Thursday, July 14, 2005

Big Night

Guatemala's Carlos Ruiz (AP)
Originally uploaded by mfishkin.
Wednesday night was a huge night for soccer across the country. Not only was the first round of the Gold Cup finishing up at Reliant Stadium in Houston, but six third round matches of the US Open Cup took place, at venues stretching from Ludlow, Massachusetts to Dallas, Texas.

In Houston, Guatemala earned its first point of this year’s Gold Cup in a 1-1 draw with guest participant South Africa. One point wasn’t enough to lift the chapines out of the Group C cellar, however. Mexico got a goal from Alberto Medina in the 19th minute to beat Jamaica, 1-0 in the nightcap, giving Mexico the group title. The tricolores, South Africa and Jamaica will move onto the quarterfinals this weekend. Here are the matchups (times EDT):

Saturday at Foxboro:
1pm: Honduras vs. Costa Rica
4pm: USA vs. Jamaica

Sunday at Houston:
3pm: Mexico vs. Colombia
6pm: South Africa vs. Panama

The Gold Cup semis and finals will be held at Giants Stadium on July 21st and 24th.

In US Open Cup action last night, three MLS clubs were taken to overtime by lower level competition (one lost), and the Des Moines (IA) Menace from the Premier Development League, an amateur summer league mostly for college kids, beat a team two levels above it to advance to the cup’s fourth round.

Scores (club level: MLS=I)
Portland Timbers (II) 2-0 Seattle Sounders (II) (played on 7/12)
Rochester Rhinos (II) 2-1 Virginia Beach Mariners (II)
Western Mass. Pioneers (III) 1-3 Chicago Fire (I)
Charlotte Eagles (III) 2-3 OT Chivas USA (I)
Atlanta Silverbacks (II) 1-5 Des Moines Menace (IV)
FC Dallas (I) 3-1 OT Wilmington Hammerheads (III)
Minnesota Thunder (II) 6-4 OT Real Salt Lake (I)
Overtime in the USOC is thirty minutes, without a golden goal.

The Richmond Kickers (II) – Ocean City Barons (IV) match was postponed due to lightning and will be played on 7/19.

In the fourth round on August 3rd, eight MLS clubs join the competition. The final will be held on September 28th. Fourth Round matches: (clubs MLS unless noted)
Columbus Crew – FC Dallas
Ocean City (IV)/Richmond (II) – DC United
Minnesota Thunder (II) – Colorado Rapids
Kansas City Wizards – Des Moines Menace (IV)
CD Chivas – LA Galaxy
Rochester Rhinos (II) – MetroStars
New England Revolution – Chicago Fire
Portland Timbers (II) – San Jose Earthquakes

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