With the current “GOAT” of world soccer, Lionel Messi set to grace the stage of the 2023 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Final on Sept. 26, it’s not the first time a player of his stature crossed paths with the tournament’s championship game.
Feature - History
Unfortunately, in the long history of the US Open Cup, this was not the first time that there have been more then a few incidents where games were halted due to referee abuse.
The St. Petersburg Kickers began with Kurt Herbach recruiting pick-up games in the Port of Tampa in the 1950s, and by 1989, they became the first Florida team to win the US Open Cup.
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.
The National Challenge Cup lived a separate existence from the glitz and glamour of the country’s top domestic league, the NASL, but the two did briefly cross paths on July 30, 1978.
The 2021 US Open Cup is expected to be reduced to 24 teams and few may know this will mark the second time in the tournament’s history that the entire field was selected by invitation only instead of individual club entry.
Every sport has its go-to underdog story. For American soccer, it’s the 1999 Rochester Raging Rhinos
This is not the first, or longest, the US Open Cup has been delayed in its 106-year history. The start of the 1919 competition was set back nearly a month when the Spanish Flu pandemic swept through the country and there were many delays in the 1940s because of the weather and the Summer Olympics.
For the fifth year in a row, the juggernaut Bethlehem Steel had rumbled through the tournament and were once again in the Final. Standing in their way were fellow National Association Football League members Paterson FC.
Six inches of snow greeted Paterson FC when they arrived in Quincy, Mass. on Feb. 22 for their Quarterfinal encounter with Fore River FC.