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Sun. Dec 7th at 3:00 PM EST · ESPN · UniMas · UDN · TSN1 · RDS2
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Final

Kick Off: USMNT confident of beating Portugal, Spain ousted, no more upsets in US Open Cup

Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today:

1. R & R FOR THE USMNT

After all their hard work on Monday night, the US national team enjoyed a well-earned day off on Wednesday. So, having finally beaten their nemesis, what’s next for the US? Well, mainly, prepping for Portugal, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is confident his side can go to Manaus and get a win.

2. SEARCHING FOR BRADLEY

Toronto FC star Michael Bradley didn’t play a particularly big role in Monday night’s victory. Everyone knows that if the US want to get a second straight win, against Portugal, they’ll need the midfield general back at his best.

3. RONALDO'S KNEE

Will Cristiano Ronaldo play for Portugal or not? That is the question. The Real Madrid star limped out of training again on Wednesday, and his doctor in Portugal says he needs to stop playing now or risk longterm damage. Ronaldo's former Manchester United teammate, Tim Howard, spoke to ABC about "the world's best player."

4. CAHILL SCORES ONE FOR THE AGES

Australia may have been eliminated from the World Cup  but undoubtedly the biggest talking point of their 3-2 loss to the Netherlands was Tim Cahill’s wonder strike to tie things up at 1-1. One other thing to think about when you watch that goal again: Cahill’s right-footed.

5. OCHOA’S OFFERS

Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was never going to struggle to find a new club this summer, but his performance against Brazil has the free agent drawing interest from a number of European heavyweights.

6. ADIOS, SPAIN

Defending world champions Spain are out of the World Cup, losing 2-0 to Chile, in a second straight underwhelming performance. It's the end of an era for one of the best international sides ever, says MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle. 

7. ANOTHER GOOD SHOWING FROM AMERICAN REF

Spain-Chile was refereed by American Mark Geiger and his MLS assistants, Sean Hurd and Joe Fletcher, who all had another superb game. With that in mind, let's learn a little more about Geiger. And how about a little more respect for Fletcher? Geesh.

8. BARNES MAKING A SWITCH

As well as Giles Barnes has played for the Houston Dynamo this season, he isn't going to receive a call-up to England's national team anytime soon. But if his native nation isn't interested, his ancestral home is: Barnes has applied to FIFA to change his international affiliation to represent Jamaica.

9. AU REVOIR, BERNADELLO?

The Montreal Impact confirmed that Hernan Bernadello is on the verge of joining Mexican side Cruz Azul, just under a year after he joined the club. However, there could be a new face arriving as well.

10. SKC GETS IT DONE

Sporting Kansas City beat Minnesota United 2-0 to set up a tie with the Portland Timbers in the US Open Cup fifth round. Minnesota had kept the MLS champions at bay until the 79th minute, when Soony Saad broke through. Alex Martinez iced the win just before fulltime.

11. REVS SURVIVE LATE SCARE

Despite the Richmond Kickers scoring twice in the second half, the New England Revolution's three first-half goals saw them through to the fifth round 3-2 (HIGHLIGHTS). They’ll now take on their USL PRO affiliate, the Rochester Rhinos, next week.

12. SOUNDERS SHOW NO MERCY

PSA Elite were one of only two amateur teams left in the US Open Cup, and they were looking to pull off a mighty upset when they took on the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday night. No dice. The Sounders dismantled PSA 5-0.

13. GALAXY PLAY PAST ARIZONA

Despite a pregame issue concerning the size of the pitch, the LA Galaxy were able to finish off Arizona United, 2-1, thanks to goals from Gyasi Zardes. Believe it or not, the win was the Galaxy's first in the tournament since 2011.

14. WEATHER-SHORTENED WIN FOR THE FIRE

The Chicago Fire advanced to the fifth round after a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Grant Ward and Mike Magee provided the goals, but the Riverhounds will feel dismayed that they didn't get a chance to come back after inclement weather forced the termination of the game after just 49 minutes.

15. DEMPSEY DOESN’T DO DUETS

You'd think Clint Dempsey has fulfilled all his dreams. But there is one he still hasn’t crossed off his list: To release a rap album. Wonder what it would sound like? You can listen to a track right here.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

March to the Match: Can the US advance without a target man?

World Cup in pictures: Week 1

World Cup Daily: Chile fans storm Rio stadium, Ghana rations electricity

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