U.S. Soccer

U.S. MNT Defeats Turkey 2-1 at Sold-Out Red Bull Arena

HARRISON, New Jersey (June 1, 2014) – Fabian Johnson and Clint Dempsey each scored a goal as the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Turkey 2-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 26,762 at Red Bull Arena.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard, who played the opening 45 minutes, set a U.S. MNT record with the 54th win of his National Team career, breaking Kasey Keller’s record. Brad Guzan played the second half.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Fabian Johnson (Michael Bradley), 26th minute: The hustle of Fabian Johnson and the precision passing of Michael Bradley worked to perfection for the USA. Johnson passed to Bradley and immediately darted up the middle of Turkey’s defense. Bradley took a quick touch and flicked the ball ahead just inside the box, where Johnson one-timed with his left foot and found the inside of the left side of the frame for a one-goal lead. It was Johnson’s first goal in 21 international appearances. USA 1, TUR 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Clint Dempsey (unassisted), 52nd minute: Clint Dempsey was in the right place at the right time when Turkey defender Hakan Kadir Balta faltered on a clearance. The U.S. MNT worked the ball around from Michael Bradley, Brad Davis and left back Timmy Chandler who sent the ball into the area. Balta had every opportunity to clear the cross, but he botched the touch and the ball trickled to Dempsey near the right post, where the MNT captain capitalized with his first goal of 2014 and 37th goal of his career. USA 2, TUR 0 (SEE GOAL)

TUR – Selcuk Inan (penalty kick), 90th minute: With injury time looming, Timmy Chandler lost the ball to Mustafa Pektemek, who attacked the near right side against U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Pektemek patiently waited for an opening, shot to the left side of the frame and USA center back Geoff Cameron was called for a handball to stop the shot. Selcuk Inan crisply struck his right-footed penalty inside the left side of the frame, past a diving Guzan who anticipated correctly on the attempt. USA 2, TUR 1 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
TUR – Ozan Tufan, 21st minute: Six minutes earlier, Jozy Altidore’s header goal was disallowed for a push to Turkey goalkeeper Onur Recep Kivrak. But Altidore stayed heavy on the attack and dished from the right side of the box to Michael Bradley. Bradley’s shot was blocked by Turkey defender Ozan Tufan. Tufan’s right-footed clearance kept the score level at the time as both teams came close on several occasions during the opening 25 minutes.

USA – Jermaine Jones, 35th and 36th minutes: U.S. holding midfielder Jermaine Jones had a couple big stops in a one-minute stretch to keep Turkey off of the score sheet. He blocked a Gokhan Gonul shot in the 35th minute and then made a sliding stop to disrupt another Gonal strike with his right foot. Jones briefly received medical attention as he took the shot to his body, but he was quick to continue play.

TUR – Ozan Tufan and Onur Recep Kivrak, 37th minute: In a frenzied sequence, Jozy Altidore sent the ball ahead to Clint Dempsey who initially had a step on Turkey defender Ozan Tufan. As the two rushed into the box, Tufan bumped shoulder-to-shoulder to disrupt Dempsey’s attempt. Shouts for a penalty arose from the U.S. MNT bench, but play continued and Dempsey stuck with the loose ball, only to have his second attempt blocked by Turkey goalkeeper Onur Recep Kivrak.

USA – Brad Guzan, 60th minute: The left side of USA’s defense allowed Gokhan Gonul to have plenty of open space down the right side. Chandler attempted to track back in time to get in front of Gonul, but Gonul got his shot off at the near right side. Second-half sub Guzan stepped up, however, with a clutch save at the near right post to keep the two-goal lead at the time.

TUR – Onur Recep Kivrak, 81st minute: Mix Diskerud played the ball to Jozy Altidore down the right side and Altidore cut inside to his left to evade Turkey’s Ozan Tufan. That created a strong one-on-one chance against Turkey goalkeeper Onur Recep Kivrak, but Kivrak stepped up with a foot save to turn away the U.S. MNT striker.

Milestone Watch:

  • U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard passed Kasey Keller to set the U.S. MNT record with 54 career victories. Howard is now 54-28-15 all-time. Keller was 53-27-18.
  • Howard earned his 99th cap, and with his next appearance he will become the 15th player and third goalkeeper in U.S. MNT history to reach the 100-cap mark. Howard is also one appearance behind Tony Meola and Joe-Max Moore, who are tied for 13th all-time with 100 caps.
  • Clint Dempsey has now scored at least one goal in 10 consecutive years. The only other U.S. MNT players to accomplish this feat are Brian McBride and Eric Wynalda, who scored a goal in 11 consecutive years.
  • Dempsey made his 104th appearance and ranks 10th on the all-time list. He is two appearances behind ninth-place Wynalda (106 caps from 1990-2000).
  • Michael Bradley earned his 85th cap, tying him for 20th all-time with Frankie Hejduk and Bruce Murray.
  • Bradley earned his ninth assist and is tied for 16th on the all-time list with Clint Mathis. Bradley is one assist behind a group of Steve Cherundolo, Chris Henderson, McBride and Earnie Stewart, who are all tied for 10th with 10 career assists.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT concludes its three-game Send-Off Series against Nigeria at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 7, at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision and ESPN Deportes Radio
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is 2-1-1 in the all-time series against Turkey.
  • The U.S. MNT is now 3-1-1 in 2014.
  • The USA is 6-4-7 all-time in games based in New Jersey and 1-1-0 at Red Bull Arena.
  • Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made three changes from the starting lineup the U.S. utilized during the 2-0 victory against Azerbaijan on May 27. Defender Timmy Chandler and midfielder Brad Davis, who were halftime subs the last time out, replaced DaMarcus Beasley and Alejandro Bedoya, respectively, in the starting lineup. Captain Clint Dempsey got the start ahead of Chris Wondolowski. Dempsey originally was penciled in to start against Azerbaijan, but Klinsmann held him out for precautionary reasons because of a sore groin.
  • The U.S. is now 7-3-2 with Dempsey as the captain.
  • The starting lineup featured Tim Howard at goalkeeper, with a back four of left back Chandler, center backs Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron and right back Fabian Johnson.
  • The starting midfield featured Davis and Graham Zusi on the left and right sides, respectively, Jermaine Jones as the holding midfielder and Michael Bradley at the top of the diamond of the 4-4-2.
  • Dempsey and Jozy Altidore were paired up front.
  • The U.S. made three subs to open the second half. Brad Guzan replaced Howard in goal. Kyle Beckerman subbed for midfielder Jones. John Brooks entered the match for Besler.
  • In the 64th minute, Julian Green made his second career U.S. MNT appearance, replacing Davis. Outside back DeAndre Yedlin entered for Johnson.

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Turkey
Date: June 1, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, New Jersey
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET
Attendance: 26,762 (sellout)
Weather: 74 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        1 1 2
TUR                        0 1 1

USA – Fabian Johnson (Michael Bradley)   26th minute
USA – Clint Dempsey                                 52
TUR – Selcuk Inan (penalty)                       90

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard (12-Brad Guzan, 46); 23-Fabian Johnson (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 64), 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler (6-John Brooks, 46), 21-Timmy Chandler; 19-Graham Zusi (10-Mix Diskerud, 69), 13-Jermaine Jones (15-Kyle Beckerman, 46), 4-Michael Bradley, 14-Brad Davis (16-Julian Green, 64); 17-Jozy Altidore, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 3-Omar Gonzalez, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 9-Aron Johannsson, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

TUR: 12-Onur Recep Kivrak; 2-Hakan Kadir Balta (4-Ugur Demirok, 83), 24-Osman Tarik Camdal (17-Mustafa Pektemek, 46), 3-Ishak Dogan (26-Ahmet Ilhan Ozek, 46), 7-Gokhan Gonul, 8-Selcuk Inan, 9-Mevlut Erdinc (19-Bilal Kisa, 80), 10-Nuri Sahin (capt.) (5-Hakan Calhanoglu, 70), 15-Oguzhan Ozyakup (20-Olcan Adin, 67), 16-Ozan Tufan, 18-Caner Erkin
Subs Not Used: 1-Tolga Zengin, 11-Olcay Sahan, 13-Adem Buyuk, 21-Omer Toprak, 22-Aydin Karabulut, 23-Volkan Babacan, 25-Turgut Dogun Sahin
Head Coach: Fatih Terim

Stats Summary: USA / TUR
Shots: 8 / 20
Shots on Goal: 6 / 12
Saves: 11 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8
Fouls: 20 / 12
Offside: 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Slim Jedidi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Yamen Melloulchi (TUN)
Fourth Official: Nasrallah Jaouadi (TUN)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Michael Bradley

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MNT Jun 1, 2014

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Turkey
Date: June 1, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, New Jersey
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET
Attendance: 26,762 (sellout)
Weather: 74 degrees, sunny 

Scoring Summary:  1          2          F
USA                             1          1          2
TUR                             0          1          1            

USA – Fabian Johnson (Michael Bradley)      26th minute
USA – Clint Dempsey                                      52
TUR – Selcuk Inan (penalty)                            90                                            

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard (12-Brad Guzan, 46); 23-Fabian Johnson (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 64), 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler (6-John Brooks, 46), 21-Timmy Chandler; 19-Graham Zusi (10-Mix Diskerud, 69), 13-Jermaine Jones (15-Kyle Beckerman, 46), 4-Michael Bradley, 14-Brad Davis (16-Julian Green, 64); 17-Jozy Altidore, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 3-Omar Gonzalez, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 9-Aron Johannsson, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann 

TUR: 12-Onur Recep Kivrak; 2-Hakan Kadir Balta (4-Ugur Demirok, 83), 24-Osman Tarik Camdal (17-Mustafa Pektemek, 46), 3-Ishak Dogan (26-Ahmet Ilhan Ozek, 46), 7-Gokhan Gonul, 8-Selcuk Inan, 9-Mevlut Erdinc (19-Bilal Kisa, 80), 10-Nuri Sahin (capt.) (5-Hakan Calhanoglu, 70), 15-Oguzhan Ozyakup (20-Olcan Adin, 67), 16-Ozan Tufan, 18-Caner Erkin
Subs Not Used: 1-Tolga Zengin, 11-Olcay Sahan, 13-Adem Buyuk, 21-Omer Toprak, 22-Aydin Karabulut, 23-Volkan Babacan, 25-Turgut Dogun Sahin
Head Coach: Fatih Terim 

Stats Summary: USA / TUR
Shots: 8 / 20
Shots on Goal: 6 / 12
Saves: 11 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8
Fouls: 20 / 12
Offside: 2 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
None 

Officials:
Referee: Slim Jedidi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Anouar Hmila (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Yamen Melloulchi (TUN)
Fourth Official: Nasrallah Jaouadi (TUN)

U-20 WNT Heads to Camp in San Diego as World Cup Prep Continues

CHICAGO (June 29, 2016) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will come together for a 10-day training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., running from July 6-15 as U.S. head coach Michelle French and the squad continue preparations for the 2016 Women’s World Cup being held in Papua New Guinea from Nov. 13-Dec. 3.

The Final Draw for the tournament was conducted on March 17 and the USA will face France, New Zealand and Ghana in Group C. The U.S. opens the tournament on Monday, Nov. 14 against France at 4 p.m. local time, faces New Zealand on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., and finishes the group stage against Ghana on Monday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m.

The 16-team field for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is strong, featuring Canada, Mexico, the USA, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Venezuela, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden.

The tournament format will see the 16 nations divided into four groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the quarterfinal stage to be held on Thursday, Nov. 24 and Friday, Nov. 25. The winners of those games will advance to the tournament semifinals on Tuesday, Nov. 29. The championship and third-place matches are set for Saturday, Dec. 3.

U.S. U-20 WNT Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Rose Chandler (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Casey Murphy (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (7):
Madeline Elliston (Penn State; Omaha, Neb.), Emily Fox (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Sabrina Flores (Notre Dame; Livingston, N.J.), Ellie Jean (Penn State; Coventry, Conn.), Natalie Jacobs (Notre Dame; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Taylor Otto (CASL; Apex, N.C.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.)
MIDFIELDERS (7):
Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Katie Cousins (Tennessee; Forest, Va.), Savannah DeMelo (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Kelcie Hedge (Washington; Post Falls, Idaho), Emily Ogle (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Courtney Petersen (Virginia; Canton, Mich.), Parker Roberts (Florida; Leawood, Kan.)
FORWARDS (3):
Ashley Sanchez (SoCal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Jessie Scarpa (North Carolina; Lakeland, Fla.), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
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U-20 WNT Jun 29, 2016

By the Numbers: Copa America Recap

The U.S. MNT recorded a fourth-place finish in the Copa America Centenario, equaling its previous best result from 1995, earlier this month. Here's a look at some of the MNT numbers that tell the story of the team's successful run to the final four.

1 – Number of players that played all 540 minutes of the tournament (center back Geoff Cameron). After being replaced in second half stoppage time of the MNT’s 2-1 quarterfinalwin against  Ecuador, Gyasi Zardes officially appeared in 539 minutes

2 – Number of shutouts Brad Guzan recorded. He now has 11 shutouts in 25 career games in official competition

3 – Number of consecutive games Jurgen Klinsmann selected the same starting lineup (during the Group Stage). That phenomenon only happened one other time in the history of the MNT – back in the 1930 World Cup

3 – Number of wins during Copa America Centenario, the most victories by the MNT at a major international tournament outside of the CONCACAF Gold Cup

7 – Number of goals scored by the U.S. during the tournament

8 – Number of points for Clint Dempsey. With three goals and three assists, he was part of six of the MNT’s seven goals at the tournament

10 – Number of cities visited from the time camp opened May 16 to the end of the tournament on June 25. For the record, they were: Miami, Fla.; Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Frisco, Texas; Kansas City, Kan.; Santa Clara, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Seattle, Wash.; Houston, Texas; Glendale, Ariz.

21 – Number of players used by Klinsmann during  the course of the six tournament matches

23 – Number of saves made by Guzan during his five matches – more than any other goalkeeper in the tournament

36 -  Number of goals by Clint Dempsey in competitive matches. With 52 career international goals, Dempsey sits second all-time in MNT scoring behind only Landon Donovan (57)

41 – Number of days from the start of camp on May 16 to the Third Place Match on June 25

52 – Career wins for Jurgen Klinsmann following the victory against Ecuador.. That count – along with his .646 winning percentage – are good for second all-time on the MNT coaching list

.674 – Career winning percentage for Klinsmann in official competition, with a record of 26-11-6

20,150 – Number of miles traveled from when camp began in Miami on May 16 and ended in Glendale, Ariz., on June 25

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MNT Jun 29, 2016

Chicago, Seattle First Clubs to Punch 2016 U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal Tickets

CHICAGO (June 28, 2016) – The first night of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 saw the Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders FC become the first two sides to book their tickets to the tournament Quarterfinals.

In the night’s two all-MLS Chicago Round of 16 matches, Chicago downed Columbus Crew SC 2-1 on the strength of a David Accam brace, while Seattle saw a superb goalkeeping performance from Tyler Miller guide the team past Real Salt Lake 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

The Fire will host the winner between Orlando City SC and Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the tournament Quarterfinals at Toyota Park on July 20, while the Sounders will hit the road to take on the Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy winner on a yet-to-be-determined date.

The U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 concludes Wednesday night with six games beginning with 2015 finalist Philadelphia Union hosting New York Red Bulls at 7 p.m. ET. All remaining Round of 16 matches can be seen on ussoccer.com with the exception of the Orlando-Fort Lauderdale match-up.

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 winner of Wednesday’s Orlando City SC-Fort Lauderdale Strikers match on July 20.

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 winner between Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy on a date to be determined.

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USOC Jun 29, 2016

U.S. WNT Unveils New Nike Home Kit for 2016 Olympics

CHICAGO (June 28, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will debut a new home kit this summer at the 2016 Olympics that has been developed exclusively by Nike for the reigning Women’s World Cup champions to wear in Brazil. The Olympics-specific jerseys will be available for purchase on July 23 at ussoccerstore.com.

The USA, which has won four of the five Olympic gold medals that have been contested in women’s soccer, will strive to become the first country to win an Olympic Games the year after winning the Women’s World Cup.

The USA’s historic collection of accolades merit the designation of another precious metal: platinum, the gleaming element Nike designers chose to celebrate the team’s illustrious legacy.

The coveted element’s shining hue appears on the new National Team home uniform with Nike AeroSwift technology. The new kit replaces the current home kit’s blue sleeves with platinum-colored sleeves embedded with metallic threads, preserving the performance properties of the kit’s high-performance yarn while producing an iridescent gleam.

A blue left-side stripe and red right-side stripe run the length of the shirt and matching white shorts. Expanding when a player is in motion, the stripes maximize ventilation and reveal a contrasting flash of underlying red and blue, respectively.

To align with the Olympic tournament’s uniform regulations, the U.S. Soccer Federation crest will be replaced by vibrant blue gloss “USA” lettering. Created using Light-Flex technology, it appears on the left chest of the shirt and right hem of the short.

The same material articulates the Swoosh and the hue reappears on the kit’s custom socks. Gradually fading from white to blue, the socks extend color to the player’s boot of choice from the exclusive Women’s Spark Brilliance Pack, which features the red-white-blue Hypervenom, Mercurial and Tiempo colorways designed to integrate with the uniforms for a complete head-to-toe look. The team’s away kit will remain the same, with the USA typeface also replacing the crest.

The USA will resume to wearing its current home kit following the Olympic Games.

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Jun 28, 2016

Cosmos Set Sights on Competing with America's Best Clubs

The U.S. Open Cup means everything to the New York Cosmos. It is a chance to compete at the top level of American soccer. It is an opportunity to measure their talents to those in Major League Soccer. It is a chance to fly the banner of the North American Soccer League. 

And it is also a chance to honor their rich heritage by advancing through the tournament and representing North America in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. 

That last goal is quite lofty (even for an MLS side). But since 2013, the New York Cosmos have modeled themselves as a first-class organization that just so happens to be in the second tier of the American soccer pyramid. And once a year, the U.S. Open Cup gives them the chance to prove themselves against the best teams in the country.

"It's a good thermometer to see where we are," Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese explains. "We can show we can compete. It's more than clear this Cup is important for us but it is also a tough tournament to make it all the way through.

"We take every competition seriously. We want to compete outside of the U.S. and this gives us a chance to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League. And also, this gives us a chance to play against good teams -- not just the teams in NASL, but the teams in MLS that are competing in the U.S. Open Cup."

Despite never advancing past the Round of 16, the Cosmos have proven their worth against MLS competition. In five head-to-head matches against MLS teams, the Cosmos have won or advanced in three.

But it isn't just victories over MLS teams that the Cosmos are proud of -- it's the opponents who they have taken out along the way. Four of their five Open Cup matches to date have come in the form of local derbies. The Cosmos have won three of those encounters, and their most recent win was one they savored.


The Cosmos (NASL) defeated cross-town rivals New York City (MLS) 1-0 in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round.

Going into enemy territory in Fordham's Jack Coffey Stadium, the Cosmos fought back against a driven NYCFC side in a blue-heavy road environment to take the victory on a late game winner from Danny Szetela. It is the second consecutive year that the Cosmos have faced and beaten NYCFC in the competition -- a fact this club is proud to tout.

"The feeling's great because it's two New York teams, the East River Derby," Szetela said after the match. "We want to be Kings of New York.

"I think it shows an NASL side can do well in the Open Cup. Our goal has been set from the beginning of the year to win it and I think we can compete with any team in MLS."

"We said it from the beginning -- these derbies are very important," Savarese adds. "They are what allows the sport to grow in this area and this country."

The Round of 16 brings a different challenge for the Cosmos. This time, they face the New England Revolution -- a side taken to the limit by fellow NASL-ers Carolina RailHawks in a dogged 1-0 extra time victory on June 15. The last time the Cosmos faced a non-New York side, they were ousted as the Philadelphia Union earned a 2-1 extra time win at this stage in 2014.

This year, the Cosmos have won the right to host. While the match won't be at their typical home of Shuart Stadium, they will travel to the familiar confines of St. John's 2,500 seat Belson Stadium for what promises to be an intimate and contentious battle.

A win against New England would push the club to its first-ever U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal and as one of two remaining NASL sides (Fort Lauderdale Strikers are the other), could earn the club a $15,000 cash prize as the furthest advancing Division II side for the second year in a row.

"Every game becomes more difficult. Every game is more challenging. Every MLS club will be difficult and I expect this match to be a tough one, like New York City Football Club," Savarese said. "New England has a different style of play. We are analyzing how to play against them. Playing at home is a positive thing as well and the team understands the difficulty of the match and are motivated to compete and keep advancing.

"We are very competitive by nature. We want to do well. We want to make sure this club is represented in the best possible way, to respect the past but create a new future. And with that, to help U.S. Soccer in any way possible, to help people care more about the U.S. Open Cup, for youngsters to be more prepared for the national team. All those things are important."

"I love the pressure," adds Szetela. "It makes you play better and proves to people we can be successful --even if we are in the NASL."

Photos courtesy of New York City FC.
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USOC Jun 28, 2016
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