• The New York Cosmos were the only NASL team to beat an MLS team in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, defeating New York City FC on penalties this week. Seven of the nine American NASL teams lost their first games, against USL opposition. For the NASL, which wants to be seen as a competitive alternative to MLS, this year’s U.S. Open Cup face-plant is an embarrassment.
• Clint Dempsey earned himself a three-match MLS suspension in extra time of a U.S. Open Cup match against Portland. He reached into referee Daniel Radford’s pocket, took his official log book, and ripped it to shreds. The ref made Dempsey the third Seattle player to be sent off. It was childish, but given the number of times we’ve seen video clips of players around the world physically attacking refs, maybe this ridiculousness wasn’t so bad.
• Sporting Kansas City is enjoying an impressive MLS resurgence, climbing to second in the West on points per game after a very slow start to its season. It’s been especially impressive given that central defender Ike Opara is out for the season with an injury and forward Dom Dwyer is struggling to score. It’s a little strange that midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi, who are playing wonderfully, were left off the USA’s preliminary Gold Cup roster. Kansas City, which gets their services in July instead of losing them for the month, probably won’t complain.
• Woodbury’s Kassey Kallman has played every minute at center back for the Boston Breakers this season. EqualizerSoccer.com, which closely covers the National Women’s Soccer League, said Kallman has been half of the league’s best center back duo at the halfway point of her second pro season. She has yet to be tapped for the senior women’s national team, but after success for the USA at the youth levels, and with several senior defenders over 30, a call-up for Kallman in the next World Cup cycle would not be surprising.