US Open Cup Roundup: Galaxy and Rapids fall, Rhinos look to take down Revs

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Round 5 of the US Open Cup put six matches in the books last night with two to play tonight in the country’s 101-year-old tournament.

Tuesday evening saw two Major League Soccer sides bow out of the competition to NASL clubs as the Carolina RailHawks took down the LA Galaxy 1-0 in extra time and the Atlanta Silverbacks defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in a match marred by a face-stomp and four red cards.

TUESDAY’S RESULTS

Carolina RailHawks 1 Los Angeles Galaxy 0 

For the third time in three years the Galaxy’s Open Cup run came to a halt at the hands of the RailHawks, who previously claimed victory over Los Angeles in 3rd Round matches in 2012 and 2013. This year it was Daniel Jackson scored a 105th minute breakaway against the run of play to hand his side a quarterfinal date with FC Dallas on July 8th.

Colorado Rapids 1 Atlanta Silverbacks 2

While the Galaxy result was surprising, the Silverbacks game was shocking. In the 64th minute absolute chaos ensued when the Rapids Drew Moore went to the turf and was stomped on by Silverbacks forward Jaime Chavez. A five minute melee ensued resulting in red cards being handed out to Chavez, teammates Borfor Carr and Kwadwo Poku, as well as Colorado’s Marc Burch. The rest of the match was filled with arguments, elbows and pushes while Chavez nailed a brace and Dillon Powers cut the lead in half with a 75th minute penalty.

Seattle Sounders 1 San Jose Eathquakes 1 (4-1 PENS)

A 26th minute strike by Seattle’s Kenny Cooper cancelled out Steven Lenhart’s opener to bring the match to penalties where Sounders keeper Marcus Hahnemann came up big. Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Papa, Brad Evans and Lamar Negal all converted from the spot for Seattle while Khari Stephenson scored for the Quakes but Alan Gordon missed and JJ Koval had his effort saved for Negal’s conversion to prove the decisive goal.

Houston Dynamo 2 FC Dallas 3

In Houston, Tesho Akindele scored the 98th minute winner for Dallas after goals from Fabian Castillo and Andres Escobar were offset by Giles Barnes and Omar Cummings.

Sporting Kansas City 1 Portland Timbers 0

A Gaston Fernandez brace and penalty by Will Johnson handed Portland 3-1 victory over Kansas City at Sporting Park. Soony Saad’s third strike in as many matches helped Sporting cut the lead but wasn’t enough to generate a comeback after falling behind by three goals in 68 minutes.

Philadelphia Union 2 New York Cosmos 1

A Sebastien Le Toux brace handed his Philadelphia Union the 2-1 win over NASL side New York Cosmos. Alessandro Noselli put the home side on its heels with his 56th minute chip but it was only a minute later that Le Toux leveled before his 115th minute pen gave the Union their winner at PPL Park.

TONIGHT’S MATCHES

Rochester Rhinos vs. New England Revolution (Stevenson Field, Providence, RI, 7:30pm ET)

After their thrilling 1-0 home win over DC United in Round 4 of the tournament, Rochester takes on its second straight MLS opponent in the New England Revolution. The Rhinos, who won the US Open Cup in 1999, have faired decently well against MLS sides in the competition, winning eight of the 25 contests they’ve played in. The Revs, however, will be well aware of their opponent’s potential after barely getting by fellow USL PRO side, Richmond Kickers, 3-2 in their Round 4 match. They too have won the competition (2007) setting up what promises to be a compelling match. The contest will be streamed live here with the winner facing Philadelphia Union in the next round.

Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire (Toyota Park; Bridgeview, IL, 8:30pm ET)

After needing extra time to secure a 2-1 home win over NASL side Indy Eleven, the Columbus Crew now face the Chicago Fire for a bid to the next round. The reward? Those pesky Atlanta Silverbacks, who upset the Colorado Rapids 2-1 last night amidst some definitive controversy. The Crew were knocked out by the Fire in last year’s competition and will be seeking revenge against the four-time Open Cup winners. Chicago head into the matchup after beating the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1, a match that was ultimately abandoned in the 49th minute due to a rain-soaked pitch. The Fire pose a formidable home record in the cup, having lost and drawn only once while winning the other 19 matches they’ve played. The match will be streamed live, here.

 

 

Lukaku rejects big comparisons: “I can’t say I’m in my prime”

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Romelu Lukaku has bagged a bunch of goals and played on three Premier League teams, but knows there’s another level to his game as he opens up life at Manchester United.

Rejecting comparisons to big strikers like Didier Drogba (because they’re different style players) and Robert Lewandowski (because he’s not yet at that level), Lukaku gave his thoughts about his career’s next steps.

[ MORE: Q&A with Edin Dzeko ]

Lukaku didn’t score in the PL for Chelsea, but has a 17-goal campaign on loan to West Bromwich Albion as well as 15-, 10-, 18-, and 25-goal seasons for Everton.

From Sky Sports:

“I’m 24 years of age, I cannot say I am the complete package, I can’t say I’m in my prime.

“There is still a lot of work to be done and I am delighted there is still a lot of work to be done. That means I can become even better than I am now.”

Lukaku most needs consistency in his game. Even in his massive campaign last season, he twice went four matches without a goal. While it’s possible to have fine performances but not find finish, Everton went 1W-3D-4L in those combined stretches and five of those matches were against bottom half sides.

Something tells us having Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Marcus Rashford setting him up could help, too.

Q&A: Edin Dzeko on Roma, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Champions League

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PST spoke to a quartet of AS Roma players this week as the club contends the 2017 International Champions Cup in the United States with the aim of a profile piece on i Lupi captain Daniele De Rossi’s quest for an elusive scudetto.

That piece came out well, but the conversations with some of his teammates were just as fun. While Kevin Strootman’s resilience and Hector Moreno’s Mexican ambassador status neatly fit into individual posts, our talk with ex-Man City striker and reigning Capocannoniere winner Edin Dzeko works better in Q&A form.

[ MORE: How will Chicharito slot in at West Ham? ]

Plenty has changed since Dzeko scored in Man City’s wild title-clinching finish against QPR. Dzeko talked about his surprising and explosive 29-goal Serie A season, his interest in a UEFA Champions League return to the Etihad Stadium, and a love for representing his home nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Enjoy.

PST: Obviously we know your quality from having scored 25-plus goals three times in seasons at Wolfsburg and Manchester City, but what was it like going from 10 goals to 39 in your second season at Roma?

Edin Dzeko: “It was definitely one of the best in my career. When you get up in your years you are supposed to go down, but actually I’ve gone up. I felt good and from the beginning of preseason I trained hard and it was an important season after getting to know the qualities of the teams and players in the league after my first season in Italy. Last year was big proof of it and like it always is, it was harder than it looked.”

PST: You’ve won the Bundesliga and the Premier League, the latter twice. Last season you shaved Juventus’ table advantage to four points. Can this be the year?

Dzeko: “I have hope that I can do the same in Italy. It’s definitely not easy with Juventus having it the last few years and not selling, only buying new players. Last season was really good for us. We were very close but we still dropped some easy points against the small teams and that cost us at the end. Next year we play Champions League. We changed coaches and a few players left and others came so we have to gather up to the new style of the coach and the new players have to learn what it is to play in Italy. Hopefully this season can be better than last, but we have to go step-by-step.”

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

PST: Wolfsburg had never won, and Man City hadn’t in 40-plus years. Can those experiences help in pushing Roma to its first scudetto since 2001?

Dzeko: “Hopefully. Also when I went to City and we won the first and second title, the team was probably was one of the best in England where it’s also not so easy to win the title. I have another three years contract in Rome and this town and these fans deserve a title. It’s such a shame, every year without a title for this club.”

PST: What would it mean?

Dzeko: “It would mean everything. Hopefully we will manage to do this in the next few years, but it would mean everything to them. I’d habe a lot of good feelings if Roma would manage to win the title. It would be amazing for all the players. They will love us and never forget. The people in Rome, they live for football. They live for us.”

PST: Hector Moreno mentioned that hunger in training was evident in just the few days he’s been there.

Dzeko: “You have to be hungry for good things because it’s a new young team, a new coach, and the team is step-by-step building itself in new directions. We lost four, five players from last seasons so it’s never easy to bring seven, eight new players and immediately work it out. So this preseason is important.”

(Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)

PST: You’re Bosnia and Herzegovina’s all-time leading scorer, and you seem to relish international breaks and pulling on the shirt. 

Dzeko: “I’m proud of myself for what I’ve achieved because I remember when I was young and I was looking to the players, my idols, who were playing with Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s something special, we can take it to heart and I’m proud that I can be the idol of some young boys in Bosnia that can still believe they can do some good things and positive stuff in the future. When someone from our small country goes out and plays in a league like Italy, it gives the confidence for the rest of the young people that they can know that everything is possible.”

PST: You’re also pretty active in causes around Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dzeko: “It’s important for me because it’s my country, it’s the country that gave me everything, where I grew up for 18 years before I left for Czech Republic first and then Germany, England, Italy. I want to help the people who need help because I have the possibility to do it. I will always be there for them and I’m also the UNICEF ambassador that makes me even more proud because I love kids.”

PST: Finally, Roma is in a different pot than Manchester City for this year’s UEFA Champions League. Would you like to be drawn with your old team, or prefer the clubs stay separate?

Dzeko: “I would love it, to be fair. I would love to go back there and even against City I bring so many good memories from the beautiful days and my connection with the fans and club. I would definitely look forward to it.”

Reports: Swans rebuff Everton bid for Sigurdsson; want $65M

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What’s $7-13 million amongst peers?

Swansea City has reportedly shot down either a $52 and/or a $58 million Everton bid for Gylfi Sigurdsson, offers that falls shy of Swans’ $65 million asking price.

$65 million? Why that’s almost Benjamin Mendy money.

Either way, with Sigurdsson absent from Swansea’s U.S. tour, a move seems predetermined.

[ SERIE A: Can De Rossi help Roma catch Juve? ]

The BBC says Monday’s offer was the $52m price, and that it was Everton’s first offer, though The Guardian says it’s a second $58m bid from Everton for the Icelandic playmaker who almost single-handedly ensured the Welsh side’s Premier League status last season.

Reports of an initial $52 million bid also came earlier this month.

Sigurdsson, 27, scored nine goals last season and teamed with Fernando Llorente to form a potent duo. He first made his PL impression with seven goals during a half-season loan from Hoffenheim, and moved to Spurs for a tumultuous two seasons.

He’s since recorded seven-, 11-, and 9-goal seasons for Swans.

Everton has spent big this summer and look set to have the depth to compete in both the Premier League and UEFA Europa League.

VIDEO: Chicharito talks West Ham signing, opener at Manchester United

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is back in the Premier League, and will debut for his new club at the home of his old club.

The league schedulers didn’t know the Mexican striker would be a member of West Ham United on Opening Day, but nonetheless have the first weekend ending with an 11 a.m. ET kickoff between the Irons and Red Devils of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: How will Chicharito slot in at West Ham? ]

Combine a new home with an old haunt, and you’ve got one fired up Little Pea:

“A little bit more than my teammates probably, of course to be back to Old Trafford to start this adventure this season with my new team. It’s gonna be a very important one and I’m going to be very happy to be there.”

Hear more from the latest West Ham buy below: