Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
The U.S. Men’s National Team is less than a week away from kicking off the Gold Cup, but Friday night brings one last opportunity for the team to fine-tune ahead of the crucial summer tournament.
The U.S is set to take on Guatemala at LP Field on Friday night in Nashville, Tennessee, giving head coach Jurgen Klinsmann one last chance to eye his roster before deciding on starters for the Gold Cup opener against Honduras next Tuesday.
Klinsmann is planning to feature many of the regulars from the start of the game against the Guatemalans, but also intends to take full advantage of the six substitutions that are available in friendlies. That way, he can get a real sense of who is ready for the Gold Cup.
“I think the game against Guatemala will give us a really big hint toward the starting eleven a couple of days later in Dallas against Honduras,” said Klinsmann. “In the friendly with Guatemala we have the chance to use six subs. We will use all six subs most likely to give the players minutes and give them a chance to show us what they have.
“As we get closer to the opening game we’re going to zoom in and plan through hopefully a long tournament.” Continue reading
Photo by New York Cosmos
By RYAN TOLMICH
The New York Cosmos were forced to settle for a frustrating loss to the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night, but the ramifications may extend into the NASL fall season.
Midfielder Walter Restrepo was injured in Wednesday’s action, forcing a substitution in the 72nd minute of the 4-1 loss. Restrepo’s injury came in a game in which he was one of the Cosmos’ best players, as the midfielder repeatedly had his way on the right side against the Red Bulls’ defense.
Restrepo’s creativity may be missing this weekend, as he is now being listed as questionable heading into Sunday’s Fall Season opener against Indy Eleven.
“Walter felt his hamstring,” said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese, “so we’ll evaluate now what he’s going to do and we’ll see if he’s available for Sunday.”
Restrepo was not the only Cosmos star to deal with hamstring issues, as forward Raul missed the first half of the game due to a similar issue. Raul came on at the start of the second half.
“At first we didn’t think he was going to be able to make it,” Savarese said. “Finally, we felt that it was about 75 percent, so with that we felt that he could step in the game, be smart, and he did.”
Here are some more of Thursday’s NASL news and notes: Continue reading
Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
After falling to their local rivals over the weekend, the LA Galaxy made sure to not repeat any of those mistakes in Wednesday night’s rematch.
Looking to avenge Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes, the Galaxy used early finish from Jose Villarreal to pick up a 1-0 win to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.
Against an Earthquakes defense without several regulars, the Galaxy needed just six minutes for Villarreal to get on the board by scoring his first U.S. Open Cup goal. The Galaxy immediately went over the top on a ball from Kenny Walker, which Villarreal brought down before calmly slotting past goalkeeper Brian Meredith for the game’s lone goal.
The goal proved to be more than enough, as neither team started any of its Designated Players.
With the victory, the Galaxy earn a visit to Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals after RSL’s 2-0 defeat of the Portland Timbers. Continue reading
photo by Peter G. Aiken/USA Today Sports
By SKYLAR ROLSTAD
For the second time this season, Sporting Kansas City handily defeated FC Dallas and it was Dom Dwyer who led the way this time.
Dwyer stole the show in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match by scoring four goals in a 6-2 win at Sporting Park. Dwyer’s hat trick was completed in the 41st minute with a converted penalty, and he added another goal on a free kick from 20 yards away in the 70th minute.
The forward’s first two goals were assisted by Benny Feilhaber, who now has three U.S. Open Cup assists on the year.
Krisztian Nemeth slotted a Jacob Peterson pass into the net just before halftime and chipped Chris Seitz from the touchline in the 59th minute for Sporting’s other two goals.
photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
HARRISON, N.J. — There was joy in the New York Red Bulls’ locker room after yet another win against a fellow club from the Big Apple, but there was also some concern and sadness after seeing a fallen comrade.
The Red Bulls routed the New York Cosmos in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night, but a lot of the conversation after the 4-1 victory at Red Bull Arena centered around the health of Chris Duvall.
Duvall suffered a nasty-looking injury in the 83rd minute of the Round of 16 match after both he and Cosmos defender Hunter Gorskie each slid in hard for a 50-50 ball. Duvall came off worse for wear, requiring several minutes of attention before being taken out of the game on a stretcher while covering his face with his hands.
The play dampened the spirit of the Red Bulls, who should have been celebrating their second win over a fellow New York club in four days instead of worrying about the potential long-term loss of their starting right back.
“That’s what we’re all thinking about right now,” said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch of the injury. “It’s good to get the win and move on, but we’re all kind of hopeful that Chris isn’t as bad as it looked. He’s been a very important guy, and hopefully it’s just a bad contusion.”
photo by Andy Marlin/USA Today Sports
HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls may have gotten some payback, but they also strengthened the case for why New York is red.
The Red Bulls continued to assert themselves as the alpha dogs in the Big Apple on Wednesday, putting together a thorough 4-1 win over the Cosmos in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup. The victory came three days after the Red Bulls knocked off New York City FC in league play for the second time this season, and had them bristling with confidence as they left Red Bull Arena with even more bragging rights.
“Certainly we have shown, not just in the last two games, but I think we have shown that we are a good team and deserve to be treated as the premier club in New York City,” said Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch. “That has meant a lot to us and we have taken a lot of pride in stepping on the field and showing that.”
It is hard to argue that at the moment. The Red Bulls boast a 3-0-0 record in matches against fellow New York teams this season, winning by a combined score of 9-3.
Photo by USA TODAY Sports
By IVES GALARCEP
Mexico’s hopes of challenging the U.S. Men’s National Team for the 2015 Gold Cup title took another major blow on Wednesday night.
Just two days after losing its top defender, Hector Moreno, to an injury that will cost him the Gold Cup, now Mexico is faced with the reality of having also of lost star striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez after he suffered a broken collarbone in a friendly against Honduras on Wednesday in Houston.
The Mexican Federation confirmed on Thursday that Hernandez was set for surgery in Houston to repair the injury. Mexico’s team doctor Gerardo Aguilar told Univision Deportes that after surgery to repair Hernandez’s broken collar bone, it will take at least three to four weeks for Hernandez to recover, ruling him out of the competition.
By IVES GALARCEP
Michael Bradley has played some of the best soccer of his national team career since being handed the captain’s armband by Jurgen Klinsmann earlier this year in place of the absent Clint Dempsey, and now it appears he has done enough to merit holding onto that armband a while longer.
Klinsmann revealed on Wednesday that Bradley will be the U.S. Men’s National Team captain for the Gold Cup, and not Clint Dempsey, who had been captain before missing some recent national team call-ups.
The decision comes on the heels of Dempsey’s suspension by MLS and U.S. Soccer for his actions in a recent U.S. Open Cup match that saw him ejected after ripping up a referee’s notebook.
“I had a very, very good conversation with Clint about what happened during the Open Cup, but also about how we want to approach things,” Klinsmann told USSoccer.com. “For the time being we thought it’s the best thing to give the captaincy to Michael Bradley and let Clint focus on what he’s all about.
“Clint is about scoring goals,” Klinsmann said. “We need Clint Dempsey badly with the National Team. We need him in a good spirit. What happened was a mistake, but it was the first red card in his career and a lot of people went at him. I think the best thing for everyone right now is to let him concentrate really on playing and doing what he does best. It’s his performance on the field. It’s his delivery for the U.S. National Team, and he has always delivered”