2012 US Open Cup Third Round Live Blog recap: One of the craziest rounds in recent memory, and two more left to play on Wednesday

Posted on 29. May, 2012 by in Live blog, Third Round

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2012 US Open Cup bracket [+]
2012 US Open Cup goalscoring leaders [+]
2012 US Open Cup participant map [+]
Meet the USASA: Class of 2012 [+]
Things you should know about Round 3 [+]
Round 4 Pairings [+]

Sixteen MLS clubs face 16 lower division sides hoping to make history.

Join TheCup.us right here for a live blog as we will have live updates coming in from 14 of the 16 games tonight, followed by the last two games on Wednesday. Also stay tuned for PotHunting trivia for your chance to win a throwback soccer shirt from PotHunting.com.

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Here’s your guide to the entire Third Round, including notes on key players from NASL & USL Pro players via resident Lower Division expert Gerald Barnhart, who issues weekly Lower Division Five Star honors, which also includes a US Open Cup list:

New England Revolution (MLS) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO)
Skyline Sports Complex; Harrisburg, Pa.; 7 p.m. ET
Broadcast: RevolutionSoccer.net (Audio)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
If the Revolution win … at Charleston Battery / New York Red Bulls winner
If City Islanders win … home vs. Charleston Battery / New York Red Bulls winner

New England Revolution’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of the 2012 tournament
Harrisburg City Islanders’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) 0:2 Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro)  [+] Recap

This is the third time these two teams have met in the US Open Cup, but the first time that they’ve played in Harrisburg.  In 2007, New England finished off Harrisburg 2-1 in the Quarterfinals on their way to winning the Cup. In 2009, Harrisburg beat New England, by the same score, in the Third Round, only to fall to DC (the eventual Runner-Up) in the Quarterfinals.

Coming in to this game, Harrisburg has not conceded a goal since May 12, while the Revolution have not won a game since May 12.  The Revolution have been weak on the road this year in MLS play, with an away record of 1-6-0.  They’ll only be on two days rest from their loss to DC United on Saturday night. They also will be traveling to Pennsylvania without a few of their star players. Captain Shalrie Joseph, three starting defenders including A.J. Soares, top goal scorer Saer Sène, and starting goalkeeper Matt Reis are all headed back to New England and won’t play on Tuesday.  Harrisburg is expected to play the first team for the game and is riding a five game unbeaten streak that includes the US Open Cup Second Round defeat of the Long Island Rough Riders (PDL).

This game should prove to be a fairly even match-up and might even favor Harrisburg, a USL squad with the home field advantage fielding their ‘A’ team while enjoying a successful league season (4th place in USL after 7 games) versus an MLS squad struggling on the road fielding their ‘B’ team while having a less than fortunate league season (7th place in the Eastern Conference, 13th overall in MLS after 12 games).

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
New England Revolution
OVERALL: 10-8-3 (2-1 in PKs), 2-5-1 (1-0 in PKs), 2-1-1 (1-0 in PKs) vs. Division 3
BEST FINISH: 2007 US Open Cup champions
LAST ENTRY: 2009 (Round 3, Lost 2-1 AET vs. Harrisburg City Islanders)
Harrisburg City Islanders
OVERALL: 11-4-2 (1-1 in PKs), 9-1-2 (1-1 in PKs) at home, 3-3-0 vs. MLS teams
BEST FINISH: Quarterfinals (2007, 2009, 2010)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Round 2, Lost 1-0 vs. Rochester Rhinos)

Previous Open Cup Meetings (home team listed second):
2007 Quarterfinals – Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) 1:2 New England Revolution (MLS)
2009 Third Round – Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) 2:1 AET New England Revolution (MLS)

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DC United (MLS) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO)
Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.; 7 p.m. ET
Broadcast: None
Round 4 scenario (June 5):
Winner hosts Philadelphia Union/Rochester Rhinos winner

DC United’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament
Richmond Kickers’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Richmond Kickers (USL Pro) 4:0 Aegean Hawks (USASA)  [+] Recap

DC United are coming off of only two days rest after their defeat of the New England Revolution in MLS league play on Saturday night.  Because of the short turnaround, we’ll have to wait and see if they’ll bring many of their starters to Virginia on Tuesday night.  One starter that might receive a mixed welcome in Richmond is reigning MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario who got his professional start with the Richmond Kickers.  DeRo had a breakout year for the Kickers in 2000, scoring 16 goals, but now he returns as the enemy.

These two teams have met four times previously in the US Open Cup.  In 2001, the eventual USL A-League champion Kickers fell to DC 2-1 in the Quarterfinal.  In 2004, the eventual MLS champion DC United lost to Richmond by the same score in the Fourth Round.  DC has won the last two Open Cup meetings between the teams.  They won 3-1 in the 2005 Fourth Round  and 2-0 in the 2010 Third Round.

Two-time US Open Cup winners DC United are currently first in the Eastern Division of MLS (3rd overall) and Richmond are mid-table in sixth place in USL Pro but, with DC on limited rest, possibly not playing all of their starters, and Richmond with home field advantage, Richmond might have the edge in this match-up.  They beat DC in the Open Cup during one of United’s best league seasons.  Can they do it again?  We’ll find out Tuesday night.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
DC United
OVERALL: 25-9-3 (1-2 PKs), 5-6-1 (0-1 PKs) away, 1-0-0 vs. amateur clubs
BEST FINISH: 1996, 2008 US Open Cup champions
LAST ENTRY: 2010 (Semifinals, lost 2-1 at home vs. Columbus Crew)
Richmond Kickers
OVERALL: 23-12-1 (1-0 in PKs), 18-3-0 at home, 5-9-0 vs. MLS clubs
AS USL PRO: 12-6-0, 8-0-0 at home, 3-3-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: 1995 US Open Cup Champions (Drew 1-1 at El Paso Patriots, won in PKs 4-2)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Semifinals, lost 2-1 at Chicago Fire)

Previous Open Cup Meetings (home team listed second):
2001 Quarterfinals – Richmond Kickers (A-League) 2:1 DC United (MLS)
2004 Fourth Round – DC United (MLS) 1:2 Richmond Kickers (A-League)
2005 Fourth Round – DC United (MLS) 3:1 Richmond Kickers (A-League)

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Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.; 7:07 p.m. ET
Broadcast: LAGalaxy.com (Audio) | CarolinaRailHawks.com/live (Video) | 99.9 HD3 FM The Ticket
Round 4 scenario (June 5):
Winner hosts Chivas USA/Ventura County Fusion (PDL)

LA Galaxy’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament
Carolina RailHawks’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: PSA Elite (USASA) 0:6 Carolina RailHawks (NASL) [+] Recap

Two reigning champions collide on Tuesday night. LA Galaxy, current MLS champions, travel to North Carolina to take on current NASL regular season champion Carolina RailHawks. There’s just one catch: neither team is playing up to the title of “champion” this season. LA are currently last in the Western Division of MLS (17th overall). Carolina are sitting at the bottom of the table in 7th place in NASL with a winless record.

This will be the first meeting of these two teams in the US Open Cup. The advantage in this game will likely go to the RailHawks. While neither team is playing spectacularly, the RailHawks were idle in league play this week after their US Open Cup Second Round defeat of PSA Elite due to the Puerto Rico Islanders needing to play in the Caribbean Football Union championship tournament. LA Galaxy have played (and lost) two league games in the past week. The 2005 US Open Cup champion Galaxy are also coming off of just two days rest from their loss to Houston on SaturdayLA are short Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, both of whom are currently on international duty with their respective national teams; and it has been confirmed David Beckham, along with several other starters, have not made the cross-country trip.

Carolina will enjoy a home field advantage in front of a sold out crowd. Granted, a lot of those tickets will have been sold to people coming to see the Galaxy play, but the absence of the Galaxy stars will temper that somewhat.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
LA Galaxy
OVERALL: 22-9-1, 6-7-1 (1-0 PKs) away, 8-1-0 vs. Division 2 clubs
BEST FINISH: 2001, 2005 US Open Cup champions
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Quarterfinals, lost 3-1 at Seattle Sounders)
Carolina RailHawks
OVERALL: 9-3-1, 9-1-1 (0-1 PKs) at home, 1-2-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Semifinals (2007, lost at New England Revolution 2-1 AET)
LAST ENTRY: 2010 (Round 2, lost 2-1 at Charleston Battery)

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Colorado Rapids (MLS) at Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)
Al Lang Stadium; St. Petersburg, Fla.; 7:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: TBA
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
Winners plays at Orlando City SC/Sporting Kansas City winner

Colorado Rapids’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament
Tampa Bay Rowdies’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) 3:0 Jacksonville United (NPSL) [+] Recap

This will be the first meeting of these two teams in the US Open Cup, although the Rapids did defeat MLS side Tampa Bay Mutiny in the Cup in 1999, on their way to a loss in the final to Rochester.

Both teams come in to this game pretty evenly matched. Colorado are currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Division of MLS (7th overall), and are coming off of a win against Montreal on Saturday. Tampa Bay are currently mid-table, 4th place, in NASL play with 12 points from 9 games. Both teams are playing with very little rest. Colorado has had just two days to rest and Tampa Bay has had only three. Both teams will be fielding strong squads as Colorado have announced that they’ll be bringing most of their starters, including leading goal scorer Jaime Castrillon. Tampa Bay will have the advantage of not travelling as their league game on Friday night was at home.

This is the second year for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the US Open Cup as this is the first year that the NASL has entered teams. The furthest that the Colorado Rapids have progressed in the Open Cup is the 1999 Final when they lost to the Rochester Rhinos, the only non-MLS team to win the cup since MLS began entering the competition.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Colorado Rapids
OVERALL: 8-11-0, 4-10-0 away, 4-6-0 vs. Division 2 clubs
BEST FINISH: Final (1999, lost 2-0 vs. Rochester Raging Rhinos
LAST ENTRY: 2007 (Quarterfinals, lost 5-0 at Seattle Sounders)
Tampa Bay Rowdies
OVERALL: 2-1-0, 0-0-0 at home, 0-0-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 2 (2010, lost at Miami FC 2-1 AET)
LAST ENTRY: Round 2 (2010, lost at Miami FC 2-1 AET)

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New York Red Bulls (MLS) at Charleston Battery (USL PRO)
Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.; 7:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: USLNation.com (Video)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
If New England wins … Winner of this game hosts
If Harrisburg wins … Winner of this game plays at Harrisburg

New York Red Bulls’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament
Charleston Battery’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Reading United (PDL) 1:2 Charleston Battery (USL Pro) [+] Recap

Believe it or not, the New York Red Bulls are in second place in the Eastern Conference, mostly thanks to a hot start to the season that saw Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry tearing up the league despite a porous defense. Now the defense is shored up and the team is continuing to get positive results, coming into the contest unbeaten in their last six games with a 5-0-1 record after a 1-1 draw against Chivas USA last Wednesday and a weekend off from league play. The Red Bulls have allowed only four goals during the run.

Charleston, on the other hand, is third in the league at 5-2-0 with both losses coming at home in one-goal decisions. Since their first two matches of the campaign, the Battery defense, led by DC United loanee Andrew Dykstra in goal, has allowed no more than one goal in any given game. Charleston comes into the match off a 1-0 home win against the LA Blues Saturday after defeating Reading United AC, 2-1, in the Second Round. The duo of Jose Cuevas and Nicki Paterson are the most dangerous for the Battery. Cuevas has had a role in scoring in nearly every game with three goals and three assists.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
New York Red Bulls
OVERALL: 13-13-1 (1-0 PKs), , 7-7-1 (1-0 PKs) away, 4-4-0 vs. Division 2 clubs
BEST FINISH: Final (2003, lost 1-0 vs. Chicago Fire)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Quarterfinals, lost 4-0 at Chicago Fire)
Charleston Battery
OVERALL: 23-11-4 (3-1 PKs), 19-5-3 (2-1 in PKs) at home, 6-9-3 (2-1 PKs) vs. MLS clubs
AS USL PRO: 4-2-1 (1-0 in PKs), 4-1-0 at home, 1-0-1 (1-0 PKs) vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Final (2008, lost 2-1 at DC United)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Round 2, lost 1-0 vs. Orlando City SC)

Previous Open Cup Meetings (home team listed second):
2001 Round 2 – Metrostars (MLS) 1:4 Charleston Battery (A-League)
2004 Round 4 – Metrostars (MLS) 0:1 Charleston Battery (A-League)

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Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO) at Philadelphia Union (MLS)
PPL Park; Chester, Pa.; 7:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: TBA
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
Winner plays at DC United/Richmond Kickers winner

Rochester Rhinos’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) 0:3 Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro) [+] Recap
Philadelphia Union’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament

The giant-killing Rochester Rhinos could not have hand-picked a better opponent as the Union are struggling mightily heading into their tournament debut. Philadelphia has the second lowest point total in the league (8) ahead of only Canada’s Toronto FC, who picked up their first three points of the year Saturday with a 1-0 victory against the Union. Philadelphia is winless in its last five games, allowing five of the eight goals in that span at home.

Rochester, meanwhile, is no longer perfect, literally. The Rhinos started the season with six shutout victories behind the outstanding goalkeeping of Kristian Nicht and the consistent, but minimal offensive contributions of JC Banks. They gave up their first goal in a 1-1 draw the weekend before the 3-0 Second Round win against Brooklyn and have struggled since. This week they fell 1-0 in Harrisburg Friday and played to another draw against Dayton, 2-2 on the road, Saturday. The club’s offense has scored twice on two times in nine games this season, but is still second in the table.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Rochester Rhinos
OVERALL: 28-13-5 (3-2 in PKs), 3-7-1 (1-0 PKs) away, 7-11-4 (2-2 PKs) vs. MLS clubs
AS USL PRO: 3-1-0, 1-0-0 away, 0-1-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: 1999 US Open Cup champions (Defeated Colorado Rapids 2-0)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Round 3, lost 1-0 vs. Chicago Fire)
Philadelphia Union
OVERALL: 0-0-0, 0-0-0 away, 0-0-0 vs. Division 3 clubs
BEST FINISH: 2012 is their first entry
LAST ENTRY: 2012 is their first entry

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Chicago Fire (MLS) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)
Ultimate Soccer Arena; Pontiac, Mich.; 7:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: Chicago-Fire.com (Video)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
Winner will host Columbus Crew/Dayton Dutch Lions winner

Chicago Fire’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament
Michigan Bucks’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 1: Jersey Shore Boca (USASA) 0:6 Michigan Bucks (PDL) [+] Recap
Rd 2: Michigan Bucks (PDL) 1:0 Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL Pro) [+] Recap

If you told a Fire fan that the final scoreline will be 2-1, it might make them worry. The past four league games have finished that way, and both times they were on the road the team was on the wrong side of the ledger. At 5-4-3, the club has yet to post two consecutive victories this season, and only have one three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) to boast about. The Fire are coming off a two-game week in which they looked great against visiting FC Dallas in a 2-1 win Wednesday, but were overrun on the road in Columbus in a 2-1 defeat Saturday.

It’s somewhat difficult to judge the Bucks as they have played just as many league games and matches in the Open Cup. After drubbing USASA’s Jersey Shore Boca in the First Round to open their 2012 campaign, the Bucks blasted visiting expansion side Chicago Inferno, 4-1, to open PDL play. After earning a narrow 1-0 upset win over Pittsburgh on the road in the Second Round they returned home to post a 6-2 win against second-year Hamilton Rage. Three players have led the scoring in league play with Thomas Catalano tallying two goals and two assists and the duo of Zach Steinberger and Kenny Uzoigwe, one of the club’s all-time greats, providing two goals each as well.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Chicago Fire
OVERALL: 28-9-3 (2-1 PKs), 11-9-1 (1-0 PKs) away, 1-0-0 vs. amateur clubs
BEST FINISH: 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006 US Open Cup champions
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Final, lost 2-0 at Seattle Sounders)
Michigan Bucks
OVERALL: 11-7-1 (0-1 in PKs), 4-3-0 away, 1-4-1 (0-1 PKs) vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 3 (1999, 2000, 2003, 2006)
LAST ENTRY: 2008 (Round 1, Lost 2-1 vs. Cleveland City Stars)

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Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) at Columbus Crew (MLS)
Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio; 7:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: TheCrew.com (Video)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
Winner plays at Chicago Fire/Michigan Bucks winner

Dayton Dutch Lions’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) 2:1 Chicago Fire PDL (PDL) [+] Recap
Columbus Crew’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament

It has been an ugly start to the season for Dayton, but the Dutch Lions have managed to tie one of the league’s best, Rochester, twice in the past two weeks, home and away. The club’s narrow, last-minute victory over the Chicago Fire PDL side in the Second Round last week is the team’s sole victory so far this season as they enter the contest 0-4-4 in league play, but Gibson Bardsley’s two goals and assist in the last four games is giving the team hope.

The bad news is that Columbus may be one of the best clubs in MLS at the moment, entering the match on a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2) with a defense that has allowed a maximum of one goal in the last six and has allowed more than one only three times this season. The Crew, though, are coming off a two-game week having blanked the reigning three-time Open Cup champion Seattle Sounders on the road Wednesday, 2-0, and downing rival Chicago at Crew Stadium Saturday, 2-1. The duo of Emilio Renteria and Eddie Gaven were on fire with three goals and two assists between them in the two games in addition to a goal-line clearance by Gaven. This game marks the first time in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present) that two teams frim

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Dayton Dutch Lions
OVERALL: 1-2-0, 1-2-0 away, 0-0-0 vs. MLS clubs
AS USL PRO: 1-1-0, 1-1-0 away, 0-0-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 1 (2010, 2011)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Round 1, lost at Richmond Kickers 4-1)
Columbus Crew
OVERALL: 18-9-2 (0-2 PKs), 10-4-1 (0-1 PKs) at home, 4-1-0 vs. Division 3 clubs
BEST FINISH: 2002 US Open Cup champions
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Round 3, lost 2-1 vs. Richmond Kickers)

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Orlando City SC (USL PRO) at Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
LIVESTRONG Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.; 8:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: YouTube.com (Video)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5): Winner hosts Colorado Rapids or Tampa Bay Rowdies

Orlando City SC’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: KC Athletics (USASA) 0:7 Orlando City SC (USL Pro) [+] Recap
Sporting Kansas City’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament

It is a match-up of the two best teams in the two leagues. Sporting KC comes into the match with the best points-per-game average in MLS with an 8-3-1 record after recording a dramatic 2-1 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes, one of the Western Conference’s best teams. The plentitude of attacking options for Kansas City with Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara, Bobby Convey and CJ Sapong hide the fact that the team has a great defensive record with only 10 goals allowed – seven coming in a recent four-game stretch (0-3-1) that ended with Saturday’s win. Aurelien Collin has done both, leading the back line and scoring three goals.

Orlando City remains the lone unbeaten in the league with a 7-0-2 record, scoring 17 and allowing just six goals in nine games. After drubbing the USASA’s KC Athletics 7-0 in the Second Round last week Orlando City played twice at home, posting a 1-1 draw against the LA Blues Thursday and defeating the Charlotte Eagles, 2-1, Saturday. Three different players provided goals, but it was the first time the club had allowed goals in consecutive games, a three-game stretch if you include the second match in Antigua, a 2-1 win nine days before the Open Cup opener.

The reigning USL Pro champions will be looking to follow in the steps of their compatriot Richmond Kickers, who traveled to Kansas City last year and picked up an unexpected 2-0 road victory in the Quarterfinals, becoming the first club to defeat Sporting in their new stadium.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Orlando City SC
OVERALL: 3-1-0, 2-0-0 at home, 0-1-0 vs. amateur clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 3 (2011, lost 3-2 at FC Dallas)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Round 3, lost 3-2 at FC Dallas)
Sporting Kansas City
OVERALL: 11-10-3 (1-2 PKs), 7-5-0 at home, 0-2-0 vs Division 3 clubs
BEST FINISH: 2004 US Open Cup champions
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Quarterfinals, lost 2-0 vs. Richmond Kickers)

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Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) at FC Dallas (MLS)
FC Dallas Stadium; Frisco, Texas; 8:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: FC Dallas (Video)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
If FC Dallas wins … home vs. Houston Dynamo OR at San Antonio Scorpions
If Charlotte wins … at San Antonio Scorpions OR Houston Dynamo

Charlotte Eagles’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro) 1:0 El Paso Patriots (PDL) [+] Recap
FC Dallas’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament

The Charlotte Eagles will attempt to bounce back from what has been a difficult regular season in USL Pro to win consecutive Open Cup games for the first time in club history. That will be no small task as the Eagles are in Frisco, Texas to battle Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas. Never an easy task to knock off an MLS team, especially on their home field, but Dallas is struggling. They have not won a game since April 14, adding up to a nine-game winless streak.

Charlotte has only faced one MLS team in Open Cup play and nearly pulled off the upset. In a Third Round match in 2005, the Eagles hosted Chivas USA and appeared to be headed to a penalty kick shootout when Isaac Romo scored the game-winning goal with seconds remaining in the second extra time period.

FC Dallas is a mainstay in the US Open Cup, reaching the Quarterfinals a record 12 times since MLS was founded in 1996. Dallas has reached the title game three times (1997, 2005, 2007), while lifting the trophy just once, when they defeated DC United in a penalty kick shootout in 1997.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Charlotte Eagles
OVERALL: 6-9-0, 3-8-0 away, 0-1-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 3 (2005, lost 3-2 AET vs. Chivas USA)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Round 2, lost 3-2 AET at Wilmington Hammerheads)
FC Dallas
OVERALL: 21-13-4 (4-0 PKs), 13-4-1 at home, 3-1-0 vs. Division 3 clubs
BEST FINISH: 1997 US Open Cup champions
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Semifinals, lost 1-0 at Seattle Sounders)

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Houston Dynamo (MLS) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)
Heroes Stadium; San Antonio, Texas; 8:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: TBA
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
If Houston wins … at FC Dallas OR home vs. Charlotte Eagles
If San Antonio wins … home vs. FC Dallas/Charlotte Eagles winner

Houston Dynamo’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament
San Antonio Scorpions’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Laredo Heat (PDL) 0:2 San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) [+] Recap

One of the more intriguing matches of the Third Round of the US Open Cup this year is the expansion team from the NASL, the San Antonio Scorpions, hosting Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo. The Scorpions are 4-1-3 in their inaugural campaign and are drumming up some solid fan support, as is typical for a first-year team. After three home games, they’re averaging almost 11,000 fans per game and it could be a factor in Tuesday’s Open Cup match as the Scorpions try to prove themselves against an in-state MLS team.
BLURB HERE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Houston Dynamo
OVERALL: 5-4-1 (0-1 PKs), 2-3-1 (0-1 PKs) away, 3-1-1 (0-1) vs. Division 2 clubs
BEST FINISH: Semifinals (2006, 2009)
LAST ENTRY: 2010 (Quarterfinals, lost vs. Chivas USA 3-1)
San Antonio Scorpions
OVERALL: 1-0-0, 1-0-0 at home, 0-0-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: First entry into the US Open Cup
LAST ENTRY: First entry into the US Open Cup

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Minnesota Stars FC (NASL) at Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah; 9 p.m. ET
Broadcast: RealSaltLake.com (Video)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
If Minnesota wins … at San Jose Earthquakes OR home vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers
If Real Salt Lake wins … at San Jose Earthquakes OR home vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers

Minnesota Stars’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Minnesota Stars FC (NASL) 2:0 Des Moines Menace (PDL) [+] Recap
Real Salt Lake’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament

While the Minnesota Stars is a different franchise, when most Open Cup fans think of Minnesota and Real Salt Lake, they think back to the wild barnburner of a match between the Minnesota Thunder the RSL in the Third Round of 2005. (Note: It happened on the same night as the Charlotte Eagles/Chivas USA match we referenced above). Jason Kreis scored a hat trick but Minnesota, led by Melvin Tarley, Johnny Menyongar and Aaron Paye matched the RSL side blow-by-blow, including an 89th minute equalizer by Paye to send the match into extra time tied. With the scoreboard locked at 4-4, the Thunder scored two more in extra time to win it 6-4.

Will we see fireworks like that on Tuesday night? Real Salt Lake is certainly capable, as they currently hold the league’s best record at 9-3-2 and are on a six-game unbeaten streak. The Stars are in second place in the NASL with a 4-0-4 record, but the question is do they have enough to hang with the best team in MLS on the road?

One thing the two teams do have in common is the fact that neither has history on their side. This is just the second tournament for Minnesota since the team started in 2010, but for all the success that RSL has had in league play and the CONCACAF Champions League, the Open Cup has not been their competition. They are only 2-3-0 all-time in the Open Cup, but the reason why a team which began play in 2005 has only five games under its belt is because they failed to qualify for the tournament four years in a row from 2007-2010. Both teams will be anxious to start a new chapter in the team’s history.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Minnesota Stars FC
OVERALL: 2-1-0, 1-0-0 away, 0-0-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 2 (2010, lost 1-0 vs. AC St. Louis)
LAST ENTRY: 2010 (Round 2, lost 1-0 vs. AC St. Louis)
Real Salt Lake
OVERALL: 2-3-0, 2-1-0 at home, 1-1-0 vs. Division 2 clubs
BEST FINISH: Quarterfinals (2011, lost 2-0 at FC Dallas)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Quarterfinals, lost 2-0 at FC Dallas)

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Chivas USA (MLS) at Ventura County Fusion (PDL)
Ventura College; Ventura, Calif.; 10 p.m. ET
Broadcast: TBA
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
Winner will play at Los Angeles Galaxy or at Carolina RailHawks

Chivas USA’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament
Ventura County Fusion’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 1: Ventura County Fusion (PDL) 6:2 (AET) Fullerton Rangers (NPSL) [+] Recap
Rd 2: Ventura County Fusion (PDL) 3:1 (AET) Los Angeles Blues (USL Pro) [+] Recap

Two clubs with contrasting histories in their respective leagues come together in Los Angeles. The Ventura County Fusion have been one of the more dominant clubs in the Southwest Division for a while, and claimed the league championship in 2009. The Fusion are off to a 3-1-1 start in league play with victories in their last three games, five including US Open Cup. They downed the NPSL’s Fullerton Rangers, 6-2 in overtime, in the First Round. And despite playing twice – two shutout wins – before the Second Round, they stunned the USL Pro LA Blues, 3-1 in overtime, to remain one of three amateur teams left in the tournament. The team is coming off a 4-1 victory Saturday against the Southern California Seahorses with three goals from Travis Bowen in his debut. Two of the goals were set up by Francisco Lopez, who has been the Open Cup star with overtime goals.

Unlike the Fusion, Chivas USA is still searching for glory. At 4-6-3 the club has been surprisingly strong in what was expected to be another rebuilding year under second-year coach Robin Fraser, sitting above both FC Dallas and rival LA Galaxy in the table. The club’s improved defense has been a key factor, 14 allowed in 13 games, as the offense has been sparse with only nine goals. The team is on a four-game unbeaten run, playing to a pair of 1-1 draws this past week in New York Wednesday and at home versus Seattle Saturday. The previous weekend, they stunned many with a rare win against the reigning league champion Galaxy, 1-0. That came a week after an impressive 1-1 road draw against the high-flying offense of the San Jose Earthquakes.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Chivas USA
OVERALL: 3-5-1, 2-5-0 away, 0-0-1 (0-1 PKs) vs. amateur clubs
BEST FINISH: Semifinals (2010, lost 3-1 at Seattle Sounders)
LAST ENTRY: 2010 (Semifinals, lost 3-1 at Seattle Sounders)
Ventura County Fusion
OVERALL: 3-1-1 (0-1 in PKs), 2-0-0 away, 0-0-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 2 (2011, lost 1-0 vs. Los Angeles Blues)
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Round 2, lost 1-0 vs. Los Angeles Blues)

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Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Seattle Sounders (MLS)
Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.; 10 p.m. ET
Broadcast: SoundersFC.com (Video)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
If Seattle wins … home vs. Cal FC OR at Portland Timbers
If Atlanta wins … at Portland Timbers OR TBD vs. Cal FC

Atlanta Silverbacks’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) 1:0 Georgia Revolution (NPSL) [+] Recap
Seattle Sounders’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament

It was not quite the last game between the two clubs at the Starfire Soccer Complex as the Sounders played one more USL First Division campaign before moving onto Major League Soccer after the 2008 season. But the memory of a stinging 4-0 loss in the 2007 championship game has to still be on the minds of team management as they trek back to Seattle for the first time in four years. Only defender Martyn Lancaster remains from the Silverbacks roster that took the field that night. Standing on the other side again may very well defender Zach Scott and forward Roger Levesque. And in one other small twist, Atlanta’s Ciaran O’Brien’s brother, Leighton, was a part of that game for Seattle, though he left after 18 minutes with an injury. The Silverbacks were never able to avenge the defeat, falling 2-0 at home and 4-2 away early in the season and playing to a 1-1 draw in the final month at Starfire.

Atlanta comes into the contest with a narrow Second Round victory against amateur NPSL side Georgia Revolution as the only win of the campaign as they are one of two winless sides (Carolina) in the NASL at 0-4-5. A 1-1 draw in Fort Lauderdale Saturday ended a four-game losing streak in which they allowed at least two goals in every game. Reinaldo Navia has been the star of the season thus far with six goals, but his equalizer Saturday, set up by O’Brien, was the first in five games.

The Sounders bring the weight of being the three-time Open Cup champions to the table as well as one of the best records in the league at 8-3-3. The Sounders, though, have struggled of late with a four-game winless stretch (0-2-2) and are coming off a two-game week in MLS, falling at home to Columbus, 2-0, and playing to a 1-1 draw on the road against Chivas USA. Scoring has come from a myriad of players and the team is relying heavily on rookie goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, who is in relief of the injured Michael Gspurning. Last year Meredith was on the other side of the equation playing for the PDL Kitsap Pumas. He guided them to a pair of wins versus amateur competition before falling, 2-1, at Starfire to the Sounders. The Sounders enter the 2012 tournament riding a Modern Pro Era record 17-game unbeaten streak dating back to the 2008 campaign, including a 12-game unbeaten streak as an MLS franchise.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Atlanta Silverbacks
OVERALL: 5-6-2 (1-1 in PKs), 2-3-2 (1-1 in PKs) away, 0-2-1 (0-1 PKs) vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 4 (2004, lost 4-1 vs. Kansas City Wizards)
LAST ENTRY: 2008 (Round 2, lost 1-0 at Miami FC)
Seattle Sounders
OVERALL: 26-11-3 (2-1 PKs), 20-2-1 (1-0 PKs) at home, 3-1-2 (1-1 PKs) vs. Division 2 clubs
AS MLS: 11-0-1 (1-0 PKs), 9-0-0 at home, 1-0-1 (1-0 PKs) vs. Division 2 clubs
BEST FINISH: 2009, 2010, 2011 US Open Cup champions
LAST ENTRY: 2011 (Champion, 2-0 win vs. Chicago Fire)

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Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Cagan Stadium, Stanford University; Stanford, Calif.; 10:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: TBA
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
If San Jose wins … home vs. Real Salt Lake/Minnesota Stars FC winner
If Fort Lauderdale wins … at Real Salt Lake/Minnesota Stars FC winner

Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 2: Fresno Fuego (PDL) 2:7 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) [+] Recap
San Jose Earthquakes’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament

Soccer history has a page set aside for the rivalry that was between the Strikers and the Earthquakes. Dating back to the 1970s and ‘80s of the old NASL, the Earthquakes had a significant edge over the Strikers. From 1977-83, San Jose had a 2-10-0 advantage over the Fort Lauderdale team that is making their revival into this year’s US Open Cup.

The Strikers are coming off a 7-2 rout over PDL’s Fresno Fuego. Aly Hassan scored a hat trick, with three other teammates contributing to the scoreline at home. Fort Lauderdale, fifth in NASL, is currently 2-3-4 in their season and is 0-2-2 away from Lockhart Stadium.

San Jose has a US Open Cup record of 8-6-4 (2-2 in PKs) and is making a return to the tournament, a first since a quarterfinal appearance in 2005. Aside from the game not being at their normal home field at Buckshaw Stadium (this game will be at Cagan Stadium on Stanford University’s campus), Chris Wondolowski will not be in the lineup for this third round game. San Jose’s leader in goals and shots is currently serving on the US national team. The Earthquakes are currently second in the Western Conference and overall in MLS, but have only won once in their last five league games.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
OVERALL: 6-4-1 (0-1 in PKs), 0-3-1 away, 0-2-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: Round 3 (2008, 2010)
LAST ENTRY: Round 3 (2010, lost 1-0 at Houston Dynamo)
San Jose Earthquakes
OVERALL: 8-6-4 (2-2 PKs), 1-3-1 (0-1 PKs) at home, 5-1-2 (2-0) vs. Division 2 clubs
BEST FINISH: Semifinals (2004, lost 1-0 at Kansas City Wizards)
LAST ENTRY: 2005 (Quarterfinals, lost 2-1 vs. Los Angeles Galaxy)

—————————————-

Cal FC (USASA) at Portland Timbers (MLS)
JELD-WEN Field; Portland, Ore.; 10:30 p.m. PT
Broadcast: PortlandTimbers.com (Video) | 750AM (Audio)
Round 4 scenarios (June 5):
If Portland wins … home vs. Seattle Sounders/Atlanta Silverbacks winner
If Cal FC wins … at Seattle Sounders OR TBD vs. Atlanta Silverbacks

Cal FC’s 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
Rd 1: Cal FC (USASA) 3:1 Kitsap Pumas (PDL) [+] Recap
Rd 2: Cal FC (USASA) 4:0 Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro) [+] Recap
Portland Timbers’ 2012 US Open Cup results (home team on right):
First game of 2012 tournament

If any team can have “giant killer” status, Cal FC are definitely merit of that. In the first round, they met PDL champs Kitsap Pumas and sent them packing early, with the help from former US youth international Danny Barrera netting two goals in the 3-1 victory. Cal FC traveled to Wilmington, knocking off the USL Pro side 4-0. Barrera won his second straight TheCup.us Player of the Round award by scoring two more goals, along with Artur Aghasyan and Pedro Ferreira-Mendez contributing.

Cal FC are just the second USASA team from southern California to win a US Open Cup game. The first team, Hollywood United, also faced the Portland Timbers in the next round. The Timbers were a USL First Division team at the time and were upset by Hollywood 3-2.

The current form of the Timbers could be better, with only one win in the month of May and three draws to go along with it. Portland’s three league wins this season have all come playing at home so far, with their home record standing at 3-2-2. The Timbers are currently 7th in the Western Conference and 14th in all of MLS. This will be the first time for Portland’s MLS team to enter the US Open Cup, and the first time since 2010 a Timbers franchise has been in the tournament.

Modern Pro Era Open Cup Records:
Cal FC
OVERALL: 2-0-0, 2-0-0 away, 0-0-0 vs. MLS clubs
BEST FINISH: 2012 is their first entry
LAST ENTRY: 2012 is their first entry
Portland Timbers
OVERALL: 7-6-1 (0-1 PKs), 2-4-1 (0-1 PKs) at home, 5-1-0 vs. amateur clubs
AS MLS: 2012 is their first entry
BEST FINISH: Fourth Round (2005, lost 2-0 vs.San Jose Earthquakes)
LAST ENTRY: 2010 (Third Round, drew 1-1 vs. Seattle Sounders, lost in PKs 4-3)

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