Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surprises highlight League Cup in England

This is what Cup Soccer is all about… Fourth tier Bradford City has reached the League Cup final in England, advancing past three Premier League sides in the past three rounds, including Aston Villa, 4-3 on aggregate, in the semifinals.

USL Premier Development League fans in the east may be familiar with one of the heroes as former (2010) Bermuda Hogges striker Nahki Wells scored the opening goal in the 3-1 first leg win and started both semifinal contests as well as the penalty kick victories against Wigan (Rd 4) and Arsenal (QF).

Bradford City will face Swansea in the final February 24 after their 2-0 aggregate upset of Chelsea that unfortunately is gaining other headlines for unfortunate reasons.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quick reference Open Cup Semifinal Lineups

We will post the starting lineups for the Semifinals here as we get them...

@SportingKC: Nielsen (c), Sinovic, Besler, Collin, Myers, Nagamura, Espinoza, Zusi, Peterson, Bunbury, Kamara @SportingKC bench: Cesar, Sapong, Saad, Kronberg, Harrington, Thomas, P Joseph
@PhilaUnion: MacMath; G Farfan, Valdes, Okugo, Williams; M Farfan, Carroll, Lahoud; Pajoy, McInerney, Adu @PhilaUnion bench: Konopka, Daniel, Gomez, Hoppenot, Albright, Martinez, Gaddis

@LiveSounders Starting XI: GK Meredith, D Scott (Cpt), D Hurtado, D Ianni, D Gonzalez, M Cato, M Alonso, M Rose, M Caskey, F Montero, F Johnson. SEA Bench: Ford, Parke, Burch, Evans, Ochoa, Fernandez, Rosales.
@CDChivasUSA Starting XI: GK Kennedy, D Califf, D Riley, D McKenzie, D Villafana, M Minda, M Zemanski, M Gavin, F Moreno (Cpt), F Cardozo, F Angel. CHV Bench: Melia, Valencia, Vagenas, Smith, Romero, Townsend, Correa.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quick Glance - Quarterfinal Lineups

Starting lineups for Quarterfinals will be posted here as we get them...

Philadelphia: MacMath; Gaddis, Okugo, Lopez, G Farfan; Carroll, Lahoud, M Farfan, Adu; McInerney, Pajoy Bench: Harrison, Albright, Daniel, Gomez, Torres, McLaughlin, Hoppenot
Harrisburg: Noble; Basso, Bixler, Marshall, Duckett; Pelletier, Noone, Welker, Langley; Ekra, Ombiji

Kansas City: Nielsen(c); Harrington, Olum, Besler, Sinovic; Joseph, Thomas, Zusi; Peterson, Sapong, Saad. subs: Kronberg, Myers, Warzycha, Espinoza, Bunbury, Kamara, Dwyer.
Dayton: Williams; Smith, Copier, Dias, Preciado; DeLass, Jones, McNamara; Garner, Bartels, Bardsley. subs: DeGroot, Holowaty, Kissinger, Knotek, Priestley, Robinson, Whisenhunt.

Sounders FC XI – Weber, Evans, Scott, Ianni, Gonzalez, Cato, Carrasco, Rose, Fernandez, Levesque, Ochoa. bench – Meredith, Burch, Hurtado, Caskey, Seamon, Johnson, Montero.
Earthquakes XI – Bingham, Beitashour, Bernardez, Opara, Morrow, Baca, Cronin, Moreno, Salinas, Stevenson, Gordon. bench – Busch, Alexandre, Chavez, Hernandez, Zayner, Wondolowski, Lenhart.

#ChivasUSA: Melia; Califf, McKenzie, Riley, Villafana; Vagenas, Gavin, Cardozo, Bolanos; Correa and Courtois bench - Kennedy, Jazic, Zemanski, Moreno, Angel, Romero, Agudelo
Charlotte: C Irwin, J Rife, L Williams, D Grousis, M Bloom, N Thornton, J Herrera, D Toby, J Guzman, D Roberts, & J Kabwe bench - Ferrer, Salles, Roberts, Meza, Salvaggione, Bateau, Reed

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fourth Round Starting Lineups

As usual, we will post the line-ups here as we get them...

NY RB: Starting XI: Meara, Barklage, Holgersson, Conde, Pearce, Solli, McCarty, Ballouchy, Lade, Arteaga, Cooper Subs: Vuolo, Maduro, Borrajo, Keel

Starting #ChivasUSA: Melia; Riley, McKenzie, Califf, Gordon; Gavin, Vagenas, Moreno, Courtois; Correa, Agudelo Bench: Kennedy; Valencia; Zemanski, Smith; Romero, Angel
RailHawks 11: GK Burse, D Elenio, D Agbossoumonde, D King, D Low (c), M Zimmerman, M Lowery, M Ortiz, M Da Luz, F Schilawski, F Shriver RailHawks Subs: GK Fitzgerald, D Finch, D Krause, M Millington, M Palacio, M Shipalane, F Ackley

Philadelphia 11: MacMath, Gaddis, Okugo, Valdes, G. Farfan, M. Farfan, Carroll, Lahoud, Adu; Martinez, Pajoy SUBS: Konopka, McLaughlin, Hoffman, Hoppenot, Hernandez, Pfeffer, Herdling
DC Starting XI: Hamid; Russell, McDonald, Dudar, Woolard; Najar, Kitchen, Boskovic, DeLeon; Salihi, Wolff (c) SUBS: Santos, King, Neal, Saragosa, Korb, White, Willis

Dayton XI: Williams, Smith, Copier, Dins, Preciodo, Delass, Knotek, Jones, Garner, Bartels, Bardsley. Dayton bench: Holloway, Robinson, DeGron, McNamara, Earton.
Michigan Bucks XI: Grinwis, Cope, Harris, Barson, Givens, Boyden, Caldwell, Catalono, Omekanda, Crnkia, Miller. Bucks bench: Teepn, Dillon, Saas, Steiberner, Grant, St. Louis, Uzoigwe.

Colorado: Pickens; Kimura, Marshall, Palguta, Freeman; Rivero, Larentowicz, Castrillon; Thompson, Edu, Cascio in a 4-3-3. subs: Ceus, Zapata, Ababio, Nane, LaBauex, Hill, and Akpan
Kansas City Starting XI: Nielsen(c); Sinovic, Besler, Collin, Myers; Cesar, Joseph, Zusi; Sapong, Bunbury, Peterson. subs: Kempin, Olum, Harrington, Saad, Thomas, Miller, Warzycha.

@SAScorpions Starting XI: Sattler; Cochrane, Wagner, Greenfield, Janicki; Pitchkolan, Harmse, Ramirez, Denissen; Campos, Bayona.
Charlotte Eagles Starting XI: Irwin; Bloom, Bateau, Grovsis, Rife; Guzman, Kabwe, Thornton, Toby; Roberts, Salles

#Sounders starters: Meredith, Scott, Parke, JKH, Burch, Cato, Alonso, Rose, Caskey, Ochoa, Montero. Sounders FC bench – Weber, Carrasco, Estrada, Evans, Fernandez, Levesque, Seamon.
Cal FC XI – Carrillo, Navarro, Espinosa, Randolph, Menjivar, Gonzalez, Arreola, Cruz, Aghasyan, Danny Barrera, Diego Barrera. Cal FC bench – Grill, Caceres, Werring, Paulo Ferreira-Mendez, Pedro Ferreira-Mendez, Torres, Riviera.

#mnstars XI: VanOekel; Davis, Dias, Altman, Kallman; Ibarra, Hlavaty, Takada, Venegas; Bracalello, Nunez #mnstars bench: Hildebrandt, Tchoupe, Tobin, Wasson, Ibrahim, Walker, Del Do
San Jose Starting XI: Bingham, Beitashour, Opara, Hernandez, Corrales, Chavez, Alexandre, Moreno, Garza, Gordon, Lenhart Bench: Newton, Baca, Cronin, Dawkins, Morrow, Diaz Pizarro, Ring

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Affiliation, Brotherly Love at question with Harrisburg-Philadelphia Quarterfinal pairing

When the US Soccer Federation announced the Quarterfinal scenarios Saturday there was one surprise among them, the potential pairing of USL Pro’s Harrisburg City Islanders and the Philadelphia Union of MLS. The two sides have been official affiliate partners since 2010 and it was believed that the two would not be slated to face one another unless they both reached the championship match.

That belief was based primarily upon the 2012 US Open Cup Handbook given to the clubs prior to the tournament, laying out the rules and procedures of the competition.

In the 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup’s Competition Handbook under 2012 US Open Cup Competition Format, it states:
General Provision: Pairings will be arranged to prevent the possibility of a lower division team playing a parent club (e.g. Chicago Fire PDL [PDL] will not be pitted against the Chicago Fire [MLS], should both teams be in the competition in the same round) except for the Championship Game.

In the section listing the competition’s entrants – as were known at the time of publication (no USASA, USCS or NPSL clubs) – there were eight sets of affiliations listed with the accompanying note.
Note: Eight teams listed above have affiliations with another club in the competition. Clubs and their related affiliates are indicated with matching asterisks. See page detailing competition format to see how these affiliations will impact the tournament.

While the list did not include the Harrisburg City Islanders and the Philadelphia Union as affiliates, it did however contain the Union and Reading United AC. Both clubs are described as an “affiliate partner” in recent news releases earlier this spring concerning exhibition friendlies set to take place this summer with trips to Harrisburg June 12 and Reading June 9 during the club’s break for the FIFA international competition window. It is unknown at this time if the Harrisburg friendly will be canceled if the two advance to play one another.
Photo: Derek Meluzio

Upon obtaining the US Open Cup Handbook prior to the tournament, inquired with US Soccer as to why the Harrisburg-Philadelphia affiliation partnership was not listed thinking that it may have been an innocent oversight as it was a new section added to the handbook from the previous year. It would not have been the only error in the handbook, as it has been since discovered that four players were also erroneously listed in the suspension list that had already served their penalties, creating confusion over the eligibility of Rochester’s Danny Earls prior to the club’s first match.

Follow-up requests for information regarding the USSF’s stance on the affiliation between the clubs was met with indecision and a few weeks ago the federation said they were “reviewing the relationship between Harrisburg and the Philadelphia Union, but currently they are not in the same bracket” after stating that “a clear example of a relationship is a situation where an organization has control or ownership of two or more teams. Teams with player development arrangements are also considered to have a relationship in most cases.”


Clearly, with the two teams scheduled to meet in the next round if they both win, USSF believes that Harrisburg and Philadelphia do not have a close enough relationship to warrant avoiding them meeting until the Final.

According to Philadelphia’s March 1, 2010 news release [Union Partner with City Islanders: City Islanders to be Exclusive USL-2 Affiliate Club], the team was “further extending the Major League Soccer club’s player development model. The City Islanders will be Philadelphia Union’s Exclusive USL-2 Affiliate Club.”
It continued, saying: “The City Islanders will become a key part of Philadelphia’s player development strategy, as the club will have the option to loan players to Harrisburg for increased playing time. As partners, both clubs will also work to help identify City Islander players who have the potential to make the leap to MLS. The relationship continues the growth of Philadelphia Union’s player development strategy, building off of previously established relationships with PDL squad Reading United AC, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA), Delaware Youth Soccer Association (DYSA) and YSC Sports.”

Nick Sakiewicz, CEO & Operating Partner of Philadelphia Union, stated: “With the Harrisburg City Islanders and our previously announced relationship with Reading United AC, Philadelphia Union Team Manager Peter Nowak will instill ‘first team’ principles in training and playing attacking, attractive football throughout Pennsylvania that our supporters will truly enjoy."

City Islanders President Eric Pettis added: “We’re proud and excited to make this announcement today. Before they’ve even played a game, Philadelphia Union have proven themselves to be a truly first-class organization. Both clubs will see numerous benefits, on and off the field, as a result of this partnership. It’s a natural fit.”

The release also noted: “An annual friendly match in Harrisburg between the clubs (date to be announced) is another highlight of the partnership. Other components will include cross promotional opportunities, clinics and Philadelphia Union player appearances in Harrisburg during the summer and off-season.”

These factors and comments clearly show the two clubs as affiliates that would warrant separation in the tournament until the Final as per the handbook and response from USSF. Given the movement of numerous players over the years, the staffs of the City Islanders and Union clearly are in regular coordination with one another. And perhaps more importantly, the presence of annual scheduled exhibition matches present a significant financial incentive to the City Islanders that make them subservient to the Union and – without accusation that they actually would – place them in a position of wanting to please Philadelphia in a manner that could result in impropriety, which is the entire reason that the ‘affiliation rule’ exists.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Week Before - Fourth Round

Only six of the of the remaining US Open Cup clubs set for the Fourth Round next week are in action between rounds as Major League Soccer is primarily idle for the FIFA international match window.

The only MLS contest on the slate for this weekend features two of the eight clubs shockingly eliminated Tuesday and Wednesday with Chicago playing New England.

In the lower divisions, however, one match-up features two of the remaining NASL clubs squaring off as the expansion San Antonio Scorpions play host to the defending league champion Minnesota Stars Saturday. The RailHawks, meanwhile, are at home versus the Puerto Rico Islanders, who are back in action after advancing to the Final Four of the Caribbean Football Union's championship last Friday.

The lone remaining PDL side, Michigan Bucks, travels to face the Cincinnati Kings Friday. In USL Pro, the Harrisburg City Islanders host the Richmond Kickers Friday and the Dayton Dutch Lions, still winless in league play, host the Charleston Battery Saturday.

Outside of the remaining eight MLS clubs, the only pro club idle over the weekend is the Charlotte Eagles.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Third Round Lineups - Quick Reference

We'll post the lineups here as a quick reference as we get them...


SILVERBACKS STARTING XI: GK Nasco; D Moroney, D Lancaster, D Burciaga, D Cox; M McManus, M O'Brien, M Turcios, Carr; F Horth, F Navia BENCH: GK Illyes, M Paulini, D Davis, D Hunt, M Colaluca, D Rilla, F Santamaria
SEATTLE SOUNDERS XI: GK Meredith; D Burch, D Parke, D Hurtado, D Scott; M Caskey, M Rose, M Alonso, M Cato; F Ochoa, F Johnson BENCH: M Evans, F Estrada, F Montero, M Carrasco, F Levesque, D Sivebaek, GK Weber

Cal FC Starting XI: Carrillo; Gonzalez, Navarro, Randolph, Espinosa; Manjivar, Arreola, Cruz, Di. Barreria; Da. Barrera, Aghasyan  Subs: Rivera, Pa. Ferreira, Pe. Ferreira, Caceres, Warring, Rodra, King
Timbers: Perkins; Jewsbury-c, Mosquera, Horst, Smith; Alhassan, Chara, Nagbe, Alexander; Boyd, Perlaza Subs Bendik, Jean-Baptiste, Kawulok, Taylor, Braun, Richards, Rincon


#Kickers Starting XI: GK Pascale; D Johnson, Dos Santos, Vercollone, Görres; M Elcock, Heins, Foglesong, Nyazamba; F Yeisley, Agorsor #Kickers subs: Jones, Hiroyama, Mackenzie, Delicâte, Bulow #USOC
#DCU Starting XI: GK Willis; D White, Dudar, Korb; M Saragosa, Najar, King, Neal; F Salihi, Wolff, Santos #DCU Subs: Hamid, McDonald, Woolard, Kitchen, Morsink, Boskovic, Deleon

#Crew96 Starting XI: Lamspon, Perry, Gehrig, James, Francis, George, Grossman, Meram, Birchall, Finlay, Vargas #Crew96 Bench: Gruenebaum, Williams, Veeder, Anor, Duka, Renteria, Horton
Dayton Starting XI: Williams, Preciado, Copier, Dias, Smith, Jones, DeLass, McNamara, Garner, Bardsley, Priestly Dayton Bench: Whisenhunt, DeGroot, Robinson, Knoteli, Holowaty, Bartels, Kissinger

RailHawks 11: GK Burse, D Elenio, D Agbossoumonde, D King, D Low, M Lowery, M Zimmerman, M Da Luz, M Ortiz, F Shriver, F Schilawski RailHawks Substitutes: GK Fitzgerald, D Stockley, D Finch, M Nurse, M Shipalane, F Garey, M Palacio
LA Galaxy 11: GK Gaudette, D Lopes, D Meyer, D Leonardo, D Gaul, M Sarvas, M Jimenez, M Stephens, M Nakazawa, F Barrett, F Noonan LA Galaxy Substitutes: GK Perk, D Jordan, M Magee, M Garcia, M Walker, F Buddle

Rapids starting lineup: Ceus; Freeman, Marshall (C), Palguta, Zapata; Thompson, Henao, Hill, Castrillon; Akpan and Edu in a 4-4-2 Available subs: Joyce, Kimura, Ababio, Moor, Rivero, Nane and Cascio.
Rowdies: GK Attinella, D Sanfilippo, D Arango, D Yamada, D Washington, M Campbell, M Hill, M Savage, F Mulholland, F Ambersley, F Antoniuk

#NYRB Lineup: Meara, Barklage, Holgersson, Conde, Pearce, Solli, McCarty, Ballouchy, Lade, Arteaga, Cooper #NYRB Bench: Vuolo, Keel, Borrajo, Maduro, Palsson, Ruthven
Charleston:  Duckworth, Wilson, Falvey, Hoffer, Mueller, Sanyang, Donatelli, Paterson, Cuevas, Boyd, & Bundu

Fire Starting XI: Tornaghi; Walls, Anibaba, Berry, Jumper; Videira, Paladini, Bone; Robayo; Puppo, Barouch // SUBSTITUTES: Johnson, Gargan, Segares, Watson-Siriboe, Pineda, Nyarko, Oduro.
Michigan Bucks:  Grinwis; Cope, Harris, Barson, Givens; Boyen, Caldwell, Catalano, Omekanda; Crnkic, Uzoigwe (Steinberger 35') Bucks Subs: Teepen, Dillon, Opare, Ogunyemi, Grant, Miller

Philadelphia Union Starting XI: Konopka; M. Farfan, Okugo, Williams, G. Farfan; Carroll, Lahoud, Daniel, Adu; Martinez, Pajoy Bench: Hoppenot, Pfeffer, Hoffman, Jordan, Herdling, McLaughlin, Harrison
Rochester: Nicht; Traynor, Kyriazis, Roberts, Kirk; Cost, Rosenlund, Earls, Banks; McManus, Brito

Sporting KC: Kempin, Myers, Warzycha, Collin, Sinovic, Nagamura, Olum, Joseph, Peterson, Dwyer, Saad Bench: Nielsen, Besler, Bunbury, Harrington, Sassano, Sapong, Zusi
Orlando 11  Gallardo(c); Bernard, Mechack, Boden, Valentino; Campbell, O'Connor, Pulis, Molino; Chin, Watson bench: Allen, Davies, Fuller, Kelley, Ustruck

San Antonio Scorpions Starting XI: Sattler; Janicki, Blake Wagner, Kling, Cochrane, Pitchkolan, Knight, Denissen, Harmse; Bayona, Campos.
Houston Dynamo Starting XI: Deric; Creavalle, Boswell, Oscar Recio, Sturgis; Dixon, Moffat, Camargo, Clark; Kandji, Weaver.

#FCDallas XI: Seitz, John, Benitez, Hedges, Loyd, Guarda, Jackson, Jacobson, Leyva, Sealy, Top Available subs: Hartman, M. Hernandez, Ulloa, Luna, Castillo, Lee, Marcelin
Charlotte:  NA

SJEarthquakes: Starting XI: Bingham, Ring, Opara, Morrow, Suggs, Cronin, Alexandre, Moreno, Garza, Lenhart, Guvenisik  Bench: Newton, Baca, Beitashour, Dawkins, McLoughlin, Diaz Pizarro, Hustedt
@FTLStrikers: Glaeser, Blake, Shanosky, Stewart, Lorenz, Morales, Motagalvan, Restrepo, Pecka, Thompson, Anderson Bench : Martin, Otte, Orozco, Gebor, Hassan, Ramos, Herron

#OpenCupFan Twitter Tally Update

A few weeks ago we launched a campaign to have fans, clubs, media – anyone really – declare their support for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. It was quite simple: tweet mentioning @usopencup and/or #OpenCupFan along with the name of the club(s) you support (preferably using their Twitter name).

Well, to say the least, the response has been underwhelming. And to be frank, we are quite stunned that professional clubs are all being outdone by a team from the amateur NPSL, the Fullerton Rangers – no offense intended.

We are giving you a second chance, extending the voting period through until the completion of Round 4.

Got a US Open Cup catchphrase or slogan you want to share? We want to hear them. We have gotten a few good team-related comments like “When I tweet, I tweet for the Timbers” (Toothi), “#FourInARow” (KyleDJames) and “Hammers til I Die! All others are #sharkbait #chumchum” (BMSscienceguy), but the two Open Cup related phrases we like so far are:

“Unlike Hans Backe I am an #OpenCupFan” – ScreaminMonkey Circus (Chicago Fire)
“League owned, no longer Open Cup banned” – Doughboy767 (Minnesota Stars)

The Numbers…

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Klinsmann selections leave MLS sides mostly intact for Open Cup

With the European season concluded, impact on the US Open Cup by players being called up by the US National Team will be minimal over the next two rounds as only four Major League Soccer sides will be missing five combined players.

Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-player selection for the current five-match run that includes three friendlies and a pair of 2014 World Cup Qualifiers was made up primarily of players outside of MLS.

MLS Selections
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo)
Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)
Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Third Round - The Week Before, League Results

Coming into the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup this Tuesday, a number of clubs played two games in the past week in league competition.
Major League Soccer teams make their entry into the competition this round. Seven of the eight teams that had midweek MLS contests also played on the weekend with New York Red Bulls being the only side that was idle. San Jose's second match was on Sunday versus Sporting Kansas City.

In USL Pro, Orlando City played Thursday and Saturday while the Rochester Rhinos played Friday and Saturday. The league took Sunday off, but the NASL's expansion San Antonio Scorpions were in action north of the border in Edmonton.