2018 US Open Cup Quarterfinals review: Protest drama, Chicago Fire end Louisville’s run, three first-timers advance

Posted by | July 26, 2018

2018 US Open Cup bracket through quarterfinals

When the dust settled on the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Quarterfinals, all four home teams were victorious, leaving just one former tournament champion and three teams seeking to lift the trophy for the first time.

The home team was victorious in all four games. The four-time US Open Cup champion Chicago Fire put an end to Louisville City’s Cinderella run. The last remaining lower division side fell out of the tournament 4-0 as the Fire move one step closer to becoming the fourth team in tournament history to win five US Open Cup titles.

Elsewhere, the Houston Dynamo advanced to the Semifinals for the third time in club history with a 4-2 win over Sporting Kansas City, the reigning tournament champions. The Philadelphia Union only needed an early goal by Alejandro Bedoya to defeat Orlando City SC to reach the Semis for the fourth time in the last seven years.

The last game of the evening was MLS expansion team Los Angeles FC who not only made headlines with a 3-2 win over the Portland Timbers, but made headlines after the game when the Timbers filed a protest because LAFC had used too many international players (Pro teams are limited to five on their gameday roster). Reportedly, the US Soccer Federation approved LAFC’s roster in error, but Portland eventually withdrew their protest, allowing Bob Bradley’s squad to reach the final four.

Click below for links of our coverage, a brief summary of each game and links to the full match reports:

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In a hard fought battle between two teams trying to keep their winning momentum going from MLS play. The Philadelphia Union came out on top with a 1-0 win over Orlando City SC in the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Quarterfinals. Alejandro Bedoya got things going for the Union with a goal in the 4th minute after capitalizing on the rebound given from Orlando City SC goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr’s early save from a header off a corner kick by Mark McKenzie. Orlando City SC kept pushing throughout the game but couldn’t convert on their chances and saw their run in the US Open Cup come to an end. For Orlando City SC they will now focus on trying to get their season back on track and push for the MLS playoffs while the Union advance to the Semifinals for the fourth time in the last seven years as they seek to become the first Philadelphia team to win the US Open Cup since 1966.
The Chicago Fire had a dominating performance on the night with a 4-0 win over the 2017 USL Cup champion Louisville City FC. The Fire had four different goal scorers starting with a Nemanja Nikolic header that gave the Fire the lead in the 16th minute. They doubled their lead in the 32nd minute with a brilliant goal from Aleksandar Katai to give them a 2-0 lead heading into the halftime break. Later on in the match Louisville City FC defender Kyle Smith was sent off with ten minutes left and the Fire capitalized on the man advantage with two late goals from Diego Campos and Elliot Collier to seal the win. Louisville City FC ends its run in the Cup as the last lower division side remaining while for the Chicago Fire they move on to the Semifinals for the sixth time in the last eight years as the team tries to tie the all-time record with a fifth US Open Cup title.
The Houston Dynamo bounced back from an early deficit from the defending US Open Cup champions and completed a resounding 4-2 comeback win over Sporting Kansas City. Forward Johnny Russell got an early goal in the 2nd minute for Sporting Kansas City to give them an early lead but the Dynamo were patient with their chances and found the equalizer on an impressive free kick in the 35th minute with a goal from Romell Quioto to level the score. In the second half Quioto got his second goal with a shot in the 65th minute to give his side a 2-1 lead. A few minutes later, Mauro Manotas put the Dynamo up 3-1 before adding his third goal of the tournament in the 88th minute. Yohan Croizet scored a late consolation goal in stoppage time for Sporting Kansas City but in the end the Houston Dynamo did enough to knock the defending champs out of the tournament and advance to only their third semifinal appearance in club history.
Los Angeles FC continued their historic run in the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup as they hung on to defeat the Portland Timbers 3-2 which snapped Portland’s 14-game unbeaten streak across all competitions. Things got started in the 33rd minute with an own goal from David Guzman to give LAFC the 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, Carlos Vela launched a shot into the back of the net for another goal for LAFC to give them a 2-0 lead. In first half stoppage time, the Timbers pulled one back when Julio Cascante headed a shot in off a free kick from Guzman to narrow LAFC’s lead to a single goal. In the second half, Marco Urena scored his first career LAFC goal when he flicked a shot off the side of his foot in the 51st minute to give LAFC a 3-1 lead. Seconds later, Portland answered with a blast from Vytas Andriuskevicius to trim the LAFC lead 3-2 but they were unable to find the equalizer in the final half hour of the match. While an entertaining match, the majority of the headlines were produced from what happened after the game. The Timbers filed a protest because LAFC had six international players on their gameday roster, which is more than the allowed five by US Open Cup rules. Sources from LAFC claimed that the USSF had erroneously approved the roster, but before a ruling could be made by the US Open Cup Disciplinary Committee, the Timbers withdrew their protest.The Timbers’ run in the 2018 US Open Cup came to an end and for Bob Bradley and LAFC, they advance to the Semifinals in their inaugural season. LAFC are aiming to join a short list of teams to win the tournament in their inaugural season in MLS, joining D.C. United (1996), the Seattle Sounders FC (2009) and Bob Bradley’s Chicago Fire in 1998.