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Fuel Soccer Talk: U.S. men come up gold in second match; U.S. heads into knockout round: New blood featured in U.S. Open Cup

Special Saturday edition – a red, white and blue edition! 

U.S. uses strong second half to crush Trinidad and Tobago

Cleveland is the home of rock and roll and Saturday night the United States Men’s National Team rocked and rolled over Trinidad and Tobago 6-0 in their second straight win in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on the shores of Lake Erie. While the U.S. opened with some mellow play early on, they started rocking after the opening 45 minutes and there was no need for an encore in this one.

It was just 620 days ago that the U.S. was denied a place at the 2018 World Cup by Trinidad, when the Americans were defeated 2-1 on the final day of qualifying for the competition. There wasn’t revenge on the U.S. players’ minds – they were just focused on getting the victory.

After both teams had quality chances over the first 40 minutes, Aaron Long put the United States on the board when he headed in a cross from Christian Pulisic that beat goalkeeper Marvin Phillip at 41 minutes. It would be the first of two goals for Long.

Zardes scored his second goal of the Gold Cup 21 minutes into the second half with an assist from Nick Lima. Zardes scored his second of the night just 3 minutes later. Pulisic made it 4-0 at 73 minutes, directin the ball into the far corner after Jordan Morris found him in open space. Morris added another assist 5 minutes later, sending a ball across the six-yard box that Paul Arriola tapped in to make it a 5-0 lead.

Long, who started the scoring, finished it with a goal at the 90 minute.

How did the U.S. look compared to their first-round match?   

Knockout Round: U.S. prepares to play Spain in Round of 16 match

After putting together an historic performance in Group F play, the U.S. Women’s National Team will return to Reims, site of its first match of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, to face Spain in the Round of 16 (Monday, June 24, noon ET on FS1 and Telemundo).

It will be just the second meeting between the two countries in women’s soccer. The first came in January, 1-0 U.S. victory in Alicante. Over its final three first-round games, the USA set a record for most goals scored in group play with 18 and greatest goal difference while shutting out all three opponents. The USA needed just a draw against Sweden in the final group match on June 20, but put in an excellent performance en route to the 2-0 win, scoring the earliest goal of the tournament (Lindsey Horan’s 3rd minute tally off a corner kick) and added an early goal in the second half (50th minute) that was initially given to Tobin Heath before being changed to an own goal.

The match against Sweden was the 123rd on the bench for U.S. head coach Jill Ellis. The match against Spain will tie her for most games coached in U.S. history with April Heinrichs (124). The USA, which finished group play on June 20, will be playing on three days less rest than Spain, which finished group play on June 17.

USA VS. SPAIN – ROUND OF 16 – HOW THEY GOT HERE

USA – 1st in Group F
Date Opponent Score Goal Scorers
June 11 Thailand 13-0 W Morgan (5), Lavelle (2), Horan, Mewis (2), Rapinoe, Pugh, Lloyd
June 16 Chile 3-0 W Lloyd (2), Ertz
June 20 Sweden 2-0 W Horan, Gwn Goal

Spain – 2nd in Group B
Date Opponent Score Goal Scorers
June 8 South Africa 3-1 W Hermoso (2), Garcia
June 12 Germany 0-1 L —

June 17 China PR 0-0 T —

What would you like to see out of the US side – besides a win, of course?

 

Theme of Round of 16 of the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is new blood

When the dust settled on the tournament’s Fifth Round, eight teams were left standing. Six of them from Major League Soccer, and two from the USL Championship. Based on the eight teams that survived Round 5, it is guaranteed that no matter who wins this year’s US Open Cup title, they will be lifting the trophy for the first time. Another thing they have in common is their team histories. All eight of them have existed in their respective leagues for less than a decade, from the youngest in expansion side New Mexico United (USL Championship) to the oldest with the Portland Timbers, who joined MLS in 2011.

It was a dramatic round with six of the eight games decided by a single goal. Among those games, the headliners were the USL Championship sides who advanced to the Quarterfinals. Saint Louis FC scored a stoppage time winner to beat FC Cincinnati, and New Mexico United held off FC Dallas on the road to become the first New Mexico club to reach the Quarterfinals in almost 30 years. Arguably, the most dramatic win came from Minnesota United, who overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit on the road against the defending US Open Cup champion Houston Dynamo. The win was capped off by a 90th minute game-winner to send the Loons to the Quarterfinals for the first time in franchise history.

Below is a brief summary of every Round of 16 game with links to every match report.

#USOC2019 ESSENTIALS
2019 US Open Cup Schedule/Results (with links to every match report
2019 US Open Cup statistical leaders (Goals, Assists, GKs)
2019 US Open Cup bracket (TheCup.us)

2019 US Open Cup Round 1: Game-by-game review
2019 US Open Cup Round 2: Game-by-game review
2019 US Open Cup Round 3: Game-by-game review
2019 US Open Cup Round 4: Game-by-game review

What US Open Cup game has your attention? 

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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Do you have a story idea for a post or a comment on a recent post? If so, email Terry at tajacoby@comcast.net

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