US Open Cup: NASL gets a first look at possible opponents

US Soccer announced the First Round matchups of the 2017 US Open Cup yesterday, the 104th edition of the tournament. While the opening round will take place on May 9th and 10th, the absence of a third division this year means the NASL and USL will both drop in on May 16th and 17th.

Another round would follow prior to any potential match-up with an MLS side.

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US Open Cup: Cosmos to face Clarkstown SC Eagles or Reading United AC in opener

We Want The Cup 5 Points Tifo [Photo: Eytan Calderon/TICC]

The first round pairings for the 2017 edition of the US Open Cup are complete. The Cosmos will face the winner of PDL side Reading United AC and NPSL’s Clarkstown SC Eagles. The potential venues were also revealed for the Cosmos’ Cup opener. Rocco B Commisso Stadium at Columbia would be the host if Clarkstown wins the matchup, and the Cosmos would go on the road if Reading gets the upper hand. Regardless of venue, the match will be played May 17. Clarkstown travels to face host Reading in Pennsylvania the week before, May 10.

Clarkstown SC Eagles

Clarkstown were the NPSL Northeastern Division champions in 2016. They would lose to eventual league champion AFC Cleveland in the semi-finals, 3-2. The Eagles will begin their 2017 campaign on May 13. Forward Ryan Morris was invited to play in the 2017 NPSL Showcase and defender Chris Riordan made the 2016 NPSL Best XI First Team last season.

Reading United AC

Reading reached the 2016 PDL Conference Finals after finishing at the top of their division with a 10-1-3 record. Midfielder Paul Marie made the Eastern Conference All-Conference team. Their 2017 season also begins May 13, and forward Hugo Delhommelle and defender Robert Sagul both were listed on the 2016 PDL Top Prospects List.

Looking Ahead

The Cosmos will be the clear favorite regardless of who wins the first round matchup. Having the Cosmos stay home and play on Rocco’s field would definitely be the preferred outcome. The potential third round pairings will be announced before the second round games are played, where the Cosmos are likely to be paired against a USL side for the first time in the club’s cup history.

Us Against the World: The Cosmos and the US Open Cup, Part 2

We Want The Cup 5 Points Tifo [Photo: Eytan Calderon/TICC]

Following a successful inaugural season which saw the Cosmos win the NASL Fall Season and ensuing Soccer Bowl, plenty of intrigue and questions continued to surround the Cosmos and their future. The club looked to build on their successful first stint, but something else had come out involving the future of the club; they were staying in the NASL for the long run.

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Us Against the World: The Cosmos and the US Open Cup, Part 1

The 5 Points 2016 Open Cup tifo [Photo: Eytan Calderon/TICC]

The Cup. The Lamar Hunt United States Open Cup to be exact. It’s the longest ongoing knockout competition in American soccer and one of the longest running association football tournaments in the world. It’s March Madness for soccer, on steroids. It pits teams from across the nation, both amateur and professional, in an extensive knockout tournament that spans from April until September every year, with qualifying taking place for amateur clubs well before then.

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US Soccer announces 2017 US Open Cup format

Alexis Velela, Sebastian Guenzatti, and Danny Szetela after defeating NYCFC in 2016 [Photo by Steve Hamlin/TICC]

US Soccer has officially announced the format for the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Ninety-nine clubs will do battle beginning May 10th as both amateur and professional sides look to be the last team standing and punch a ticket to the CONCACAF Champion’s League.

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Cosmos fall to Revolution 3-2, KO’d from Cup competition

13549213_10154427384441091_2113642215_oFor the third time in as many years, the New York Cosmos were bounced out of the US Open Cup in the Round of 16, this time falling to the New England Revolution 3-2. Late goals would, once again, be the culprit in denying them a result. Continue reading

Other Side of the Pitch: New England Revolution

13507159_10154424103721091_802315511886453004_nTonight is the US Open Cup match against the New England Revolution. We talked to the Bent Musket Blog about their team. Here is our brief Q&A:

TICC – The Revs come off an extra time win in the Cup where home grown player Zachary Herivaux scored a great goal from the top of the 18. This was a game that saw appearances by Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara. Just how seriously do the Revs take this competition and what can Cosmos fans expect to see when the starting XIs are announced? Will Brad Knighton be in goal again being you are sandwiched between two crucial Eastern Conference games? Are there any major injuries?

BM  While the Revs will say that this tournament is important to them, it’s clear that the team puts more emphasis on league play. In recent years, the US Open Cup has been used as a proving ground for players hoping to grab more minutes. Brad Knighton is the most recent example as his solid performance against the RailHawks lead to a start against Vancouver over the weekend. With this in mind, expect to see a mixed lineup on Wednesday.

Two players you certainly won’t see are Charlie Davies and Gershon Koffie, who are both recovering from long-term injuries. Darrius Barnes and Femi Hollinger-Janzen, who are nearing full health, could be available.

TICC  The Revs currently have given up the second most goals in the East and if NYCFC did not give up a Touchdown against the Red Bulls, you might be at the top of that list. It seems the Revs have a hold at center back next to Goncalves. Can you comment on the current defensive situation?

BM – Simply put, the defense hasn’t been good. Head coach Jay Heaps has tried to remedy this by moving Andrew Farrell to right back. Farrell has played well in his former position, but the team is still looking for a complement to Jose Goncalves. London Woodberry has stepped up in recent weeks, showing both strengths and weaknesses.

That said, you’re likely to see a blended backline with such a busy stretch ahead. If ready, expect to see Barnes start. The same could be said about Je-Vaughn Watson and Jordan McCrary. The final defenseman is likely to be either Goncalves, Farrell, or Woodberry.

TICC –  There are some options going forward for this Revs team. Who is one player, who you think could get the start Wednesday night, that we should watch out for? Talk to us about style. What is the formation of choice for the Revs in 2016 and what style best suits them?

BM  Keep a close eye on Femi Hollinger-Janzen if he plays tonight. The rookie, drafted 51st overall, has already established himself as a threat off the bench. He’s the type of attacker that pops up in the right spots and just loves to score. The University of Indiana product now needs to show that he can be energetic over the course of 90 minutes. Everyone in New England is rooting for Femi since his story, which includes being abandoned as a child, is absolutely amazing.

Other players to watch include defensive midfielder Zachary Herivaux, who just scored his first professional goal, and Kelyn Rowe, who always seems to score in the Open Cup.

TICC –  MLS had its fair share of turf fields, but the turf at St Johns could really be tough to play. How do you think the Revs will adjust to playing on poor turf in front of a smaller crowd? Could we see a change in tactics?

BM – Playing at St. Johns shouldn’t be a problem for the Revs, who play on turf at the cavernous Gillette Stadium. The weather, which should be cooperative, poses a bigger threat as the Revolution had to endure a 2+ hour delay against the RailHawks.

TICC – Some of the New York Cosmos fans follow the Revs because of the history between the supporters. They would be interested to know. What is the latest on the Revs Stadium situation?

BM – There’s nothing new to report in regards to a stadium. MLS Commissioner Don Garber recently reaffirmed his support of the Kraft family, saying that he believes that the Revs will have a soccer specific stadium before NYCFC. There were rumors that the Krafts were looking at a property near Frontage Road in South Boston. Those whispers have since been replaced by the idea that the Revs could build a stadium at the site of the old Bayside Expo Center.


Match Preview: Cosmos host Revolution in Open Cup encounter at Belson

13516649_10154424099886091_568253334457124378_nThe Cosmos will play their third Round of 16 match in as many years on Wednesday night, facing the New England Revolution for the first time in their history. With the Cosmos knocking out NYCFC near the death in their last match and New England eliminating the Carolina RailHawks, both teams will look to win and earn a date in the quarterfinals against the winner of New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union.  Continue reading