Thursday, August 24, 2006

US Open Cup Quarterfinals Recap

First of all, let me apologize for anyone who tried to use the radio links off my preview page. I took those links right from the US Open Cup page, but it turns out they were bad. Sorry about that.

Anyway, the quarterfinals are now in the books and what an interesting night it was.

DC United 3-1 New York Red Bulls

New York came looking for the win as their starting lineup was much the same as it would have been for a MLS match. DC also wanted to win, but felt they could do it with some of their bench players. So what happened? New York played a good match verses the DC second team, but poor defense sunk the Bulls.

Due to the lineup changes, DC was confused in the early going, but New York could not make anything of it. Without feeling great pressure, United were able to regroup and pick away at the Bulls.

NY's Amado Guevara put in a good performance, but DC's Jamil Walker's two unanswered goals in the second half sealed it for United.

Chicago Fire 2-1 New England Revolution

What a strange game this one was as most of the radio calls were either shots by New England or lost passes in the midfield by both teams. If you are a New England fan, you really must be wondering how you lost this one.

Both Taylor Twellman and Clint Dempsey were willing to take the shots, but their placement of those shots was very lacking.

Andy Herron and Calen Carr were the show for the Fire. The few times Chicago was able to apply pressure, it was due to these two. Herron got the first goal off a sly pass from Ivan Guerrero in the box while a take down of Carr in the box setup the penalty kick, which Herron nailed for his second of the night.

Chicago was lucky to get out of this one with the win. If New England had played a bit better, the Revs would be moving on to face DC instead.

Houston Dynamo 3-0 FC Dallas

Where has FC Dallas's offense gone? They didn't have a real shot at goal through out the whole first half as they only sent two or three players into Houston territory making it easy for the Dynamo to surround them and force bad plays.

But bad offense doesn't give up three goals. The defense fell to pieces on the second goal, allowing Alejandro Moreno to get into a one on one situation with new goalkeeper Shaka Hislop. However, Hislop hurt himself on the third goal as he could not control a Dwayne De Rosario free kick that hit off the post. Instead, Chris Wondolowski stuck the ball into the back of the net.

Houston did a good job of shutting the door on the Dallas offense, but their own offense was not fantastic, they were just able to make the most of their chances. They only had three shots on goal in the whole game, it just so happens every one of those went it.

LA Galaxy 3-1 Colorado Rapids

In writing my preview for this one I wondered where the goals for the Rapids would come from and stated that they will "need Clint Mathis to step-up and that is never a situation one should be in." Well what do you know, in the third minute Mathis did step up and take a perfectly place ball from Kyle Beckerman and put it into the net. Too bad that was about the last time we hear of Mathis yesterday.

LA coach Frank Yallop wanted to win this one with as few of his starters on the pitch as possible. Sadly for him, that was not to be as he was forced by injury to put Landon Donovan into the match. Donovan brought pressure to the Rapids backline and it was not long before they cracked. Right before the half, Quavas Kirk was able to race a ball in from the side of the box to get the tying goal.

The second half was all LA, but they could not get a goal, forcing overtime. Just three minutes into overtime, Donovan got on the end of a Kirk cross and popped it in for the winning goal. But Landon had more in him as he finalized the win with a 115th minute breakaway. He took the ball from the halfway line and went right at goal, sneaking it past Matt Jordan to get his second of the night and giving LA a big 3-1 win.

Last year LA's play in the USOC was the spark that ignited their late MLS season run that resulted in them winning the MLS Cup. If they play like they did last night, there is a chance they could do it again.

Overall, it is interesting to note that all home teams won last night bringing the USOP home team tally to 25 wins and 11 defeats.

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