This year’s quarterfinal meeting of the Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes will be just the sixth time the California Clasico will have been played in the US Open Cup. However, for the better part of 40 years the rivalry between Northern and Southern California was a key component in determining the Open Cup champion.
When one thinks of US Open Cup history, Cincinnati has never been the first city to come to mind. However, with ESPN shining the national spotlight on Nippert Stadium tonight for FC Cincinnati’s Fifth Round match against the Chicago Fire (MLS), one might be surprised to know that the Queen City’s Open Cup history started 87 years ago.
Since the expanded format in 1997, a PDL team has failed to reach the third round only four times (1998, 2002, 2007, 2008). The recent struggles can be attributed to the fact that in 2007, the format was changed so that all non-MLS teams began the tournament in the first round, unlike previous tournaments where PDL teams were matched up with USASA or other PDL clubs.
Only two USASA clubs have advanced to the Third Round since 1996. Bavarian SC defeated the Reading Rage (USL D3 Pro) 1-0 in the Second Round of 2003. Dallas Roma FC became the first USASA team to defeat a USL First Division team when they eliminated Miami FC 1-0 in 2006.
PDL teams winning Second Round games doesn’t happen often, but it’s not unheard of during the Modern Era (1995-present). 17 PDL teams have made it to the Third Round. The Michigan Bucks have done it more than anyone else, advancing to Round 3 four times.
After reaching the semifinals in 2012, and the finals in 2014, Philadelphia Union will look once again to join area teams Bethlehem Steel, Philadelphia German Americans, and the Ukrainian Nationals in the ranks of US Open Cup champions. Below is a review of the Union’s history in the tournament since the team began play in MLS in 2010.
91 teams will square off in the 102nd edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Who will be this year’s Cinderella story? Who will earn a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League? Check out the schedule and results right here.