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May 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM

U.S. Open Cup fallout (Wednesday links)

AtlantaSilverbacks.jpgThe venue change of the Sounders-Silverbacks U.S. Open Cup game last night was a controversial one, even for some Seattle fans. Atlanta was set to host the third-round game at Silverbacks Park next week in accordance with the draw, but instead, after some negotiation, the game will be played at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila at 7 p.m.

Ticket information should be made available today.

Here is a statement on the move from Silverbacks chairman Boris Jerkunica:

“The decision associated with the venue change wasn’t easy, by any means. Seattle Sounders FC presented us with an offer that we simply couldn’t refuse, and in the end, it was a decision that was based on the balance between instant gratification and long-term improvement.”

Atlanta said it will use the money to improve the team through player signings, fund an exhibition game against an MLS team, and finance a Fan Appreciation Night on June 16, where tickets for a home game against the Carolina RailHawks will be free.

Silverbacks fans did not take to the news very well, as seen on the team’s Facebook page.

There will be a live webcast of the third-round game available on SoundersFC.com, according to Atlanta.

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— Here’s all the U.S. Open coverage you’ll need from Tuesday’s second round. TheCup.us has a page for schedule/results and a bracket. U.S. Soccer also has a schedule and roundup.

Hope Solo talks about welcoming new love interests? Here’s a good preview of the Sounders Women’s upcoming W-League season.

— Toronto FC and Vancouver are facing off for the Amway Canadian Championship tonight (they tied 1-1 in the first leg). The reaction to Danny Koevermans‘ comments about being the worst team in the world are still resonating in the buildup.

— Where did Fredy Montero end up on the Castrol Index rankings for MLS action last week? Near the top.

— Here’s the Crew perspective heading into Wednesday night’s game in Seattle. I also answered some questions for this series in The Columbus Dispatch.

— Around the league, Josh Saunders has rejoined the Galaxy after enrolling in the league’s substance-abuse treatment program. He says it was a matter of stress, not drugs, and the team was very happy to see him back. It also sounds like New York will be taking the Open Cup more seriously this time after Hans Backe skipped the trip and sent less than a full squad last year.

— American goalkeeper Brad Guzan is now out of contract after his deal with Aston Villa ran its course. It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up. Elsewhere, it looks more and more like China will be the destination for Didier Drogba.

— Lastly, there will be a viewing party Saturday at Golazo headquarters for a double header: U.S. men’s national team vs. Scotland at 5 p.m. and Sounders FC at Chivas USA at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 4 p.m. and the event is free.

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