New Mexico United of the Division II USL Championship needed a goal in the final minute of regulation and a penalty kick shootout but the tournament debutantes scored the second upset of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth round. over the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday night in Comerce City, Colo.
The eight additional teams to advance to the Round of 16 of U.S. Soccer’s National Championship were all Division I Major League Soccer clubs.
The fourth round concludes with a final game Thursday night when Atlanta United (MLS) host the Charleston Battery (USLC) in a closed-door match at 7 p.m. ET. The game, which was originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday night, will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Before the final game, the Round of 16 Draw will be conducted Thursday morning at 10 a.m. ET. The Draw will be broadcast on U.S. Open Cup’s Twitter account @opencup.
After New Mexico had taken an early 1-0 lead, the Rapids (MLS) playing at home in Dick’s Sporting Goods Park fought back to take a 2-1 lead down to the wire. However, the Division I side had been reduced to 10 men in the 72nd minute when defender Axel Sjöberg was ejected for picking up a second yellow card and was unable to hold up against a relentless and desperate United attack that earned the tying goal in the fourth minute of injury time. After a scoreless overtime, New Mexico goalkeeper Cody Mizell played the hero in the shootout, making one stop and seeing another shot fly over his crossbar as the first-year team knocked off the first and only MLS team it has played in official competition.
While New Mexico wasn’t the only underdog to put in a good performance on the night, it was the only lower division team to advance from the nine games played on Wednesday. Elsewhere, the River City Derby between FC Cincinnati (MLS) and Louisville City FC (USLC) needed extra time to decide a winner. After a 1-1 draw in regulation, FCC’s Kekuta Manneh headed home the winner in the 103rd minute. Memphis 901 FC put in a valiant effort against Orlando City FC, but the visitors ultimately came away with a 3-1 win in Tennessee.
Other Division I sides didn’t have as much trouble with their lower league challengers. New York City FC and FC Dallas both put in commanding performances in a pair of 4-0 wins against North Carolina FC and OKC Energy, respectively. Out West, the last remaining amateur side in the tournament, Orange County FC, lasted through halftime before eventually falling to the LA Galaxy 3-0.
Finally, in the night’s three all-MLS match-ups, D.C. United kicked things off with some late heroics, coming back after conceding a goal to fall behind 1-0 in the 113th minute to win 2-1 against last year’s finalists Philadelphia Union. Minnesota United made short work of four-time champions Sporting Kansas City, 4-1, while the evening ended with Portland Timbers heading up I-5 to dispatch Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 in the latest edition of the teams’ Cascadia rivalry.
Fourth round recaps – June 12 :
D.C. United (MLS) 0, Philadelphia Union (MLS) 0, 2-1 AET
At Audi Field in the nation’s capital, D.C. United and Philadelphia Union played out 113 scoreless minutes before all the goals broke lose. United ultimately prevailed via a 119th-minute Wayne Rooney PK in an all-MLS Fourth Round tie in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. In the all-time Open Cup series between the two sides, D.C. had won two games, including the teams’ first meeting in 2011 on PKs, while the Union had won two as well, including the most recent matchup, 2-1, in 2015. As their all-time series might indicate, the teams went back and forth, one taking the initiative before the other would respond. If Philly had the better of the opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, D.C. made the second half their own, yet neither could find a way through in regulation. As the rain flickered in the floodlights as PKs beckoned, Philly youngster Anthony Fontana scored in the 113th minute to seemingly steal advancement, but Chris McCann’s headed goal from a Wayne Rooney assist five minutes later gave the hosts life before Rooney capped things off with a thunderous winner from the penalty mark in the final minute of extra time. D.C. United moves on to the Round of 16 for the fifth straight year.
New York City FC (MLS) 4, North Carolina FC (USL Championship) 0
In its fifth Open Cup appearance, New York City FC finally secured its first victory in the tournament with a 4-0 win over North Carolina FC. Shifting boroughs from the Bronx to Queens, New York City FC controlled the run of play against North Carolina at St. John’s University and found its first three goals on nice services into the box, while midfielder Keaton Parks, who had played less than an hour for NYCFC so far this season, bagged a brace. After threatening throughout the first half, the Blues found their first in the 25th when a Carolina defender knocked in an own goal after a nice cross from NY captain Maxi Moralez. Parrying some warning shots from NCFC, the Blues doubled their lead in first half stoppage time, as Moralez put another good cross into the box for Jesus Medina, who cleanly finished to double the New York advantage. NYC kept the pressure on after the break as Juan Pablo Torres served a nice ball to Parks, who headed it home at the far post to put the game out of reach. A nice combination set up Parks for his second of the night in the 76th, as he coolly finished a pass from Morales to cap off the scoring and send New York to its first Round of 16.
FC Cincinnati (MLS) 1, Louisville City FC (USL Championship) 1, 2-1 AET
The River City Derby was a potent clash when both FC Cincinnati and Louisville City were in USL together, and yet, with Cincy having graduated to Division I MLS, the venom had not lessened when the two teams met tonight, especially in the win-or-go-home atmosphere of the U.S. Open Cup. Ultimately, a 2-1 extra time win for FC Cincinnati decided matters between the teams in 2019 with Kekuta Manneh bagging the winning goal in the first half of overtime. The teams went into the break tied at 1-1 after Fenando Adi’s 23rd-minute opener for the men from the Queen City was equalized by Lucky Mkosana on the half hour mark. While the teams traded chances in the second frame, it was Cincinnati that had the best chances to end the game in regulation. First Forrest Lasso’s header from a set piece smacked off the post just a minute after the teams retook the field, and then Mathieu Deplagne’s header was heroically save off the line by LouCity defender Niall McCabe in the 71st minute. While Louisville had its chances in the second half and overtime, it was the cutting edge from the pacey Manneh that made the difference in the 103rd minute as he got on the end of an Emmanuel Ledesma cross to head home the winning goal and send Cincinnati to the Round of 16.
Minnesota United (MLS) 4, Sporting Kansas City (MLS) 1
Minnesota United’s Angelo Rodriguez and captain Darwin Quintero ran roughshod over Sporting Kansas City at Allianz Field in St. Paul in a 4-1 victory against the four-time Open Cup champions. The Loons wasted no time in their 2019 Open Cup debut, as Rodriguez broke free in the third minute of action to open the scoring for Minnesota. While KC fought its way back into the game with a 27th-minute equalizer, the floodgates opened in the second half, starting with another quick strike from the Loons just 45 seconds after the break. Hassani Dotson played Ethan Finlay behind the defense, where the forward gave Minnesota a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Minnesota extended its lead in the 55th, when Rodriguez held up the ball nicely in before flicking it to an unmarked Quintero whose cheeky finish extended the Loons’ lead. The pair combined again 12 minutes later as Rodriguez played another ball up to a wide open Quintero and the forward swung it around the ‘keeper to cement the final 4-1 score line. Minnesota’s victory clinches its second-straight Open Cup Round of 16 appearance.
FC Dallas (MLS) 4, OKC Energy (USL Championship) 0
FC Dallas cruised to a big win in its first Open Cup match of 2019, barley taking it out of first gear in a 4-0 victory against Division II opponents OKC Energy on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Captain Matt Hedges got the Hoops off on the right foot with a goal in the 11th minute courtesy of a Michael Barrios corner kick. Dallas then added two either side of half time to put the match out of reach. Barrios used his speed to get by a defender and snap a shot home from wide right of the goal in the 43rd minute before Dominique Badji capitalized on a school yard corner kick routine in the 52nd. With the result well in hand, FCD’s Byran Reynolds won a PK as regulation ticked down, and Reto Ziegler dispatched the ensuing spot kick with a clinical finish into the lower right corner. FC Dallas are now into the Round of 16 for the seventh year in a row.
Memphis 901 FC (USL Championship) 1, Orlando City SC (MLS) 3
A brace from captain Sacha Kljestan boosted Orlando City SC to a 3-1 road victory over Memphis 901 FC in its first game of the 2019 Open Cup. The Memphis back line held strong while Orlando dominated possession for much the first half, but when Shane O’Neill was muscled down in the box, OCSC was granted a penalty. Kljestan finished from the mark to give the Lions the lead just before half. Memphis answered on the other side of the break when a great corner from Adam Najem dipped into the box for the head of Elliot Collier, who put it into the back of the net. Kljestan struck again for Orlando on the counter just five minutes later, as a nice exchange with Cristian Higuita teed him up to rifle home a shot from near the penalty spot. Orlando added an insurance goal on a set piece of its own in the 71st minute. Chris Mueller swung in a corner kick to the far side of the box where Kljestan got a head on it to keep it alive for Santiago Patiño to flick it on frame. Goalkeeper Scott Levene made the save, but Robin Jansson pounced on the rebound to net Orlando’s final goal and send the Florida side into the Round of 16.
Colorado Rapids (MLS) 2, New Mexico United (USL Championship) 2, 2-2 AET (2-4 PKs)
New Mexico United sprung the lone cupset of the night in a drama-filled 4-2 penalty kick shootout victory in the thin air of Commerce City, Colo. against the Colorado Rapids. United struck first in its first official match against MLS opposition as Devon Sandoval, who netted both goals in New Mexico’s Second Round thriller against Phoenix Rising, tallied the opening goal after Colorado failed to clear a corner. Colorado answered on a long-range set piece in the 35th minute when a header from Lalas Abubakar put the ball inside the six-yard box, where Diego Rubio rose above his mark to head in the tying goal. The Rapids seized the lead on a quick strike just after the break when Rubio picked off a back pass before playing in Nicolas Mezquida near the penalty spot, where he fired a left-footed shot home to take a 2-1 lead that nearly held up. But, New Mexcio found an equalizer at the death of regulation when Kevaughn Frater netted a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time, sending the game to a scoreless 30 minutes of extra time before things headed to penalties. Goalkeeper Cody Mizell saved Colorado’s second penalty, and another miss from the Rapids teed up Christopher Wehan to clinch the tournament debutante’s advancement to the Round of 16.
LA Galaxy (MLS) 3, Orange County FC (NPSL) 0
The last remaining amateur team in the 2019 Open Cup, Orange County SC put up a valiant effort against one of MLS’s most storied franchises, but LA Galaxy’s rising star Efrain Alvarez bagged a brace to power the professionals to a 3-0 victory. Orange County stood tall against the Galaxy attack in the first half, holding LA scoreless despite its dominance in possession and shots. The amateurs continued to hold strong after the break but were undone by a divine free kick from the 16-year-old Alvarez in the 55th minute. Awarded a free kick after a questionable foul outside the box, Alvarez looped a shot over the wall that dipped inside the near left post for the game’s opening goal. The Galaxy extended its lead just six minutes later. Favio Alvarez stole the ball from an Orange County defender before dishing around the OC goalkeeper to Efrain Alvarez who tapped it in for his second of the night. While Orange County found a few chances down the stretch, LA continued to press and was rewarded in the 90th minute. Favio Alvarez dished to Emil Cuello near the top right corner of the box, and he ripped a rolling shot to the far post to put the finishing touches on the victory.
Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) 1, Portland Timbers (MLS) 2
Fielding a near full strength side, the Portland Timbers headed north to Tacoma, Washington where they downed archrivals Seattle Sounders FC, 2-1 to avenge the teams’ last meeting in the Open Cup two years ago when Seattle won at the same stage by the same scoreline. On this night, Portland had the best weapon on the field in newly acquired attacked Bryan Fernandez, who scored both goals for the visitors. The young Argentine opened the scoring early, finishing off a lightening counter attack by beating a defender and curling a low shot around the diving goalkeeper into the left side netting in just the sixth minute. Seattle gave as good as they got throughout the match and were rewarded for their offensive play just before the break when a Víctor Rodríguez deflected off Fernandez and into a wide open Timbers net – goalkeeper Steve Clark having been wrong footed by the ricochet. In the second frame, Fernandez made amends, finishing off a sumptuous Portland attack that began with Clark in goal and required only three passes to travel the length of the field where Jeremy Ebobisse crossed for the fleetfooted Fernandez to tap the game winner home.