Home MLS More MLS Canada in the USOC: DeRo, Johnson advance; Hamilton sits as RailHawks go with reserves

Canada in the USOC: DeRo, Johnson advance; Hamilton sits as RailHawks go with reserves

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Dwayne De Rosario scored a key game winner and Will Johnson played the full 90 as their MLS squads progressed into the U.S. Open Cup semifinals with victories on Wednesday night.

Johnson and DeRo were the marquee Canadians in the USOC quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Calgary’s Paul Hamilton didn’t get off the bench as his NASL side, the Carolina RailHawks, were eliminated in a 3-0 loss on the road to Real Salt Lake. Hamilton was one of eight RailHawks regular who didn’t start the game – as coach Colin Clarke decided to rest his core group of players ahead of Saturday’s possible NASL spring-season clincher against Atlanta.

Usually, in Cup play, it’s the MLS team that starts the depth players, while the lower-division team plays the big guns. But at Rio Tinto Stadium, it was the other way around — and frankly, the RailHawks did very little to trouble the home side.

The RailHawks, despite knocking off two MLS sides — Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy — at home, put their eggs in the NASL basket, making it a priority to clinch home field in the Soccer Bowl. They can do that Saturday — and Hamilton was one of the many starters held back so they wouldn’t face the energy-sapping altitude of Sandy, Utah ahead of the big game with the Silverbacks.

It will make for an interesting debate about the split-season format; will this happen in Cup games in the future, with later rounds of the USOC butting up agains the final weeks of the spring sason? NASL needs to make a splash with some USOC scalps, and it was surprising to see a RailHawks team without Hamilton, his central defence partner Julius James, captain Floyd Franks or speedster Ty Shipalane in a do-or-die Cup game.

Meanwhile, De Rosario — coming off the disappointment of being left off the Canadian Gold Cup roster, headed home the winning goal as D.C. United continued to try and mitigate a poor MLS campaign with a deep Cup run. DeRo’s goal was the decider as DCU defeated the New England Revolution, 3-1.

DeRo wasn’t the only Canadian to start for DCU; Kyle Porter – also part of the preliminary 35-man roster but left off the 22-man list for the Gold Cup — started and played 54 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the sweltering Texas heat, Johnson, who will be going to the Gold Cup, played 90-plus minutes as his Portland Timbers beat FC Dallas 3-2 in a wild game that saw the home side come just inches from equalizing in time added on, as former league MVP David Ferreira’s shot smacked off the woodwork.

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