World Cup 2014
Nobody wants to go through what the US Men's National Team went through last night. Up 2-1 with less than a minute left of the announced stoppage time with your opponent on the brink of elimination from the World Cup and you suffer a world class goal bringing the opposition level. You never want to leave your opponent with any reason to believe, and unfortunately that is precisely what the USA did for Portugal.
I still have to wonder whether Cristiano Ronaldo receiving a pass from most media for his less than stellar play for the prior 90+ minutes is equitable to the amount of bashing Michael Bradley has received for his momentary mental gaffe leading directly to the goal which drew Portugal level with the US. In my opinion, the criticism is unjustified and Michael Bradley isn't the only one to take the blame, nor are Geoff Cameron and Fabian Johnson who inexplicably left Silvestre Valera open for a diving header past goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Welcome to world soccer, I guess.
There were other matches, too. Among the many excellent viewing experiences was Algeria taking it to South Korea to the tune of 4-2. This World Cup has brought so many talking points with major teams suffering embarrassingly early exits to teams coming from nowhere to claim group glory, and yet we are only just beginning to hit the best week of matches where teams fortunes are made and broken in single moments! As a soccer fan, this World Cup has felt like Christmas in June/July, and I for one have enjoyed having the break from Major League Soccer.
Also of some important related to the World Cup, or at least International Soccer, Giles Barnes has begun the process to become eligible to play for Jamaica. His grandfather is of Jamaican descent and thus he is eligible to file a one-time transfer request to play for the Reggae Boyz.
Major League Soccer
Speaking of Major League Soccer, the break has brought us the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup which this season takes on extra importance with the inclusion of $150k to the winner of the tournament along with what should be a CONCACAF Champions League birth as well, though there was some talk previously of this not being the case going forward.
The early part of the week saw FC Dallas face San Antonio Scorpions for the opportunity to square off against Houston Dynamo in the fifth round of US Open Cup. FC Dallas beat San Antonio 2-0 and move ahead to Thursday's match in Houston against the Dynamo. Also of note, Pittsburgh Riverhounds failed to secure their place in the 5th round when they faced Chicago Fire, losing 2-1, but showing they had the mettle to handle going down two goals.
The Houston Dash had the week off after pushing through 3 matches in 8 days, and Haley Carter, reserve goalkeeper for the Dash, brought us stories and pictures from the ladies' mini-vacations. Most interesting might have been Arianna Romero who picked up a pair of cleats like teammate Becky Edwards and according to rumors has a fondness for them. If the switch helps the Dash, nobody will complain!
This is a shortened Editors' Notes with the focus on World Cup, but feel free to post links in the comments to other stories of interest.