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.

 

 

Wasteful Poland snatches late 2-1 win at Montenegro

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Poland was in control for much of the game, but failed to finish in front of net until Borussia Dortmund full-back Lukasz Piszczek found the winner with eight minutes to go as the visitors increased their lead at the top of World Cup qualification Group E.

Robert Lewandowski put Poland in front five minutes before halftime with a brilliant free-kick that left Montenegran goalkeeper Mladen Blozovic completely baffled, but Montenegro looked sturdy at the back for much of the game and dangerous on the counter. They’d hit just past the hour mark as Stefan Mugosa headed in to level the score.

Lewandowski had a pair of massive chances in the second half, but couldn’t get either to go down as Blozovic was there to turn him away, and Montenegran defenders cleared off the line as well. Luckily for Poland, they had Piszczek who burst down the right to beat Aleksandar Sofranac, and he produced a stunning finish looped over the closing Blozovic from a tight angle, dinked off the far post, and into the back of the net.

That would do it for Montenegro who had little attacking ability outside of their countering abilities, and with Poland happy to ease out the clock, the hosts didn’t have enough.

The win pushes Poland six points clear at the top of Group E, a sizeable lead with five matches remaining. The battle for the second-place spot is tight, with Montenegro still in command on seven points, level with Denmark but ahead on goal differential. Armenia and Romania are even with six points each.

Netherlands manager Danny Blind fired after Bulgaria loss

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The Netherlands are in real trouble, and the manager has paid the price.

The Dutch national team has parted ways with Danny Blind the day after a 2-0 loss to Bulgaria left the Dutch fourth in their World Cup qualification group halfway through.

The move garnering all the headlines from Saturday’s loss was Blind’s decision to start 17-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt. The Ajax youth product, who has just two Eredivisie starts to his credit, made two crucial errors and yanked at halftime, but the damage had been done. Spas Delev scored twice in the opening 20 minutes for Bulgaria, and that was all the home side needed as the Dutch offered little in front of goal.

Blind was also criticized for not getting Memphis Depay on the field as they chased the game. The Netherlands held 74% possession, but could only manage 3 shots on target. Depay has been in good form since his January move to Lyon, with five goals in his 10 Ligue 1 appearances.

This decision was something Blind saw coming. He told national broadcaster NOS immediately after the Bulgaria loss, “I blame myself. It can’t go on like this. Things have to change.”

“I need to think about [my future]. I do not throw the towel in here. I’m incredibly disappointed, especially since I had a good feeling about this match. It makes sense that I put myself in front of the mirror.”

However, the problems for the Dutch go far deeper than Danny Blind. They missed out on Euro 2016 largely thanks to the failed 2nd tenure for Guus Hiddink. His assistant Blind took over, but the results have been equally as poor. The Netherlands sit fourth in UEFA World Cup qualification Group A, with losses to Bulgaria and France plus a draw with Sweden. It’s not over for them though, as they sit three points back of a second place spot with five matches to go, and three of those five at home.

With the Netherlands still yet to play their friendly against Italy this coming week, former goalkeeper Fred Grim takes over on an interim basis. Grim collected 101 caps for the Netherlands, and has served as the Netherlands U-21 manager for the last two years. Before that, he took charge of his first full managerial job as head man of Dutch 2nd-tier club Almere City.

Defoe walks out Bradley Lowery, scores in England win

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Jermain Defoe’s friendship with terminally-ill Bradley Lowery has been special to watch unfold, and the Sunderland striker brought his little buddy to Wembley today.

Then he notched a match-winner.

Lowery walked Defoe out onto the field in a replica England kit before Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, and then Defoe scored his 20th goal for country.

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It was his first since 2013, the last year Defoe was called up for the Three Lions.

Here’s the goal, which was followed by a second-half Jamie Vardy tally as England stayed atop Group F with a 2-0 win over Lithuania.

Two Russian soccer fans stabbed in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Two Russian fans have been hospitalized with serious injuries after being stabbed following a friendly soccer match between Red Star Belgrade and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday police were looking for the knife-wielding perpetrators who attacked a group of Lokomotiv fans in downtown Belgrade late Saturday.

Serbian media reports said the Russian fans were attacked by supporters of Red Star’s rival Partizan Belgrade.

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The match, which Red Star won 2-1, was meant to promote Serbia’s traditional friendship with Russia.

Stefanovic says “nobody should think they could hurt the Serbian-Russian friendship” with such attacks.

Serbia has seen a surge of fan violence inside and outside stadiums. In 2009, a French football fan was fatally beaten in Belgrade.