The U.S. open cup action was fast and furious last night. Notable games included FC Cincinnati defeating the Chicago Fire on penalties in front of a raucous crowd in Cincinnati, Sporting Kansas City defeating Houston Dynamo on the road (the only road team to do so, as it turned out), and Miami FC knocking off Atlanta United 3-2, with a last minute goal by former New York City FC player Kwadwo Poku. Miami and Cincinnati square off in the next round, and that means there will be a non-MLS team in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals for the first time since 2011.
Claudio Bravo had a rough season last year. After making the move to Manchester City, Bravo struggled, making several high profile errors before ultimately being benched. He was the hero of Chile’s win yesterday though, saving all three penalties and pushing Chile into the Confederations Cup final against the winner of today’s Germany and Mexico semifinal. Curiously, like the 2010 World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo was scheduled to take a penalty later, but never got the chance because the shootout was over before he could step up to the spot.
Jesse Gonzalez was allowed a one-time international switch by FIFA, pledging his international future to the USA, after previously representing Mexico at the youth levels. Gonzalez was born in North Carolina, but qualified for Mexico through his parents. Gonzalez is a very good young keeper, and as other U.S. goalkeeper hopefuls like Bill Hamid and David Bingham have struggled recently, it’s not hard to see Gonzalez manning the nets for the red white and blue once Tim Howard and Brad Guzan retire.
With Arsenal missing out on the Champions League, and the reported tension between Arsene Wenger and Alexis Sanchez, it would not be surprising to see Alexis Sanchez move on this offseason. One of the rumored destinations has been Bayern Munich, but former Bayern great Oliver Kahn thinks a move for Sanchez could be difficult because of the money involved.
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