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The Daily Dirt, June 29: Don’t Let’s Start

Round of 16 in the US Open Cup tonight

Seattle Sounders FC v Sporting Kansas City Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup finishes off its Round of 16 tonight. After all of the excitement of the CUPSETS in the early rounds, we have all MLS teams still alive plus two NASL teams in the New York Cosmos and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.

It was a much improved performance from the NASL this year, last year the USL knocked out many NASL teams from the tournament. The battle between the two for lower division supremacy is mostly a dead heat at this point. Although, Miami FC might be trying to tip that in the NASL’s favor due to sheer spending power...

The lower division teams are still pulling upsets in the Open Cup, but not as many as before. New York City FC has been a notable exception in their two years in existence. They might be giants in MLS when it comes to spending, but they have not performed like it in the Open Cup.

Last night saw Chicago and Seattle, two teams that have had disappointing regular seasons so far, advance to the quarterfinals. That’s the beauty of this tournament. It can be a jolt for teams that have been struggling, giving them something to play for and possibly a kick start in their regular season push to the playoffs.

The winner of the tournament enters the CONCACAF Champions League, along with some increased prize money. Check out the US Soccer channel on YouTube for tonight’s streamed matches.


America

Seattle hoping Clint Dempsey can bring his recent good form with the USMNT back to the Sounders (MLS)

A look at the importance of Tim Howard’s addition to the Colorado Rapids (Burgundy Wave)

Previewing the Round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (thecup.us)

The round started last night with two games:

Chicago defeated Columbus 2-1 in Bridgeview to improve their record over the Crew to 6-0 in Open Cup matches (Massive Report)

Seattle advanced after defeating Real Salt Lake on penalties. (Sounder at Heart)

A RSL fan in happier times:


World

Zlatan could be a Manchester United player by the end of the week (BBC)

Gonzalo Higuain rejects a contract extension at Napoli (The Siren’s Song)


Atlanta

Who are the three best head coaches in Atlanta Falcons’ history? (The Falcoholic)

The Hawks and the Boston Celtics are meeting with free agent Dwight Howard (Peachtree Hoops)

Rough night for the Braves (Talking Chop)