DC in US Open Cup semi-final
Congratulations D.C. United for making the U.S. Open Cup semi-finals for the 3rd year in a row with a win over the Harrisburg City Islanders, which makes the last 4 teams all MLS teams. United’s next Open Cup will be against Columbus Crew September 1st at 7:30pm in D.C.’s RFK Stadium. Columbus has been doing extremely well thus far this season in all competitions and hasn’t had trouble, like DC, scoring goals. I am certainly hoping that United can turn that around this next match against Portsmouth FC (Saturday July 24th 7:30PM at RFK Stadium).
How did United play tonight? Well, in the opening seconds of the match United had possession and their new Designated Player Branko Boskovic scored the opening goal on the 40 second mark. The remainder of the first half United had long strings of possession but couldn’t capitalize upon it. The DC defense was as they usually are with a few mistakes that another team could have turned into goals but the Harrisburg City Islanders were just unlucky.
In the second half United scored another goal in the 47th minute from Thabiso Khumalo in the form of a cross that accidentally made it through. After the goal the match became quite chippy from the City Islanders which led to City Islander’s player Tyler Ruthman to get direct red card from a spikes up hard tackle at Khumalo in the 71st minute. Despite the red card the City Islanders kept pressure on the United back line and forced Devon McTavish to make a sloppy turn over that nearly led to a goal from a volley that had Bill Hamid beaten but drifted wide.
United held on for the win against a team that had become frustrated and were making mistakes that need not be made. As I said before, United is now up against all MLS opponents and their first is the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew which will not be an easy test. Here’s hoping that United can keep up their winning ways in the Open Cup since that appears to be the best chance they have at winning any kind of silverware this season.
On another note the Harrisburg City Islander’s keeper, Danny Cepero, played well and still looks like an MLS quality keeper. At the end of this season he has been in talks with Pennsylvania State University to become their goalkeeping coach and continue his education. Cepero is a former PSU player and holds an Ivy League degree. Cepero is also looking at possibly heading to law school. Glad to see that after his MLS time finished with the New York Red Bulls he still has loads of options and hasn’t lost his class and talent in goal.
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