U.S. Soccer

The Great Eight Quarterfinal Edition: Quick Starts, Big Walls & the Power of Four

Fans of the 105-year-old Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup live by its magic moments. And the Quarterfinal Round of the 2018 competition tossed up a good few of those on July 18. Join ussoccer.com for a look back at eight moments of note from the games, in which Tony Tchani really got under Louisville City’s skin, early goals fell in Pennsylvania and Texas (heralding very different results) and Marco Ureña finally scored for LAFC on a night that averaged four goals per game over the four games.

Just Another Brick in the Wall
There are walls and then there are walls. Such was Sporting Kansas City’s respect for what Romell Quioto could do with a dead-ball 21 yards out, they committed eight players to try and block him. Add in three Houston Dynamo players and you might have been treated to the biggest wall in the 105-year-history of the Open Cup (unofficial of course as weird things happen in USOC). In the end, size didn’t matter as the Honduran ripped a dart up and over the construction and past time Tim Melia into the top corner. One wonders what the height of Ike Opara (out with injury) might have brought to the party – or the instincts of captain Matt Besler (also missing). And did the SKC players ever consider stacking all those bricks one on top of the other? Now that would be weird.

(Dynamo's Romell Quioto v. The Wall)

Blake’s Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Philadelphia Union were up 1-0 and in firm control mid-way through the second half when goalkeeper Andre Blake decided to give the home fans a heart-attack. Orlando City striker Dom Dwyer was bearing down on Blake with hungry eyes and the time to play the ball to a teammate’s feet had passed. Suddenly, the time to clear the ball into the Delaware River had passed too. It looked like the 27-year-old net-minder was in deep, deep trouble, before he dipped his shoulder and pushed the ball past Dwyer with the outside of his boot and tip-toed out of the tall weeds. Blake grew up playing on the field, as a forward in fact, in his native Jamaica – and it’s a good thing he did for all those palpitating Union fans in Chester, PA. 

Goals, Goals & More Goals
The four Quarterfinal games produced an astonishing 16 goals. For those amateur arithmetic wizards out there, that’s four goals per game and proof, as if any were still needed, that the Open Cup is a tournament for the goal-hungry among us. The Western half of the Last Eight bracket was particularly productive as LAFC battled to a 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers and defending champs Sporting Kansas City were put to the sword 4-2 on the road against Houston Dynamo. Out East, Chicago put four unanswered past Louisville City, while Philadelphia kept it polite with a dainty 1-0 win over Orlando City. Only one game in this edition of America’s oldest soccer tournament has finished goalless through 90 minutes of regular time and 30 more of extra time – and that is a matter between FC Cincinnati, Minnesota United and the Soccer Gods.

(Four-time USOC champs Chicago Fire pout four past Louisville City)

Only the Real Thing for Ureña
Goals have been hard to come by since Marco Ureña joined up with first-year Major League Soccer club LAFC. The fans, patient and supportive through serious injuries and international duty, were ready to roar on his first strike at Banc of California Stadium midway through the first half against the Portland Timbers. But the Costa Rican international striker, who lined up in Russia for the Ticos at this summer’s World Cup, refused to celebrate. He only shook his head, the first to realize he never touched a ball that went straight in off the head of David Guzman. For an ace veteran goal-getter like Ureña, only the real thing would do. And it came in the 51st minute when he popped up at the back post to poke the ball home. He celebrated this time, with relief on his face, and the crowd gave him all the love they’d been storing up. They even named him their Man of the Match.

Tchani Makes Fast Friends
If they were handing out grade school report cards after Chicago’s 4-0 dismantling of Louisville City, Tony Tchani’s might read like this: Works Hard. Doesn’t Make Friends Easily. The Cameroon-born midfielder was scythed down in the 84th minute by Kyle Smith, who promptly received a straight red card for the offense. Tchani hardly had time to dust himself down before he appeared to be punched off the ball by Magnus Rasmussen, who joined his teammate in the locker room for an early bath. While there’s no doubting Tchani’s qualities and graft as a player, his people-skills may need a little improvement before the end of the marking-period.

(Ureña's long wait for a first LAFC goal paid off against the Portland Timbers)

Early to Rise
There’s something to be said for getting started early. There was no procrastination about Philadelphia Union or Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. It took only three minutes for captain Alejandro Bedoya to toe-poke the Union into a 1-0 lead against Orlando City in Chester, PA (it would stay that way to the end). For the defending champs from KC, tattoo-covered first-year striker Johnny Russell raced clear from one end of the pitch to the other to score a magnificent solo goal after only two minutes against Houston Dynamo (that goal didn’t hold up, however, and the holders lost out 4-2). In the end, we suppose the jury’s split right down the middle on the merits of getting going quickly. 

Lou City Hit the Road in Style
Louisville City FC may have gone out on the wrong end of a lopsided scoreline in the Round of Eight, but their throngs of fans and well-wishers captured the heart of the competition. It was a sprinkling of a home crowd of just-over 3000 fans at Chicago Fire’s Toyota Park, but nearly half of those looked to be wearing purple, in firm support of their heroes and the lone remaining second-division side left in the Quarterfinals. Sean Totsch – a native of the Chicago area – had approximately 150 friends and family up in the stands. And goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski’s extended family chartered a bus from his hometown of Rockford, Illinois and had masks made of their pride and joy between the posts. Soccer’s not always just about diagonal runs – sometimes you have to pick up your head to get the big picture.

(Louisville City - led by a trio of player-coaches and the last surviving USL team - bowed out last week)

A Fond Farewell
As always, we must say goodbye to some of the sides heading home. It’s the way of things but that doesn’t make it easy. First up, we tip our caps to those brave men from Louisville. They battled after long-time coach James O’Connor left them in the lurch, carrying on with a trio of player-coaches into the Fire and fury of Chicago’s Toyota Park. Lou City, You got guts and great fans and you will be missed. Speaking of great fans, we say adieu to defending champions Sporting Kansas City too – they’ll have to wait another year at least to lift their fifth Open Cup trophy. We say best of luck in the rest of the MLS season to Tim Melia, Ike Opara, Daniel Salloi and the gang, and we hope to see you soon. We’ll always have 2017…

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U.S. Open Cup Jul 25, 2018

PREVIEW: USA vs. Japan Face Off to Kickstart 2018 Tournament of Nations

The U.S. Women’s National Team opens its 2018 Tournament of Nations on July 26 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (6 p.m. CT on FS1) against long-time rival Japan. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis named 25 players to the training camp roster and chose a final 23-player roster for this event after several days of training.

These games are providing valuable preparation for the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship which will send three nations to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After the Tournament of Nations, the USA will have two friendly matches against Chile (Aug. 31 in Los Angeles and Sept. 4 in San Jose) before entering World Cup qualifying. The USA’s 2018 has so far featured wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (twice) and China PR (twice), along with a tie against France.

Follow all the #USWNT and tournament action on Twitter using #ToN2018 on @ussoccer_wntand @ussoccer_esp, and also on Facebook, Instagramand Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt).

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21- Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), 24- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 16/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 29/0)

DEFENDERS (6): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 19/0), 12- Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 8/0), 11- Merritt Mathias (Seattle Reign FC; 1/0), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 139/0), 14- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 21/0), 22- Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 17/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): 6- Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 75/6), 2- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 61/15); 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 51/5), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 8/2), 10- Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 254/100); 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 36/7); 20- Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 39/6), 5- McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 2/0)

FORWARDS (6): 19- Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC, ENG; 64/23), 17- Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns; 133/19), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 142/86), 23- Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 100/44), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 137/37), 8- Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals FC; 131/30)


#ToN2018 Schedule: The competition tournament format is same as the SheBelieves Cup and last year’s Tournament of Nations with the four teams each participating in three doubleheader events at three different venues over an eight-day period. The winner of the tournament will be based on total points (three for a win, one for a tie), with the first tie-breaker being overall goal difference, followed by most total tournament goals scored, then head-to-head result and lastly, FIFA Ranking if necessary.







July 26

Brazil vs. Australia

Children’s Mercy Park

Kansas City, Kansas

3:15 p.m. CT

July 26

USA vs. Japan

Children’s Mercy Park

Kansas City, Kansas

6 p.m. CT


July 29

Japan vs. Brazil

Pratt & Whitney Stadium

East Hartford, Conn.

4:15 p.m. ET

July 29

USA vs. Australia

Pratt & Whitney Stadium

East Hartford, Conn.

7 p.m. ET


Aug. 2

Australia vs. Japan

Toyota Park

Bridgeville, Ill.

4:45 p.m. CT

Aug. 2

USA vs. Brazil

Toyota Park

Bridgeville, Ill.

7:30 p.m. CT


USA vs. Japan: The USA and Japan have a rich history dating back to 1986, the second year of the U.S. WNT program, but it’s the more recent meetings which have linked these two countries together in women’s soccer history. The USA holds an all-time record of 27-1-7 against Japan and has scored 100 goals while allowing 25. The teams met in the three world finals, with the USA losing the 2011 Women’s World Cup in penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie over regulation and overtime, then winning the 2012 Olympic gold medal game 2-1, and the historic 2015 Women’s World Cup Final 5-2.

The first meetings between the two countries after the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final came in June of 2016 with the teams playing to a wild 3-3 draw in Commerce City, Colo., as hometown hero Lindsey Horan scored late to make it 3-2, but Japan equalized in stoppage time. The USA then won 2-0 in three days later in Cleveland, getting goals from Julie Johnston and Alex Morgan, in a match that was called in the 76th minute due to weather. Since falling in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, the USA has gone 5-1-3 against Japan, outscoring them 21-10.

At #ToN2017: The most recent meeting between the USA and Japan came at least year’s Tournament of Nations with the USA winning 3-0. Megan Rapinoe scored what was one of the best goals of the year in the 12th minute and the USA then broke open a tight game with goals from Mallory Pugh in the 60th and Alex Morgan in the 80th.

Make it Four in Kansas : This will be just the fourth visit to Children’s Mercy Park for the U.S. WNT. The first two matches were low-scoring, on Sept. 17, 2011, a 1-1 draw with Canada, and a 1-0 victory against T&T on Oct. 15, 2015 in World Cup qualifying. The USA also downed Costa Rica 4-0 at Children’s Mercy Park on July 22, 2016. The U.S. Women have also played four matches in Kansas City, Missouri, all at Arrowhead Stadium between 1999 and 2004.

Morgan Climbs the Multi-Goal Lists: With two goals in both April matches against Mexico, Alex Morgan is now third all-time in two-goal games for the USA and fourth all-time in multi-goal games.

 U.S. WNT All-Time Two-Goal Games Leaders
Abby Wambach  37
Mia Hamm 28
Alex Morgan 19
Michelle Akers 18
Kristine Lilly 16
Tiffeny Milbrett 10
Cindy Parlow 9
Carli Lloyd 8

 U.S. WNT All-Time Multi-Goal Games Leaders
Player 2G 3G 4G 5G Total
Abby Wambach
37 5 2 1 45
Mia Hamm
28 8 2 0 38
Michelle Akers
18 6 0 1 25
Alex Morgan 19 3 0 0 22
Kristine Lilly 16 1 0 0 17
Cindy Parlow 9 7 1 0 17
Carli Lloyd 8 7 0 0 15
Tiffeny Milbrett 10 2 1 1 14

Scorers Galore
Since the start of 2017, four players have been involved (goals or assists) in more than seven goals. Alex Morgan (17), Megan Rapinoe (13), Mallory Pugh (11) and Lindsey Horan (eight). Since the start of 2016, five players have at least 20 goals+assists for the U.S. in international play, four of whom were called in for the Tournament of Nations:





Alex Morgan




Carli Lloyd




Crystal Dunn




Christen Press




Mallory Pugh




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WNT Jul 24, 2018

Gallery: WNT Feeling Good as #ToN2018 Approaches

The U.S. Women's National Team opens its 2018 Tournament of Nations on July 26 at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (6 p.m. CT on FS1) against long-time rival Japan. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis named 25 players to the training camp roster for this event that gathered on July 20 and chose a final 23-player tournament roster after several days of training at the new U.S. Soccer National De Read more
WNT Jul 24, 2018

Five Things to Know About Japan - 2018 Tournament of Nations

The USA and Japan met in three consecutive world finals in the first half of this decade at the 2011 Women’s World Cup, the 2012 Olympics and the 2015 Women’s World Cup, forever linking these two countries together in soccer history. As the teams prepare to meet again at the 2018 Tournament of Nations, herearefivethingstoknowaboutNadeshiko Japan. Japan Women’s National Team Ro Read more
WNT Jul 24, 2018

Philadelphia and Houston Drawn to Host 2018 U.S. Open Cup Semifinals

CHICAGO (July 23, 2018) – The Draw to determine the Semifinal hosts and hosting priority for the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final took place Monday at Soccer House in Chicago. The Philadelphia Union will host the Chicago Fire in the Eastern Semifinal on Aug. 8, while the Houston Dynamo will open their doors for Los Angeles Football Club in the Western Semifinal that same day. Immediatel Read more
U.S. Open Cup Jul 23, 2018

Ellis Names Final USA Roster for 2018 Tournament of Nations

CHICAGO (July 23, 2018) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the final 23-player roster for the 2018 Tournament of Nations. The USA opens the four-team tournament against Japan on July 26 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas (6 p.m. CT on FS1). The USA will also face Australia on July 29 in East Hartford, Conn. (7 p.m. ET on FS1) and finish agai Read more
WNT Jul 23, 2018

U.S. Soccer Statement Regarding 2018 Open Cup Quarterfinal Round

Earlier today, the Portland Timbers officially informed the U.S. Open Cup Commissioner it has withdrawn its protest in relation to the number of foreign players fielded by Los Angeles Football Club during Wednesday night’s Quarterfinal match at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.  Here is a statement from U.S. Soccer on the situation: “After a thorough review of th Read more
U.S. Open Cup Jul 20, 2018

2018 U.S. Open Cup Semifinal and Final Draw Postponed

CHICAGO (July 19, 2018) – U.S. Soccer has announced the Draw to determine hosts for the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals and hosting priority for the Final has been postponed. The decision comes as a result of a protest filed by the Portland Timbers in relation to the number of foreign players fielded by Los Angeles Football Club during Wednesday night’s Quarterfinal at Banc o Read more
U.S. Open Cup Jul 19, 2018