I know the 10:00 p.m. start does not do those of us in the Eastern time zone any favors, but get in front of a TV tonight for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final as FC Dallas hosts the New England Revolution. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and Univision Deportes. Dallas still has the possibility of an unprecedented treble in American soccer, this is the first leg for them.
For both teams, this will be an opportunity to win the second trophy in their club’s history. Dallas won the 1997 U.S. Open Cup and New England won the 2007 edition.
The Open Cup might be my favorite event in U.S. Soccer. I had the honor of being involved with a team that qualified for the tournament, Atlanta FC of the NPSL in 2009. The qualifying tournament, celebrations afterwards, the excitement once we learned we would be heading to Charleston to face the Battery, and that game itself are memories I will always cherish. Well, maybe not the 2-0 loss, but you know what I mean...
Yes, MLS teams dominate this tournament. They should, they have the most resources, best players, and best facilities. However, in a one game setting, anything truly can happen. Ask Eric Wynalda and his Cal FC team from 2012 when they won in Portland, ask Roma FC from Dallas when they beat Chivas USA. Miracles can happen in this tournament and that’s why it’s always a big deal to me.
And now, we’re at the final. Both of these original MLS clubs with long histories only have one title to show for it and are desperate to add to the trophy case tonight. For the Revolution, this might be their only chance to play for a trophy as they are currently on the outside looking in at the MLS playoff picture. For Dallas, it could be the start of a run that will go down in American soccer as one of the best ever.
Before this past weekend, I would have said that Dallas was an overwhelming favorite based on current form. I still think that they get the job done, but it’s more of a question mark after Dallas’ loss at home to Colorado and New England’s emphatic win over NYCFC. My prediction? Dallas wins in extra time 2-1.
Terry Vaughn is one of America’s all-time great referees. He was a former FIFA referees, MLS referee, and worked for many college conferences in his illustrious career. Vaught was recently diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. The American soccer community is coming together to help raise money for his medical expenses. Please consider a donation today.
A preview of tonight’s Open Cup final from a Dallas perspective (Big D Soccer)
Why you should care about the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (Dallas Sportsday)
Vancouver visits Kansas City tonight in the CONCACAF Champions League (Vancouver Sun)
A look at Canada’s status in Major League Soccer (Guardian)
Of course Andrea Pirlo would have boots inspired by wine... (FOX Sports)
Arsene Wenger turned down Paris Saint-Germain (Telegraph)
Diego Maradona to make a coaching comeback? (Pasion Futbol)
Best of the weekend in the Premier League (FourFourTwo)
Georgia Southern heading to Columbia to take on South Carolina tonight at 7:00 p.m., you can see the game on the SEC Network + or Watch ESPN (GSEagles)
Early morning practice as we prepare for Jacksonville coming to town Wednesday! pic.twitter.com/Kzob5TC8BO— Mercer Men's Soccer (@Mercer_MSoccer) September 13, 2016
In Georgia Collegiate Athletic Conference action, Georgia Military College’s men’s team beat Louisberg Colllege 1-0 in overtime and their women’s team lost 7-0 to Darton State College (GCAA)