June 29, 2016
LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP
Strikers pull an upset, advance to quarters
CHICAGO - Thee NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers kept their Cinderella run alive in The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 with a 2-1 extra time victory against Major League Soccer's Orlando City SC Wednesday night.
With the win, the Strikers won the $15,000 prize as the furthest advancing Division II side after the New York Cosmos were outlasted 3-2 by the New England Revolution.
Three of the eight matches required extra time, while Seattle Sounders FC needed penalty kicks to dispatch Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday night.
Four of the eight 2016 Quarterfinalists advanced to the same stage of the competition last year: Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union, while FC Dallas will make its Modern Era record 15th Quarterfinal appearance.
All four Quarterfinal matches are set to be played on Wednesday, July 20, with the draw to determine hosting scenarios for the Semifinals and Final scheduled for Thursday, July 21.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29
PHILADELPHIA UNION (MLS) 2, NEW YORK RED BULLS (MLS) 1
In a rematch of the 2015 Quarterfinals, the New York Red Bulls traveled to Talen Energy Stadium looking to avenge last year's shootout loss to the Union. The visitors took the early lead in the 17th minute when Sacha Kljestan's free kick pinged around the area before Mike Grella slotted the loose ball inside the left post. The Union came out of halftime hungry for an equalizer and found the tying goal in the 55th minute when Ilsinho slotted a through ball for Chris Pontius who took one touch before slotting his effort past Andre Blake and inside the far post. Ilsinho and Pontius would connect again for the winner just five minutes later as the Brazilian lobbed a beautiful ball into the penalty area which saw the Philadelphia attacker first-time his effort past Blake. The win pushes the Union to its fourth Quarterfinal appearance in the last five years, where they'll visit the New England Revolution on July 20.
HOUSTON DYNAMO (MLS) 3, SPORTING KANSAS CITY (MLS) 1
The Houston Dynamo left little doubt in their 3-1 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 win against Sporting Kansas City, holding the advantage from start to finish. Mauro Manotas got the home side off on the right foot in Texas as he found the back of the net in just the seventh minute at BBVA Compass Stadium. Midfielder Alex then doubled the Dynamo's lead 10 minutes after the break before SKC substitute Brad Davis gave the visitors a glimmer of hope with a 61st minute strike. But, Manotas put the game out of sight in the 84th minute with his second goal of the match to send Houston to a home Quarterfinal date with Texas rivals FC Dallas on July 20.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (MLS) 3, NEW YORK COSMOS (NASL) 2
Continuing to make their bid for a deep U.S. Open Cup run, the New York Cosmos found the game's first goal when Jairo Arietta laid off a pass in the box for Ruben Bover to finish in the 38th minute. Just as the Cosmos thought they had a 1-0 halftime lead, Teal Bunbury found enough space to rip a blistering effort inside the near post sending the teams to the break locked at 1-1. The home standing Cosmos went back ahead in the 69th minute when Sebastian Guenzetti settled a ball in the box before beating Bobby Shuttleworth inside the right post. The goal only served to galvanize the Revolution as Kei Kamara bagged his first goal for his new club to equalize from close range in the 75th minute. With extra time looming the MLS side made sure to end things in regulation as Kamara's feed into the box saw Bunbury roof his second of the night inside the top left post in the 83 rd minute. With the win the New England Revolution return to the Quarterfinals for the first time since 2008 and will host 2015 finalists Philadelphia Union on July 20.
FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS 2, ORLANDO CITY SC 1, (aet)
One of two non-MLS teams left in the competition, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers took the early lead as Juse Angulo beat Earl Edwards Jr. in the 12 th minute. Orlando City bounced back three minutes later as Kevin Molino showed off some fancy footwork to get into the area before chipping over Diego Restrepo in the 17th minute. The second half brought equal opportunities for both teams, as well as matching red cards for Molino and Fort Lauderdale's Maicon Santos for an incident in the 67th minute and the game gave way for extra time. Just as it looked like the Strikers would head to a third-straight penalty shootout, left back PC went on a dazzling individual run before finishing inside the far corner in the 120 th minute, giving the NASL side a 2-1 extra time win. With the victory, Fort Lauderdale also won the $15,000 prize as the furthest advancing Division II (NASL) side in the competition. They'll get rewarded with a Quarterfinal visit to four-time champions Chicago Fire on July 20..
FC DALLAS (MLS) 2, COLORADO RAPIDS (MLS) 1 (aet)
Looking to make their first Quarterfinal appearance since 2006, the Colorado Rapids took the lead in the 38th minute when Marlon Hairston served a quick ball across the box for Dominque Badji who roofed his effort at the back post. Dallas responded in the 64th minute when Fabian Castillo went on a brilliant run at midfield, nutmegging a Rapids defender before feeding Mauro Diaz for a tap-in in the 64th minute. The goal forced extra time where the home side would eventually prevail as Maxi Urruti broke into the box on the right before his deflected shot sneaked inside the near post in the 96th minute. The win pushes FC Dallas into a Modern Era record 15th Quarterfinal appearance and setting up a Texas Derby as the club will visit the Houston Dynamo on July 20.
LA GALAXY (MLS) 1, PORTLAND TIMBERS (MLS) 0
The LA Galaxy went on the road up I-5 to knock of MLS Western Conference rivals the Portland Timbers 1-0 in the team's 2016 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match at Providence Park. The Galaxy escaped with the victory thanks to Raul Mendiola's well-taken strike in just the fifth minute of play. A deflected cross rolled perfectly to the LA attacker at the top of the Portland box, and Mendiola made no mistake, curling a left-footed beautifully into the lower left corner of the goal past sprawling Timbers goalkeeper Wade Hamilton. The win set up the Galaxy with a Quarterfinal bout against another Cascadia foe as Seattle Sounders FC will come calling at StubHub Center on July 20.
TUESDAY, JUNE 28 RECAPS
CHICAGO FIRE (MLS) 2, COLUMBUS CREW SC (MLS) 1
After the two sides played to a 0-0 draw in MLS play back in March, the home club Chicago Fire emphasized the attack from the start and found their breakthrough via star attacker David Accam. The Ghanaian striker put the Fire ahead in the seventh minute when he juked a defender on the left before curling a lovely ball inside the far right post. Accam bagged his second goal of the match in the 30th minute when right back Rodrigo Ramos served a ball to the back post that allowed the Ghanaian an easy, one-time tap-in to give the Fire a 2-0 halftime lead. With some attacking substitutions, Crew SC controlled the possession in the second half, but couldn't only muster a 79th minute penalty kick from Ethan Finlay following a hand ball in the box. The victory moved Chicago to its 13th Quarterfinal appearance and improved the club's record to 27-1-2 in Open Cup matches played in the state of Illinois. The four-time champions will host the competition's last remaining lower division team, Fort Lauderdale Strikers on July 20 at Toyota Park.
REAL SALT LAKE (MLS) 1, SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (MLS) 1 (1-4 PKs)
It ultimately took penalty kicks to separate two MLS Western Conference rivals, as Seattle Sounders FC advanced to the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals at the expense of Real Salt Lake thanks to the goalkeeping heroics of Tyler Miller on the first night of the 2016 tournament's Round of 16. Despite a ceaseless bombardment, Seattle's defense did not concede a goal from the run of play all night, surrendering only a Joao Plata penalty kick in the 43rd minute. Nelson Valdez then leveled matters for the Rave Green soon after the halftime break, and it was a scoreless stalemate the rest of the way to penalties thanks in large part to both goalkeepers making a bushel of terrific saves at either end. The Sounder's Miller was particularly excellent in goal down the stretch and into the penalty shootout where he gained a measure of revenge on Plata, this time denying the RSL man before also keeping out recently returned RSL captain Kyle Beckerman to set up Erik Friberg for the winning penalty as the Sounders converted all four of their spot kick opportunities. Seattle moves on to its 11th all-time Open Cup Quarterfinal in franchise history, hitting the road to face the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center on July 20.