Life is good for USL Pro club Orlando City.
After purchasing a new plot of land for a future stadium and weeks of being rumored as one of the possible destinations for Major League Soccer’s next club, the Florida-based outfit eliminated Sporting Kansas City from the U.S. Open Cup last night by a score of 1-0.
Last year’s Champions were dumped out at home after Orlando City striker Tan Long netted in the second minute of play. It was the second MLS scalp the Lions have taken this season, having beaten the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on May 28th in the third round of play.
The hosts came into the match looking to make amends for their previous match, a 2-1 home loss to Montreal on June 1st. But with Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Kei Kamara all out on international duty, Sporting lacked the punch to get the job done despite registering 18 shots in defeat.
Peter Vermes’ side came close through C.J. Sapong and Paulo Nagamura but goalkeeper Orlando City Miguel Gallardo was up to the task. The 28 year old netminder was simply fantastic on the night.
With the victory, Orlando City extend their unbeaten streak to 14 matches and have sealed their place in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals where they will face the winner of Chicago and Columbus. The last time a lower league side won the U.S. Open Cup was in 1999 when the Raging Rhinos of Rochester beat the Colorado Rapids 2-0.
Here’s how the rest of U.S. Open Cup action panned out:
- Carolina Railhawks upped their unbeaten streak to five matches by knocking off Chivas USA, 3-1 in extra time
- A cracking volley by Michael Nanchoff handed Portland a 2-0 win over Tampa Bay
- New England continued its offensive onslaught beating the Red Bulls 4-2
- Kenny Cooper’s brace helped FC Dallas to a 3-0 victory over rival Houston
- Real Salt Lake came from two goals down to crush Charleston Battery 5-2 in extra time
- D.C. United beat Philadelphia 3-1 behind a Dwayne De Rosario hat-trick
Here’s the U.S. Open Cup fixture list for the Round of 16:
- Real Salt Lake v. Carolina
- D.C. United v. New England
- Chicago/Columbus v. Orlando City
- FC Dallas v. Portland
Marseille did well to bring in one star this season but could the French side have another trick up its sleeve this summer?
Sky Sports is reporting that the Ligue 1 club is preparing to sign Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud over the summer and the sixth-place side is “willing to pay up to £20m (roughly $25 million).
Marseille made a splash this season when the club re-signed Dimitri Payet, who was playing with Premier League side West Ham at the time.
The team does boast several quality attacking options such as Payet and Bafetimbi Gomis, but Giroud could serve as an ideal target man in the Marseille attack.
Prior to joining the Gunners in 2012, Giroud starred for Montpellier and with a potential link-up in the attack with a creator like Payet, it could present a dangerous attacking threat to the rest of Ligue 1.
Giroud, 30, has scored 95 goals in all competitions since arriving in London with Arsenal.
We’ve seen MLS teams make major splashes in the past, and one of next year’s newcomers could be a really big draw if they can manage to seal the deal on a Mexican international.
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According to Metro New York, Los Angeles FC is continuing its talks with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez about a potential deal that would prove massive in terms of MLS spending.
While LAFC won’t debut in MLS until 2018, the club could potentially make the Mexico striker the highest-paid player in league history with an average salary of roughly $10 million.
The 28-year-old Hernandez currently plays in Germany with Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, where he’s plied his trade since joining the club during the 2015/16 season.
Additionally, the former Manchester United man has dominated the international scene for El Tri, scoring 46 goals in 90 appearances for the CONCACAF nation.
German publication Kicker says Bayern Munich technical director Michael Reschke attended both of this weekend’s FA Cup semifinals and had his eye on two players in particular.
Reschke apparently wants to bring players from both North London Derby rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to the Allianz Arena.
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In the case of Spurs, that man is right back Kyle Walker. The 26-year-old has also played right mid in 8 of his 35 matches for Tottenham this season, and was named in the PFA Team of the Year. It’s hard to believe Spurs would have interest in selling Walker, who would help fill the role of retiring Philipp Lahm.
On the other side is Alexis Sanchez, the embattled but electric Arsenal attacker who Arsene Wenger described as an “animal” and “always ready to kill the opponent” this weekend. Wenger says Sanchez isn’t going anywhere, but Bayern does boast Chilean teammate Arturo Vidal and former Barca mate Thiago Alcantara.
Walker is signed at Spurs through 2021, while Sanchez’s contract ends after next season.
AS Roma has found its new sporting director, and it’s a man with a keen eye for talent.
Ramon “Monchi” Rodriguez Verdejo, 48, has spent the last 18 years as the sporting director at Sevilla, which won five UEFA Europa League titles under his watch.
Monchi was discussed in the media as a target for the same job at Arsenal and was a target for other Premier League clubs, but Roma sealed the deal with the former goalkeeper.
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He is considered to have a big role in discovering and developing Sergio Ramos, Jesus Navas, and Dani Alves.
Read more from ASRoma.com.