Seattle finishes US Open Cup loss to Portland with 7 men as Dempsey rages


Get your popcorn ready for this one, folks. It’s not often you get a fourth round matchup in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup of this caliber, and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event to see the spectacle that unfolded at Starfire Sports Complex.

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The defending champion Seattle Sounders crashed out of the tournament via a 3-1 loss to Cascadia Cup rivals Portland in absolutely spectacular fashion. The game was the opening match for both clubs in this year’s tournament, although technically the fourth round of action.

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Lost in all this chaos are the two extra-time goals by Portland’s Rodney Wallace and Max Urruti to send the Timbers through, but that’s not what everyone’s talking about. Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, Michael Azira were all sent off – the Seattle and USMNT captain most dramatically. Obafemi Martins, the lone Seattle goalscorer, was also stretchered off with a chest injury in the 87th minute, leaving Seattle with a team of just seven men to finish the game. The Sounders, via Martins, had equalized at 1-1 already one man down to leave things tied at the end of regulation, but as the game progressed through extra time and the hosts continued to lose players, Portland scored twice to seal it.

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The 32-year-old Dempsey could be in significant trouble with the authorities following this match. With Azira given a questionable straight red for an elbow to the face of Gaston Fernandez, Dempsey fumed at referee Daniel Radford. His anger boiled over, and he proceeded to swat some kind of paper (yellow card? notebook?) out of the referee’s hand, strolled over to pick it up, and then ripped it to shreds.

Obviously the referee didn’t take kindly to that, and sent Cantona Dempsey off, but he didn’t go quietly. The Texan got his money’s worth much like a baseball manager throwing a tantrum, requiring multiple players from both sides to hold him back. He sarcastically clapped in the assistant referee’s face on his way out.

This can’t end well for Clint. While MLS likely has little to no jurisdiction over conduct in a U.S. Open Cup match, U.S. Soccer certainly does, and they will probably come down hard, although its unclear whether they can ban him for anything more than future U.S. Open Cup matches. It’s possible this could affect his national team standing as well, as a captain is meant to represent the country through his actions on and off the field.

[ UPDATE: According to the U.S. Soccer bylaws, the federation has a choice to make. Should it deem Dempsey’s actions towards the referee to be “assault,” Clint would automatically be suspended for 3 months from ALL competitions, club and country. If not, his suspension – however long – would be limited to just the U.S. Open Cup ]

There’s a chance Seattle could face the consequences for fan conduct too, as fans expressed their displeasure by raining thrown objects on the referees, who required a police escort to exit the playing field.

Let’s recap:

1. Portland knocked out the defending champs in the fourth round

2. Seattle finished the game with 7 men

3. Clint Dempsey ragequit by shredding the ref’s paperwork

4. Refs needed a police escort

That, my friends, is a full night. For all those who attended, make sure to keep your ticket stubs. Before we part ways, let’s check on how Seattle’s doing…


Dortmund hammer Freiburg but gain no ground on Bayern

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Borussia Dortmund moved back within one point of Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich with a 4-0 win against Freiburg on Sunday.

[ LA LIGA: Real Madrid win to stay within striking distance of 2nd ]

Dortmund went ahead in the 11th minute when 19-year-old Jadon Sancho scored from the six-yard box after a run by Marco Reus. It was Sancho’s 11th Bundesliga goal this season.

Dortmund added three after the interval with goals from Reus, Mario Gotze and Paco Alcacer with a penalty.

[ MORE: PSG crowned Ligue 1 champions with five games left ]

In the day’s other game, Hertha Berlin was held 0-0 at home by bottom side Hannover, which ended an eight-game losing streak.

On Saturday, Bayern beat Werder Bremen 1-0.

With four rounds left, Bayern leads with 70 points, Dortmund has 69 and Leipzig is third with 61.

La Liga: Real Madrid win to stay within striking distance of 2nd

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: PSG crowned Ligue 1 champions with five games left ]

Real Madrid 3-0 Athletic Bilbao

Karim Benzema bagged a hat trick (WATCH HERE) — his 19th, 20th and 21st goals of the league season (second-most, 12 behind Lionel Messi) — to send Real Madrid to a comfortable victory over Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu. The result also keeps Los Blancos within four points of capital rivals Atletico Madrid in something of a battle for second place behind runaway leaders Barcelona.

Benzema has scored 10 goals in his last seven La Liga appearances, a run in which Madrid have complied a 5W-1D-1L record. Benzema failed to score in Zinedine Zidane’s re-debut as Madrid manager, but has scored eight goals in five games since.

Sunday’s game marked the 300th league appearance for midfielder and 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric in a Real Madrid shirt.

Getafe 3-0 SevillaWATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Sevilla’s hopes of returning to the UEFA Champions League following a one-year hiatus took a serious hit on Sunday, as Pablo Machin’s side was hammered by Getafe, the side which now occupies fourth place, two points ahead of them. Getafe continue to enjoy their meteoric rise through the Spanish ranks, as they were competing in the second division this time two years ago.

Two of the three goals the scored on Sunday came from the penalty spot, as Jaime Mata and Jorge Molina converted in the 35th and 45th+4′, respectively. Molina completed the scoring eight minutes into the second half.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Betis 1-2 Valencia
Levante 2-2 Espanyol
Villarreal 2-1 Leganes

PSG wins French league after 2nd-place Lille fails to win

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PARIS (AP) Paris Saint-Germain clinched the French league title without kicking a ball as second-place Lille could only draw 0-0 at Toulouse on Sunday.

Lille had to win to have any chance of catching PSG, but PSG is now 16 points ahead of its only rival with five matches left after this weekend.

After failing to clinch the title in the past three matches, drawing one and losing two, PSG can celebrate the eighth title in its history ahead of its home game against Monaco later Sunday.

It is PSG’s sixth title in the last seven seasons, with only Monaco in 2017 breaking PSG’s dominance.

Although the title was long expected from a side scoring 92 goals in 32 games so far, it took longer than it should have.

PSG could have won it three games ago, but drew 2-2 at home to Strasbourg when a win would have clinched it.

Then PSG needed a draw at Lille last Sunday, only to lose 5-1 in the club’s heaviest defeat since Qatari investors QSI took charge of the club in June 2011.

A win away to Nantes would have sufficed, too, on Wednesday night only for PSG to lose 3-2 .

The 10 goals conceded in those three games made for PSG’s worst defensive record during a three-game spell since 1985.

Also Sunday, striker Kalifa Coulibaly scored twice as 13th-place Nantes beat 17th-place Amiens 3-2.

Later, Saint-Etienne needed a draw at Reims to move above Marseille and into fourth place.

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Klopp hails Liverpool mettle in face of “proper banana skin”

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Jurgen Klopp knows that more than a few clubs would’ve slipped up Sunday at Cardiff City, given the hosts’ desperation and the visitors’ midweek triumph, but his Reds stood up to the test.

[ RECAP: Cardiff 0-2 Liverpool ]

Liverpool beat Cardiff City 2-0, scoring a pair of second half goals to go back atop the Premier League before Manchester City plays its final match-in-hand of the season in a midweek Manchester Derby.

“It was prepared to be a proper banana skin and we knew that, the boys were unbelievable,” Klopp said after his team kept a second consecutive clean sheet.

He insists that he’s not feeling pressure as Liverpool may need to win every one of its matches and get help to capture its first Premier League crown.

“I only know about me and I didn’t feel it (the pressure) we have to do it like we do it. We cannot change it. The boys try really with all they have, we only speak about the things we have to do. Their attitude is outstanding and it’s a tough season but a very positive one as well.”

Liverpool has two banana skins left, a visit from Huddersfield and trip to Newcastle, closing out the league slate with Wolves at Anfield.