By AVI CREDITOR
Nat Borchers' goal with three minutes remaining in extra time forced penalty kicks, and Real Salt Lake converted all five of its chances to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 3-3 (5-3 PK) and advance in the U.S. Open Cup qualifying bracket Wednesday night.
The MLS Cup holders will play the winner of the April 28 matchup between D.C. United and FC Dallas for a spot in the 40-team field.
Borchers' goal knotted the score after Earthquakes' rookie Justin Morrow put the home side ahead in the 103rd minute.
Robbie Findley and Nelson Gonzalez scored Salt Lake's other regulation goals; Chris Leitch and Arturo Alvarez tallied for San Jose, but it was Alvarez' miss in the PK shootout that made the difference.
Here are some other stories to get your Thursday off and running:
DONOVAN VOUCHES FOR BUDDLE, GOMEZ
Edson Buddle and Herculez Gomez' recent goalscoring ways have caused a buzz among U.S. men's national team supporters, and now both strikers have a rather strong endorsement as well.
Landon Donovan told the Associated Press that both Buddle and Gomez deserve a reasonable look ahead of next month's training camp to determine whether they can make the United States' World Cup roster.
"Clearly I'm not the coach and I don't make these decisions, but I always err on the side of caution," Donovan said to the AP. "And what I mean by that is you take the players that are, one, playing, and who are playing the best at the time. And I always think that's the best formula."
CAPELLO EYES CITY MIDFIELDER
With the injury bug striking the England national team, manager Fabio Capello is considering giving Manchester City midfielder Adam Johnson a look ahead of announcing his final roster.
Injuries to David Beckham and Aaron Lennon have opened the door, and Johnson has played well, although he hasn't been capped by the Three Lions yet.
SOUTH AFRICANS SCOOP UP WC TICKETS
Thousands of people in South Africa camped out overnight to buy up unsold World Cup tickets at supermarkets and shopping malls, according to this BBC report. FIFA amended its rule that tickets could only be sold online or through a balloting process in order to sell more seats as the event approaches. The World Cup kicks off in less than two months, with Mexico facing host South Africa on June 11.
IT'S APRIL 15, FILE YOUR TAXES…
And stay tuned to SBI for any international player signings in MLS. The league's international transfer window closes Thursday.
Are you liking this qualifying-round U.S. Open Cup action so far? Pleased to see Donovan voice his opinion on the USMNT forward situation? Wish you could buy World Cup tickets at your local 7-11? Which international player (be realistic, no Messi) do you want to see your favorite MLS team sign today?
Share your thoughts below.