Wednesday, September 27, 2006

US Open Cup Final Tonight

There is an extra crisp feel in the air today as the 93rd US Open Cup is about to come to a close. Tonight, the LA Galaxy try to make their season a little less embarrassing as they look for some silverware against the Chicago Fire.

LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
8:00pm ET
TV: Fox Soccer Channel
Chicago - USOC record 25-5 (vs. MLS teams 15-4)
LA - 20-6 (11-4)

The Galaxy are looking to repeat as US Open Cup Champions, and in the process become the first team to do so since 1982-83 when New York Pancyprian Freedoms won it all. For the Fire, they want to left the Dewar Trophy for the fourth time.

One of the biggest questions to be answered is will LA play their best team? With their playoff hopes hanging like an elephant from a dandelion, they Frank Yallop will have to decide how much this game matters. In the MLS, they have 3 games left and need to, at least, get two wins and a tie to even hope for a playoff spot. If Yallop puts out his first team, it could come back to haunt him when his team faces city and stadium rivals Chivas USA this Saturday. For the Fire, they have the luxury of already having a playoff spot and, more then likely, the second position in the East.

I would be surprised if Yallop didn't put Donovan, Albright, Quaranta and Gomez out on the pitch tonight. LA knows that their season is pretty much shot and they know that retaining the cup will give them something to be happy about (not to mention the $100,000 that comes along with the win), so why not go for it. Who knows, this win might spark something in the team for their final three.

For the Fire, Calen Carr has proved his worth in their cup run, as has Thiago and Justin Mapp, but I wonder if Andy Herron will see action. Herron is going to be an important part of any Fire playoff run and coach Dave Sarachan might choose to not risk him tonight.

This match should be a free flowing event, but it probably will not result in many goals. One thing to keep in mind, no team has scored more then 1 goal in the USOC final since LA got two in 2001. Still, these should be a fun one as both teams are very strong in tournaments.

My guess, Chicago 2-1 LA.

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Blogger The Manly Ferry said...

This is shaping up nicely, Mike. There's you and the guy who runs Climbing the Ladder calling the game for Chicago; and there's me and the dcsundevil guy thinking desperation will carry LA to a win (LINK (to me) and LINK).

I'd say that makes for a good game.

4:37 PM  

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