Despite Copa America and Euro 2016 being all of the rage right now, evidently there is something called the U.S. Open Cup going on. According to Wikipedia, it is the “oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the U.S. and the world’s third-longest-running open soccer tournament.” Essentially, any MLS, United Soccer League, North American Soccer League or amateur league team can enter the tournament and try to win the cup. Thankfully for us Americans, the MLS has dominated the Cup since their inception in 1996. They have won every U.S. Open Cup since then except in 1999 when a team named the “Rochester Rhinos” won. See, you learn something new everyday.
Since this isn’t exactly the World Cup and the best players are players that didn’t make any national team, we weren’t sure what to expect. But yesterday, the LA Galaxy advanced to the round of 16 after a free kick. And while soccer usually has many laughable flops and sly plays, this particular goal honestly is one of the cheapest we have ever seen.
The Galaxy, playing against La Maquina, were in the sixth minute of the first period of extra time. One of their players, Jose Villarreal, went down with obvious cramps. Both teams surrounded the injured Villarreal to make sure he was alright. Baggio Husidic, a Galaxy player, took this opportunity to make the free kick to a wide open David Romney who slammed it home.
It was a surprising sequence and no one seemed to understand what happened. But we do. In front of a rousing crowd of 4,752 (can’t you see them!?), the Galaxy needed a trick play to beat a team of complete amateurs. Without question it was a smart, heady soccer play where you need to play to the whistle. But was it a dick move? Definitely.