Photo: Courtesy of Harrisburg City Islanders
US Open Cup
The Union will host Rochester Rhinos in the third round of the US Open Cup this Tuesday after the USL PRO team defeated NPSL side Brooklyn Italians 3–0 in second round play. The Rhinos are the only non-MLS team to win the Cup since the start of MLS in 1996, defeating Colorado Rapids 2–0 for the championship in 1999. You can buy tickets for the game here.
Harrisburg City Islanders defeated Long Island Rough Riders 2–0 and will host New England Revolution next Tuesday. The home team’s goals came from Yann Ekra, named USL PRO Player of the Week after a three-goal performance last Saturday, and Brian Ombiji with assists from Morgan Langley and Andrew Welker. More on the match here and here with an emphasis on the City Islanders’ defensive performance here.
In Charleston, South Carolina, Reading United opened the scoring in the 64th minute when Tolani Ibikunle headed home Paul Wyatt’s corner kick. But the Battery equalized five minutes later with a 25 yard shot from Dane Kelly. Soon after in the 78th minute the Battery scored what would turnout to be the game winner with what was by all accounts an cracking 30 yard free kick from Nicki Patterson. Patterson has now scored free kick goals against the PDL squad three times in its last four appearances in the tournament, including with Harrisburg in 2009. Said Reading coach Brendan Burke, “I’ll be happy if I never see him again.” More on Charleston’s 2–1 win here, here, here, and here.
In other US Open Cup news, USL Pro side Pittsburgh Riverhounds were upset 1–0 by PDL club Michigan Bucks, who last week knocked Jersey Shore Boca out of the tournament. The Bucks will now host Chicago Fire. Cal FC, the USASA club managed by Eric Wynalda, crushed USL Pro club Wilmington Hammerheads 4–0 and will next face Portland Timbers. (More on the idea behind Cal FC here.) PDL side Ventura County defeated USL Pro club LA Blues 3–1 and next hosts Chivas USA. For the full Third Round bracket, click here.
Chase Harrison took quite a few knocks in Saturday’s draw with Dallas. “It would have been very difficult for anything to happen that would have made me come out – unless the trainers physically dragged me off the field,” he tells Dave Zeitlin. “My ankle’s a little tender. And my neck’s a little sore from whiplash off the post. But overall I’m doing OK. If I’m able to play [against Toronto], I’ll definitely play.”
Union City Blue returns to action from a long absence and notes “it is clear that the Union are a team in crisis.” The post concludes, “While this circus runs its course, fans are left wondering if allocation money can win championships.”
The USMNT U-18 team, which includes the Union’s Zach Pefeffer and Union academy player Zackary Steffen, plays Poland in the first game of the 2012 Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal.
Nick Sakiewicz will be speaking at Neumann University’s Center for Community Leadership, Development and Entrepreneurship on Thursday, May 31, from 6-9pm. The event is open to the public but you must register to attend.
The Healthy Kids Blog at Philly.com talks to Prithvi Narayan, M.D., chief of neurosurgery at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia about girls, sports and concussions.
New York looks to make it six wins in a row when the host Chivas USA tonight. You will remember that Peter Nowak was too busy trying to trade Danny Califf, who was named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week, to actually play him when New York came to PPL Park a week and a half ago. The match is on Univision Deportes.
Ahead of Saturday’s match against the Union, Toronto play Vancouver tonight in the final game of the Canada Championship. The teams are tied 1–1 after the first leg in Vancouver last week. Best case scenario? It goes to extra time and then penalty kicks with Sebastien Le Toux scoring the gamewinner for the Whitecaps.
Portland will host Valencia in a friendly tonight.
Frank Isola writes at Goal.com that it’s time that Landon Donovan gets a permanent transfer to Everton.
David Halstead, former owner of the Philadelphia Independence, tells the Examiner, “I may be interested—and will be discussing this with various parties—in options for a women’s pro league in this country with sensible business parameters, growth expectations, and a viable model including revenue and expense assumptions…I won’t be making any decisions quickly or with invalid economic assumptions. This time, for me, the YES-NO decision is all about the economics.”
Examiner soccer reporter Lisa Eisenmenger writes, “Philadelphia Independence enjoyed an unofficial and mutually beneficial relationship with the MLS Philadelphia Union, and it can be speculated that Halstead is looking at possibilities with Division 1 MLS and also at connecting more deeply with lucrative youth clubs to increase ticket sales.”
The Independence laden New York Fury host Boston Breakers tonight. Both teams are unbeaten.
WNY Flash have announced that they will be opening a youth academy for boys and girls ages U-10 through U-12.
Soccer 365 looks at the prospect for the women’s game beyond WPSL and the W-League in a post-WPS world.
More on the USA v Guatemala/Pay-per-view flap. Says Doug Jacobs, owner of Integrated Sports Media, the New Jersey-based company that holds the broadcast rights to the June 12 World Cup qualifier at Guatemala, “I’m not making some cold-hearted decision or giving the middle finger to fans. Networks made a business decision [not to buy the rights.] If we didn’t do it, this game was going to end up on closed-circuit TV in bars and restaurants only. We made it available to people at home.”
Jozy Altidore talks about his 2011-12 season and the USMNT. He says Jamaica could give the USMNT some trouble during World Cup qualification. “They are getting stronger and stronger every cycle. When they put it all together, they are going to be a scary team…I think Jamaica is going to be a team during this cycle that is going to be more dangerous than in the past.”
Brad Guzan has left Aston Villa in search of a starting spot. Spread your wings, lad, and fly.
Lydia Nsekera, the president of the Burundi Football Association, becomes the first women on FIFA’s executive committee.