UPDATE: In a statement released on Friday evening, US Soccer announced that Portland officially withdrew their protest. US Soccer released the following statement: “After a thorough review of the Portland Timbers’ official protest, it has been determined that the inclusion of additional foreign players was a result of a good faith misunderstanding among U.S. Soccer, Major League Soccer and Los Angeles Football Club. Each organization involved has agreed to determine an improved process to ensure this will not happen again. In recognition of this fact, the Timbers have gracefully withdrawn their protest.”
Friday’s soccer news starts with the US Open Cup. Specifically, the delay in the draw for the semifinals since Portland is appealing their 3-2 loss at LAFC. Why? Roster issues, specifically their position that LAFC fielded too many foreign players. That’s overturned results before in the US Open Cup, but it also raises an interesting scenario. Why would match officials accept a roster that could lead to voiding a result?
That’s the question the conveniently named US Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel will answer, with reports indicating a decision could come this weekend. The semifinals are scheduled for August 7-8. What this means for the teams involved is obvious. It’s Cup vs League with scheduling a priority. Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston need to know where they’re going and when as soon as possible. That’s how it works with the Open Cup, the inconvenience problem that shows up every summer.
Our latest example of inconvenience speaks to an older issue for MLS, the status of Canadian players. LAFC put five foreign players on their quarterfinal roster plus Mark Anthony Kaye. As so many people have already pointed out, in MLS Kaye doesn’t count as a foreign player. Whether or not he does in the US Open Cup is a question that the organizers should’ve answered at the start of the tournament.
Clearing rosters isn’t high level stuff. It’s not even as mind-numbing as the years of excuses provided by MLS for why coming up with a coherent schedule is so hard. Now, that Open Cup committee is in the position to potentially disrupt the tournament. Overturning a result is ridiculous in the early rounds, much less this late in the games. Should Portland go through, it’s an asterix situation better off avoided for all involved. It’s also an unnecessary reminder of how relatively simple things end up difficult in American pro soccer.
Also in the soccer news, FIFA did not release the July world rankings on schedule on Thursday. With the rankings system changing to include the ELO method, FIFA has opted to skip July and release the next ranking on August 16.
SB Nation’s Kim McCauley asks a big picture question about DC United at Audi Field. Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep reports that Juan Carlos Osorio is leaving as Mexico coach. Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy on Liga MX changes for the 2018 Apertura.
BBC Sport reports that CAS ruled in favor of AC Milan in their appeal of a Financial Fair Play ban that would’ve kept them out of the Europa League. Inside World Football’s Paul Nicholson explains Bundesliga club Hannover 96’s issue with the 50+1 rule. ESPN’s Tony Evans looks at Liverpool’s moves in the transfer market.
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