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  • Writer's pictureSoccer Down Here

Messi magic for Miami, Houston Dynamo win to book Open Cup final: Starting Lineup, August 24

by Jason Longshore

1- FC Cincinnati took a 2-0 lead in the second half on Inter Miami and it looked like the Herons were finally out of gas after their Leagues Cup campaign and title. No one told Lionel Messi that though. Two second half assists to Leonardo Campana, the second in the 97th minute on as perfect of a cross as you would ever find, sent the match inexplicably to extra time. Substitute Benjamin Cremaschi played provider to Josef Martinez just a few minutes after coming into the match, but that was canceled out by Yuya Kubo as Cincinnati found a lifeline. To penalty kicks the match would go and Miami won their third penalty shootout on the road in the last month. After eight straight conversions from both teams, Nick Hagglund was saved by Drake Callender and Cremaschi was the hero for the second time in the shootout in tournament play this season.

2- With Miami in the final, the other semifinal match also became a 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup play-in match as Houston hosted RSL. Hector Herrera and Anderson Julio traded goals on either side of halftime and the match headed to extra time. It was there that Ben Olsen's Dynamo took over. Coco Carrasquilla gave Houston a lead midway through extra time, Luis Caicedo put the match away in stoppage time after a red card was shown to RSL's Brayan Vera.

3- Miami will host Houston in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final in late September and according to reports, they will be looking to host the match at Hard Rock Stadium in a spectacle that would no doubt set the all-time attendance record for an Open Cup final.

4- Big women's college soccer match tonight in Atlanta as Georgia State hosts Mercer at the GSU Soccer Complex at 7pm. Both teams come in undefeated two games into the season. The last five games played between these two teams have been as even as possible with each side winning twice and a draw last year in Macon. Kendall Cook's late penalty for the Bears shared the spoils. If you can't make it out to the GSU Soccer Complex tonight, you can watch the match on ESPN+.

5- In other women's college matches in the area tonight, Georgia Southern hosts North Florida tonight in Statesboro and is trying to push their record to 2-1. Georgia hosts #22 ranked Central Florida in Athens tonight at 6pm. Kennesaw State heads to Mobile, Alabama to play in the South Alabama tournament against Troy at 4pm.

6- With preseason over, the NCAA D1 men's programs in the state kickoff their seasons tonight. Georgia State is in Nashville to face Belmont at 7:30pm, Georgia Southern heads to Johnson City to face East Tennessee State, while Mercer is in Indiana to play two matches over the next few days starting this afternoon at noon against Cal State Fullerton.

7- Jenni Hermoso, one of the stars of Spain's World Cup champion team, broke her silence Wednesday, urging action in a joint statement with her players' union after Spain football federation president Luis Rubiales' unwanted kiss during the medal ceremony in Sydney in front of the world. FUTPRO, the union that represents women's players in Spain, appealed to the RFEF to ensure the rights of the players are protected after Rubiales' actions. (ESPN)

8- Galatasaray might might their first return to the Champions League group stages after Mauro Icardi's goal and late assist gave the Turkish powerhouse a 3-2 lead in the road leg of their qualifying round series with Molde of Norway.

9- Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out any further signings in the transfer window, which shuts the door on Kylian Mbappe heading to Madrid this year. Will he sign an extension at PSG, something he has has said he isn't interested in doing? PSG has said they won't let him leave on a free at the end of the season, but Madrid has been the only realistic destination for him and it sounds like they're not buying right now. The saga continues...

10- On this date in 2003, the Atlanta Beat lost to the Washington Freedom in the 3rd and final Founders Cup in the Women's United Soccer Association. Abby Wambach opened the scoring for the Freedom early, Charmaine Hooper leveled the match in first half stoppage time from the penalty spot. The match went to sudden death extra time and Wambach won it for Washington in the 96th minute. Less than a month later, the WUSA suspended operations and this would go down as its final match.

11- Your Song of the Day topped the charts twenty years ago and was probably ringing out in the celebrations after that Founders Cup match. It was named the best song of the 21st century so far by Rolling Stone in 2018 and was the first solo single from one of today's biggest stars in the world. Enjoy!

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