Sixteen teams, including three USL sides, entered the Fifth Round of the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup still hoping for the chance to bring glory to their fans. Eight teams will continue their journey, advancing to the Quarterfinals in search of the championship. The Quarterfinals will take place June 21-22, and another on June 29.
There was plenty of action, a few upsets and some stunning goals and assists in the thrilling Round of 16 of the 107th edition of the tournament.
The Player of the Round award is voted on by TheCup.us staff, a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters and select backers (those that pledge $10 or more) of TheCup.us’ Patreon team.
Here are the finalists (in alphabetical order):
Union Omaha (USL League One)
After being down a goal in the sixth minute, Brito scored the comeback game-winner early in the second half for Omaha’s huge 2-1 road upset over Minnesota United FC (MLS). After catching a poorly headed clearance with his chest, he volleyed the ball right past the keeper to silence the home crowd in Saint Paul. The goal ranked No. 4 on Sportscenter’s Top 10 list that evening.
Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Grandsir provided two pin-point assists to two different players in just six minutes in the second half to put give the LA Galaxy a 3-1 home win over fierce local rivals Los Angeles FC (MLS). His second assist to a wide-open and sprinting Chicharito after he beat Latif Blessing in a footrace to the ball, proved to be one that secured the win in a US Open Cup edition of El Trafico.
New York Red Bulls (MLS)
Klimala got the Red Bulls off to a fast start with the fastest goal in Red Bulls history, scored 63 seconds into the match following some scrambling in the box off a corner kick. He then assisted what proved to be the game-winner against Charlotte FC (MLS), sprinting up the field and slaloming a defender to find a teammate in front of the goal at their home away from home stadium in Montclair, NJ. The Red Bulls would add a third goal in second half stoppage time to beat Charlotte FC, 3-1.
Sacramento Republic (USL Championship)
Lopez contributed to both goals, assisting on the first and scoring the second, as Sacramento Republic upset MLS side San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0. After providing service on a corner for Luis Felipe to score a header in the first half, he scored a spectacular rocket of a goal late in the second half to preserve the upset win in front of a sold-out home crowd in California’s capital city.
Nashville SC (MLS)
Just twelve minutes after coming on as a second half sub, Mukhtar curled a low shot around the keeper from the edge of the six-yard box to crush the upset dreams of Louisville City FC (USL Championship) and their home crowd in the 89th minute. With the dramatic game-winning goal, Nashville won 2-1, snapping LouCity’s nine-game home unbeaten streak in the US Open Cup and sent Nashville to the Quarterfinals for the first time in club history.
Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Russell scored both goals in Sporting KC’s 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo (MLS) at Children’s Mercy Park. A few minutes after halftime, the captain bounced back off the ground from a foul, played the advantage, and shot a rocket into the net from the top of the box. Twenty minutes later, Russell sent a laser of a penalty kick past the outstretched hands of the keeper into the right side of the goal.