The Seattle Sounders needed overtime to eliminate the Portland Timbers to earn their 7th trip to the Semifinals in 8 years. Photo: Seattle Sounders FC
UPDATE: Blas Perez of FC Dallas was named TheCup.us Player of the Round for the Quarterfinals
The Semifinals of the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup are complete with a trio of former tournament champions advancing to the Final Four along with the Philadelphia Union completing the all-MLS field.
July 9: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) 3:1 (AET) Portland Timbers (MLS)
It took a flurry of goals in extra time after a Portland red card, but Sounders FC have made their way back to familiar turf. With a 3-1 win over the Timbers the Sounders will reach the Semifinals for the 7th time in the last 8 years. This is actually the first of two matches between these Cascadian rivals in five days, as Portland will travel back up the I-5 on Sunday for a league match.
Osvaldo Alonso drew opening blood in the 69th minute, scoring his 7th career tournament goal in acrobatic fashion. It seemed as though the Sounders would move on in regulation but Darlington Nagbe somehow found a Steve Zakuani pass in traffic to send the game into bonus soccer in second half stoppage time.
The game changed in the 99th minute when Portland’s Diego Chara made a rash challenge on the Sounders’ Marco Pappa and was sent off with a straight red card. 11 minutes later, Kenny Cooper scored his fourth goal of the tournament, tying the Timbers’ Gaston Fernandez (and Indy Eleven’s Blake Smith) for the lead, while helping send Fernandez’s team packing from the Open Cup. Marco Pappa sealed the deal in the 116th minute as Seattle will move on to host the Chicago Fire on August 13 in a rematch of the 2011 Final. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT WITH VIDEO
HIGHLIGHTS: PORTLAND TIMBERS AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
July 9: FC Dallas (MLS) 5:2 Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
The 5-2 scoreline doesn’t do the game justice as FC Dallas scored a pair of late goals to beat the Carolina RailHawks to reach the Semifinals for the 8th time. Up until the final minutes of the game, it was a close, up-and-down affair, with Dallas’ Blas Perez netting a hat trick that would prove to be the difference.
Five goals were scored in the first half with Dallas taking a 3-2 lead into the halftime break. The second half featured much of the same up-and-down action, except without the goals. The outcome was very much in doubt until a minute left in regular time, when Maurio Diaz cashed in to ice the game, followed by Perez’s third goal of the game at the very end of the match. They will travel to play the Philadelphia Union on August 12th. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT
UPDATE: Blas Perez of FC Dallas was named TheCup.us Player of the Round
HIGHLIGHTS: FC DALLAS AT CAROLINA RAILHAWKS
July 9: Chicago Fire (MLS) 3:1 Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)
With the Silverbacks this year, it seems that red cards are as common as goals, and sure enough, there were two red cards in this game before a goal was even scored. Chicago was able to get past the rough play and net two late goals to advance to the Open Cup Semifinals.
An otherwise quiet first half erupted 31 minutes in, as Atlanta’s Jesus Gonzalez and the Fire’s Mike Magee became entangled, then started fighting, earning them both straight reds. Mark Watson also came dangerously close to putting Chicago down two men, earning a yellow in the 34th and coming close to his second two minutes later, before being subbed out at the half.
The scoring picked up some in the second half, as Quincy Amarikwa netted the ball in the 50th minute for Chicago, only to have Atlanta’s Deon McCaulay level it four minutes later. It took until the 82nd minute for Chicago to pull away, as Jeff Larentowicz slotted a PK, and Alex stole a bad clearance and sealed the game three minutes later. The Fire travel to Cascadia to play Seattle Sounders FC at Starfire Soccer Complex on August 13. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT
MATCH REPLAY: CHICAGO FIRE AT ATLANTA SILVERBACKS
July 8: Philadelphia Union (MLS) 2-0 New England Revolution (MLS)
Miroslav Klose of Germany wasn’t the only soccer player to set scoring records on July 8. While Klose claimed the career World Cup scoring record in the afternoon, on Tuesday evening Sebastien Le Toux of the Union set the Open Cup (Modern Pro Era) career scoring record in a 2-0 handling of New England.
Conor Casey got Philly going early, only needing nine minutes to put his side up. The historic moment was set up as the Union lost a free kick set up by a yellow card on the Revs’ AJ Soares. Seba, who cut his Open Cup teeth with the USL-1 version of the Seattle Sounders, and also won an Open Cup with the MLS version, caught the rebound from a scrum and shot true only two minutes out of halftime. The Union advance to their second Semifinal in the last three years and will travel to Frisco to take on FC Dallas in the Semifinals on Aug. 12. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT
2014 US Open Cup Semifinals
Philadelphia Union (MLS) at FC Dallas (MLS)
Toyota Stadium; Frisco, TX – Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire (MLS) at Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)
Starfire Soccer Complex; Tukwila, WA – Aug. 13 at 10:30 p.m. ET