For those who follow the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for competitive and exciting games between various levels of play within the United States, the first two days of Round 4 have been for you. Three of the five games saw MLS teams eliminated by their lower division opponent. Of the five games, three of them were decided by a single goal, one of them went to penalty kicks. The only one-sided affair of the round so far was Saturday’s headliner between the New York Cosmos and the New York Red Bulls, where the NASL club dominated in one of the most-anticipated Open Cup games in recent memory. Also, it has been a good round for home teams as the teams that hosted all eliminated the visiting team (4-0-1, 1-0 in PKs).
There are still 11 games remaining in Round 4, six on Tuesday, June 17 and five on Wednesday. June 18. Here is a brief look at each Round 4 game so far with links to the full match report.
June 14: New York Cosmos (NASL) 3:0 New York Red Bulls (MLS)
Eager to reclaim the prestige of their namesake, the New York Cosmos won convincingly in their first-ever meeting with the New York Red Bulls, 3-0. It has begun as an instant rivalry among the fans but when it came to the play on the field, it was one-way traffic as the Cosmos made quick work of their local counterparts, out-shooting the MLS side 21-3. Mads Stokkelien scored a pair of goals, one in each half, and Alessandro Noselli’s header in the 78th minute put the nail in the coffin for the Red Bulls who have gone 11 Open Cup appearances without winning multiple games. The Cosmos will either face the Philadelphia Union or Harrisburg City Islanders next round. MATCH REPORT [+]
HIGHLIGHTS: NEW YORK COSMOS 3:0 NEW YORK RED BULLS
June 14: Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) 2:1 Real Salt Lake (MLS)
For a team that has been competing in the US Open Cup on and off since 1995, the Atlanta Silverbacks have not felt a lot of success over the years. They have only won more than 2 games in a tournament once (2007) and have never upset a MLS team in five tries (0-4-1, 0-1 PKs) They finally broke through on Saturday, upsetting last year’s Open Cup runner-up Real Salt Lake, 2-1. Robbie Findley gave RSL an early lead after capitalizing on a misplayed capitalized on a misplayed backpass by Atlanta’s Derby Carrillo, who was forced into the starting lineup through injury. However, Atlanta’s Junior Burgos and Kwadwo Poku would help give the home team the lead. Poku sent an excellent pass to Burgos, who slotted away past RSL’s Jeff Attinella. The Silverbacks were going toe-to-toe with RSL until Poku scored a late goal to give Atlanta to win. The Silverbacks move forward with some key pieces who have enjoyed recent success in the Open Cup. Poku, one could say, got the attention of the Atlanta scouts when he scored four Open Cup goals playing for the Georgia Revolution of the NPSL last year. With the win, manager Eric Wynalda builds on his coaching resume with his second career MLS upset as a manager, having been in charge of the Cal FC amateur team who traveled up to Portland and upset the Timbers in 2012. MATCH REPORT [+]
HIGHLIGHTS: ATLANTA SILVERBACKS 2:1 REAL SALT LAKE
June 14: Carolina RailHawks (NASL) 1:1 (3:2 PKs) Chivas USA (MLS)
Carolina’s Zach Schilawski (29th min.) and Chivas USA’s Ryan Finley (40th min.) traded first half goals, but after a scoreless second half and two periods of extra time, a spot in Round 5 had to be decided from the penalty spot. Despite falling behind 2-1 in the tiebreaker, the RailHawks rallied and emerged victorious 3-2 after eight rounds of spot kicks. Rookie goalkeeper Scott Goodwin came up big with 11 saves and 3 stops in the shootout to beat out veteran keeper Dan Kennedy. After Kennedy had his attempt saved, Zack Schilawski leveled the shootout at 2-2, but two players from each team failed their spot kick attempt to put the contest into a winner-take-all scenario. Marco Delgado of Chivas USA led off the 7th round by having his shot saved and Daniel Jackson responded with a goal to give send the RailHawks to Round 5 after eliminating their fifth MLS team in club history. Next up, Carolina will either host the LA Galaxy for the third year in a row, or travel to Tucson to play Arizona United. MATCH REPORT [+]
HIGHLIGHTS: CAROLINA RAILHAWKS 1:1 (3:2 PKs) CHIVAS USA
June 11: Houston Dynamo (MLS) 1:0 Laredo Heat (PDL)
The Dynamo were able to steal a win away from the PDL’s Laredo Heat on an Alexander Lopez goal in the 38th minute. Laredo did not help themselves by going a man down two minutes after the goal, as Mattieu Braem earned his second yellow card. However, early in the second half, Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric brought the game to 10v10 by receiving a red card for holding the ball outside of the penalty area. Fortunately the goalie’s mistake did not cost them the lead, as the MLS side held the Heat at bay for the rest of the match. MATCH REPORT [+]
June 11: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 2:1 Sacramento Republic (USL PRO)
Sacramento’s Justin Braun put his USL-PRO expansion side on his back to give the lower division side the lead three minutes before halftime, yet San Jose grabbed a penalty chance to equalize, and Khari Stevenson shot true. San Jose then grabbed a hold of some Seattle luck, as former Sounders striker Cordell Cato put the Earthquakes ahead at 15 minutes to time. Sacramento put themselves further under the gun late, as Chad Bartlome put his team down by picking up a second yellow. The Republic couldn’t recover, setting up their MLS counterparts to either host the USASA’s PSA Elite, or travel to take on the Sounders. MATCH REPORT [+]