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Major Link Soccer: Open Cup Final Four, plus player movement galore

Four MLS teams left in Open Cup, plus teams begin getting rid of players as they jockey for changes in the summer transfer window.


The Cinderella runs ended in the U.S. Open Cup, but the Timbers kept rolling, as the tourney got down to its final four teams Wednesday night. DC United started out the night with a 3-1 victory over Revolution in Maryland. Chicago Fire ended Orlando City’s great run from the third division, with a 5-1 beatdown in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Portland came from behind, scoring three times in the second half in Frisco, Texas, to beat FC Dallas 3-2. Dallas tried to tie, putting a shot off the post two seconds before the final whistle. It’s pretty amazing, honestly, what they are accomplishing in the Rose City this year. Begrudging respect to a team that just never loses.

Real Salt Lake scored early and held on to beat the Carolina Railhawks, an NASL side, 3-0.

The semi-finals will be played Aug. 7. Chicago host DC, RSL hosts Timbers.

The summer transfer season is about to start and the player moves are already started, with a ton of rumors to boot.

DC United and "young DP" Rafael agreed to end his contract. The young Brazilian made a splash early, but hadn’t played much of late. Club officials say they are planning on making some moves.

Dynamo let go of a Brazilian too, waiving midfielder Luiz Camargo, and freeing up money for future moves.

Red Bull New York have Ugandan defender Ibrahim Sekagya, formerly of Red Bull Salzburg, in for a look.

Toronto FC is apparently planning a bunch of moves, according to this Q&A, including trading their number one spot in the allocation system for returning U.S. National Team players. The team has Spanish winger Alvaro Rey on trial.

Crew officials say they are also looking to potentially make moves, but admit they will likely have to move some players out first, because of cap concerns.

Rapids are continuing their season-long pursuit of Cameroonian teenage striker Charles Eloundou, sending an official to Africa to see if they can finally pry him free. Meanwhile, Colombian midfielder Jaime Castrillon says his old club wants him back.

And finally from the rumor mill comes word that Maccabi Tel Aviv may be looking at Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

Up in Vancouver they are talking more about how a player on the team, Camillo, has changed his approach and become the kind of player the Whitecaps have always wanted.

If you hadn’t heard, Sigi Schmid had knee surgery on Tuesday. In Montreal they are already arguing for Marcus Schallibaum as MLS Coach of the Year.

Finally today a couple of really nice and interesting reads. First, the Philly Soccer Page takes a look at MLS new digital and film initiatives, known collectively as MLS+. And if you have never read the amazing story of Danny Mwanga, the BBC does a great job of describing his flight from Democratic Republic of Congo to MLS to his recent U.S. citizenship. Worth the read.

- Scott Ayers

PS - We're still taking scarf orders.

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