U.S. Soccer
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Women's National Team

2018 Tournament of Nations - July 26-Aug. 2, 2018 - Kansas City | East Hartford | Chicago

PLAYER POS. HT. BIRTHDATE HOMETOWN CLUB/COLLEGE CAPS/G
M 5-7 St. Simons Island, Ga. Chicago Red Stars 69/6
D 5-7 Menlo Park, Calif. NC Courage 14/0
D 5-10 Menlo Park, Calif. Stanford 1/0
F 5-1 Rockville Centre, N.Y. NC Courage 58/23
GK 5-9 Salina, Kan. Portland Thorns FC 0/0
GK 5-9 Satellite Beach, Fla. Orlando Pride 14/0
F 5-6 Basking Ridge, N.J. Portland Thorns FC 132/18
D 5-4 Denver, Colo. NC Courage 8/0
M 5-9 Golden, Colo. Portland Thorns FC 44/4
M 5-7 Mesa, Ariz. Chicago Red Stars 58/15
M 5-4 Cincinnati, Ohio Washington Spirit 7/2
M 5-8 Delran, N.J. Sky Blue FC 247/98
M 5-8 Northport, N.Y. Seattle Reign 33/6
D 5-3 Birmingham, Ala. NC Courage 0/0
M 6-0 Hanson, Mass. NC Courage 32/7
F 5-7 Diamond Bar, Calif. Orlando Pride 135/81
GK 5-9 Stratford, Conn. Chicago Red Stars 24/0
F 5-7 Draper, Utah Houston Dash 3/1
F 5-7 Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Utah Royals FC 97/44
F 5-7 Redding, Calif. Seattle Reign FC 130/34
F 5-4 Lake Forest, Calif. Utah Royals FC 130/30
D 5-7 St. Louis, Mo. Utah Royals FC 135/0
D 5-7 Naperville, Ill. Chicago Red Stars 19/0
D 5-7 Marietta, Ga. Portland Thorns FC 13/0
M 5-4 Camarillo, Calif. NC Courage 0/0

2018 Tournament of Nations - July 26-Aug. 2, 2018 - Kansas City | East Hartford | Chicago

Position:Midfielder

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Midfielder

Hometown:St. Simons Island, Ga.

Club:Chicago Red Stars

Position:Defender

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Defender

Hometown:Menlo Park, Calif.

Club:NC Courage

Position:Defender

Height:5-10

Birthdate:

Position:Defender

Hometown:Menlo Park, Calif.

Club:Stanford

Position:Forward

Height:5-1

Birthdate:

Position:Forward

Hometown:Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Club:NC Courage

Position:Goalkeeper

Height:5-9

Birthdate:

Position:Goalkeeper

Hometown:Salina, Kan.

Club:Portland Thorns FC

Position:Goalkeeper

Height:5-9

Birthdate:

Position:Goalkeeper

Hometown:Satellite Beach, Fla.

Club:Orlando Pride

Position:Forward

Height:5-6

Birthdate:

Position:Forward

Hometown:Basking Ridge, N.J.

Club:Portland Thorns FC

Position:Defender

Height:5-4

Birthdate:

Position:Defender

Hometown:Denver, Colo.

Club:NC Courage

Position:Midfielder

Height:5-9

Birthdate:

Position:Midfielder

Hometown:Golden, Colo.

Club:Portland Thorns FC

Position:Midfielder

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Midfielder

Hometown:Mesa, Ariz.

Club:Chicago Red Stars

Position:Midfielder

Height:5-4

Birthdate:

Position:Midfielder

Hometown:Cincinnati, Ohio

Club:Washington Spirit

Position:Midfielder

Height:5-8

Birthdate:

Position:Midfielder

Hometown:Delran, N.J.

Club:Sky Blue FC

Position:Midfielder

Height:5-8

Birthdate:

Position:Midfielder

Hometown:Northport, N.Y.

Club:Seattle Reign

Position:Defender

Height:5-3

Birthdate:

Position:Defender

Hometown:Birmingham, Ala.

Club:NC Courage

Position:Midfielder

Height:6-0

Birthdate:

Position:Midfielder

Hometown:Hanson, Mass.

Club:NC Courage

Position:Forward

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Forward

Hometown:Diamond Bar, Calif.

Club:Orlando Pride

Position:Goalkeeper

Height:5-9

Birthdate:

Position:Goalkeeper

Hometown:Stratford, Conn.

Club:Chicago Red Stars

Position:Forward

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Forward

Hometown:Draper, Utah

Club:Houston Dash

Position:Forward

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Forward

Hometown:Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

Club:Utah Royals FC

Position:Forward

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Forward

Hometown:Redding, Calif.

Club:Seattle Reign FC

Position:Forward

Height:5-4

Birthdate:

Position:Forward

Hometown:Lake Forest, Calif.

Club:Utah Royals FC

Position:Defender

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Defender

Hometown:St. Louis, Mo.

Club:Utah Royals FC

Position:Defender

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Defender

Hometown:Naperville, Ill.

Club:Chicago Red Stars

Position:Defender

Height:5-7

Birthdate:

Position:Defender

Hometown:Marietta, Ga.

Club:Portland Thorns FC

Position:Midfielder

Height:5-4

Birthdate:

Position:Midfielder

Hometown:Camarillo, Calif.

Club:NC Courage

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US Soccer

2018 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal and Final Draw Postponed

CHICAGO (July 19, 2018) – U.S. Soccer has announced the Draw to determine hosts for the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals and hosting priority for the Final has been postponed.

The decision comes as a result of a protest filed by the Portland Timbers in relation to the number of foreign players fielded by Los Angeles Football Club during Wednesday night’s Quarterfinal at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.

The U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel will review the matter as soon as possible. The timing for the Draw will be determined in the near future.


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U.S. Open Cup Jul 19, 2018
US Soccer

Union, Fire, Dynamo and LAFC Make Up Final Four of 2018 U.S. Open Cup

CHICAGO (July 18, 2018) – The Quarterfinals of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, delivered a quartet of Division I Major League Soccer (MLS) sides into the final four of the competition which will be held on Aug. 8. The Final Draw to determine which clubs will host the Semifinal matches and the hosting priority for the Final will be broadcast from Soccer House, U.S. Soccer’s headquarters, in Chicago on Thursday, July 19 at 1:45 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com and Facebook Live.

MLS outfits Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo and first-year club Los Angeles FC advanced through various means on Wednesday night. Chicago and Houston both chalked up four goals apiece en route to lopsided wins. The Fire scored a 4-0 home win against the last remaining Division II side Louisville City FC, while the Dynamo broke out in the second half to defeat defending Open Cup champion Sporting Kansas City 4-2 in east Texas.

The Union rode an early goal from Alejandro Bedoya to a 1-0 win against visiting Orlando City SC before LAFC finished off the night in Southern California by downing fellow MLS Western Conference foe Portland Timbers 3-2 in a simmering match that may yet boil into a wider rivalry between the two clubs.

Quarterfinal Results

Date

Game (home team listed first)

Result

Venue

July 18

Philadelphia Union (MLS) vs.Orlando City SC (MLS)

1-0

Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.

July 18

Chicago Fire (MLS) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)

4-0

Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.

July 18

Houston Dynamo (MLS) vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS)

4-2

BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas

July 18

Los Angeles FC (MLS) vs. Portland Timbers (MLS)

3-2

Banc of California Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18
Philadelphia Union (MLS) 1, Orlando City SC (MLS) 0
After some cagey opening jabs at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa., the Union took the first half by force and had only wasteful finishing to blame for not scoring more than once. The goal they did get came early, after four minutes, when captain and U.S. National Team midfielder Alejandro Bedoya poked home a corner-kick from Haris Medunjanin that was headed across goal by Fafa Picault. Orlando City, far from stung into response, failed to find a foothold as the home team kept up the pressure in the first 45. In the 18th minute, David Accam was on the attack when he latched onto a clever quickly taken free-kick from Medunjanin, but the Ghanaian could only see his shot well saved by the diving Earl Edwards Jr. The visitors, playing their first Open Cup game under new coach James O’Connor, had their best chance of the opening half seven minutes from the interval when Will Johnson rose to meet a chipped-in ball and forced Union goalkeeper Andre Blake into a fine diving save. Philly’s first half of poor finishing was capped off by another messy one from Dokcal, who spurned an earlier chance from a similar position. The Czech midfielder fired high and wide from ten yards out when all he had to do was pass Bedoya’s low cross into the net.

The second half saw the visitors try to come out of their shell and assert themselves on the contest, but to little avail. Cory Burke held the ball up brilliantly in the 52nd minute and whipped in a wicked shot with his left foot that had Orlando City keeper Edwards scrambling to push it up over the bar. The home side were still in control when Orlando City decided to commit more to the attack in hope of an equalizer. Second-half substitute Stefano Pinho, who was co-top scorer in last year’s Open Cup with NASL outfit Miami FC, crossed low in the 80th minute only for Sacha Kljestan – a runner-up last year with New York Red Bulls – to hit his off-balance shot straight at the Union keeper. And despite a handful of chances up the other end from the outstanding Picault, the score remained 1-0 all the way through the 90th minute and stoppage-time. The Union, losing Open Cup Finalists in 2014 and 2015, will now play Chicago Fire in the Semifinals in August.

Chicago Fire (MLS) 4, Louisville City FC (USL) 0
Louisville City, the lone remaining USL second-division side in the 2018 Open Cup Quarterfinals, gave good account of themselves in the first quarter-hour at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. But as last year’s MLS Golden Boot winner tends to do, Nemanja Nikolic broke hearts in the 16th minute. He headed home an inch-perfect cross from the left from Aleksandar Katai for his fourth goal of the tournament; he previous scored two against Columbus Crew and one against Atlanta United. And it was only the beginning for the four-time Open Cup champs from the Second City, who made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute. Nikolic, with nine league goals in MLS this term, was again involved – his blocked shot falling to Bastian Schweinsteiger alone in the penalty area. The FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner took his time and picked out Katai, who hammered into the roof of the net after racing in off the left side where he was nothing short of dominant all night. Louisville City, led by a trio of player-coaches after the recent departure of James O’Connor and reeling in the dying moments of the opening period, were fortunate not to concede again before the interval.

Chicago were in the driver’s seat in the second half and only a sprawling save from Tim Dobrowolski kept Nikolic from making it 3-0 for the home side in the 58th minute. Lou City, defending United Soccer League champions from 2017, had little to offer in the way of possession or attack and were reduced to ten men in the 84th minute when Kyle Smith left a little on Tony Tchani in a midfield tackle. The wheels seemed to fall off for the second-division side after that, with Diego Campos making it 3-0 in the 90th minute when he chased the ball down and poked it off the toe of Dobrowolski, who dallied instead of clearing. Stoppage time saw another Chicago goal, a close-range finish from the lanky Elliot Collier, and another red card for Lou City – this time for Magnus Rasmussen who struck Tchani off the ball. In the end, the Fire were worthy 4-0 winners and will now move on to meet Philadelphia Union in next month’s Semifinal.

Houston Dynamo (MLS) 4, Sporting Kansas City (MLS) 2
A goal fest exploded in Houston between the Dynamo and last year’s Open Cup champion Sporting Kansas City with the Texas side ultimately prevailing 4-2 thanks to three-goal second half. Proceedings started off with a bang as Johnny Russell stole in behind the Dynamo defense on a long run out of midfield in just the second minute. Bearing down on goal, Russell coolly drew out Houston goalkeeper Chris Seitz before rolling a shot just past the netminder’s right leg and into the vacated net. It would be 30 minutes until the hosts responded but when they did through the first of Romell Quioto’s two goals it was most impressive. Having won a free kick just outside the center of the box, Quioto stepped up to curl a sumptuous set piece shot over the wall and into the top left corner, knotting the match a 1-1.

After the halftime interval, Quioto struck again to give his side the advantage in the 66th minute. Darwin Cerén played a long ball from his own half over the KC defense that Quioto chested down beautifully while in full flight. The balled dropped to his feet as he entered the box and he made no mistake, slotting past the onrushing goal keeper Tim Melia. Three minutes later Mauro Manotas scored what proved to be the game winner, eventually sending in a shot off Graham Zusi after nearly blowing the chance to convert a wide-open break away. He did far better his next time up to put the Dynamo over the hills and far away, heading home a fantastic cross from Eric Alexander into the top left corner in the 88th minute. Although Sporting KC pulled back a consolation goal in stoppage time, Houston was the clear victor and moves on to face LAFC in the Semifinals.

Los Angeles FC (MLS) 3, Portland Timbers (MLS) 2
If familiarity breeds contempt, it was not evident that either Los Angeles FC, in its first year of existence as a club, or Portland Timbers, whose roots in the American game date back to the glory days of the old NASL in the 1970s, held much for the other in the teams’ second match in four days and third overall. A hard fought match simmered all evening and as the shadows grew longer the tackles flew in harder as the Timbers would not relent despite trailing for the majority of the match after two quick strikes, one an own goal by David Guzman in the 33rd minute and the second, a low drive from Carlos Vela five minutes later, put the Portland side up against the wall.

The LAFC goals had come against the run of play, but the Timbers did not hang their heads – instead, center back Julio Cascante used his to bring the Rose City side back into the match just before the stroke of half time when he nodded home a set piece in first half stoppage time to make it 2-1 to the hosts. On the other side of the break, Marco Ureña struck just six minutes into the half with a nice redirection after he was left unmarked but held onside as Portland tried to clear a LAFC attack. In less than a minute however, the Timbers struck back through a rocket from left back Vytautas Andriuskevicius that got between LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller and his near post. Locked at 3-2 with over half an hour to play, either team could have turned the tied with another goal, but shoddy finishing from Portland’s Dairon Asprilla, who was dangerous all night, and a pair of tallies for LAFC that were ruled out for offside left the scoreline settled in LA’s favor after a contentious final 15 minutes saw numerous flash points ignite between the contestants. Ultimately, LAFC moves on to chase history and face Houston in the Semifinals, as head coach Bob Bradley looks to guide his second expansion team – he coach the Chicago Fire to an Open Cup title in the club’s inaugural campaign – to Open Cup glory in its first year of existence.

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U.S. Open Cup Jul 19, 2018
US Soccer

Gallery: Ellis Names 25 Players to Preliminary Roster for 2018 Tournament of Nations

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 25 players to the training camp roster for the 2018 Tournament of Nations. The USA will gather on July 20 for several days of training before opening the tournament against Japan on July 26 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (6 p.m. CT on FS1).

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WNT Jul 18, 2018
US Soccer

Senderos, Manotas & the Dynamo’s Alchemy

A successful Cup run is more alchemy than science. You need to get the balance right – between young and old, experienced and hungry, determined and patient, scoring and defending. Then you need to hope things go your way. Houston Dynamo are walking the tightrope well in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with aging Swiss defender Philippe Senderos providing the yin to young Colombian striker Mauro Manotas’ yang.

“Sure, I try to give some advice to the younger guys in the team and help them learn from my experiences, but mostly I just try to be myself every single day. That’s the best guidance I can give,” said Senderos, 33 years old and a veteran of three World Cups with his native Switzerland. He’s seen it all and done it all with Arsenal, AC Milan, Valencia, Fulham and many more ports of call in an extensive and expansive career. “I’m not here to be a school teacher; I’m here to do a job. I do like to talk and organize things at the back, but I’m not here to give lessons. I just do my best and hope that rubs off.”


(Senderos' experience is bringing the Dynamo's Cup run to another level)

Senderos, the son of a Serb and a Spaniard, is a wily old pro. In all of the five languages he speaks fluently, he’s gruff and to-the-point. He’s not one to toot his own horn, but his experience – which includes an FA Cup title in his breakout season with Arsenal and a Champions league Final with AC Milan – matters much to the young ones in this Houston side. They watch him like hawks, taking silent notes during training and paying attention to the way the big Swiss center-back carries himself. “He gives advice if you ask,” said 22-year-old Colombian Manotas, who speaks with his captain in Spanish as his English is still a work in progress. “But everything [Senderos] does on and off the field is incredible. I can’t thank him for the things he teaches me.”

Young & Old – High Expectations
The balance in the squad goes beyond just old man Senderos and young gun Manotas, who’s scored five Open Cup goals in his last two seasons to make him the Texas club’s top all-time scorer in the 105-year-old competition. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera, a former boss with the Dynamo’s youth academy and Houston’s USL affiliate Rio Grande Valley Toros, has also blooded Memo Rodriguez (22) and a host of other youngsters in the 2018 Open Cup. Instead of crumbling under the heavy pressure of one-and-done competition, they’ve excelled under the tutelage of a demanding and exacting skipper with 15 years of experience.

“This year we’re taking a different approach to the Open Cup,” said Manotas, whose flicked header in the Round of 16 against fellow MLS outfit Minnesota United set up a Quarterfinal date with defending Open Cup champions Sporting Kansas City this Wednesday in a third straight home game for the Texans at their BBVA Compass Stadium. “Usually the Cup has been a way for young players who haven’t been getting minutes to get some important time on the field, but this time we want to win it all. We have the drive to win. We are eager for it and giving it our all.”


(Mauro Manotas' winner against Minnesota United made him the Dynamo's top all-time sorer in the Open Cup)

Manotas’ words aren’t just the bluster of youth. There’s a winning mentality in the team and although they’re ten points off the top of the MLS’ Western Conference standings, they’re definitely up for the Cup. “I can’t tell you how important it is to be fighting on all fronts,” said Senderos, back to full fitness after a three-year stretch of injury woes that might have seen lesser men hang up their boots and retreat to the beach. “A Cup run like this is the kind of thing that keeps a team going and we’re into the thick of it now.

“A Cup is about as simple as it gets – you just need to keep winning,” added the defender, the second-oldest player in the squad behind former U.S. National Team standout DaMarcus Beasley. Senderos’ experience is such that he’s lined up in over 20 Cups in six different countries. “Winning becomes a habit. You get a win or two under your belt and you try to keep that momentum going. You roll it into the next game and you try to keep that winning habit going on. That’s how you climb through the rounds and keep the momentum. That’s the most important thing.”

Manotas’ Goals
The goals – those are important too. Manotas, who sat out the 5-0 win against amateurs NTX Rayados in the Fourth Round, has provided them for a second straight Open Cup running. Stepping into the gap left by the exit of Erick Cubo Torres at the start of the season, a lot has been asked of the youngster barely in his twenties. But he’s answered the call. “El Profe [Coach Cabrera] is like a father to me here and he’s given me the opportunity to be the starting center forward,” said Manotas, who insists that among Coach Cabrera’s many attributes is his ability to make every player feel important. “I’ve paid him back with goals and good performances and I want to keep doing that.”   

Goals. Momentum. Youth. Experience. Houston are building up the kind of Cup balance that, with a little bit of extra luck, can take you all the way. Even Senderos, as hardened a veteran as you’re likely to find, is feeling it. “This is an exciting team to watch and an exciting team to be a part of,” said the captain, who got to feel a little bit of the Open Cup’s romance when he played the last few minutes of the Fourth Round game against the all-amateur Rayados. “We have a lot of talent going forward and we play a lot more with the ball this year.”


(Wilmer Cabrera has found the right blend of youth and experience in a run to this year's Open Cup Last Eight)

Senderos is caught up in the whole thing. He’s feeling young again and playing his soccer in Texas – a place he never dreamed he’d be. “Football’s funny; it can take you all over the world and surprise you,” said the player nearing his career’s twilight. “And here it’s exciting. The young guys in the team, the way we’re playing. We’ve got people from many different backgrounds and places [11 different nationalities are represented in the Dynamo squad]. The atmosphere here – off the field and on – has been really important.”

Manotas feels it too. “The relationships off the field in this team are really pretty amazing,” said the striker who has nine goals so far in league play in 2018 – one shy of his total-season tally from last year. “When you’re able to be friends off the field, when you jump on the field you can bond even more. With that combination of experience and youth, this is a really good thing.”

Dynamo Up for the Cup
While Manotas secretly watches Senderos in training, tracking his every more, the Swiss captain is slowing down a little. Bodies are bodies and years of soccer and travel and training take a toll. It’s the way of things. But you’d never know to hear it from him, or by his current form. “I try to get better and to compete every day,” he said, defiant and inspired by the vigor of his younger Dynamo teammates. “It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. You have to have that mentality – that wanting to get better and do better. You have to be hungry. The day you stop being hungry, that’s the day it’s over.”


(Scoring isn't his bread & butter, but Senderos has three goals in his last four games)

It’s not over yet for the Dynamo. They’re still alive in the Cup and pushing hard for a play-off spot in the league. Senderos, brought in as a sturdy presence in defense, is taking a page out of Manotas’ book, scoring three goals in his last four games (a record-high for him across his many seasons). As for Manotas, it’s not unusual to see him grinding at the near post and defending corner-kicks with the determination of his Swiss captain. Such is the nature of alchemy, that elusive spinning of gold from more mundane metals. You can be more than you know with the right mix.

Just how far can they go? That remains to be seen, of course, and Sporting KC are coming to town to defend a crown. But if they can spin good vibes and momentum into goals on Wednesday, Houston will be in with a shout. “I’m still playing football and that’s the thing that makes me happiest,” said Senderos, in a moment of openness, talking about the game he’s loved since he was a boy. His teammate Manotas, ten years his junior, is feeling dreamy too: “I let myself imagine winning the Cup. It serves as motivation. In this life, you have to dream in order to win.” 

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U.S. Open Cup Jul 18, 2018
US Soccer

Eight Remain: #USOC2018 Quarterfinal Preview

Things get serious in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s Quarterfinal Round. There will be no more experiments, most underdogs have been sent packing by the big boys and the tension will be ratcheted up with a place in the Semifinals on the line. Seven teams from Major League Soccer (MLS) and one from United Soccer League (USL) will play for the right to advance on Wednesday, July 18. Hearts will be broken, dreams achieved and four winners will stroll or suffer through to fight at least one more day.

Philadelphia Union – Orlando City SC
Philadelphia Union, founded in 2010, are long on Open Cup history, having recently reached the Final in two consecutive years (2014 & 2015). Coached by Jim Curtin, a two-time Cup winner as a player with the Chicago Fire, who has made the 105-year-old tournament a priority. His team sent a message in the Fourth Round with a 5-0 hiding of 1995 champions Richmond Kickers. It was followed up by a tense 2-1 win over 2017 runners-up New York Red Bulls in the Round of 16. “We were close those two years [2014 & 2015]. We were really close,” Curtin told ussoccer.com ahead of a home test in the last eight. “We were an extra time session [2014] and a PK shootout [2015] away from lifting the Cup. But we’re still hungry for a trophy as a club.”


(Philadelphia Union boss won a pair of Open Cups as a player and lost a pair of Finals as a coach)

Orlando City will be a tough test for the Union, no matter how hungry they are. Far down the MLS Eastern Conference pecking order in ninth place, the Florida side – led by 2018 Open Cup runner-up Sacha Kljestan & co-top scorer Stefano Pinho – are likely to push hard for silverware in the Cup. In what will either be a disruptive (or constructive) development, Orlando City will be playing their first Open Cup game under new coach James O’Connor, who made the jump from reigning United Soccer League (USL) champions Louisville City FC only a few weeks ago. An able coach, to be sure, he hasn’t had much time with his new squad.

Chicago Fire – Louisville City FC (USL)
On the other side of that coin, Louisville City are dealing with the departure of the only coach in their history. Add in the fact that the men from Kentucky are the sole remaining side from USL in the field and will be led by a trio of interim player-coaches, and you’d be justified in calling Lou City heavy, heavy underdogs. Crucially, however, the players don’t buy that line. “Sure, Chicago has some very good players like Basti [Schweinsteiger] and Dax [McCarty] and [Nemanja] Nikolic and the list goes on,” said George Davis IV, one of the player-coaches alongside Paolo DelPiccolo and Luke Spencer. “But at the end of the day, we’re all footballers and we want to win. We go there with nothing less in mind than a result.”


(Louisville City spark our underdog dreams as the lone remaining USL team in the Open Cup)

Chicago, for their part, are taking dead-aim at a fifth Open Cup crown and are desperate to avoid losing out to a lower-league side for a second-straight year after being sent packing by last year’s USL Cinderellas FC Cincinnati. Serb-born Striker Nikolic is in hot form in the Cup, scoring all three of the club’s goals in wins over tough MLS opposition Columbus Crew and Atlanta United. “This [Open Cup] is important for our club and for our fans,” said Nikolic, last year’s MLS Golden Boot winner. “This is our opportunity to win something. We played two of the best teams in the league in our first two games in the Cup and we played both games away. That says something about what we’re doing here.”

Houston Dynamo – Sporting Kansas City
Houston Dynamo, in the hunt for their first-ever Open Cup title, prepare for their third tournament home game on the trot. While the coin flip has been nice to them so far, it’s unlikely that defending champions Sporting Kansas City will have much to offer in the way of generosity. The Texans went from strength to strength since beating local amateurs NTX Rayados in their opener and their slim 1-0 win over Minnesota United cemented their credentials as 2018 contenders. Mauro Manotas scored his fifth goal in the last two installments of the tournament to become the team’s all-time Cup top-scorer and captain Philippe Senderos, 33, has turned back the years with some impressive recent performances. “In a Cup, it’s as simple as it gets – you need to keep winning. It becomes a habit,” said the center-back who won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2005 “It’s good to get wins under you belt and keep that momentum going.”


(Daniel Salloi of SKC has gone from starlet in 2017 to full-fledged shooting star this year)

Sporting Kansas City, hunting a fifth Open Cup, have been predictably ruthless so far. Aside from veterans like Roger Espinoza, Ike Opara and Tim Melia, they’ve bolstered the squad with young blood, including Frenchman Yohan Croizet, whose 89th minute winner in the Round of 16 will go down as one of the goals of the tournament. Also in fine form is Hungarian youngster Daniel Salloi, who scored in the Final last year and has become a star in his own right in 2018. “We’ve stepped it up this year. Winning the Cup last year sets expectations high, and we want to make sure we win a trophy again,” said 21-year-old Salloi. “We’ve added quality players all around and we’re focused.”

Los Angeles FC – Portland Timbers
LAFC may be be a first-year team, but they’re crawling with Open Cup champions. Among their crop of recent winners and Finalists are Benny Feilhaber and Latif Blessing (both winners last year with Sporting Kansas City), 2016 winner Walker Zimmerman formerly of FC Dallas and Lee Nguyen, who was beaten that same year in the Final while with former club New England Revolution. “I’m very lucky here,” said coach Bob Bradley, himself a two-time winner. “Between the coaching staff and the players, we have a lot of guys with Open Cup experience and Open Cup success.”


(Gio Savarese has brought a culture of winning with him to Portland)

Portland have never won an Open Cup title, but their new coach Gio Savarese won’t be happy until he wins something. Far from making the Open Cup a priority, the former NY Cosmos boss and MetroStars goal machine, has made everything a priority. The watchword of his administration is winning and he’s been backing it up so far with victories over San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy in a comfy Open Cup campaign in which the Rose City side is yet to concede a goal. “I’m not making the Open Cup a priority in Portland. It’s not about focusing on one thing over another. I insist that we compete for everything,” he said. “And I mean everything: in practice, 5-a-side, ReGen sessions… I don’t care, you better be ready to scratch and claw to win because that’s what we’re aiming for here.”

Quarterfinals - Match Center

Date

Game (home team listed first)

Time

Venue

July 18

Philadelphia Union (MLS) vs.Orlando City SC (MLS)

7 p.m. ET

Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.

July 18

Chicago Fire (MLS) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)

7:30 p.m. CT

Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.

July 18

Houston Dynamo (MLS) vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS)

7:30 p.m. CT

BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas

July 18

Los Angeles FC (MLS) vs. Portland Timbers (MLS)

7:30 p.m. PT

Banc of California Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.

ussoccer.com is the official website of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and will provide a stream of all 16 games of the Fourth Round. Comprehensive video and written coverage of the tournament will also be available. You can follow the Open Cup on Twitter and Instagram @OpenCup and Facebook @OfficialOpenCup.

 

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U.S. Open Cup Jul 18, 2018
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