The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup draw is not going as planned, as the Portland Timbers protest the roster of victorious LAFC.
[ RECAP: Four USOC semifinalists minted ]
Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston were the other sides to get a place in the final four teams.
LAFC’s victory had already been marred by Adama Diomande‘s claims of a racial slur hurled his way, and now their victory may be in question altogether as U.S. Soccer issued a press release saying Thursday’s scheduled draw was postponed.
From a U.S. Soccer press release:
The decision comes as a result of a protest filed by the Portland Timbers in relation to the number of foreign players fielded by Los Angeles Football Club during Wednesday night’s Quarterfinal at Banc of America Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
The rule says a maximum five players without green cards can be in the 18. Portland started only two Americans, Jeff Attinella and Zarek Valentin, but have green cards for many others and rules are rules.
Will the Timbers take a semifinal berth via protest?
There was entertainment value in Los Angeles FC’s potential playoff preview with the Portland Timbers on Sunday in the City of Angels, but all that arrived was a scoreless draw.
[ MORE: Atlanta 1-1 Seattle ]
Both Giovani Savarese’s Timbers and Bob Bradley‘s nickname-free expansion club remain in the West’s Top Four. PLAFC remains unbeaten at home during their maiden voyage through Major League Soccer.
Adama Diomande came close for the hosts, who finished with 10-men when Lee Nguyen went studs-up on Sebastian Blanco‘s thigh for a pretty easy red card (though it took some time for Silviu Petrescu to produce the red).
SEATTLE (AP) — Larrys Mabiala scored off of two corner kicks, the second the winner in the 74th minute, in the Portland Timbers’ 3-2 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
Samuel Armenteros also scored, and Diego Valeri assisted on all three goals to help the Timbers (7-3-5) extend their unbeaten streak to 10 games (7-0-3). That is the longest unbeaten run in MLS this season. Portland’s last loss was at Orlando on April 8.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
Mabiala put Portland up 1-0 in the 48th minute when he headed in a Valeri corner kick that came from the attacking right side. His winning goal came on a corner from the right. Mabiala has four goals for the year.
Armenteros scored in the 57th minute on a long through ball from Valeri. That was his fourth goal of the year.
The Sounders (3-9-3) came from behind twice to tie it.
Victor Rodriguez made it 1-1 when he ran onto a cross from Nicolas Lodeiro and headed it past goalkeeper Jeff Attinella in the 60th minute for his first of the year. In the 68th, Chad Marshall made it 2-2 when he headed in Lodeiro’s corner kick for his first.
ATLANTA (AP) Julian Gressel tied it in the 56th minute and Atlanta United held on for a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
A loose ball deflection off defender Larrys Mabiala bounced into Gressel’s path and he pounced on it with a right-footed volley. Atlanta (10-3-4) stayed atop the MLS standings and extended its unbeaten streak to five games.
Mabiala opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. Samuel Armenteros was the first to get a touch with a left-footed stab on Diego Valeri’s free kick. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan blocked it out, but Mabiala headed home the rebound and Portland took the early lead.
The Timbers (6-3-5) extended their unbeaten run to nine.
Major League Soccer is taking a bit of a break from its season for the World Cup in Russia, but the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup rolls on for some of its teams.
[ MORE: France 2-1 Australia ]
The Round of 16 will be staged over the next week, with Portland becoming the first team to clinch a quarterfinal berth.
The Timbers got a slick team goal, complete with back heel pass, as Sebastian Blanco supplied the finishing touch in Friday’s 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
Portland remains alive for its first USOC final with the win, while LA will not lay claim to a third title.
Still to come
Philadelphia vs. New York Red Bulls — Saturday
Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas — Saturday
Houston vs. Minnesota United — Monday
DC United vs. Orlando City — Wednesday
Louisville City vs. Nashville SC — Wednesday
Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire — Wednesday
LAFC vs. Sacramento Republic — Wednesday