Notable upsets in the First Round of the US Open Cup

Posted by | September 1, 2009
Hollywood United coach Ian Carrington celebrates his club’s upset win over the Portland Timbers. Photo: Allison Andrews

Hollywood United coach Ian Carrington celebrates his club’s upset win over the Portland Timbers. Photo: Allison Andrews

2008 – Hollywood United (USASA) 3, Portland Timbers (USL-1) 2
The Professional Era’s greatest First Round upset came in 2008 when Hollywood United, the USASA Region IV qualifier from California, traveled to PGE Park in Portland Ore. and knocked out the Portland Timbers 3-2. Hollywood United trailed twice during the match, but each time they trailed, Matt Taylor would convert a penalty kick to tie the game back up. With the score level at 2-2, Earl Alexander scored a 90th minute goal to send United to the Second Round and left Portland fans stunned. It was only the second time in the Professional Era that a USASA team has defeated a USL First Division team, and the first time that a USASA team had upset a USL-1 team on the road.

1997 – Bridgeport Italians (USASA) 3, Rhode Island Stingrays (D3 Pro) 2
With the USASA clubs reeling from losing “their” cup to the USISL and MLS, the amateur clubs of the USASA looked forward to proving to the higher level clubs that they still belonged. On this summer day in East Providence, Rhode Island, the Bridgeport Italians proved they did belong. Their opponents, the Rhode Island Stingrays, would eventually make the playoffs of the Third Division USL Pro League, but wound up seeing an early exit for themselves from the Cup. Marek Jurkonski, Pierre Venditti and Allen Zuniga scored for Bridgeport to give them a 3-2 win over the Stingrays. The Italians went on to lose a close 1-0 game to the Long Island Rough Riders in the next round, but they fulfilled the dream of every USASA club, they beat one of the “big boys”.

Other notable First Round upsets
1996 – San Jose Oaks (USASA) 3:2 California Jaguars (USISL Select)
1997 – Bridgeport Italians (USASA) 3:2 Rhode Island Stingrays (D3 Pro)
1997 – Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL) 3:2 Wilmington Hammerheads (D3 Pro)
1997 – Central Coast Roadrunners (PDL) 4:2 Albuquerque Geckos (D3 Pro)
1999 – United German Hungarians (USASA) 2:1 New Jersey Stallions (D3 Pro)
1999 – New York Freedoms (PDL) 3:1 Cape Cod Crusaders (D3 Pro)
1999 – Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL) 3:2 Austin Lone Stars (D3 Pro)
1999 – Spokane Shadow (PDL) 3:2 (aet) Chico Rooks (D3 Pro)
2002 – Raleigh CASL Elite (PDL) 5:2 Carolina Dynamo (PSL)
2002 – Des Moines Menace (PDL) 3:1 New Jersey Stallions (PSL)
2006 – Michigan Bucks (PDL) 2:0 Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL-2)
2007 – Ocean City Barons (PDL) 1:0 Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL-2)
2007 – Bavarian SC (USASA) 1:0 Cincinnati Kings (USL-2)
2007 – El Paso Patriots (PDL) 2:2 Miami FC (USL-1) (El Paso advance 4-3 on PKs)
2009 – Ocean City Barons (PDL) 3:0 Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL-2)