Now that the Euros are over and we have a spare 15 minutes before the Big Leagues start up again, it’s time for American soccer fans to do what they do best: obsess over competitions that no one else in the world (and the country? forget about it) has ever heard of. To wit, the US Open Cup, our national knock-out tournament, which continues a perpetually beleaguered and occasionally glorious history that dates back to 1914. (We all remember Brooklyn Field Club’s edgy 2-1 victory over Brooklyn Celtic in the first final…and who could forget Greek American AA’s dominance in the late ’60s?)
Last night’s Open Cup action—televised just about nowhere, as far as I can tell—saw three classic giant-killings. The Amalgamated Forces of Satan Everlasting, also known as the Seattle Sounders, wiped out Chivas USA; Charleston Battery beat defending MLS champions Houston on penalties before 3,000 (no, no decimals missing) at Blackbaud; and something called Crystal Palace Baltimore zapped the ever-hapless New York Red Bulls. Unfortunately, our hometown Portland Timbers are “concentrating on the league” after the unpleasant Hollywood United business…but this is still a great tournament.
(ADDENDUM: “Concentrating on the league,” that is, except for the two mid-season friendlies against Mexican clubs coming right up, which I believe would qualify as “concentrating on the balance sheet.”)