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Thursday Kickoff: RSL advances in Open Cup, Donovan backs Buddle and more



Nat Borchers' goal with three minutes remaining in extra time forced penalty kicks, and Real Salt Lake converted all five of its chances to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 3-3 (5-3 PK) and advance in the U.S. Open Cup qualifying bracket Wednesday night.

The MLS Cup holders will play the winner of the April 28 matchup between D.C. United and FC Dallas for a spot in the 40-team field.

Borchers' goal knotted the score after Earthquakes' rookie Justin Morrow put the home side ahead in the 103rd minute.

Robbie Findley and Nelson Gonzalez scored Salt Lake's other regulation goals; Chris Leitch and Arturo Alvarez tallied for San Jose, but it was Alvarez' miss in the PK shootout that made the difference.

Here are some other stories to get your Thursday off and running:


Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez' recent goalscoring ways have caused a buzz among U.S. men's national team supporters, and now both strikers have a rather strong endorsement as well.

Landon Donovan told the Associated Press that both Buddle and Gomez deserve a reasonable look ahead of next month's training camp to determine whether they can make the United States' World Cup roster.

"Clearly I'm not the coach and I don't make these decisions, but I always err on the side of caution," Donovan said to the AP. "And what I mean by that is you take the players that are, one, playing, and who are playing the best at the time. And I always think that's the best formula."


With the injury bug striking the England national team, manager Fabio Capello is considering giving Manchester City midfielder Adam Johnson a look ahead of announcing his final roster.

Injuries to David Beckham and Aaron Lennon have opened the door, and Johnson has played well, although he hasn't been capped by the Three Lions yet.


Thousands of people in South Africa camped out overnight to buy up unsold World Cup tickets at supermarkets and shopping malls, according to this BBC report. FIFA amended its rule that tickets could only be sold online or through a balloting process in order to sell more seats as the event approaches. The World Cup kicks off in less than two months, with Mexico facing host South Africa on June 11. 


And stay tuned to SBI for any international player signings in MLS. The league's international transfer window closes Thursday.


Are you liking this qualifying-round U.S. Open Cup action so far? Pleased to see Donovan voice his opinion on the USMNT forward situation? Wish you could buy World Cup tickets at your local 7-11? Which international player (be realistic, no Messi) do you want to see your favorite MLS team sign today?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Keep in mind, he won’t get the call if his form drops off. If he can hold until May however, he has to get a call. Hi skill set and athleticism are a very rare thing in the forward pool.

  2. Yeah, just a situational thing. I’m really glad RSL won so Warner, Reynish, and Gil, have more chances to play.

    I think all 3 are all really bright prospects.

  3. I would honestly take Brian Ching over Buddle, Gomez, and Casey if he were to get back from injury on time for a spot on the roster. I understand that Ching hasn’t scored a lot for the USA, but he wasn’t exacly paired with a great striker to help him, or any striker at all for that matter. When Bradley played Donovan and Dempsey next to Ching it was actually making Ching a lone striker, when he’s a target striker, and, yes, there is a difference. A target man, normally, holds the ball up, wins aerial challenges, draws fouls, does most of the dirty work, latches onto crosses, gets the attention of the centerbacks, creates chances for others, provides the second striker with a shield to pass to and run off of. A lone striker combines the qualities of a second forward and a target man, which does not describe Ching. The question was this: If Ching was taking lumps and doing all the dirty work, and Donovan was running the USA’s midfield, who was going to actually score the goals? The USA provided temporary answers to this question with things like set piece ability, long balls, and it’s home crowd, but once it’s competition began to become tougher in the final round of Qualifying, it became pretty clear that the USA needed someone who would strictly score goals, while fitting the teams style. Lo and behold, as soon as said goalscorer Jozy Altidore comes off the bench and onto the field in San Salvador, Brian Ching is involved in his goal, bringing down a knockdown header from Dempsey and getting the ball wide to Frankie Hejduk, who played the ball across to Altidore for a goal. Ching and Altidore then combined again, with Jozy laying off a pass for Ching that he couldn’t quite direct home, as he was on his left foot. The next game, Ching and Donovan were again involved in another one of the young striker’s goals, with Brian flicking on a Carlos Bocanegra longball into the path of a streaking Landon Donovan, who volleyed a pass across to a free Jozy Altidore. The fact that the USA managed to score more goals(5) consecutively in those matches without getting scored on than they had that entire round surely says something for what an Altidore-Ching combination could have led to if Brian had been healthy. People talk about Ching’s lack of goals for club and country, but when he was paired with Dwayne DeRosario, one of the best attacking players in the league in 2008, he was among the top scorers. The point is that even if Ching wasn’t a goalscoring machine, he either wasn’t next to somebody who could help him, or he wasn’t next to anyone at all.

  4. I’m afraid you’re mistaken on this one. Teams are indeed allowed 4 substitues for US Open Cup matches. Both RSL and SJ used 4 subs as follows: For RSL, Wingert (Russell 31), Warner (Beckerman 69), Gonzalez (Willams 61), and Saborio (Espindola 80); For SJ, Robles (Alvarez 61), Wondolowski(Eduardo 61, Jasseh 74), and Glen (Beitashour 13).

  5. The World Cup is no place to develop people.

    Having a rookie CB ( unless he is the second coming of Rio Ferdinand or Fabio Cannavaro) play at any time in a World Cup is a bad idea.

    If you can’t trust Omar to go out there and play great in the event whoever is in front of him goes down ( and given the USMNT’s history with injuries and red cards, that possibility is hardly remote) then he has absolutely no business being on that roster.

    Just being on the bench is very serious business. Many great players have never even gotten a sniff of the World Cup.

    The US’ chances to make a good run may be slim but they won’t be helped by sending boys out to do a man’s job. I hope Bradley takes his responsibilities more seriously than you do.

  6. The MLS teams that did not finish higher than 3rd in their conference last year have to qualify for the main rounds of the US Open Cup. The reason why this happens is so that there are an even number of lower-division clubs in the main round where the top 6 MLS teams from last year debut.

    If MLS teams cared about the US Open Cup, then there would be an incentive to finish at least in 3rd place in the conference – less fixture congestion during the start of the next season.

  7. Having Omar on the roster does not mean he will start, but he appears to have the skills to play at an international level

    Read on YA that Edu said he would move to CB if gooch was notready to play.

  8. Yes, the Open Cup winner gets a CCL spot, that’s why you’ll be seeing Seattle playing in the 2010-11 Champions League.

  9. Exactly. Buddle and Gomez would realistically be third or fourth options. If Davies is healthy and fit he’s #1. With Holden/Torres/Feilhaber/etc. – all of whom are better options as midfielders than Buddle or Gomez as forwards – that has to make Dempsey and Donovan numbers 2 and maybe 3 (I’d rather not see LD out of the midfield, but it’s happened many, many times before and would be a comfortable role). Scoring or not scoring, I don’t see Buddle and Gomez contributing in SA. Can’t score from the bench.

    I don’t necessarily like Casey, but if Ching is hurt, I don’t see another realistic choice. It’s not always just about scoring goals. My opinion.

    All of this, of course, assumes Jozy will start and remain healthy.

  10. What a HUGE decision by FIFA. To think that the SA WC almost came and went without the majority of the domestic market even having access to purchasing tickets.

  11. I love how US fans always know more about individual players than the coach and his assisting staff, as if Bob and company aren’t already taking their looks. BB, and any other coach for that matter, wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t “look” at players. In fact, THAT IS THEIR JOB.

    Buddle and Gomez are good soccer players. And coincidentally we lack depth with strikers. Does Donovan saying that he believes Bob Bradley should look Buddle and Gomez mean that they will be our starting duo on June 12th? Hell no. In fact, the small chance that either of them will make it will be greeted by the big chance that, if they do make it, they will be starting on the bench.

    Relax Couch Quarterbacks.

  12. Yet… we have mode depth than we have ever had… I love how quickly people forget 1990…

    We have plenty of guys to slot into the forward spot… we just need someone who can finish a golden chance really… we have very few that can actually create their own chances out of nothing… Our drive comes from the midfield from which we have loads of depth… stop the worrying… our goals will come from set pieces, counters and creative MF play…not from forwards blowing past people… Buddle, Gomez, Casey, Jozy, EJ, Rolfe, Cunningham… Davies hopefully… it really only matters that Landon, Clint, Baby Bradley, Beasley, Benny, Rico and company create the chances… this is where we will matches… that and TIMMY.

  13. Your joking right?

    Casey is not as good as Buddle. Casey scored most of his goals from PK’s and his form has sunk. Buddle is if not mistaken, is bigger than Casey and he is also much faster and he does not take PK’s. Imagine if Buddle took PK’s?

  14. Ives: What are two MLS teams doing playing in a qualification game for US Open Cup? USSF doesn’t structure the tournament like the ENG FA Cup w/ later round entries for the top flight?

    Also, does US Open Cup get a CONCACAF Champ league spot. Again, to make the Cup even more relevant, i.e., progressively growing the game here, the Cup winner should get a CCL bid! the Other three would be MLS Cup finalists, Supporters’ Shield, etc….

    PLEASE COMMENT – or place in your Q&A for May.

  15. I wish this was a joke. Edson Buddle’s entire CAREER is built on 5 or 6 goal scoring streaks, and he literally does nothing when he’s not on a streak, other than waste chances and have awful touch of course.

    The world cup rumor mill is doing nothing for me except remind me just how little depth we have. If any of our first XI gets injured we are totally screwed.

  16. Bradley will probably give Buddle, Gomez and maybe even Rolfe some consideration but that isn’t the most important issue. Pick the hottest one in June and be done with it. Donovan and Dempsey will be the guys who score anyway.

    The biggest issue facing the USMNT is the porous and shaky back 4, followed closely by a defensively shaky midfield. Jones would have helped considerably with that since a serious defensive mid would have helped tighten up the midfield and shield that back line. With Jones seemingly a no-show, Bradley is going to have to figure out how to how to keep the midfield from being overrun. Whenever that happens the back 4 eventually cracks.

    I wonder if he’d consider putting Boca in front of the back 4 as a defensive shield

  17. While it’s nic that LD vouched for Gomez and Buddle is there any chance LD or Arena can get BB to take a second look at Omar G. After all Bruce feilt Gooch was more of a concern than forwards

  18. He was on the bench it sounded like he was gonna play until RSL blew a two goal lead so kreis didn’t want to throw him into the fire for ha pro debut

  19. …You know some people don’t owe federal income tax because they earn so little.Futhermore, those individuals still pay other federal taxes like payroll?

    Ahh f^@k politics.

  20. even bob isn’t crazy enough to take gomez and buddle. i say he goes with casey if ching is hurt and davies can play, then uses clint or donovan up front with jozy. now if both ching and davies are out, maybe he will take one of them. donovan’s right, they deserve a look, but let’s all remember they both didn’t have great years last year and while they are hot now they could cool off quick. then we are stuck with them in south africa.

    any word on davies training with sochaux? at least kicking the ball around?

  21. taxes were a freaking mess this year. i got so damned confused and frustrated I filed an extention. evidently Schedule M is important to offset the break in federal withholdings.

  22. Kickoff of the Mexico/South Africa match is only 57 days and 17 minutes away. I get butterflies thinking about it.

    My DC United wish list:

    1. Rud Van Nistelrooy

    2. Ronaldinho or Pirlo

    3. Any central defender under 37 years old whose first name isn’t Devon and last name isn’t McTavish.

  23. Thanks for the reminder that it’s time to mail my check to the IRS…

    If they moved Tax Day to the first Monday in November then we’d see different results the first Tuesday in November.

    So were you a part of the 53% who paid taxes or the 47% who pay no taxes?

  24. I’d like to see chivas usa sign Luciano Figuarora. He played for Argentina in the 2005 confederations Cup and many World Cup Qualifying matches, but did not make the world cup. I think he would be a great help to them.

  25. Any word on Edu’s calf injury? He was just rounding into nice form.

    Give Buddle and Gomez a chance, at least they’re putting the ball in the net consistently.


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