We understand. You have a life. Between your job, school, taking care of the kids, and hanging out with friends and family, you don’t always get the chance to watch the other professional soccer leagues in the United States. That’s why we’re here. This section provides you with a quick recap of something exciting, intriguing or just off-the-wall going on in leagues like the MISL, USL (First and Second Divison), PDL, W-League and Super Y-League.
Do you catch yourself rooting for the underdog? Of course you do. Why wouldn’t you?
Everyone always talks about the great dynasties in sports like the Steelers, 49ers, Yankees, Bulls and even now the Patriots. I’ve got news for you: dynasties are boring.
Hey, the Patriots won again. Great. Can’t wait to hear a bunch of heavy set guys with Boston Red Sox hats saying, “The Patriots are wicked good! Let’s hit the bah and pahty!” Yeah, those guys are happy, but what about the rest of us?
We want upsets. We want to see the underdog pull it out. We want to know that, hey, maybe even the crappy team we cheer for has a chance.
And this is why we love the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, especially the round when the top division (Major League Soccer) joins the tilt. The appointed best teams (MLS) are going up against the teams considered to be inferior (USASA, PDL, USL 1 & 2) and every single match there’s the opportunity to see David down Goliath.
Take Wednesday (July 13) as the first four MLS teams jumped into the mix – expansion clubs Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA, and the Chicago Fire and FC Dallas, the two non-playoff contenders a year ago. All four teams should win, right?
First of all RSL traveled to Minnesota to face the Thunder of the United Soccer League First Division and scored four goals…and lost! The Thunder, well-known to be a handful in the Open Cup, punched in a last minute goal to send the game into overtime and then put away two in overtime to collect a 6-4 win. The 2,218 people that saw this game live at James S. Griffin Stadium in St. Paul are a select few that will be able to say they saw one of the most exciting Open Cup games in memory. One giant knocked down.
The other expansion squad, Chivas USA, needed a goal in the final ten seconds of overtime to down the Charlotte Eagles of the USL Second Division. While the Eagles suffered an agonizing loss, the fans were treated to an outstanding performance by ‘keeper Chris McCelellan as he came up with 17 stops, most of which forced him to get dirty.
FC Dallas is ripping up MLS right now and certainly cruised against the Wilmington Hammerheads in their 3-1 victory. Not exactly. Even though Dallas was missing some of their top players you would have expected the newly re-named club not to fall back into the doldrums of the past two years when they were the Burn, but they fell behind early and then needed two goals in OT to finish the job. Whew!
Well, at least the Fire were able to dominate their match and crush any hopes of a upset…er, maybe not. Chicago did control the majority of the match by getting two goals and an assist from spiky-haired Will John, but not before the stands at cozy Lusitano Stadium erupted when the Western Mass Pioneers (USL 2) took a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute.
Four matches, four possible upsets. That’s why we watch.
P.S. You’re in luck as there’s still one more third round match between the Ocean City Barons (PDL) and Richmond Kickers (USL 1). Their game was delayed due to lightning and will be played July 19.
Oh, and then, expect the fourth round on August 3 to offer much of the same as the Portland Timbers (USL 1), Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL 1), Minnesota Thunder (USL 1), Richmond Kickers (USL 1) or Ocean City Barons (PDL) look to overthrow the higher seeds.
Watch for future updates as ussoccer.com will have keep you posted on everything going on in the tournament on the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competitions page.