Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Thoughts on US Open Cup Fourth Round

I thought I'd put together some thoughts on the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup from the press box at Sporting Park. Not all of these concern Sporting KC's match with St. Louis FC.


With an announced attendance of 19,298, Sporting Park had the highest attendance for a fourth round match in the modern era of the tournament. In fact, there were 435 more fans in the stands for this match than there were on August 8, 2012. Why would that date be significant? It's the date of the final that year, with the club defeating Seattle in penalties.

If they can do better than a final on a weeknight against a side from the third division, it's more proof (as if any was needed) that the sport and club have arrived.


One of the biggest cheers from the sellout crowd at Sporting Park was when defender Chance Myers was announced as a starter before the game.

It was perfectly understandable (and deserved). Myers' last match was May 23, 2014, when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon.

How'd he do? Myers told us in the locker room after the game he and Peter Vermes had discussed limiting his play to 30-45 minutes, but they would play it by ear. Myers told Vermes at halftime he was good for at least another 10-15 minutes after halftime and he came out in the 56th, replaced by Saad Abdul-Salaam.

Myers said he felt good, hadn't cramped up at all and felt like he could have gone another 20-25 minutes. Considering Vermes' history, Peter isn't one to push guys coming back from injury, so that probably wouldn't have happened, regardless of how the game was going.


Great credit has to be given to the St. Louis FC supporters section. Not only did they make the cross-state trip, but they also made sure everyone knew they were here. From the march into the stadium to their 90 minutes of noise, they gave us a taste of what a Sporting KC-St. Louis rivalry could be like if St. Louis were ever given an MLS team.


Not that it's going to happen, but Benny Feilhaber has given us more evidence as to why he should be getting called in by USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Feilhaber played a solid 90 minutes and assisted on the only goal, putting a cross into the box for Graham Zusi to get a head on in the 70th minute.


In the clash between the Philadelphia Union and Rochester Rhinos, a scoreless draw the Union won on penalties, some people were claiming former Rhinos goalkeeper John McCarthy was amazing because he stopped three of the four kicks Rochester took.

While McCarthy did stop the penalties, it didn't hurt him that Rochester was taking atrocious penalties. It's almost as if Rochester was talking their advice on how to take penalties from the US U-20 team. The U-20s have the excuse of their youth. The Rhinos? Not so much.


The next US Open Cup match for Sporting KC will be played on either June 30 or July 1. The draw will take place on Thursday, June 18, at 10 a.m. CT in Chicago and be shown live on ussoccer.com.

The 16 teams involved will be divided geographically into groups of four, regardless of their league affiliation. They will do a random draw for the pairings and hosts for each matchup. This draw will also map out the potential Quarterfinal games to be played July 21 and 22.

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