1958 US Open Cup Quarterfinals: Baltimore’s Pompei SC wins one of the longest, greatest Cup games of all-time

Posted by | July 18, 2018
A scene from the first leg of the 1958 US Open Cup Final between Pompei and Eintracht. Photo: Baltimore Sun Archives

A scene from the first leg of the 1958 US Open Cup Final between Pompei and Eintracht. Photo: Baltimore Sun Archives

Seventy years ago, Baltimore’s Pompei SC and Sport Club Eintracht of Queens, New York took part in an epic two-leg Quarterfinal series that saw the men from Queens erase a three-goal aggregate deficit in the second leg, resulting in 90 minutes of extra time to determine the victor.

The second leg of the Final is not only one of the greatest US Open Cup matches ever played, but it is quite possibly one of the longest matches ever played.

Throughout the history of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, two-legged cup-ties have been a common occurrence normally reserved for the later rounds of the tournament, from the Quarterfinals on. Two-leg matchups were never truly consistent from year to year however, as sometimes it was decided a single game was better financially due to travel costs or scheduling conflicts. The US Open Cup Final was played as a two (or three) legged affair since the 1930s, only limiting itself to a single game on a few rare occasions. With the introduction of California teams to the competition in 1955, the two-leg final was used less due to the higher travel costs. 1968 was the last time a two-game Final was played, New York Greek American SC defeating Chicago’s Olympic SC 2-1 on aggregate.

As was custom in this era, most replays and second legs of cup games in the later rounds were set to be played “to a finish”, meaning an additional 30 minutes of extra time would be played until someone won. The use of penalty kick tiebreakers would not be used until the early 1970s. This was done to prevent cup games from pushing league schedules too far into the summer, as both Open and Amateur cup games took precedence over everything else.

1958 was Pompei’s coming out party. After playing in the local Maryland leagues, Pompei took over the Baltimore Rockets franchise in the American Soccer League (ASL). The Rockets had been around only since 1953 and were perennially at the bottom of the league standings. Pompei integrated the better players from the Rockets’ roster and in 1958, the club finished third in the ASL with an 11-4-5 record and reached the final of the Open Cup.

Standing in the way of Pompei’s path to the Final was one of the best teams in the country. Despite being an amateur club, Eintracht, as well as the other top clubs from the German American Soccer League, were just about on equal footing with the American Soccer League, which, by this point, was more of a semi-pro league. Eintracht featured a number of talented players, including U.S. international and 1950 World Cup hero Walter Bahr.

GASL clubs often made deep runs in the Open Cup, including winning the championship in 1951 (German Hungarian SC) and 1955 through Eintracht. In a weird twist, Eintracht’s entry in the 1958 tournament was their first defense of their 1955 championship. Throughout 1956 and 1957, the United States Soccer Football Association and the GASL were locked in a conflict that saw the New York league lose USSFA sanctioning, thus barring the GASL clubs from cup play.

Larry Surock of Baltimore Pompei. Photo: Baltimore Sun Archives

Larry Surock of Baltimore Pompei. Photo: Baltimore Sun Archives

The first leg kicked off at 2:30 p.m. in front of 1,500 fans at Kahler’s Park in Baltimore and Pompei wasted no time getting to work.

In the first minute of play, Jimmy Cross took hold of a rebound from a missed shot and gave Pompei a quick 1-0 lead. Later in the half, Jojo DeFonso, an early substitute for Pompei, saw his header slapped away by Eintracht goalkeeper George Rademacher. Larry Surock, one of the holdovers from the Rockets (along with brother Ray), was in the right place at the right time and made the count 2-0 in favor of Pompei. Before the first half ended Eintracht managed to cut the lead in half when Alan King’s shot deflected off defender Al Massaroni’s chest and into the goal, after goalkeeper Cyril Hannaby rushed out in pursuit of the ball.

The second half turned into the Larry & Ray Surock show. Larry put his side up 3-1 when a moment of hesitation between Rademacher and one of his fullbacks allowed Surock to dash between them and uncork a hard shot into the corner of the goal. Just two minutes later, Larry made the score 4-1 with some help from his brother. Ray Surock sent a corner kick into the goal area which Larry met it in the air to give the Baltimore club a comfortable three-goal lead.

At that point, Larry Surock had scored 10 goals in Cup play, including netting seven against the Baltimore Kickers early in the tournament. According to TheCup.us records, Surock is among five players who have scored seven goals in a game in Open Cup history. (List at end of story) Eintracht pulled one goal back in the 73rd minute when King dribbled past three Pompei defenders to score a goal that “looked impossible,” as the Baltimore Sun described it.

Granville “Granny” Kraft. Photo: Baltimore Sun Archives

Granville “Granny” Kraft. Photo: Baltimore Sun Archives

Before the game, Pompei filed a protest over Eintracht’s use of Ian McDougall, who Pompei claimed had not gotten a release from the American Soccer League to play in the German American Soccer League, where Eintracht played. Pompei manager Granville “Granny” Kraft stated if Eintracht used McDougall in the second leg another protest would be raised.

The next Sunday at Eintracht Oval in Queens, New York, the stage was set for what turned out to be wild second leg that many of the 5,000 in attendance would not soon forget. Pompei extended their aggregate lead to 5-2 after 25 minutes of play on a goal from Bill Bryant. The visitors held that advantage until just before halftime, when Gene Grabowski tallied for Eintracht in the 43rd minute to tie the game and cut the aggregate score of 5-3.

It was in the second half when the game really took off, as Dominic McCarten and Per Torgenson brought Eintracht level on aggregate 5-5. Pompei answered back through Jimmy Cross to regain the advantage, only to see Dieter Grossman bring Eintracht back level at 6-6.

As full time was called both teams prepared for extra time, no one realizing they would wind up playing another 90 minutes.

Each team scored within the first seven minutes of extra time. Bob Swinski tallied to put Pompei up 7-6, then Ed Tation answered to bring Eintracht level once again. The Eintracht goal came at the expense of temporary goalkeeper Larry Surock, who was forced between the posts when goalkeeper Cyril Hannaby had to briefly exit due to an injury. The Baltimore Sun reported that Hannaby, a former Wolverhampton netminder, had taken quite a beating during the game. After being kicked in the head in the first three minutes, Hannaby suffered injuries to his eye, hip, hand and leg from diving at the feet of Eintracht attackers.

The remainder of the initial 30 minutes of extra time was quiet, and an additional 30 minutes was ordered to be played. That half hour came and went with the clubs still locked in a 7-7 aggregate draw.

In the 162nd minute, Ed Tation scored his second goal of the game to put Eintracht up 8-7, but the lead only lasted two minutes. Bill Bryant scored his second marker to incredibly bring the score to 8-8.

Five minutes later, Pompei substitute Dick Malinowski sent a kick high in the air near the goal line. Swinski jumped in and headed the ball out of the Rademacher’s hands, sending both players and the ball into the net for a 9-8 Pompei lead. For the final 12 minutes, Pompei endured a strong Eintracht push to score yet another tying goal, but the Pompei defense held on to bring an end to the marathon. Manager Raymond G. “Granny” Kraft, who had been a player, referee and manager in Baltimore for many years, called the win “my biggest thrill in soccer” (which is saying a lot for a man who was inducted into at least three separate soccer Halls of Fame – the Maryland SHOF, the Intercollegiate Soccer Officials HOF, and the National SHOF).

Afterwards there was no rest for the weary victors, as they traveled to Beadling, Pa. for the first leg of the Eastern Final. After dropping the first game 2-1, Pompei defeated Beadling 3-1 at home two weeks later to earn a spot in the Open Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kickers. Playing the single game Final in Baltimore, Pompei fell to the Kickers in extra time, 2-1. Despite not lifting the trophy, that memorable Quarterfinal game goes down as one of the greatest US Open Cup games in history.

MORE: Read about Pompei’s entire 1958 US Open Cup run from TheCup.us contributor Craig Tower (Part 1 of 4)


1958 US Open Cup – First Leg

April 20, 1958
Kahler Park – Baltimore, Maryland

Pompei SC 4:2 Eintracht (2-1 HT)

Pompei – Jimmy Cross – 1st minute
Pompei – Larry Surock – 1st half
Eintracht – Alan King – 1st half
Pompei – Larry Surock – 2nd half
Pompei – Larry Surock (Assist: Ray Surock) – 2nd half
Eintracht – Alan King – 73rd minute

Pompei: Cyril Hannaby, Bill Linz, Al Massaroni, John Pacciocco, Tom Quaranta, Joe Speca, Ray Surock, Bob Swinski, Bill Bryant, Larry Surock, Jimmy Cross
Subs: George Preston, Dave Roles, Jojo DeFonso

Eintracht: George Rademacher, Charles Nagy, Dieter Grossman, Jacky Hughes, Walter Bahr, Ian McDougall, Ed Tatoin, Dominic McCarten, Gene Graowski, Alan King
Subs: Joe Muhlbach, Per Torgeson

Saves: Pompei 12, Eintracht 6
Shots: Pompei 25, Eintracht 29
Attendance: 1,500

1958 US Open Cup – Second Leg
April 27, 1958
Eintracht Oval – Queens, NY

Eintracht 6:5 (AET) Pompei SC (1-1 HT, 4-2 FT, 5-3 1st ET)
Pompei: Bill Bryant – 25th min. (5-2 Pompei)
Eintracht: Gene Grabowski – 43rd min. (5-3 Pompei)
Eintracht: Dominic McCarten – 2nd Half (5-4 Pompei)
Eintracht: Per Torgenson – 2nd Half (5-5)
Pompei: Jimmy Cross – 2nd Half (6-5 Pompei)
Eintracht: Dieter Grossman – 2nd Half (6-6)
Eintracht: Ed Tation – Extra Time (7-6 Eintracht)
Pompei: Bob Swinski – 97th min. (7-7)
Eintracht: Ed Tation – 162nd min. (8-7 Eintracht)
Pompei: Bill Bryant – 170th min. (8-8)
Pompei: Bob Swinski – 177th min. (9-8 Pompei)

*90 minutes of extra time played

Eintracht: George Rademacher, Charles Nagy, Dieter Grossman, Jim Hanna, Jacky Hughes, Walter Bahr, Joe Muhlbach, Ed Tatoin, Domninic McCarten, Gene Graowski, Alan King
Subs: Per Torgeson, Ian McDougall

Pompei: Cyril Hannaby, Bill Linz, Al Massaroni, John Pacciocco, Tom Quaranta, Joe Speca, Ray Surock, Bob Swinski, Bill Bryant, Larry Surock, Jimmy Cross
Subs: Dick Malinowski, Dave Roles, Jojo DeFonso

Attendance: 5,000

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Seven goals in a game (known players)
Source: TheCup.us

12/12/1914, Bob Millar, Bethlehem Steel vs. Peabody FC (Second Round)

10/4/1925, Boyle, River Rouge Scots (Michigan) vs. Brightmoor (Det.) (Preliminary Qualifying Round)

12/22/1957, Larry Surock, Pompei SC vs. Baltimore Kickers (First Round)

11/10/1963, Ed Bienkowski, AAC Eagles (Chi.) vs. Aurora Kickers (Second Qualifying Round)

1/17/1965, Lino Marcucci, San Francisco AC vs. Club Peru (Second Qualifying Round)