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Eight remain: Ranking the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinalists

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We’re down to the Final Eight for the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, though the paths to the final don’t make this a simple power rankings.

The two remaining Division II sides face each other in the quarters, meaning a non-MLS team will make the USOC semifinal for the first time since the 2011 Richmond Kickers.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news ] 

Meanwhile, two of Major League Soccer’s best will tangle in a match that ensures either 2016 champs FC Dallas or 2015 winners Sporting KC will exit the tournament. And the winner of the Red Bulls and New England Revolution will face either FC Cincinnati or Miami FC and be heavily-favored to advance to the final.

Here’s how we rate ’em:

8. New England Revolution — The Revs may have the opportunity to face a non-MLS side in the semis, but they’ll first have to get by the Red Bulls in a Gold Cup window which sees New England without Juan Agudelo, Kelyn Rowe, and Je-Vaughn Watson (RBNY is without Kemar Lawrence).

7. FC Cincinnati (USL) — It doesn’t matter whether you rate the USL or NASL higher, traveling down to Florida will put FCC at a significant disadvantage.

6. Miami FC (NASL) — As fine as MFC has looked in its last two USOC outings, Alessandro Nesta’s bunch has to complete two more MLS upsets to win it all.

5. San Jose Earthquakes — Face the same problems as New England, missing a trio of players for the Gold Cup as a Cali Clasico date awaits with the LA Galaxy.

4. LA Galaxy — A slight advantage over San Jose, but then will stare down one of the deepest teams in MLS whether it faces FCD or SKC in the semis.

3. Sporting KC — Both SKC and FCD will miss significant players for the quarterfinal, but SKC’s losses — Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer, and Graham Zusi — sting the slightest bit more.

2. FC Dallas — Depth is there to help Dallas become the first back-to-back winners since Seattle clinched a trio of titles in 2011.

  1. New York Red Bulls — The path is clear to the final: Beat a New England team missing a trio of stars and then handle a second-tier side.

La Liga & Serie A: Bale leads Real to seven-goal outburst and more

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A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

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Real Madrid 7-1 Deportivo La Coruna

Now, this is more like it from the defending European champions. Zinedine Zidane’s side went behind on Sunday when Adrian put the visitors in front, however, Real Madrid woke up and scored seven unanswered goals at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale was the star on the day with a brilliant curler that kicked off the first of his two goals (below). After Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to go down inside the penalty area, Bale carried on and put the ball onto his left foot before sliding his shot in off the inside of the far post.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo picked up a brace of his own on the day, both of which came off of headers for the Portuguese international. The veteran goalscorer also got bloodied on the day, but that didn’t stop him from adding to his impressive goal total.

Real Betis 0-5 Barcelona

A slow start to the match was aided by a Barcelona team that came out for blood in the second stanza. Ivan Rakitic and braces from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi paced the road side in the second half, keeping their unbeaten La Liga record in tacked.

Although Rakitic was the first to find his name on the scoresheet, it was his assist to Suarez that later on that proved to be a thing of excellence from both parties.

The first half was mildly uneventful for the Blaugrana, however, the Catalonians suffered another injury blow as Thomas Vermaelen left the match after pulling up in the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring pull.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Alaves 2-2 Leganes
Real Sociedad 1-2 Celta Vigo


Lazio 5-1 Chievo Verona

Lazio moved into third place in Serie A after a convincing victory at the Stadio Olimpico. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s double for the hosts helped propel them to the win, after Luis Alberto kicked off the scoring in the 23rd minute.

Chievo found a brief response two minutes later, but from there it was all Lazio as they closed to within 11 points of league leaders Napoli.

Cagliari 1-2 AC Milan

Franck Kessié scored twice in six minutes to pull Milan back into the match on the day, and that was exactly what they needed to secure three points at the Sardegna Arena. AC Milan sits seventh in Italy’s top flight through 21 matches, 23 points behind Napoli.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Inter Milan 1-1 Roma
Udinese 1-1 SPAL
Sassuolo 1-1 Torino
Sampdoria 3-1 Fiorentina
Bologna 3-0 Benevento
Hellas Verona 0-3 Crotone
Atalanta 0-1 Napoli

Video: Kurzawa silences Lyon with spectacular volley

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Lyon went ahead inside the opening two minutes, but then Layvin Kurzawa had his say for the visitors on the stroke of halftime.

[ MORE: Fekir’s free kick stuns PSG in opening two minutes]

Dani Alves set up the defender for one of the best volleys you’ll see in first-half stoppage time on Sunday to level the match at 1-1.

Watch below as PSG ties things up with just seconds remaining before the halftime whistle.

Video: Fekir’s brilliant free kick has Lyon leading PSG

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Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.

[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]

Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.

The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.

The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.

That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie injured in Schalke draw

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Look away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans.

American and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of Sunday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Hanover 96 after the 19-year-old collided with Felix Kraus.

McKennie, who entered the match in the 62nd minute for Leon Goretzka, managed to stay on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted out.

To this point there has been no indication that the young USMNT player’s injury is serious.

More to follow…