Three Ghanaians in US Open Cup semis as David Accam inspires Chicago Fire

Ghana striker David Accam continued his inspiring form for Chicago Fire in the 2016 US Open Cup after his goal and an assist secured a semi-final berth for the Major League Soccer (MLS) side.

Accam and four-time champion Fire made history in the 103-year-old tournament, securing an all-time record 12th appearance in the Open Cup semi-finals. Chicago has now advanced to the US Open Cup semi-finals in five of the last six years.

Accam who was pleased with his performance and that of the team said qualifying to the semi-final presents a perfect opportunity for Chicago Fire to win something this season.

“Every competition is huge for us but with this we are close to winning a trophy and for us we try and take every game seriously, this will boost the morale of the team because if we keep winning these games then we have a chance in every competition we play”.

Commenting on his early goal, the Ghanaian striker said his goal made the difference and that scoring goals is good for his confidence as a young striker.

“It did a lot; that is why in the locker room we wanted to start the game early and our first goal we just went straight to their half, the first goal was the difference today.

“I feel confident going into every game and for me I want to play well and today is not just about a goal, I think I have played well the last 15 minutes I was on the pitch and I need this to boost my confidence.

“For me every game is important and you play in a home game and want to give the fans that we are good enough so we came out early and it is a good result for us.”

Another Ghanaian youngster Emmanuel Boateng helped LA Galaxy to the semis with recuperating Gershon Koffie’s New England Revolution also making it to the semi-final at the expense of Joshua Yaro’s Philadelphia Union.

Eastern Conference rivals New England Revolution and Chicago Fire will therefore square off in the semis with FC Dallas taking on Western Conference opponent LA Galaxy in the other semi-final match-up as MLS teams prevail over North American Soccer League (NASL) contenders.

Chicago Fire defeated the only remaining NASL side Fort Lauderdale Strikers by 3-0 at Toyota Park thanks to the wonderful exploits of David Accam who scored a goal and assisted in another.

New England had a tight decision in their quarterfinal game, as they defeated the Philadelphia Union 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes. Je-Vaughn Watson scored his first goal for the club as well as the clinching penalty in the shootout.

FC Dallas won the night's Open Cup derby, with Fabian Castillo's second-half stoppage time strike delivering Dallas the 1-0 victory on the road against their Texas rivals, the Houston Dynamo.

LA Galaxy booked the final ticket to the semi-finals after a 4-2 victory over Seattle Sounders at the StubHub Center. The Sounders took the lead twice, but two late goals from Sebastian Lletget sealed the victory for the hosts.

All four teams left in the tournament have won the Open Cup previously. FC Dallas (1997) and New England (2007) have won it once each, while the Galaxy (2001, 2005) have taken the title twice and Chicago (1998, 2000, 2003, 2006) have won it four times.
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