• Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

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Your Monday kick: MNUFC make statement where each League Cup group stands

Protest in Minnesota! Red cards! Cincy remains undefeated! And more…

What happened?: Atlas scored early and NYCFC couldn’t put it together on offense.

So, did we learn anything?: Nope. NYCFC’s struggles haven’t changed in a while now.

What happened?: A shocking amount of things. SKC took an early two-goal lead, but Alan Pulido’s red card in the 30th minute changed the momentum. Cincy scored right after to eventually tie the game, however they gave up a late penalty that put SKC back in front. With their undefeated home record in jeopardy, Cincy was awarded a penalty kick in overtime to tie the score and then won the ensuing shootout because that’s just how things work in 2023.

So, did we learn anything?: I don’t think so, this one just got out of hand. In the end, it only reinforced the idea that Cincinnati made a deal with a higher power to never lose again at TQL Stadium.

What happened?: The crew scored early and rolled (mostly) the rest.

So, did we learn anything?: Just in case you needed a reminder, the crew was already great and has now added Julian Gressel to the fold. The rest of the East should be very, very scared.

What happened?: Hany Mukhtar and Jacob Shaffelburg scored in a huge Nashville game.

So, did we learn anything?: Unless it was your first time watching either team, you didn’t learn anything.

What happened?: Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored in the 24th minute, but Michael Boxall was sent off in the 30th minute to put the lead at risk. And then…well, the lead wasn’t really in jeopardy, was it? The Loons cruised through thanks to Hlongwane and Bebelo Reynoso, but a superb 65th-minute free-kick stole the show.

So, did we learn anything?: I keep telling you that Hlongwane is putting in the kind of season that is worthy of putting him in the conversation for the best wingers in the league. He’s been great all year. And the early returns on the “Minnesota could be a team that gets hot and gets on offense in this tournament” theory have been good. This one wasn’t close, even with the Loons down to 10 men.

No games tonight. Get ready for a big Tuesday though. Lionel Messi will face Atlanta United tomorrow night.

Not all teams have played, but each group has played one game. This is the situation after the first round of the group competition.

West: 1. Portland Timbers – 3 points, 2. Tigres UANL – 0 points, 3. San Jose – 0 points.

Portland beat San Jose, 2-0, in the first game. It’s very much uphill right now for San Jose. They need to beat Tigres and even then they wouldn’t be in full control of their own destiny.

West: 2nd RSL – 3 points, 2nd Monterrey – 0 points, 3rd Seattle Sounders – 0 points.

Like San Jose, Seattle is in trouble here. They need to take down Monterrey and get help. RSL’s big 3-0 win over the Sounders is likely to advance.

West: 3. Club León – 2 points, 2. Vancouver Whitecaps – 1 point, 3. LA Galaxy – 0 points.

León took an early lead here after winning a long shootout with Vancouver. This one could come down to the wire though. It all depends on which version of Galaxy we get this week. Is it the galaxy we saw in the first week of July or the galaxy we’ve seen … pretty much every week except this one?

Central: 1. Columbus Crew – 3 points, 2. Club América – 0 points, 3. St. Louis CITY SC – 0 points.

The Crew had a big win last night and now they can wrap things up with a draw against Club América. However, Louis needs to beat Club América.

Central: 2. Minnesota United – 3 points, 2. Chicago Fire FC – 0 points, 3. Puebla – 0 points.

The Loons cruised past Puebla, and if Puebla’s performance was any indication, Chicago should be confident as well. Although sometimes it’s the worst place for Chicago to be. Hmm… yes, still a long way to go on this one.

Central: 3. FC Cincinnati – 2 points, 2. Sporting KC., 1 point, 3. Chivas Guadalajara – 0 points.

Chivas was probably happy to sit back and let Cincy and SKC grind it out last night. Sporting KC was far from perfect, but did enough to make this one of the most interesting groups of the competition over the last two games.

Middle: 4. Nashville SC – 3 points, 2. Toluca – 0 points, 3. Colorado Rapids – 0 points.

There are no surprises here. Not yet though.

South: 1. Mazatlan – 3 points, 2. Juarez – 0 points, 3. Austin – 0 points.

Well….uhhhh…it sure seemed like this was a group Austin could handle. Mazatlan quickly proved this theory wrong. Verde & Black are in trouble here and need a win over Juarez.

South: 2. Orlando City – 2 points, 2. Houston Dynamo – 1 point, 3. Santos Laguna – 0

Santos Laguna has yet to enter the fray but can easily leapfrog Orlando and Houston soon. This group will all come down to which MLS team, if any, can get points from Santos.

South: 3. Inter Miami CF – 3 points. 2. Atlanta United – 0 points, 3. Cruz Azul – 0 points.

Lionel Messi’s remarkable winner opened the door for Atlanta United here. They don’t even technically need to win a game in regulation to advance.

South: 4. Charlotte FC – 2 points, FC Dallas – 1 point, 3. Necaxa – 0 points.

Ben Bender’s stoppage-time equalizer the other night feels huge for Charlotte. They were able to win the ensuing penalty shootout and put the group on the back foot.

East: 1. Philadelphia Union – 3 points, 2. Querétaro – 0 points, 3. Club Tijuana – 0 points.

The Union won against Tijuana and will have to do the same against Querétaro. They are in the driver’s seat to advance to the knockout stages.

East: 2. CF Montréal – 2 points, 2. Pumas UNAM – 1 point, 3. DC United – 0 points.

Montréal came so close to taking the lead in East 2 with a win in their first game, but the Pumas made a late comeback and forced the Canadian team to settle for two points instead of three. DC will have to be at their best in the next few games to advance. Still, it’s hard to picture them at their best right now.

East: 3. Atlas – 3 points, 2. Toronto FC – 0 points, 3. NYCFC – 0 points.

Toronto and NYCFC could both probably just use a break at this point. But someone has to go between the two.

Austria: 4. New York Red Bulls – 2 points, 2. New England – 1 point, 3. San Luiz – 0 points.

The Red Bulls and Revs played to an unremarkable 0-0 draw the other night, but New York clinched the group with a shootout victory. There is still a long way to go in this group.