Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City became the first England native to score a hat trick in the US Open Cup’s Modern Era. Photo: Gary Rohman | Sporting KC
Sporting Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer produced four goals in his team’s 6-2 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup win over FC Dallas and as a result, has been named TheCup.us Player of the Round. By halftime, Dwyer had hit a hat trick, and added a free-kick goal to his tally in the second half.
“You might not believe this, I bumped into Krisztian [Nemeth] in the locker room, and I told him I was going to get five and he was going to get three,” Dwyer said after the game.
His goal prediction came up one short on either end, but was still impressive and important to the club. Dwyer’s four-goal game is the first ever by a Sporting player in the US Open Cup and the first since Fredric Piquionne (2013, Portland Timbers) to put up four in a single tournament game.
The award is voted on by TheCup.us staff and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters.
The forward helped the hometown Sporting KC open the floodgates from the first whistle, applying relentless pressure on Dallas. The first goal came five minutes into the game when teammate Benny Feilhaber found Dwyer on the backpost of a corner delivery. Dwyer’s header clipped the underside of the crossbar and sailed into the net in front of the KC Cauldron supporters.
His next goal came on another set piece, this on a delivery from the left wing. Feilhaber picked out Dwyer in the middle of the penalty area. The forward beat Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz to the ball, and once more, his header bounced into the net.
The hat trick was completed on a penalty kick. After Dwyer set himself up by being taken down in the penalty area, he drilled home his resulting kick to put Sporting up, 3-0. With the goal, he became the first England native to score a hat trick in the Open Cup.
“I told [Benny] before the game I wanted the PK if there was one tonight,” Dwyer said. “I remember the one missed down there earlier in the season, so I was happy to get one tonight.”
Dom Dwyer is the first Sporting Kansas City player to score a hat trick in US Open Cup play. Photo: Gary Rohman | Sporting KC
The fourth tally came from a free kick in the second half. From 25 yards out, Dwyer wrapped his free kick over the wall and into the right side-netting.
Dwyer is used to scoring in the Open Cup. Coming into the game, he had three goals – all coming while on loan with Orlando City SC, a then-USL PRO team. His goal output game in as many games for the third-tier side in 2013, including a brace against the Colorado Rapids in the third round.
After the explosive evening, Dwyer now is tied for the lead in the Open Cup goal scoring leaders list. With him is Carlos Rivas, who scored in the first half of Tuesday night’s win against the Columbus Crew. Also tied are Tomas Zahorski (Charlotte Independence, eliminated) and Tommy Stewart (Sacramento City FC, eliminated).
As expected, it was a very one-sided vote for the award. Dwyer received the vast majority of first place votes, and received a first or second place vote from every voter with the exception of one. Other players who received votes included Mike Magee of the Chicago Fire, Joe Willis of the Houston Dynamo and Sacha Kljestan of the New York Red Bulls.
Dwyer and company will be looking to repeat history for the club come July 21, starting with the Houston Dynamo in the Quarterfinals. The last time Sporting made it this far was 2012, the year they last won the Open Cup.