In 2008, the Seattle Sounders USL franchise became the first club in the Professional Era to advance to the Semifinals in consecutive seasons after beginning play in the First Round.
Since 1996, only five teams have advanced to the Semifinals after beginning play in the First Round. The Charleston Battery (2008), Carolina RailHawks (2007), San Francisco Bay Seals (1997) and the Seattle Sounders who did it twice in 2007 and 2008. San Francisco remain as the only “third division” club (now the USL Second Division) to advance to the final four during that span.
Since 1995, a USASA team has failed to advance past the First Round only three times (1995, 1998, 2002). Uruguay SC from Florida made the Second Round in back-to-back years (2000, 2001), and Mexico SC (Fresno, CA) joined them in 2000. Dallas Roma FC advanced in consecutive seasons in 2005 and 2006 and Bavarian SC (Milwaukee, WI) moved on to the next round in 2003 and 2007. From 2008-2010, only one USASA club survived the opening round each year (Hollywood United – 2008, Sonoma County Sol – 2009, Arizona Sahuaros – 2010).
In 2006, a record was set when four USASA clubs (Dallas Roma FC, Sonoma County Sol, Arizona Sahuaros and Milford International) advanced to the Second Round. The previous record was set the year before when three teams advanced (Dallas Roma FC, Salinas Valley Samba, Reggae Boyz FC).
In 1999, the Wilmington Hammerheads saw two players score hat tricks in their First Round match. Ryan Walker and Luke Griffith both scored three times in Wilmington’s 8-1 rout of Los Lobos, a USASA team from Oklahoma.
The Atlanta Silverbacks embarrassed Azzurri, a USASA club from North Texas, 10-0 in the First Round of the 2007 tournament. It was the biggest route in the Professional Era, topping the Chicago Stingers’ (USL D3 Pro) 8-0 win over SAC Wisla (USASA) in 1997.
2007 marked the first year that all non-MLS teams began the tournament in the First Round. It was also the first year that any USL First Division teams started in Round 1.
In 2013, David Geno of the Seattle Sounders U23s (PDL) became the first player from an amateur team to score four goals in one game, and just the 10th player from any division to pull off the feat. He did this in Seattle’s 5-1 home win over Doxa Italia, and he scored all four of his goals in the first half.
The First Round in 2013 marked the first time that four different players scored a hat trick in the same round. Prior to that year, no more than two players had ever done it in the same round in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present). David Geno of the Sounders U23s scored four against Doxa Italia (USASA), while Hakan Ilhan (Carolina Dynamo), Kwadwo Poku (Georgia Revolution) and Argjent Duka (Icon FC) each scored a trio of goals in their respective games.