Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2008 US Open Cup - MLS teams get into the mix

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake
7pm MT - Rice Eccles Stadium

With just 118 days to go till the final match, the MLS is about to start their US Open Cup Qualifiers. Tonight sees the worst American team by record from 2007 take on the newest top-level side. At stake, the chance to meet the Columbus Crew in the second round of qualification on May 27th.

If Real is to make it to the Cup officially, they will need to do two things. First, they will have to beat a MLS side in a US Open Cup related competition, something they have never done, and second, they will have to win three games in a row, something else I do not think they have done. The good news for them is San Jose should allow them to get off to a great start.

The Earthquakes have impressed me so far this season, but only because they are an expansion side. The fact that they are not getting blown apart shows good for the coaching staff, but in the end, they really don't have what it takes to become a big contender.

This should give Real the opening they need to get into the second round of qualification. With the season so young and no other tournaments on the schedule, my guess is coach Jason Kreis will put his best foot forward. That means they will be pressuring the 'Quakes with their surprisingly strong attack. As far as defense, even if they wilt like they did against DC, with just two goals from four games, I don't think San Jose has the firepower to exploit the issue.

At the end of the day, this should be a victory for the royals from Utah.

Sadly, this game will not be televised anywhere. It might end up on one of these three radio stations, but I'm not sure: English - KALL 700am (Salt Lake), Spanish - KTUB 1600am (Salt Lake), KLOK 1170am (San Jose)

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