One of the most overlooked and dramatic runs in the history of the US Open Cup occurred in 1997. That year, the San Francisco Bay Seals, who competed in the USISL’s D-3 Pro League, upset two MLS teams and the defending A-League champions to earn a spot in the Semifinals.
San Francisco Bay Seals
Who is the American equivalent to Lincoln City FC in the US Open Cup?
For all of you who ever wanted the #16 seed to win in the NCAA basketball tournament, we hope you are soccer fans!
Since 1996, only six teams have advanced to the Semifinals after beginning play in the First Round. The Rochester Rhinos (2009), Charleston Battery (2008), Carolina RailHawks (2007), San Francisco Bay Seals (1997) and the Seattle Sounders who did it twice in 2007 and 2008. San Francisco remain as the only “third division” club (now the USL Pro) to advance to the final four during that span.
The very first Semifinal round of the US Open Cup (then called the National Challenge Cup) saw a pair of Brooklyn teams reach the Final. On April 18, the Brooklyn Field Club, which finished first in the National Association Football League, defeated New Bedford FC 2-1, on two goals by Hall of Famer Robert Millar, after Beckton had given the New Englanders a 1-0 lead. Both teams played much of the game with ten men each, after Clark of Brooklyn and Chadwick of New Bedford were sent off in the 35th minute for fighting.
Heading into the 2011 US Open Cup Quarterfinals the Richmond Kickers are the last men standing as representatives of the lower divisions in the tournament, As the lone underdog in the Elite Eight, the club will need to defeat three top flight Major League Soccer teams in order to become the second lower division team to win the championship since the 1996 launch of MLS. The ‘Last Men Standing’ club is a small group comprised now of seven sides that have been the solitary lower division team remaining in the tournament on nine occasions.
If one were to assemble a list of players to include in an inaugural group honored on a wall of fame or ring of honor dedicated to US Open Cup performances during the professional era, there is one name that would certainly come to the forefront. On Wednesday, with the Chicago Fire six days away from playing in its 14th consecutive appearance in the tournament, the club will honor standout defender CJ Brown, who played for the team each year since its 1998 launch before retiring last fall.
The Mid-Michigan Bucks have always been one of the lower division troublemakers of the US Open Cup, and this match against the New England Revolution at Foxboro Stadium helped build that reputation. Goalkeeper Eric Pogue was the early hero for the Bucks, saving a Shaker Asad penalty kick in the 7th minute to keep the score 0-0. The Bucks stayed with the Revolution for 90 minutes using a high-tempo style of play and eventually sending the sparse crowd of 1,857 Revolution fans home disappointed.
What is the attendance record for the First Round of the US Open Cup (Modern Era)? What is the most lopsided game? How far has a team advanced after starting in Round 1? We answers to those questions and more.
There have only been seven “upsets” in the Quarterfinal round of the US Open Cup since 1995, therefore all of them are, in fact, “notable.”