Open Cup Semifinals!

Hey party people. Josh, naturally, has the US Open Cup liveblog tonight. In about fifteen minutes, actually. Whoops.

I stupidly picked both road teams to win, so the least I can do is defend that point of view.

So, why did I pick against the defending champs at home. Why, why, why.

Well, a stupid intangible reason, which is why I'm not putting money up on this game - ten years ago, Rochester also marched to the Finals. And this year's road is much easier than it was then, so it's not like they've left it all on the field.

Rochester reporter Jeff DiVeronica isn't terribly optimistic, referring to DC United as "loaded with world-class players."

Well, no, they're not. This is something like the eighth or ninth best team in DC United history. They have plenty of players with a lot of upside - the nation is slowly falling in love with Chris Pontius and Rodney Wallace. But the attack is inconsistent, something new signing Szetela does absolutely NOTHING to ameliorate. And I'm not sure Rochester doesn't have the advantage in goal.

Besides, DC United is...look, if you had said before the season that by the All-Star Game DC would be a point out of first, what would you have said? They're good by 2009 MLS standards, which is middle-of-the-pack. For point of comparison, they have an identical record with Columbus and Los Angeles, and both of the latter went something like twelve years without winning. I'm excited about their playoff chances, I'm even willing to be ambivalent about them sneaking to MLS Cup - I just don't know whether they can avoid being ambushed by a fired-up USL-1 side.

Seattle's the other USL favorite to - oh, wait, I keep forgetting.

I picked Houston for a number of reasons. Because right now these teams are on top of the West, I'm not getting the sense that either team wants to get into the habit of losing to the other. I think Dominic Kinnear learned a valuable lesson last year when the Red Bulls upset them. I think Houston wants to finally win more than one trophy in a year. And frankly, I think that top to bottom, Houston is a better team than Seattle.

In other words, I completely forgot that Ching and Holden would be at the Gold Cup. Can I change my pick?