2016 US Open Cup Quarterfinals review: Late goals galore as former champions advance to final four

Posted by | July 20, 2016
The New England Revolution celebrate after a goal against the Philadelphia Union. Photo: David Silverman | New England Revolution

The New England Revolution celebrate after a goal against the Philadelphia Union. Photo: David Silverman | New England Revolution

Late drama defined Quarterfinal Night at the US Open Cup. The four games saw four goals scored in the 85th minute or later, including two winners and one dramatic equalizer that eventually forced penalties.

The final lower-division team took its bow, leaving four MLS teams to contest the Semifinals. The four clubs remaining have combined to appear in 32 Open Cup Semifinals and 15 Finals, winning 8 Open Cups between them.

Here is a brief recap of each Quarterfinal match with links to the full match report (Check back as more will be added). We start in Chicago, the only place where there was decidedly no late drama:

Ft Lauderdale Strikers Ft Lauderdale Strikers   
0 : 3
Chicago Fire    Chicago Fire
 Toyota Park – Bridgeview, IL 

Reigning TheCup.us Player of the Round David Accam again led the way, earning and converting a penalty in the 4th minute for his fourth goal of the tournament and dishing out what would prove to be the game-winner. Accam helped double the lead when he set up Michael de Leeuw in the 35th minute and Khaly Thiam all but sealed the game for the Fire when his goal in the 51st minute made it 3-0. Gale Agbossoumonde did not make life easier for the Strikers, the last non-MLS team left in the Open Cup field, when he got himself sent off in the 70th minute.

Though the Fire have not made the MLS Playoffs since 2012, they’ve been prodigious in the Open Cup. With the win, they secured their fourth consecutive Semifinals berth and their 12th overall, setting the all-time US Open Cup record. FULL MATCH REPORT »

New England advances 4-2 in penalty kicks
Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia Union  
1 : 1
New England Revolution    New England Revolution
 Soldiers Field - Boston, MA 

The Union’s bid to host their third consecutive US Open Cup Final came to an end at the hands of Brad Knighton, Je-Vaughn Watson, and the New England Revolution. Watson scored the opener in the 44th minute to the delight of the Harvard crowd, and through most of the second half it looked like that would be the winner. But Fabian Herbers had other ideas, receiving a pass from Sebastain Le Toux for the 90th-minute equalizer.

MLS All-Star Andre Blake was brilliant in regulation and even more brilliant in extra time, stopping seven shots. But he could not match his counterpart Knighton in the shootout, who stopped Le Toux and CJ Sapong’s efforts before Watson powered home the semifinal-clinching penalty. It will be New England’s fourth overall appearance in the final four, and their first since 2008. FULL MATCH REPORT »

FC DallasFC Dallas  
1 : 0
Houston Dynamo    Houston Dynamo
 BBVA Compass Stadium - Houston, TX 

The MLS Supporters’ Shield leaders left it late, but in the end, FC Dallas were the only road team to advance out of the Quarterfinals on Wednesday night after Castillo’s stoppage time winner over in-state rivals Houston Dynamo. After a cagey first half, Houston looked the better team for much of the second half behind the ambition of Mauro Manotas. Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz did well to keep Manotas off the board in the 48th minute. Manotas went on to beat Seitz in the 60th minute, but could not beat the woodwork.

Castillo then showed why transfer rumors constantly swirl around Frisco, firing home a wide-angle shot to sink the Houston faithful. With the win, FC Dallas will make their ninth Semifinal appearance, this one against fellow Western Conference powerhouse LA Galaxy. FULL MATCH REPORT »

Seattle Sounders FCSeattle Sounders FC  
2 : 4
Los Angeles Galaxy    Los Angeles Galaxy
 StubHub Center Track Stadium – Carson, CA 

Both teams started “B+” squads for this quarterfinal matchup in Carson, Calif. But it was a trio of regulars that brought the game back for the Galaxy and ultimately buried the Sounders. Giovani dos Santos, who made his Open Cup debut when he subbed on at the 74th minute, scored an equalizer for the home side just three minutes later. Sebastian Lletget, who did start the game, pulled LA ahead in the 85th minute and put the game away in the 88th after a wonderful combination with Gyasi Zardes.

Michael Farfan put the Sounders in front in the 4th minute, but LA’s Alan Gordon was quick to respond to make it 1-1 in the 18th. Herculez Gomez scored a particularly fashionable goal in the 58th minute when he volleyed it home from a wide angle. But it was all for naught in the end. The Galaxy move on to their seventh Open Cup semifinal and their first since 2006. FULL MATCH REPORT »