over for Brendan Rodgers in January and made some encouraging strides given that he was left with players who weren’t all designed for his system.
[ MORE: Januzaj wants United exit ]
Enter Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum. Bring on Ragnar Klavan and Marko Grujic.
Enter Klopp’s squad, from Sky Sports:
“This is my squad now,” Klopp said. “After all the transfers…this time it is my team. There are probably no players here anymore I don’t want. There are no signings I didn’t want, we have not sold anyone I didn’t want to.”
“I’m not afraid of making decisions – it’s part of the job,” Klopp added. “I am happy with my team now – all I can say is we will be a challenger.
That “not sold anyone I didn’t want to” part sounds a bit like some sour grapes from Borussia Dortmund, where Klopp watched several of his best skip town.
On a lighter note, Klopp cut a rug for a group of young fans at Liverpool, and the Reds were good enough to film it for us.
“If you do it long enough, you can fly”. Head down for some classic, but ultimately very misleading, Klopp.