2017 US Open Cup: Who should be voted TheCup.us Players of the Tournament?

Posted by | September 28, 2017
Some of the top individual performances of the 2017 US Open Cup.

Some of the top individual performances of the 2017 US Open Cup.

The 104th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is complete with Sporting Kansas City lifting the trophy for the fourth time. As qualifying for the 2018 tournament is already underway, we take a look back at some of the best individual performances from the 2017 US Open Cup.

Each year, the staff at TheCup.us and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters votes on the Player of the Round for each stage of the tournament and when the Open Cup is complete, they vote on two Player of the Tournament awards. They vote on the top player among all of the lower division teams in the competition and the top player among all of the teams in the Open Cup.

Listed below (in alphabetical order) are candidates for both awards. Check out the list of nominees and tell us on social media who you think should win each award:

2017 TheCup.us Lower Division Player of the Tournament

UPDATE: Mitch Hildebrandt was voted TheCup.us Lower Division Player of the Tournament


DJIBY FALL – FC CINCINNATI (USL)

Round 2: Scored the game-winning goal in the 117th minute in a 1-0 home win vs. AFC Cleveland (NPSL)

Round 3: Scored the game-winning goal in the 49th minute in a 1-0 home win vs. Louisville City FC (USL)

Round 4: Scored the game-winning goal in the 64th minute in a 1-0 home win vs. Columbus Crew (MLS)

Rd of 16: Did not play in 0-0 draw (3-1 PK win) vs. Chicago Fire (MLS)

Quarterfinals: Scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute in a 1-0 road win vs. Miami FC (NASL), voted TheCup.us Player of the Round

Semifinals: Did not play (suspended) in a 3-2 home loss vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)

NOTES: Tied for the tournament lead with 4 goals (all of them game-winners) and is also the first player in Modern Era to score four consecutive game-winning goals and the first player to score four game-winning goals in a single tournament.

Mitch Hildebrandt of FC Cincinnati made faced 26 shots from the Chicago FIre and made 10 saves, include 3 stops in the penalty kick shootout. Photo: Erik Schelkun | FC Cincinnati

Mitch Hildebrandt of FC Cincinnati made faced 26 shots from the Chicago FIre and made 10 saves, include 3 stops in the penalty kick shootout. Photo: Erik Schelkun | FC Cincinnati

MITCH HILDEBRANDT – FC CINCINNATI (USL)

Round 2: Did not play in a 1-0 home win vs. AFC Cleveland (NPSL)

Round 3: Made three saves and had a shutout in a 1-0 home win vs. Louisville City FC (USL)

Round 4: Made five saves and had a shutout in a 1-0 home win vs. Columbus Crew (MLS)

Rd of 16: Made 10 saves and had a shutout for 120 minutes in a 0-0 home draw & made 3 saves in a 3-1 PK shootout win vs. Chicago Fire (MLS) … He was also voted TheCup.us Player of the Round

Quarterfinals: Made 3 saves and had a shutout in a 1-0 road win vs. Miami FC (NASL)

Semifinals: Made 5 saves in a 3-2 home loss vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)

NOTES: Hildebrandt broke the Modern Era record for personal shutout streak (543 mins. – dating back to last year) and broke the record for a single-tournament shutout streak (464 mins.). He is also the first goalkeeper to earn five shutouts in a single tournament.

Stefano Pinho of Miami FC scored one of his three goals against Orlando City in the Fourth Round of the 2017 US Open Cup. Photo: Miami FC

Stefano Pinho of Miami FC scored one of his three goals against Orlando City in the Fourth Round of the 2017 US Open Cup. Photo: Miami FC

STEFANO PINHO – MIAMI FC (NASL)

Round 2: Did not play in a 3-2 home win vs. South Florida Surf (PDL)

Round 3: Did not play in a 2-0 home win vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL)

Round 4: Started and played 87 minutes and scored all 3 goals in a 3-1 road win vs. Orlando City SC (MLS) – was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round

Rd of 16: Started and played 90 minutes and scored the opening goal in the 37th minute in a 3-2 home win vs. Atlanta United (MLS)

Quarterfinals: Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-0 home loss vs. FC Cincinnati (USL)

NOTES: Tied for the tournament lead with 4 goals

KWADWO POKU – MIAMI FC (NASL)

Round 2: Started and played 90 minutes and scored the opening goal (48th min.) in a 3-2 home win vs. South Florida Surf (PDL)

Round 3: Started and played 90 minutes in a 2-0 home win vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL)

Round 4: Started and played 77 minutes in a 3-1 road win vs. Orlando City SC (MLS)

Rd of 16: Started and played 90 minutes, assisted on the opening goal (37th min.) and scored a dramatic game-winner in 2nd half stoppage time in a 3-2 home win vs. Atlanta United (MLS)

Quarterfinals: Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-0 home loss vs. FC Cincinnati (USL)

Phil Saunders of Christos FC makes one of his seven saves in a 1-0 road win over the Richmond Kickers. Photo: Jessica Hendricks | Richmond Kickers

Phil Saunders of Christos FC makes one of his seven saves in a 1-0 road win over the Richmond Kickers. Photo: Jessica Hendricks | Richmond Kickers

PHIL SAUNDERS – CHRISTOS FC (USASA)

Round 1: Earned a shutout (no saves/game stats were tracked) in a 3-0 road win vs. Fredericksburg FC (NPSL)

Round 2: Made 7 saves and had a shutout in a 1-0 road win vs. Richmond Kickers (USL) – was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round

Round 3: Made 10 saves and had a shutout in a 1-0 road win vs. Chicago FC United (PDL) – fell one vote short of Player of the Round honors

Round 4: Made 6 saves in a 4-1 road loss vs. DC United (MLS)


2017 TheCup.us Overall Player of the Tournament

Djiby Fall of FC Cincinnati became the first player in the Modern Era to score four game-winning goals in a single tournament. Photo: FC Cincinnati

Djiby Fall of FC Cincinnati became the first player in the Modern Era to score four game-winning goals in a single tournament. Photo: FC Cincinnati

DJIBY FALL – FC CINCINNATI (USL)

Round 2: Scored the game-winning goal in the 117th minute in a 1-0 home win vs. AFC Cleveland (NPSL)

Round 3: Scored the game-winning goal in the 49th minute in a 1-0 home win vs. Louisville City FC (USL)

Round 4: Scored the game-winning goal in the 64th minute in a 1-0 home win vs. Columbus Crew (MLS)

Rd of 16: Did not play in 0-0 draw (3-1 PK win) vs. Chicago Fire (MLS)

Quarterfinals: Scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute in a 1-0 road win vs. Miami FC (NASL)voted TheCup.us Player of the Round

Semifinals: Did not play (suspended) in a 3-2 home loss vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)

NOTES: Tied for the tournament lead with 4 goals (all of them game-winners) and is also the first player in Modern Era to score four consecutive game-winning goals and the first player to score four game-winning goals in a single tournament.

MITCH HILDEBRANDT – FC CINCINNATI (USL)

Round 2: Did not play in a 1-0 home win vs. AFC Cleveland (NPSL)

Round 3: Made three saves and had a shutout in a 1-0 home win vs. Louisville City FC (USL)

Round 4: Made five saves and had a shutout in a 1-0 home win vs. Columbus Crew (MLS)

Rd of 16: Made 10 saves and had a shutout for 120 minutes in a 0-0 home draw & made 3 saves in a 3-1 PK shootout win vs. Chicago Fire (MLS) … He was also voted TheCup.us Player of the Round

Quarterfinals: Made 3 saves and had a shutout in a 1-0 road win vs. Miami FC (NASL)

Semifinals: Made 5 saves in a 3-2 home loss vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)

NOTES: Hildebrandt broke the Modern Era record for personal shutout streak (543 mins. – dating back to last year) and broke the record for a single-tournament shutout streak (464 mins.). He is also the first goalkeeper to earn five shutouts in a single tournament.

Danny Hoesen and his San Jose Earthquakes teammates celebrate his goal against Sporting KC in the 2017 US Open Cup Semifinals. Photo: Sporting KC

Danny Hoesen and his San Jose Earthquakes teammates celebrate his goal against Sporting KC in the 2017 US Open Cup Semifinals. Photo: Sporting KC

DANNY HOESEN – SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (MLS)

Round 4: Started and played 68 minutes in a 2-0 home win vs. San Francisco Deltas (NASL)

Rd of 16: Came off the bench in the 77th minute and scored the game-winning goal in the 84th minute in a 2-1 home win vs. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)

Quarterfinals: Started, played 90 minutes and scored the game-winning goal in the 62nd minute in a 3-2 home win vs. LA Galaxy (MLS)

Semifinals: Started, played 73 minutes and scored San Jose’s only goal in a 1-1 road draw (120 minutes) vs. Sporting KC (KC won PK shootout 5-4)

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia receives his 2017 US Open Cup championship medal from US Soccer president Sunil Gulati. Photo: Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia receives his 2017 US Open Cup championship medal from US Soccer president Sunil Gulati. Photo: Sporting KC

TIM MELIA – SPORTING KANSAS CITY (MLS)

Round 4: Made 0 saves and had a shutout in a 4-0 home win vs. Minnesota United (MLS)

Rd of 16: Made 2 saves and had a shutout in a 2-0 road win vs. Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Quarterfinals: Made 6 saves and had a shutout of 120 minutes in a 3-0 (AET) home win vs. FC Dallas (MLS)

Semifinals: Made 2 saves, allowed 1 goal over 120 minutes, made 2 saves in the PK shootout in a 1-1 home draw (5-4 PK win) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)

Final: Made 6 saves, allowed 1 goal over 90 minutes in a 2-1 home win vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS) – was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round

Ike Opara of Sporting Kansas City makes a pass against the New York Red Bulls in the 2017 US Open Cup Final. Photo: Bob Larson

Ike Opara of Sporting Kansas City makes a pass against the New York Red Bulls in the 2017 US Open Cup Final. Photo: Bob Larson

IKE OPARA – SPORTING KANSAS CITY (MLS)

Round 4: Started, played 88 minutes, scored the game-winning goal, defense had a shutout in a 4-0 home win vs. Minnesota United (MLS)

Rd of 16: Started, played 90 minutes, scored the game-winning goal, defense had a shutout in a 2-0 road win vs. Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Quarterfinals: Started, played 105 minutes, defense had a shutout over 120 minutes in a 3-0 (AET) home win vs. FC Dallas (MLS)

Semifinals: Started, played 120 minutes, defense allowed 1 goal in a 1-1 home draw (5-4 PK win) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)

Final: Started, played 90 minutes, defense allowed 1 goal in a 2-1 home win vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)