If you're reading this blog, you almost certainly already know that D.C. United defeated the Philadelphia Union last night 3-1 thanks to a hat trick from Dwayne De Rosario. Maybe you were there; maybe you watched the stream; maybe you followed on Twitter; or maybe you only read about it later, but the point is you know.
There's a whole tournament out there, though, and United's path is actually rather bright now that we've gotten past a longtime USOC foe (the Richmond Kickers) and our newest Cup nemesis (the Union). Who else will join us in the quarterfinal? How will the bracket shake out down the road? That's what we're here to talk about:
At a windy Soldiers Field on Harvard's campus, the Revs made it nine goals in two USOC games despite fielding what was essentially a reserve team. One regular who did start, Kelyn Rowe, made all the difference, scoring two first-half goals (including a lovely opener). NYRB is now 0 for 18 in Open Cup play, and you should remind anyone associated with or in favor of the terrible human beings that make up their club whenever possible.
NYRB's loss is even more amusing due to the lineup they put on the field. The Revs reserves were up against a Red Bulls side that was close to full strength. Sure, Thierry Henry wasn't in the 18, but the team on the field was still one you wouldn't bat an eye at if Mike Petke sent them out for a league match. Petke really went for it in the Open Cup - even going so far as to attend the game! - but an immutable law of our reality is that NYRB will not win any trophies.
Rowe's goals came in the 4th and 37th minutes, with Fabian Espindola's 30th minute strike a response in between. Dimitry Imbongo extended the New England lead in the 51st, but Jonny Steele pulled NYRB back in it with a 61st minute header. Still, the Revs were worthy victors and made sure to reward themselves with a trip to America's greatest state in a couple weeks via Chris Tierney's 87th minute finish.
SB Nation's Revs blog The Bent Musket's reaction? In a word, "stylish."
A rather less happy Once A Metro? "Dismal."
Chicago's match against Columbus was postponed due to severe thunderstorms and lightning that showed no signs of letting up. USSF match commissioner Minos Vlamakis made the call, in part after both teams agreed that waiting to kick off in the middle of the night (which would have been allowed after the city of Bridgeview lifted the normal light and noise ordinances to potentially get the game in).
Open Cup regulations require the match to be played within 24 hours of the original start time if the field is playable within that window. As such, the Fire and Crew will kick off at 1pm EST today to determine the final team in the quarterfinal field.
The postponement was particularly bad news for the Crew. While Chicago is off this weekend, Columbus has to host the Montreal Impact Saturday night. Assuming the game doesn't go to extra time, they'll have just 52.5 hours between the end of today's match and the opening whistle of their league game. Robert Warzycha had said he wanted to play a strong team last night, but will likely reconsider.
Hot Time In Old Town points out that tickets will be free for the rescheduled game, while Massive Report notes that the Crew's rest day is now a travel day. They also picked a picture that shows precisely why the game had to be postponed.
You are not going to believe the sentence that follows this one, so I'm going to write it twice. Long Tan scored the goal that knocked KC out of the Open Cup.
Recovered yet? Here's the second time: Long Tan scored the goal that knocked KC out of the Open Cup. I'm not kidding. It happened. Naturally, it required some help, as Ike Opara's quickly-taken free kick immediately put Paulo Nagamura under pressure. Nagamura was stripped by Adama Mbengue, who sent Tan in behind the totally unprepared KC back four (into the space Opara left to take the kick, actually). Tan's finish wasn't the best, but second choice goalkeeper Eric Kronberg couldn't keep it out. It all happened within the first 75 seconds of the match, adding to the "no, that's not real" feeling.
It's the second time in three years now that a USL-Pro club has gone to Sporting Park and won in the Open Cup. Back in 2011, it was none other than the Richmond Kickers, who were in the process of advancing all the way to the semifinal (they also won at Columbus on the way). I guess USL dudes enjoy playing in the palace that is Sporting Park rather than the mostly sub-par venues they see roughing it during their league schedule.
Adding to the magnitude of the upset is that Orlando is KC's USL affiliate. Following the example of the Revs in the Third Round, Sporting barred Orlando from using any of their loanees for this game. Just as that meant New England facing a team with a short bench, KC played against a Lions side with just five men on their bench. Among the players Orlando couldn't call on was Dom Dwyer, whose 15 goals on the season have already set the USL-Pro single-season record (with months still to play!).
The Sporks can't even blame a second-choice squad for the loss. They played seven first-choice starters, and the second-choice players include guys like Opara (who is playing a lot lately due to Matt Besler's USMNT duties and a recent injury to Aurelien Collin) and subs like CJ Sapong. Even Teal Bunbury's first appearance since tearing his ACL last year couldn't spark a comeback.
The loss makes KC the first MLS club to lose to their affiliate, after United knocked out Richmond on penalties and New England crushed the Rochester Rhinos two weeks ago. For Orlando, the win means they're the last USL-Pro club standing, and that comes with a $15,000 cash bonus from US Soccer (the same for the last club standing from every lower division). Keep an eye on Florida Man to see if any Orlando players end up having too much fun.
Obviously our homies at The Daily Wiz were not happy.
One of the most intriguing Fourth Round matches ended being severely lopsided, as the Toros thumped a Houston side that is suddenly struggling. Since pummeling us 4-0 at RFK, the Dynamo are 1W-2D-3L; their only win was 2-0 over FC Tucson of the PDL in the last round of the USOC, and those two goals are 50% of their total in this poor stretch.
Kenny Cooper did the business, scoring in the 37th and 59th minutes, and Zach Loyd chipped in an insurance goal in the 76th for the home team. Dallas started a very strong team, with only goalkeeper Raul Fernandez (coming off of international duty with Peru) and playmaker David Ferreira missing out among their normal starters. Houston, meanwhile, played five starters and six guys that normally make their gameday bench. Still, one could rather easily detect which club is playing for a trophy named after a man who has a statue in front of their stadium, and which one has plenty of extra games in this fall's CONCACAF Champions League to deal with.
In what was hands-down the match of the round, RSL stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to force extra time, and then reeled off three goals in the overtime period to see off our Coffee Pot Cup rivals. Goals by Dane Kelly and Nicki Paterson in the 16th and 18th minutes staked the Battery out to a shock lead at Rio Tinto Stadium, and Charleston apparently looked rather comfortable for a long time after that. In fact, per our SB Nation sister blog RSL Soapbox, it was "one of the worst halves of soccer Real Salt Lake has played in recent memory."
Jason Kreis deserves some credit for the turnaround, after a pair of 63rd minute subs - including bringing on Joao Plata for center back Aaron Maund and converting from a 4312 to a 343 - changed the game. Three minutes later, RSL pulled one back through Devon Sandoval, and in the 79th minute Plata converted a penalty kick that he had earned himself.
The Battery held on to get to extra time, but it was only a matter of time before RSL finished the game off. In a ten-minute span during the first half of overtime, RSL scored three goals: Another from Sandoval in the 96th minute, a typical blast from dude-we-should-have-picked-up Khari Stephenson in the 105th, and a Javier Morales penalty kick in stoppage time to cap it off.
For RSL, another successful USOC outing would make it the furthest they've ever gone in the competition; their previous two quarterfinal appearances both ended with 2-0 losses.
The plucky underdogs at Chivas USA finally saw their giant-killing run end in the Fourth Round, as the favored Carolina Railhawks edged out an upstart Goats side with two goals in extra time after playing to a 1-1 scoreline after 90 minutes.
As odd as it seems, all of that is true: Chivas, of MLS, was regarded as the underdog against the NASL's Carolina Railhawks, and not just because of the cross-country trip the game required. To call the situation with Chivas "chaotic" is being generous. The latest bizarre news is that Chivas Guadalajara is going to more or less make the Goats a farm team instead of just flirting with the idea.
Anyway, this game actually had some United flavor to it: Our former right winger Tiyi Shipalane perplexed Chivas throughout the match, scoring the opener for Carolina and getting the assist on the eventual game-winner. Meanwhile, Julius James went 90 at center back, and Austin da Luz did the same at left midfield. On a related note, former DC defender Jordan Graye didn't make the 18 for the Railhawks, but did go 90 in the Third Round at right back. You wanted to block the 2010 season out of your mind? Too bad!
Carolina jumped out to a lead when Shipalane finished into an empty net after beating an advancing Dan Kennedy to a ball outside the box in the 13th minute, and the Railhawks apparently had Chivas on the ropes for the entire first half. However, Chivas pulled it together in the second, equalizing via Walter Vilchez's header from a Carlos Alvarez set piece in the 57th. As stoppage time approached, Chivas had a pair of efforts cleared off the line during a scramble, and the game went to overtime.
Naturally, this was the last chance for the Goats. Substitute forwards Cesar Elizondo and Brian Ackley scored goals in the 92nd and 98th minutes, respectively, and Chivas was down and out. They might have had more energy to chase the game had interim head coach Sacha van der Most not used all his subs up by the 66th minute. While his first move was enforced (Josue Soto came off injured for Laurent Courtois in the 52nd minute), the others were harder to explain. The final move - bringing on a pure defensive midfielder for winger/forward Tristan Bowen, while Bowen was playing well, with the score 1-1 - is more or less inexplicable.
In any case, Carolina has now established the city of Los Angeles as a soccer fiefdom. They beat Chivas last night, and Chivas had knocked out the Los Angeles Blues SC of the USL in the Third Round. During that same round, the Railhawks took down the LA Galaxy. So, between a combination of head-to-head results and the transitive property, all LA soccer players must tithe their earnings to Carolina (who will already be getting a windfall as the final NASL club left).
While I figure out what the hell that last paragraph was about, go show some sympathy for our friends at The Goat Parade. Maybe tell a joke? Anything positive would help.
No real surprise here, as the Tampa Bay Rowdies were the team dealing with a long-ass flight rather than the team victimizing the side coming off a billion-mile trip (as was the case in their Third Round upset of the Seattle Sounders). The Portland Timbers are in form and overcame the absence of several starters away on national team duty to dispatch with the Rowdies by a score of 2-0.
If anything, it's a surprise the Timbers couldn't manage more than a 9th minute goal for Michael Nanchoff and a 55th minute effort from Jack Jewsbury. Caleb Porter didn't field many regulars, but he did send out a true 433 featuring winger Sal Zizzo at right back and two attacking midfielders in the form of Nanchoff and Diego Valeri. While Tampa managed to keep the game close, they offered almost nothing going forward, with former DCU goalkeeper Milos Kocic making just one save.
Tampa's best chance came from a Luke Mulholland free kick off the crossbar in the 79th minute, and any hope of a miracle comeback was ruined when their leading scorer Georgi Hristov was given a second yellow card in the 89th minute.
For more, check out Stumptown Footy's write-up (especially since you'll get to see the sweet black third kits Tampa wore for the match).
With the results out of the way, here's how the bracket looks for June 26th's quarterfinal matches:
DC United vs. New England Revolution (at the Maryland Soccerplex)
Winner of Chicago Fire/Columbus Crew vs. Orlando City SC (at the MLS side's home in either case)
Real Salt Lake vs. Carolina Railhawks (at Rio Tinto Stadium)
FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers (at FC Dallas Stadium)
Barring a Carolina win at RSL, the bracket for the semifinal round is pretty straightforward. There will be two teams from the eastern half of the country left, and two from the western half. The draw for these games isn't out yet, but it seems safe to expect United to end up facing either the Fire, Crew, or Orlando if we can get past the Revs.