US Open Cup

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.

 

 

Messi named La Liga Player of the Month for first time in career

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 06:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Copa del Rey Round of 16 first leg match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou on January 6, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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Lionel Messi has won every individual award imaginable, but now he can add another trophy to his shelf.

For the first time in his career, Messi was named La Liga’s Player of the Month for January.

[ MORE: PL Power Rankings, Vol. VIII ]

It’s hard to believe, but somehow the Barcelona superstar had never won this honor before. Despite winning a record five Ballon D’or trophies as the best player in the world, this trophy had eluded Messi since its inception in 2013.

Messi scored six goals in six January matches as Barcelona sit atop the La Liga table, currently holding a three-point lead over Atletico Madrid.

Despite their dominance in La Liga, this is only the second time a Barcelona player has won this monthly award, as Neymar took home the honor in November of 2015.

USWNT-Mexico preview: Energized Yanks look to keep rolling toward Rio

FRISCO, TX - FEBRUARY 10:  Team USA poses for a photo before play against Costa Rica during 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying at Toyota Stadium on February 10, 2016 in Frisco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The United States women’s national team looks to keep rolling through CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying with a match with Mexico on Saturday.

Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, is again the scene after the Yanks battered Costa Rica 5-0 on Wednesday.

[ MUST WATCH: Christen Press’ dazzling first touch, spin, goal ]

A win over Mexico would move the USWNT into the all-important semifinal, where a win would gain them entry into this Summer’s Olympic Games.

Mexico staged a blowout of its own on Wednesday, cruising past Puerto Rico 6-0 thanks in large part to a hat trick from Maribel Dominguez.

[ VIDEO: Alex Morgan caps off a 12-second, six-pass goal ]

Mexico has only beaten the USWNT twice in history, and only the 2010 Gold Cup semifinal is considered official.

In recent history, the USWNT beat up Mexico 5-1 last year, and thrice in 2014 by a combined score of 15-0. Expect very little to change with an energized, impressive U.S. side on Saturday.

[ SATURDAY: Watch USWNT vs Mexico live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks: Big boys to turn up

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Week 26 of the Premier League season is here. This will be a lot of fun with massive games at both ends of the table.

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live online ]

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out.

With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the longshots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.

BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

Arsenal 3-2 Leicester City – (Sunday, 7 a.m. ET, NBCSN) –  [STREAM]

Norwich City 0-2 West Ham – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, USA) –  [STREAM]

Man City 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur – (Sunday 11:15 a.m. ET, NBCSN) –  [STREAM]

Sunderland 0-2 Manchester United – (Saturday, 7:45 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

DON’T TOUCH THIS…

Everton 2-1 West Brom  – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) –  [STREAM]

Swansea 1-1 Southampton – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime) –  [STREAM] 

Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime) –  [STREAM]

Chelsea 3-2 Newcastle – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

Bournemouth 2-1 Stoke City – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, Premier League Extratime) –  [STREAM]

Aston Villa 2-1 Liverpool – (Sunday, 9:05 a.m. ET, NBCSN) –  [STREAM]

Ranieri on Leicester City’s dream season: “Nobody wake us up please!”

during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium on February 6, 2016 in Manchester, England.
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There’s plenty to like about Leicester City’s run to the top of the Premier League, but perhaps nothing is more enjoyable that its manager’s musings.

Claudio Ranieri, the Tinkerman himself, has provided some of the best quips of the season.

[ MORE: Top 5 storylines to look for in PL ]

From “I want to be the crazy man in the Premier League” to “It’s like nobody wants to win the league“, the 64-year-old Italian has offered plenty of beauties.

Make way for some more gems, from LCFC.com:

“I think we work so hard to achieve this level. We want to stay at this level. It’s no pressure for us. The pressure was at the beginning to start well, to carry on and maintain the standard of our performance.
“Now we are safe and we want to fight with respect with all our opponents. Face to face, we play with our strength and they play with theirs. If we win, fantastic. If we lose, next match.
“I think the pressure is on the other teams. We have pressure for our little gap. We continue to dream with our fans and we want to continue to dream. Nobody wake us up please!”
We love this man. To go from a short-lived run in Euro qualifying with Greece to this remarkable roll with Leicester has to be a bit dream-like. We get it. And we love that he’s going with it.