Ricky’s Revenge in El Traffico (Lite)
We love a little chaos. The messier the better. But sometimes we need to tip our hat off to pure star power. Top-notch, cash-money, juice-is-loose big stuff. Rikki Puig (pronounced somehow Dog) arrived in LA from Spanish giants FC Barcelona to much fanfare. But the Galaxy, since then, have spiraled into dead-last in MLS’s Western Conference. He was heavily criticized, on occasion, which may have led to his star-turn (and edgy celebration) on Tuesday night. He sent a warning shot over 39-year-old LAFC keeper Eldin Jakupovi?, then saved the penalty. But he bounced back to score one of the top goals of the round, with an astute run and finish that revived echoes of his old teammate Lionel Messi. Now, it’s worth noting, Puig was playing against LAFC’s deep reserves, thus he decided to remove his shirt and display his back name to the crowd (As far as Same Messi) something of an odd choice. But we’re here for it – and for Galaxy Revival, too.
FC Cincinnati fans have known since the beginning that the club began life outside of the glittering glitter of MLS and its current whizbang home of TQL Stadium. It all started at the USL Championship and the old Nippert Stadium. While there, on 15 August 2017, they faced the New York Red Bulls of Jesse Marsh, Sacha Clujsten and baby-face Tyler Adams after upsetting the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire to reach the Cinderella semifinals. The city went mad. So did the team. Corban Bone and Austin Berry scored to give the home side a 2–0 lead in front of over 33,000 fans. And they kept it up till the 75th minute. The way to the cup final was wide open. But NYRB veteran Bradley Wright-Phillips had other ideas, eventually scoring twice in a 2-3 turnaround. Beating those Red Bulls—with only one player (goalkeeper Ryan Mira) from the 2017 team—was the first step for Ohio. But the wound will not heal completely until the cup goes up. The now-MLS version of FC Cincinnati will host former USL rivals Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the upcoming quarterfinals for another Final Four spot.
Colossus Coronel in Fresh-Pressed Red
You know an incredible Open Cup moment when you see one. We had it at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. It wasn’t Dante Vanzier’s volleyed equalizer at the death, or the man he assisted in missing the first penalty of the shootout. No. It came when a giant dude, clearly a goalkeeper but wearing an out-of-field player’s jersey, stretched out on the touchline ready to enter the game in the waning seconds of extra time. With veteran keeper and debutant Mira in yellow and in danger of being sent off in the upcoming penalty shootout, Red Bulls coach Troy Leesen opted for insurance. He sent kit man Sean Ruiz to the club shop to set the pressing machine on fire, and 6-foot-4 giant Carlos Coronel came in as a field player (his number still hot off the press). In the end, he was not needed – in goal or on the spot – as Cincy scored all five of his kicks for the win.
* You can enter to win Coronel’s signed jersey Here – An instant piece of top-tier Open Cup memorabilia.