Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

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Sporting KC claims its fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (video)

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Latif Blessing and Daniel Salloi scored as Sporting KC held on to beat New York Red Bulls 2-1 in the 104th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas.

Bradley Wright-Phillips blasted a Gonzalo Veron rebound beyond Tim Melia in the first minute of stoppage time to set up a nervy final five minutes. It was the Red Bulls’ second final, and second loss.

The win marks KC’s fourth title, tied for the most amongst active clubs, and its third in six tournaments.

KC now qualifies for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.

[ MORE: Pulisic scores 10th BVB goal ]

Sporting KC could’ve been down a man within five minutes, as referee Hilario Grajeda was handing out a yellow card to Seth Sinovic when Diego Rubio inexplicably kicked Felipe Martins in the ankle. It went unseen, and VAR is not a part of the final.

Gerson arrived on the doorstep with the ball and instead side-footed a pass that never got to Benny Feilhaber, a huge let-off for the Red Bulls.

Sacha Kljestan ripped a shot through traffic that forced a save out of Tim Melia in the 14th minute.

KC went ahead when Graham Zusi’s cross was somehow missed by a trio of Red Bulls defenders, allowing Blessing to pound a header home.

Benny Feilhaber committed a pair of fouls to allow a Red Bulls free kick from just outside the 18 and the end line, but the chance was blocked. A counter attack pass from Blessing sprung Gerso on a breakaway, but Ryan Meara blocked the shot.

Meara made another save after the first ball off the ensuing corner cranked off the cross bar.

Feilhaber then cued up Salloi for the insurance marker, before tournament leading scorer Wright-Phillips pulled one back for New York.

Ike Opara ripped down Wright-Phillips in the sixth of six stoppage time minutes, earning a yellow card and giving RBNY a free kick from 23 yards. Felipe skied his effort over the bar.

U.S. Open Cup Final preview: Sporting KC vs. New York Red Bulls

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New York Red Bulls and Sporting KC are set to tangle for the 104th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday in Missouri.

[ MORE: League Cup wrap ]

The longtime rivals met more often while Eastern Conference foes — SKC now plies its trade in the West — and KC leads the league series 21W-20L-13T.

Here’s everything you need to know about the most prestigious tournament in American soccer, one that earns a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.

  • Sporting KC is looking to move into a tie with Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders for the most USOC titles amongst active teams with four. Maccabi Los Angeles and Bethlehem Steel won five but are no longer active clubs (The USL side Bethlehem Steel FC is a new entity).
  • The Red Bulls, meanwhile, enter their second final in search of their first Open Cup.
  • New York knocked off New York City FC, Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution, and FC Cincinnati to reach the final.
  • KC topped Minnesota United, Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas, and San Jose Earthquakes.
  • The sides met May 3 at the same venue, with Dom Dwyer scoring twice in a KC victory.
  • KC is 3-0 in USOC finals, having won in 2002, 2012, and 2015.

As for Wednesday, the Red Bulls enter the match without an MLS win since Aug. 12. That five-match span includes four-straight ties. KC has two wins and a draw from its last four games.

Dwyer’s not around for KC anymore, but the firepower remains. Home field advantage will likely tilt the field for KC, but this is the sort of match that begs for a Bradley Wright-Phillips moment or two. We’ll call it for the hosts, but just… 2-1.

Underdogs FC Cincinnati complete Open Cup semifinals field

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Weather meant the NASL-USL showdown in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was played well after the other three semifinalists had been decided on the pitch.

The NASL’s Miami FC was at home for Wednesday’s quarterfinal against the USL’s FC Cincinnati, but that didn’t help the outcome as FCC did its job as visitors in the first half before finding a winner in the second.

Senegalese striker Djiby Fall kept up his rampant season with a close-range goal as FCC advances to host MLS side New York Red Bulls on Aug. 15.

[ MORE: Latest on Neymar ]

Fall has 14 goals in 18 appearances for FCC.

The other semi features Sporting KC and the San Jose Earthquakes, and will be played on Aug. 9.

U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal preview: Cali Clasico, Second-tier showdown

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The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup holds its quarterfinals this week, with a match on the schedule each of the first four nights of the week.

[ MORE: Rankings USOC’s Final 8 ]

Need your MLS fix during this Gold Cup break? How about a Cali Clasico later this evening to whet your appetite?

San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy — 10:30 p.m. ET Monday

The hosts are short several players on Gold Cup duty, and LA has been good on the road in MLS play. Giovani Dos Santos’ presumed return should be enough to tip the field toward LA, but this has been anything but a predictable Galaxy squad.

Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas — 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday

Few MLS teams are deeper than these two, but KC’s loss of Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, and Dom Dwyer isn’t just an absence of skill, it’s an absence of grasping the value of this tournament.

Miami FC vs. FC Cincinnati — 7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

It’s the NASL versus the USL in a battle one league will trumpet and another will disavow by the time it ends. MFC will have to get by last round’s hero — FCC goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt.

New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls — 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday

Can the Revs deal with the absences of Kelyn Rowe and Juan Agudelo? There will be plenty of pressure on Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, and Kei Kamara to thrive in a rematch of a fun-if-sloppy game on July 5.

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.