Who should be voted 2018 US Open Cup’s TheCup.us Player of the Tournament?

Posted by | October 14, 2018
TheCup.us Player of the Tournament nominees for the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (from left to right): Cory Burke of Philadelphia Union, Diego Rossi of LAFC, Mauro Manotas of Houston Dynamo and Alejandro Bedoya of Philadelphia Union.

TheCup.us Player of the Tournament nominees for the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (from left to right): Cory Burke of Philadelphia Union, Diego Rossi of LAFC, Mauro Manotas of Houston Dynamo and Alejandro Bedoya of Philadelphia Union.

The 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is complete with the Houston Dynamo lifting the trophy for the first time in club history.

With that, it’s time to hand out the annual TheCup.us Player of the Tournament award.  Every year since 2006, TheCup.us has honored the player who put together the most impressive, and the most valuable individual performance of the competition.

The award is voted on by TheCup.us staff and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters but if YOU had a vote, which player do you think would win?

Here are the finalists (in alphabetical order):

ALEJANDRO BEDOYA (PHILADELPHIA UNION – MLS)
While he did not play in the Union’s opening game vs. Richmond, Bedoya played every minute and was involved in all but one of Philadelphia’s goals to help them reach the US Open Cup Final for the third time in club history. The U.S. international assisted on both goals in a 2-1 home win over the New York Red Bulls in the Round of 16, scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 home win over Orlando City in the Quarterfinals and assisted on the first two goals in the Union’s 3-0 win over the Chicago Fire in the Semifinals. He played the full 90 minutes in the championship game but Philly lost 3-0 on the road against the Houston Dynamo. In the end, his four assists was tied for the tournament lead.

Round 4: DNP in a 5-0 home win vs. Richmond (USL)
Round 5: Started, played 90 mins., had 2 assists in a 2-1 home win vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)
Quarterfinals: Started, played 90 mins., scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 home win vs. Orlando City SC (MLS)
Semifinals: Started, played 90 mins., had 2 assists in a 3-0 home win vs. Chicago Fire (MLS)
Final: Started, played 90 mins. in a 3-0 road loss at Houston Dynamo (MLS)

CORY BURKE (PHILADELPHIA UNION – MLS)
Burke started every game for the Union during their US Open Cup run, helping the Philadelphia Union reach the championship game for the third time. Burke was only needed for the first half in a 5-0 home win over the Richmond Kickers (USL), but in that time, the Union scored four goals and he assisted on one of them. In the Round of 16, Burke scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 home win over the New York Red Bulls (MLS), and he played 63 minutes in the Union’s 1-0 win over Orlando City. In the Semifinals, Burke scored the first two goals of the game in a 3-0 home win over the Chicago Fire (MLS) to send Philly to the Final. He played 68 minutes in the losing effort in the title game, a 3-0 road loss to the Houston Dynamo (MLS).

Round 4: Started, played 45 mins, 1 assist in 5-0 home win vs. Richmond (USL)
Round 5: Started, played 90 mins., scored game-winning goal in a 2-1 home win vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)
Quarterfinals: Started, played 63 mins. in a 1-0 home win vs. Orlando City SC (MLS)
Semifinals: Started, played 90 mins., scored 2 goals in a 3-0 home win vs. Chicago Fire (MLS)
Final: Started, played 68 mins. in a 3-0 road loss at Houston Dynamo (MLS)

MAURO MANOTAS (HOUSTON DYNAMO – MLS)
After not playing the opening game against NTX Rayados (USASA), Manotas went on a four-game goalscoring streak and led the Houston Dynamo to the club’s first US Open Cup title. He scored the game-winning goal in the Round of 16 win over Minnesota United, and scored a pair of goals (including the game-winner) in a 4-2 home win over the defending champions Sporting Kansas City. Manotas scored a goal in the club’s 3-3 draw (PK win) against Los Angeles FC in the Semifinals. Manotas was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round for the Final when he scored two first half goals in the 3-0 win over the Philadephia Union. The Colombian led the tournament in goals with six, which ties the Modern Era (1995-present) record for a single tournament and he became the fifth Modern Era player to score a goal in four consecutive Cup matches.

Round 4: DNP in a 5-0 home win vs. NTX Rayados (USASA)
Round 5: Started, played 60 mins., scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 home win vs. Minnesota United FC (MLS)
Quarterfinals: Started, played 90 mins., scored two goals (incl. the game-winner) in a 4-2 home win vs. Sporting KC (MLS)
Semifinals: Started, played 84 mins., scored 1 goal in a 3-3 home draw (7-6 PK win) vs. LAFC (MLS)
Final: Started, played 90 mins., scored 2 goals (incl. game-winner) in a 3-0 home win vs. Philadelphia Union (MLS)

DIEGO ROSSI (LOS ANGELES FC – MLS)
Los Angeles FC may not have won the US Open Cup, but Diego Rossi’s performance nearly put them into the Final in the club’s inaugural season. After a scoreless first half, Rossi was subbed in after halftime and scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal in a 2-0 home win over Fresno FC (USL). In the Round of 16, he sparked a second half comeback in a 3-2 home win over the Sacramento Republic (USL). Rossi scored the tying goal in the 67th minute and then assisted on Latif Blessing’s game-winner in the 89th minute. In the Quarterfinals, he started and played 90 minutes in a 3-2 home win over the Portland Timbers (MLS). Next, he won TheCup.us Player of the Round honors by scoring the first Modern Era hat trick in the Semifinals. Down 3-1 to the Houston Dynamo on the road, he scored a 78th minute goal and then an equalizer deep into second half stoppage time. The match went to penalty kicks and while Rossi converted his attempt, Houston would win the shootout 7-6.

Round 4: Came off bench, played 45 mins., scored the game-winning goal in a 2-0 home win vs. Fresno FC (USL)
Round 5: Started, played 90 mins., scored a goal and had the game-winning assist in a 3-2 home win vs. Sacramento Republic (USL)
Quarterfinals: Started, played 90 mins. in a 3-2 home win vs. Portland Timbers (MLS)
Semifinals: Started, played 120 mins., scored a hat trick (goal in PK shootout) in a 3-3 draw, 7-6 PK loss at home vs. Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Past winners of TheCup.us Player of the Tournament 
2017: Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)
2016: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas)
2015: Krisztian Nemeth (Sporting Kansas City)
2014: Kenny Cooper (Seattle Sounders FC)
2013: Dwayne De Rosario (DC United)
2012: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC)
2011: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders FC)
2010: Nate Jaqua (Seattle Sounders FC)
2009: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC)
2008: Chris Eylander (Seattle Sounders, USL)
2007: Pat Noonan (New England Revolution)
2006: Andy Herron (Chicago Fire)

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