Bonkers U.S. Open Cup is bonkers

The U.S. Open Cup is a ton of fun for American soccer fans, but it's even more fun when your team scores 6 goals enroute to thrashing a talented opponent 6-2. 6-2 isn't a scoreline that happens in soccer. That's a high scoring baseball game, not the final in a soccer match between opponents separated by a single point in the league standings. Dom Dwyer bagged 4 goals and the records for Sporting and Sporting Park that go with that total, so maybe everyone can stop worrying about his finishing touch. He looked to be finishing just fine to me. Nemeth chipped in two goals of his own. Nemeth's second tally, a cheeky chip over the keeper at an impossible angle, will have the Dallas backline waking up nights sobbing in terror for the rest of the summer. The highlights are well worth a watch.

There's not a lot of lessons to be taken from routs in the Open Cup. Dallas was juggling its roster due to matches last weekend and next weekend, so they weren't even close to full strength (but they weren't playing anything close to a B-team, either). Once a team goes down in a single-elimination tournament (like Dallas did last night), they have to start taking risks to score a goal or be eliminated from the tournament, and those risks can be punished on the other end. The scorelines for these games can get out of hand, but it's rare for them to get this out of hand.

Our reward for the victory is a visit from the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday, July 21st with a bearth in the semi-finals on the line. We'll have to deal with a bit of our own schedule congestion, since Montreal will be coming to town the preceding Saturday and a trip to Salt Lake City will be looming on the following Friday. Houston will have their own worries, though, with a trip to Salt Lake City the prior Saturday and a visit from defending MLS Cup holders Los Angeles the next Saturday. Both teams will have to juggle their lineups somewhere in that run of games. Things get crazy in single-elimination tournaments. It might just be bonkers.

Go, Sporting!