I watched the first half on line, then the ESPN page crapped out on me. The US did not look great in the first half, but according to what I’ve read, they settled down in the second and took control of the match. The Koreans have a ready excuse of course; part of the side were struck by lightening on June 8, which allegedly caused this 2-0 defeat three weeks later.
The US Open Cup (the American version of the FA Cup) has its third round proper beginning tonight. It’s a misnomer to call it an “open” cup, however. Whereas the English FA Cup is a true open competition, including all teams from the top nine tiers of the pyramid as well as selected teams from the 10th tier, the US Open Cup has a complicated qualifying system based on leagues / tiers in the American “pyramid“. To wit, the MLS only has eight entrants in the Cup, with the top six sides automatically qualifying based on the league table, the rest go through a mini-tournament to qualify for the remaining two slots.
In effect, the tournament is limited to 40 teams (contrasted with the 762 who entered the 2009-10 edition of the FA Cup). While there are also four qualifying rounds for the English cup, they’re not seeded nor based on a number of slots per league / division, although the higher divisions enter the competition in later rounds.
That said, the competition still does produce interesting matches, like tonight, the Seattle Sounders (who are the current cup holders and have won it the past two seasons) face the Kitsap Pumas of the USPDL, the fourth tier of American soccer. They don’t have to travel far, as the Kitsap side are based in Bremerton, WA, just across the Puget Sound from Seattle.
Finally, River Plate were relegated from the Argentinian top tier for the first time, breaking a 110 year string in the top league. They have more top flight championships than any other team in Argentine soccer; it would be analogous to the New York Yankees being relegated to AAA. (I’d say Manchester United, but they were relegated in 1974). This has not quite been met with the approval of their supporters.