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The Daily Dirt, August 11: The Edge of Glory

Dallas wins a thriller to advance to the Open Cup final

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-FC Dallas at Los Angeles Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas and New England have survived to reach the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, Dallas will host in late September.

Last night, some criticism came in for the LA Galaxy and the lineup they put out to face Dallas in the semifinals. They rotated quite a few players in their normal eleven while Dallas chose their first choice eleven. The Galaxy were coming off a wild game on Sunday night against New York while Dallas was off last weekend from league play. They last played in the CONCACAF Champions League on August 4.

The Open Cup still does not have the importance that many hardcore fans would like to see. However, it’s not always that easy when teams are juggling a variety of competitions along with injuries and fatigue. All of that is accentuated at this stage of the season. LA is fourth in the Western Conference right now, four points out of escaping the first knockout round of the playoffs. They are also looking ahead to a tough Saturday night match with one of the teams ahead of them, Colorado.

Where this game fell in the schedule gave Dallas more flexibility. Oscar Pareja and the club have consistently said they place great importance on this tournament due to the connections to their founder Lamar Hunt. Pareja also recognizes that it is the quickest route to the CONCACAF Champions League each season as well.

Both teams are right, and the game last night showed it. LA has the depth to be able to rotate their lineup and still compete at a high level, unlike some other MLS teams who tried it in earlier rounds.

Like it or not, the Open Cup is the third priority for most MLS teams behind the Supporters’ Shield and the MLS Cup. It is similar to the League Cup in England, which sits behind the FA Cup and the Premier League title in importance. That’s okay for now.

With a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League now attached to it, along with $250,000 in prize money for the winners and a national television spotlight, the importance of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will continue to grow.


Domestic

Dallas left it late, but goals from Matt Hedges and Victor Ulloa led them to a come from behind win in extra time over the LA Galaxy (Big D Soccer)

Diego Valeri signs a contract extension in Portland (Stumptown Footy)

Are the Chicago Fire for sale? (Chicago Now)

San Jose’s U16 team are part of a Liga MX tournament in Mexico City (San Jose Earthquakes)

Terrence Boyd will be considered for the U.S. national team when healthy (Stars and Stripes FC)


International

At one point last night, Brazil was crashing out of the Olympics in men’s soccer. They went on to win the group after defeating Denmark 4-0. (NBC Olympics)

Get ready for the Premier League season with the SB Nation preview (SB Nation)

Chris McCann’s Coventry City heading to Norwich for their League Cup second round match on August 23 (Coventry Telegraph)


Local

The Falcons hit the field for their first preseason game tonight against Washington (The Falcoholic)

Julio Teheran close to returning to the Braves (Talking Chop)

Will Kirby Smart have a grace period at Georgia? (Dawg Sports)

What is the best case scenario this season for Georgia Tech? (From the Rumble Seat)