Kick Off: Can Manchester United spark Revs reversal?

Kick Off - Steve Nicol

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It’s the kind of once-in-a-lifetime match that perhaps can serve as the spark for a turnaround.

That’s how the New England Revolution look at tonight’s World Football Challenge opener against Manchester United which will be played in front of a record crowd at Gillette Stadium (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes).

“If we show well against one of the best two clubs in the world, it’ll help us out,” said the Revs’ Chris Tierney.

Here’s the story of the Massachusetts soccer coach who is partly responsible for Wayne Rooney’s rise to become the world star he is today with Manchester United.

A New England Revolution victory over Manchester United would still not reach the magnitude of the upset that took place at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Tuesday night as third-division Richmond ousted Sporting Kansas City 2-0 in a US Open Cup quarterfinal that Sporting manager Peter Vermes called “absolutely embarrassing.”

It was mainly a starting lineup for Sporting, who could have hosted the semifinal had they advanced. Vermes was not through lacing into his team: “The next few days aren’t going to be fun around here, I can tell you that.”

Sporting Kansas City may have some more explaining to do after reports in England claim that Ryan Smith, who departed the MLS club “due to family reasons,” is on a two-week trial with Real Zaragoza, who play in Spain’s La Liga.

Real Salt Lake still can’t win on the road against FC Dallas with Tuesday night’s 2-0 quarterfinal loss extending their winless stretch to 0-10-1 all-time.

While FC Dallas celebrate Jair Benítez’s first goal in an FCD uniform and Jackson’s first goal as a forward, RSL manager Jason Kreis was none too happy and reportedly held a lengthy closed-door team meeting: “We didn’t put in the right energy … just a lot of things just weren’t right with it.”

FCD will meet the winner of tonight’s final USOC quarterfinal between Seattle and the LA Galaxy from Starfire Stadium (10 p.m. ET, live stream on soundersfc.com). Sounders manager Sigi Schmid threw down the gauntlet when he pointed out that LA only have to worry about an exhibition match next weekend: “There's nothing that hinders them from throwing out their best team unless they feel the Real Madrid game is more important than the Open Cup game.”

Yesterday’s Open Cup quarterfinal at Toyota Park meant more to the host Chicago Fire than the New York Red Bulls, who traveled 14 reserve players and arrived on the day of the game only to lose 4-0. Hans Backe didn’t even make the trip as Mike Petke served as the manager.

Speaking of the Red Bulls, reports in Germany claim that the deal for 38-year-old Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost is done and he could be in net beginning this weekend vs. Chivas USA. (GERMAN)

The most noteworthy goal from last night did not come in Chicago. San Jose Earthquakes rookie goalkeeper David Bingham scored a goal (watch it here) in a 2-1 win over English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion as WBA’s ‘keeper got his first taste of the setting sun at Buck Shaw Stadium. But would you believe that Bingham himself didn’t see it go in? (VIDEO)

EPL side Bolton Wanderers are also in the USA and American midfielder Stuart Holden took time to participate in a Q&A in which he admits that his hair has developed a cult following.

The LA Galaxy are preparing for an international match of their own with a World Football Challenge date with Real Madrid set for this Saturday. The star-studded pre-game press conference yesterday even featured José Mourinho congratulating David Beckham on the birth of his daughter. (VIDEO)

There are no compliments coming from Portland manager John Spencer these days. With his team riding a seven-game winless streak, the Scotsman tells his players to “man up” and reminds them that “nobody is going to lie down and roll over and say, 'OK, we feel sorry for Portland. They've got a great fan base, let's give them three points.”

The mystery surrounding Philadelphia Union forward Carlos Ruiz, who missed last weekend’s match in San Jose, just took another twist. Reports out of Mexico claim that a deal has already been reached for the Guatemalan international to join Veracruz.

Vancouver beat out international competition to sign out-of-contract Gambian international forward Mustapha Jarju as their newest Designated Player and one of the youngest in MLS at 24. Find out more about him here, in addition to his nickname “white person” which he explains this way: “Maybe I played like a white man when I was young.”

The Whitecaps’ other DP, Eric Hassli, will be at the ESPY awards tonight (9 p.m. ET, ESPN) in Los Angeles, where he’s up for Play of the Year for his goal against Seattle. The Frenchman says he’s most looking forward to seeing fellow countryman and NBA star Tony Parker.

This morning there is the big Women’s World Cup semifinal between France and the USA (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN) which will be followed by the other semi featuring Japan facing Sweden (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Here’s a preview.

There will be some verdicts handed down in the Copa América which wraps up action in Group B on Wednesday with Chivas USA forward Alejandro Moreno and Venezuela taking on Paraguay while Brazil need a win at all costs against Ecuador.

Another Venezuelan-born player in the USA, who is a D.C. United academy product, is leaving the University of Maryland to go pro. But will D.C. United sign him?

Lastly, Newcastle United’s Joey Barton has issues with US immigration policy. They won’t let him in the country for Newcastle’s preseason tour and he says it’s “total hypocrisy.”

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

There’s a new leader in the latest MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings

LA Galaxy star David Beckham on getting his first crack at ex-club Real Madrid

Talking Tactics: How MLS teams can stop Manchester United


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