Tuesday, August 01, 2006

2006 US Open Cup - Round Four

The oldest soccer tournament in the US returns to action tonight as four of the final sixteen teams see action. The big story will be what happens in LA as amateur side Dallas Roma FC will take on last year's Open Cup winner, the LA Galaxy.

Just three weeks ago, Roma beat Chivas USA on penalty kicks, but beating the Galaxy in LA would be something you only expect from a Disney movie. After all, this is a team who has trouble scheduling practices or even finding fields on which to practice. If you, like me, love cheering for the underdog, then this is your team.

The Roma players did not arrive in LA till last night because they could not get time off from their jobs. Midfielder Kiley Couch has just got a new job, so he did not fly out till today, will play tonight and then hop on the 12:40am red-eye to be back in time for work tomorrow. In truth, it will be a miracle if they don't end up on the other side of an ass whooping, but miracles can happen.

However, there is more to this post then just telling you about the 'from the mud' tail. All and all, the trip to LA is going to cost them $15,000, $7,500 of which will be covered by US Soccer. They have setup a PayPal account to accept donations from fans of the underdogs to cover the other half of their bill. If you can spare $5 or even $1, please take a moment and go donate.

Sadly, the game will not be televised or streamed over the radio, but updates should show up here at 10:30pm ET.

The other match tonight will see the Columbus Crew meet DC United at the Maryland Soccerplex in Germantown, Md. With both teams having more then a week off till their next meaningful match, I would hope they would play their best lineups. If that is the case, DC should be able to control what little offense the Crew bring with them. However, if some big guns are benched, the Crew could make a strong showing.

The audio call of this game will air live on the MLS site at 7:30pm ET.

Tomorrow's matches see New England and Rochester renew their Open Cup fight. I think that they have played each other twice in the past with the home side winning each time. This time, they will be in Rochester. I have the feeling the Rhinos are going to grab hold of the Revs and thrash them around. Live audio call can be found here or here at 7:30pm ET.

FC Dallas will visit Charleston to take on the always tough Battery. I expect Charleston to put on a great show, but I think FCD will be able to pull one out in the end. You will be able to watch this game via this pay-per-view site at 7:30pm ET.

The Red Bulls travel to Wilmington, NC to take on USL second division's Hammerheads. I must admit, I know very little of the Hammerheads, so I can't say much about them. However, if there is a MLS team that could hit an unexpected slump, New York might just be it. The game starts at 7:30pm ET and will be broadcast live here.

Down in Houston we will see the battle of the Dynamo as the Carolina Dynamo come to Houston to face the MLS's Dynamo. Hopefully the names will allow for a lot of energy on the pitch. Houston should win this one, but don't expect to hear or see it as no outlet will carry it. For those in Houston, the game starts at 7pm local time at Robertson Stadium.

Then we have the fights amongst the MLS teams. Kansas City will travel to Chicago to take on the Fire. With both of these teams slumping in league play, it will be interesting to see what happens during the Cup. Last year, FC Dallas was sucking it up during the second half of the season, but they still found a way to win Cup games. Could one of these teams be the FCD of 2006? If so, I think it will be Chicago. The game starts at 8:30pm ET with live audio found here.

Finally, the Rapids skip on over to Salt Lake to take on the team that had some trouble getting past USL first division side the Virginia Beach Mariners in the third round. Real is in a tough spot as far as league play is concerned, but they could bring some real excitement to the organization by winning this game. Last year, they played one game and were sent home by the Minnesota Thunder. If they could get to the round of 8, it would be at least something to point to as proof of improvement. The live audio stream will start at 9pm ET here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horrendous pun re: energy, but I would have made it too.

5:01 PM  

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