I haven’t posted about it in a while, but I have been playing my APBA Soccer 2011 MLS Open Cup tournament. It has been great fun.
The Round of 16 produced some terrific games. Here is the bracket at the completion of the round:
click on the bracket to see it at full-size
SEATTLE SOUNDERS 2 – 0 CHIVAS USA
Rosales 81′, Montero 87′ (Hurtado)
The 15th seeded Chivas squad kept this game scoreless beyond the 80th minute. Both sides had their chances, Chivas had 13 shots, 6 on target, Seattle took 11 shots, 6 on target, but in the 81st minute Mauro Rosales took a corner that the defense cleared back out to him in Area C. With a powerful strike that curled into the near post, he broke up the scoreless draw. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado aided the Seattle cause just 6 minutes later when he gathered a loose ball and issued a beautiful (clutch) through-ball that found Fredy Montero open in Area D. The Columbian striker knew what to do with it from there.
COLORADO RAPIDS 2 – 1 NEW YORK RED BULLS
Moor 10′(Nyassi), 84′(Larentowicz), Henry 25′
Fighting for the right to get back into the MLS upper division in my 2011 mini-season, the Colorado Rapids came out firing. They had 4 shots on goal in the first 10 minutes, the fourth a header into the back of the net by defender Drew Moor off a Sanna Nyasi corner kick. Colorado’s defense held NYRB to only 3 shots on goal in the entire game, though one of them was Thierry Henry’s wonderstrike from Area D in the 25th. Drew Moor found a brace when he slammed home a pass from Jeff Larentowicz in the 84th minute, and the Rapids advance to play the second-seeded Seattle Sounders in the Quarterfinals.
REAL SALT LAKE 1 – 2 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Saborio 25′, Wondolowski 86′, Lenhart 90′+1
In the biggest upset of the tournament by far, 3rd seeded (and Cup winners in my 2010 MLS mini-season) Real Salt Lake was knocked out on an injury-time goal from San Jose’s polarizing star Steven Lenhart. Saborio’s goal in the 25th minute had held all game until Chris Wondolowski dispossed Nat Borchers in the 84th minute, drove all the way into the box and then was fouled in Area A. He drilled home the PK and the game was tied. Lenhart broke the tie 7 minutes later after Luis Gil was called offsides and San Jose’s Indirect Free Kick found Lenhart in Area B. With a nifty turn and shot he beat Nick Rimando, handed RSL their first APBA Soccer PUB League loss ever, and sent San Jose on to the next round. The win was not undeserved, though. San Jose dominated in the stat sheet: 13 shots, 9 on goal to RSL’s 3 shots, 1 on goal.
HOUSTON DYNAMO 3 – 0 CHICAGO FIRE
Ching 21′ (Boswell), 30′ (Brad Davis), Freeman 90′+3
This match was all Dynamo from the get-go. Houston had the advantage in every aspect of the game and kept a 2-0 lead on Brian Ching’s brace from the 30th minute all the way until 2nd half injury time, when Hunter Freeman scored on the game’s last play. The 3-0 final was indicative of the balance of play in this match. The sixth-seeded Dynamo will face the Earthquakes (14th) in the Quarterfinal Round.
LA GALAXY 1 – 0 NEW ENGLAND REVOLUITION
The Revs put themselves in a hole early when Marko Perovic earned a Red Card in the 20th minute. Still, they fought to a valiant 0-0 first half tie. In the 77th minute Shalrie Joseph took another red and while the game was still 0-0 at that time, it only took a few more minutes for LA to get the goal that sealed the deal. The 17 seed wasn’t going to defeat the #1 seed this time around, but they put on an heroic show.
PHILADELPHIA UNION 1(4) – 1(2) COLUMBUS CREW
Marshall 17′, Mwanga 73′
This fierce battle between the 8 and 9 seeds wouldn’t be settled after a full 120 minutes of football – it came down to Penalty Kicks. When Sebastian LeToux missed the first one for Philly, things looked dire for the home side, however, on Robbie Rogers and Emmanuel Ekpo each missed their shots for the Crew, and 4 of the 5 Philadelphia Union played scored on theirs. It’ll be Philadelphia Union in Los Angeles to take on the Galaxy in the Quarterfinals.
FC DALLAS 2 – 4 DC UNITED
Jackson 9′(dos Santos), De Rosario 24′(Najar), dos Santos 26′, McDonald 51′(Pontius), 56′(DeRosario), Davies 62′
Dallas had a 2-1 lead going into the second half, but Brandon McDonald took matters into his own hands by netting two goals within the first ten minutes of the half. When Charlie Davies hit a long-range screamer into the net in the 62nd minute, DC United had sealed the upset. DC United, seeded #13 in the tourney, eliminated the #4 seed. Brek Shea had a fantastic game for the losers, with 7 shots, 4 on goal. Dallas has already qualified for the 2011 MLS mini-season, but DCU’s chance for first division football will go through Kansas City.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY 3 – 1 PORTLAND TIMBERS
Jewsbury 15′, Kamara 53′(Bunbury), 79′(Sapong), 90′+3(Sassano)
Portland opened the scoring early with a beautiful curling free kick from Jack Jewsbury that avoided the wall and dipped in under the bar for their 1-0 lead. That lead held until the 53rd minute, when the match suddenly became the Kei Kamara show. Kamara had shot for a hat-trick in that second half of play, and Sporting KC (5th seed) defeated the Portland Timbers (12th seed). Sporting will play DC United in the Quarterfinals in a match that could very likely determine which of the two clubs will be playing in the 2011 MLS PUB League mini-season.