Wednesday’s soccer news starts with the 2022 US Open Cup round of 16. Whether or not we’re at the stage of the competition where most of Major League Soccer’s representatives would be willing to say that they’re going all in, some won’t have many excuses. Those would be the three MLS teams facing lower division opponents.
After drawing 2-2 at home with Atlanta United on Saturday, Nashville SC is on the road at Louisville City. The USL Championship club lost 2-0 at home to Monterrey Bay on Saturday and are currently in 2nd-place in the Eastern Conference.
Minnesota hosts USL-1 club Union Omaha in a quick turnaround after winning 2-1 at FC Dallas on Sunday. Union Omaha knocked the Chicago Fire out on penalties in the third round, advancing past fellow USL-1 club Northern Colorado Hailstorm in the round of 32. That game was significant for USL-1, with both of its teams advancing past MLS opposition. Northern Colorado won at Real Salt Lake in the round of 32.
rounding out the opportunity for lower division upsets, USL Championship club Sacramento Republic hosts the San Jose Earthquakes. This will be Sacramento’s first game against an MLS club in this edition of the US Open Cup, knocking out Portland’s U-23 squad that plays in USL-2 and advancing past USL-1 club Central Valley Fuego. San Jose drew 1-1 with Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, extending their undefeated run in MLS to four games. They knocked out Seattle on penalties in the round of 32.
As for the MLS vs MLS matchups, the regionalized schedule has Orlando City hosting Inter Miami in an Open Cup version of the Miami derby. NYCFC gets New England at Belson Stadium in Queens. The Red Bulls host Charlotte at MSU Soccer Park in Montclair, NJ. The Western Conference matchups have Sporting Kansas City hosting Houston and the LA Galaxy playing LAFC in Carson.
That last game is the easy highlight pick for the round of 16. It doesn’t take much to build up the LA derby at Open Cup level, with these two teams producing a lot of history over a few years. They next meet in the league on July 8, the last time they play each other in the regular season.
Moving to the soccer scores, Terrence Boyd’s Kaiserslautern won 2-0 at Dynamo Dresden to win the 2.Bundesliga promotion/relegation playoff 2-0 on aggregate. Daniel Hanslik scored for Kaiserslautern in the 59th with Philipp Hercher doubling the lead in stoppage time. In the Canadian Championship quarterfinals, Toronto beat Halifax Wanderers 2-1 away. Jordan Perruzza put Toronto up in the 55th with Halifax equalizing in the 69th. Halifax gave up an own-goal in the 86th minute. Toronto will play tonight’s winner of CF Montreal vs Forge in the semifinals.
BBC Sport on Chelsea’s sale moving forward. AP’s Rob Harris reports on what was needed for the deal. The NY Times’ Tariq Panja and Rory Smith report on the pending sell of Chelsea. ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle profiles Montreal and USMNT player Djordje Mihailovic. The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal asks about how MLS teams spend on their squads.
THURSDAY’S SOCCER TV
Copa Libertadores on beIN Sport: Libertad vs The Strongest at 6pm and Boca Juniors vs Deportivo Cali at 8pm. Liga MX on Univision: Atlas vs Pachuca at 10pm ET.
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