Kick Off: MLS clubs show minor-league teams who's boss in US Open Cup third-round action
Here are the Top 15 soccer stories we’re following today.
1. BIG BOYS FLEX THEIR MUSCLE: The upsets were at a premium in the US Open Cup on Tuesday night. Seven of nine MLS clubs advanced out of the third round with the two eliminations coming on the road: The Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes, were knocked out, by Orlando City (HIGHLIGHTS HERE) and the Charleston Battery respectively. But the Rapids protested the red card shown to their goalkeeper, which came on this play.
2. SWEATING IT OUT: But not all the wins came easy for the MLS clubs. D.C. United eked out their win vs. Richmond on penalty kicks. Real Salt Lake needed extra time after a valiant Atlanta comeback (watch postgame reactions here).. Philadelphia were saved blushes by a late Brian Carroll header vs. fourth-division Ocean City (watch highlights and reactions here). And goalkeeper Dan Kennedy scored the game-winning PK to salvage a win for Chivas USA (watch it here).
3. BREEZING INTO ROUND 4: The easiest time was had by Sporting Kansas City, who dispatched of Des Moines 2-0 (watch highlights here), FC Dallas (2-0 winners at Fort Lauderdale) and the New England Revolution, who ran out 5-1 winners at USL affiliate Rochester (watch highlights and reaction here). All three clubs have now earned the chance to host their fourth-round matches.
4. CASCADIA CLUBS ENTER FRAY: The remaining seven US Open Cup third-round matches on slate for tonight feature the Seattle Sounders on the road and the Portland Timbers at home as they look to set up a derby match-up in the next round (get the full Wednesday preview here). The LA Galaxy will also be in action in Carolina and the news there is that they'll be coached by assistant Curt Onalfo and not head coach Bruce Arena.
5. FIRST TROPHY TO BE RAISED TONIGHT: While one domestic trophy is just getting heated up, another wraps up tonight as the Vancouver Whitecaps host the Montreal Impact in the Amway Canadian Championship second leg at BC Place (10 pm ET, Sportsnet). The two clubs are coming off a 0-0 first-leg draw and the Whitecaps would seem to be the favorites, especially with a league bye last weekend. Some of the storylines: Will Kenny Miller reappear for Vancouver? Can Montreal contain red-hot Impact goal-scorer Marco Di Vaio? And can Vancouver end their 11-year drought?
5. DID KLINSMANN REALLY DO THAT? When has the USMNT manager ever given out lineup details before a match? Well, he did it on Tuesday when he revealed that it'll be Sacha Kljestan and Jermaine Jones in central midfield vs. Belgium tonight in Cleveland (8 pm ET, ESPN and UniMas). Get the full preview of the match here. (VIDEO)
7. US UNDER-20s DROP 4-1 RESULT IN TOULON: The senior US side could take fans' minds off the 4-1 loss suffered by Tab Ramos' side in their Toulon Tournament opener against hosts France (watch the postgame reactions here). The first goal scored by the French is one to savor: a scorpion-kick tally.
8. TICO TROUBLE FOR CANADA: Canada are still winless in 2013 as they get ready for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. The latest slip-up came last night in Edmonton against Costa Rica, who ran out winners thanks to a solitary PK goal by Columbus Crew forward Jairo Arrieta. Canadian interim manager Colin Miller is undeterred: "I can definitely say there's success."
9. BECKS ON KISS CAM: While reports swirled of an upcoming trip to Miami for exploratory expansion talks, ex-LA Galaxy star David Beckham was back on his old stomping grounds, featuring at the Los Angeles Kings' Game 7 playoff hockey game. In fact, he was caught on the Staples Center Kiss Cam. Find out who he kissed here.
10. D.C. UNITED OWNER CLOSER TO INTER MILAN STAKE?: According to reports, D.C. United co-owner Erick Thohir has held face-to-face talks for the first time with current Inter Milan owner Massimo Moratti. There's talk of a minority stake with a view toward a majority share in a few years. Moratti is apparently seeking help with a stadium.
11. FIRST SOCCER GAMES AT DODGER STADIUM: After the New York Yankees and their minority ownership stake in new MLS club New York City FC, it seems the Los Angeles Dodgers are also getting in the soccer business. This Los Angeles Times article talks about Real Madrid playing in the first-ever soccer matches there this summer.
12. SILLY SEASON SPILLS INTO MLS: With the close of the European season, expect to hear more rumors linking players with MLS. There's talk of Ivorian Abdul Kader Keita making a move to Philadelphia and then there's the blockbuster report that allegedly ties Toronto FC to a $10 million offer for Carlos Tévez.
13. GET YOUR SOCCER FILL: In addition to seven US Open Cup matches, a USMNT friendly and the Amway Canadian Championship, LA Galaxy fans will be interested in watching Robbie Keane lead the Republic of Ireland against England at Wembley (3 pm ET, Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes). There's also a Copa Libertadores doubleheader on Fox Deportes starting at 6:30 pm ET and a Toulon Tournament doubleheader on beIN Sport featuring Mexico and Brazil (starts at 11:30 am ET).
14. FOOTY AMERICANISMS: While American soccer fans typically turn their nose up at British terms infiltrating the US discourse, the British have picked up on some Americanisms that have apparently seeped into the language. This fun BBC article compares and contrasts.
15. PERFECT SHOT: That's the name of the newest video series on MLSsoccer.com brought to you by Samsung, which showcases MLS action like you've never seen it before. Watch it here for proof that we save the best for last.
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