Miami FC quickly put itself on the U.S. soccer map in two short seasons, and much of the club’s success can be attributed to manager Alessandro Nesta.
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The former Serie A defender has managed the club in its first two years of existence, but Nesta’s time in South Beach is coming to an end.
Nesta revealed on Friday that he won’t be returning to the NASL club in 2018, as he prepares to fnd a “new challenge” in his managerial career.
With NASL’s future as a league very much up in the air, Nesta could be seeking a more stable position entering 2018, especially given that his name has been thrown around with several MLS jobs over the last few months.
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.
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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.
We already know three of the four teams that will represent the field for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals, and now we know the scenarios of where the matches will be played.
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The San Jose Earthquakes, Sporting KC and New York Red Bulls all booked their places into the final four this week after advancing past the quarterfinals in their respective matches, while Miami FC and FC Cincinnati will battle it out at a later date after their fixture was postponed due to inclement weather.
Miami and Cincinnati represent Division II leagues NASL and USL, respectively.
The Earthquakes and Sporting KC will meet at Avaya Stadium on August 9, while the Red Bulls will travel to the winner of Miami FC vs. FC Cincy on the same day.
From there, Sporting KC drew the highest priority of hosting the final. Simply put, if Sporting KC wins its match against the Quakes, Peter Vermes’ side will go on to host the title match on September 20.
The Red Bulls drew the second-highest priority, while Miami FC/Cincy were picked third and the Earthquakes were last — meaning they would be on the road regardless of which club they draw in the final.
There’s going to be a few weeks to sit on which team will round out the field of four in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals.
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Miami FC and FC Cincinnati will decide that spot on August 2 after the two clubs had to postpone their match on Thursday night due to inclement weather.
Miami — winners of the NASL Spring Season in 2017 — will host the USL side from Riccardo Silva Stadium, with the victor earning the chance to take on the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals.
The Richmond Kickers were the last non-MLS side to reach the Open Cup semifinals, while the Rochester Rhinos (USL) are the last club to win the competition from outside the ranks of MLS in 1999.
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.
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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.