Notable upsets in the Third Round of the US Open Cup

Posted by | May 22, 2014
The Michigan Bucks upset the Chicago Fire of MLS in 2012 Third Round. Photo: Kelly Haapala

The Michigan Bucks upset the Chicago Fire of MLS in 2012 Third Round. Photo: Kelly Haapala

MORE: Things you should know about the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup

2006 – Dallas Roma FC (USASA) 0:0 Chivas USA (MLS)
(Dallas advances 4-2 in PKs)

For all of you who ever wanted the #16 seed to win in the NCAA basketball tournament, we hope you are soccer fans.

Dallas Roma FC, from the North Texas Premier Soccer Association, made history defeating Chivas USA of Major League Soccer on penalties, after playing to a 0-0 draw after extra time. Not only did they defeat their second straight professional opponent in the US Open Cup, they became the first USASA club to eliminate a team from Major League Soccer in the US Open Cup. Chivas was dealt a major blow when their leading scorer, Ante Razov, was sent off in the 57th minute for a reckless foul on Roma defender Todd Paulette. Soon after, Chivas head coach Bob Bradley sent in more of his regular starters, Jason Hernandez, Tim Regan and Juan Francisco Palencia.

The Roma defense, named Players of the Round for their win vs. Miami FC, held firm yet again against the Chivas attack, holding the scoreless draw through 120 minutes, at times keeping all 11 players in their own end in extra time.

Roma had a few chances in the second half as well, most notably Dominic Schell hitting the crossbar after Mark Rowland’s shot was knocked away by Chivas goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Chivas took the first spot kick in the penalty session, and Juan Francisco Palencia saw his attempt saved by Jessie Llamas. Roma’s Matt Clark and Mark Rowland converted the next kicks, as Sacha Kljestan for Chivas. Fortunes turned Roma’s way when Llamas came through again and saved Jesse Marsch’s kick, and Brad Flanagan scored for Roma to make it 3-1. After Claudio Suarez made it 3-2, Dominic Schell stepped up and put Roma in the history books. Previously, the closest a USASA side has come to defeating an MLS club was in 2000, when Florida’s Uruguay SC fell to the Tampa Bay Mutiny 1-0 in extra time.

1997 – Chicago Stingers (D3 Pro) 2:1 Colorado Rapids (MLS)
1997 – San Francisco Bay Seals (D3 Pro) 2:1 Kansas City Wizards (MLS)

The Modern Era of the Open Cup was still young, and Rochester caused a stir in ’96 with their amazing run to the final.

The San Francisco Bay Seals and Chicago Stingers were determined to top that, and top it they did.

Each team made their way to the third round, no small feat in itself. Both clubs defeated A-League sides in the second round, and now stepped up to face the daunting challenge of Major League Soccer. The Seals were first, taking on the Kansas City Wizards on July 24.

As if being the underdog wasn’t motivation enough, Seals forward Marquis White had something to prove of his own. White was dropped in 1996 by the New England Revolution, and he was eager to prove that he could play at the highest level. White didn’t waste any time, scoring in the very first minute of the game, taking a pass from Chris Davini and racing past the Wizards defenders and goalkeeper Chris Snitko for the goal. On the other end, the Seals defense kept the Kansas City forwards stifled and frustrated, but the Wizards eventually equalized in the 39th minute with a Frank Klopas goal.

Marquis White then stepped up a second time, taking another Davini pass home for the game-winning goal in the 55th minute, setting off celebrations at Negoesco Fiield once the final whistle blew. “I knew I could play, and this proves it” said an ecstatic White after the game. The Seals, as a team, also proved they could play, defeating the San Jose Clash in the quarterfinals to move on to the semifinals, eventually losing a close game to DC United 2-1.

Six days later, the Chicago Stingers took their turn at giant killing, knocking off the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in front of 4,730 fans at Chicago’s Forest View Park. Misfortune started early for Colorado, as the Rapids goalkeeper Paul Grafer was sent off after 17 minutes. The Stingers then took control, as Matt Hamnett and Chris Jahr scores goals before and after halftime to take a lead they would never surrender. Chris Henderson pulled one back for Colorado, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the upstart Stingers. Chicago were eventually overwhelmed by the Dallas Burn in the next round, 4-1, but the Seals and Stingers proved that the Open Cup would never be an easy walk for any MLS team.

2012 – Cal FC (USASA – 4th Div.) 1:0 (AET) Portland Timbers (MLS)

2012 – Michigan Bucks (PDL – 4th Div.) 3:2 (AET) Chicago Fire (MLS)

The Third Round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup was one of the craziest rounds in tournament history. 16 Major League Soccer teams joined the competition and only eight of them survived to play in Round 4. The two biggest stunners came from the Michigan Bucks (PDL) and newcomers Cal FC (USASA).

14 of the 16 games were played on Tuesday, May 29 and among those were the Michigan Bucks hosting four-time champion Chicago Fire indoors at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich. It was just the 4th US Open Cup game ever played indoors and the Bucks upset the Fire 3-2 in extra time.

The Bucks struck first just nine minutes into the match when Tommy Catalano received a pass from star veteran Kenny Uzoigwe to put the home team up 1-0. The Fire would equalize on a goal from Corben Bone in the 28th minute and take the lead in the 58th minute thanks to Frederico Puppo and it looked like the MLS team was going to take control, as they so often do in these underdog scenarios, but today wasn’t their day as a cross from Crnkic found the head of Nate Boyden in the box to tie the match at 2-2. The match would go into extra time and after play resumed, the Bucks wasted no time in putting the pressure on the Fire. What proved to be the eventual game-winning goal came just three minutes in when Crnkic ripped a shot toward the net. The goalkeeper got a hand on it but it wasn’t enough to keep it out as the Bucks would go on to win 3-2 to become the first amateur club in the Modern Era to defeat two MLS teams (They upset the New England Revolution back in 2000).[+]FULL MATCH RECAP

After seven MLS teams were eliminated on Tuesday, what could possibly be in store for the following day? It would turn out to be arguably the biggest upset of the Modern Era (1995-present).

Cal FC, led by their manager former US international Eric Wynalda, traveled from Southern California up to Portland, Ore. and upset the Portland Timbers 1-0 in extra time. After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, Artur Aghasyan streaked down the middle of the field, easily beating a lopsided offside trap, collected a well placed through ball and calmly chipped goalkeeper Troy Perkins. It was the only goal they would need to become the first USASA team to defeat a Major League Soccer team (Dallas Roma FC in 2006 eliminated Chivas USA in a penalty kick shootout). A USASA team defeating a MLS team was rare enough, but there had only been four previous USASA teams that had advanced far enough to even play against the top division. In those four games, none of the USASA teams even scored a goal. They were also just the fifth amateur team to eliminate a MLS sidse, and the 12th USASA team to eliminate a pro team of any kind. [+]FULL MATCH RECAP

Other upsets in the Third Round
1997 – Long Island Rough Riders (A-League) 4:1 New England Revolution (MLS)
1998 – Nashville Metros (A-League) 3:1 Kansas City Wizards (MLS)
1999 – Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) 1:0 Chicago Fire (MLS)
1999 – Staten Island Vipers (A-League) 3:2 MetroStars (MLS)
1999 – Charleston Battery (A-League) 4:3 DC United (MLS)
2003 – Fresno Fuego (PDL) 5:2 El Paso Patriots (A-League)
2003 – Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL) 2:1 Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League)
2006 – Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-2) 2:1 Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1)
2007 – Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) 1:0 DC United (MLS)
2007 – Richmond Kickers (USL-2) 1:0 Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
2007 – Carolina RailHawks (USL-1) 1:0 Chicago Fire (MLS)
2007 – Charleston Battery (USL-1) 1:0 (aet) Houston Dynamo (MLS)
2007 – Seattle Sounders (USL-1) 3:1 Chivas USA (MLS)
2008 – Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL-2) 2:0 New York Red Bulls (MLS)
2008 – Seattle Sounders (USL-1) 2:0 Chivas USA (MLS)
2009 – Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) 2:1 (aet) New England Revolution (MLS)
2009 – Rochester Rhinos (USL-1) 1:1 Columbus Crew (MLS) (Rochester advance 5-3 in PKs)
2009 – Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-2) 1:0 Chicago Fire (MLS)
2009 – Charleston Battery (USL-1) 3:1 Chivas USA (MLS)
2010 – Charleston Battery (USL-2) 0:0 Chicago Fire (MLS) (Charleston advance 3-0 in PKs)
2011 – Richmond Kickers (USL Pro – 3rd Div.) 2:1 Columbus Crew (MLS)
2012 – Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro – 3rd Div.) 3:3 (4:3 PKs) New England Revolution (MLS)
2012 – Carolina RailHawks (NASL – 2nd Div.) 2:1 Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
2012 – Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro – 3rd Div.) 2:1 Columbus Crew (MLS)
2012 – Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro – 3rd Div.) 2:0 FC Dallas (MLS)
2012 – San Antonio Scorpions (NASL – 2nd Div.) 1:0 Houston Dynamo (MLS)
2012 – Minnesota Stars FC (NASL – 2nd Div.) 3:1 Real Salt Lake (MLS)
2013 – Orlando City SC (USL Pro – 3rd Div.) 3:1 Colorado Rapids (MLS)
2013 – Charleston Battery (USL Pro – 3rd Div.) 1:0 San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
2013 – Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL – 2nd Div.) 1:0 Seattle Sounders (MLS)
2014 – Orlando City U23s (PDL – 4th Div.) 2:2 (12:11 PKs) Charleston Battery (USL PRO – 3rd Div.)
2014 – Laredo Heat (PDL – 4th Div.) 3:2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2014 – PSA Elite (USASA – 4th Div.) 0:0 (3:1 PKs) Los Angeles Galaxy II (USL PRO – 3rd Div.)
2015 – Richmond Kickers (USL – 3rd Div.) 3:0 Jacksonville Armada (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2015 – Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL – 3rd Div.) 1:0 Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2015 – Charlotte Independence (USL – 3rd Div.) 1:0 Carolina RailHawks (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2015 – Charleston Battery (USL – 3rd Div.) 3:2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2015 – Louisville City FC (USL – 3rd Div.) 2:0 (AET) Indy Eleven (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2015 – Saint Louis FC (USL – 3rd Div.) 1:1 (3:1 PKs) Minnesota United FC (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2015 – Austin Aztex (USL – 3rd Div.) 2:0 San Antonio Scorpions (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2016 – Wilmington Hammerheads (USL – 3rd Div.) 2:1 Miami FC (NASL – 2nd Div.)
2016 – Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL – 3rd Div.) 2:1 (AET) Rayo OKC (NASL)
2016 – Kitsap Pumas (PDL – Open Div.) 3:1 Sacramento Republic (USL – 3rd Div.)
2017 – None
2018 – FC Golden State Force (PDL – Open Div.) 2:1 Las Vegas Lights (USL – 2nd Div.)

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