CHICAGO – The second night of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 showcased two USL Championship (Division II) underdogs, Saint Louis FC and first-year club New Mexico United, knocking off top-tier Major League Soccer opposition to advance to the quarterfinals.
New York City FC reached the club’s first Open Cup quarterfinal, while MLS sides Orlando City SC and Portland Timbers also advanced.
The 106th edition of American soccer’s oldest soccer competition will feature five first-time quarterfinalists in Atlanta United, Minnesota United, NYCFC, New Mexico United and Saint Louis FC with a sixth team, Orlando City, matching their best-ever run as quarterfinalists in 2015 and 2018.
Atlanta and Minnesota advanced on Tuesday night on the opening match day of the Round of 16, which concludes on Thursday night with Los Angeles FC taking on San Jose Earthquakes at 10:30 p.m. ET. The match will be available to watch on ESPN+.
2019 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 Recaps
Wednesday, June 19
D.C. United (MLS) 1, New York City FC (MLS) 2
New York City FC booked their place Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal for the first time in club history with a come-from-behind win over three-time champions D.C. United on the road at Audi Field. It was only NYCFC’s second Cup win in their history (both came this year) and they were worthy victors on the day.
There were clear chances for both sides to score in the first seven minutes. Wayne Rooney hit the woodwork for the hosts, while Brazilian striker Heber (who later had to leave the game due to injury) saw his goal from close-range chalked off for a handball. When Rooney finally did find the back of the net in the 32nd minute, it was against the run of play as New York City FC had most of the good chances and possession up to that point. Rooney’s left-footed blast from a tight angle was equalized by NYCFC just five minutes later when Romanian sensation Alexandru Mitriță slipped between the two United center-backs and slotted home with ease. The stage was then set for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to score the winner for the visitors just minutes from the interval after jinking his way into the box with some clever approach work.
There were a host of chances for both sides in the second half, with NYCFC unlucky not to extend their lead. But the 2-1 margin was good enough for the Big Apple side to become the first New York City team since 1999 to reach the Last Eight. Domènec Torrent’s men now move on to face Orlando City in sunny Florida in the next round, with a place in the Semifinals on the line.
Orlando City SC (MLS) 0, New England Revolution (MLS) 0, 2-1 AET
It took a little bonus soccer, but Orlando City SC ultimately prevailed 2-1 in overtime after playing the visiting New England Revolution to a 0-0 tie through regulation. Benji Michel and Tesho Akindele were the heroes as the Florida club advanced to the Quarterfinals, matching the furthest point in the competition Orlando has reached in its history.
An hour passed before the match sprang to life with both sides smashing chances off the woodwork in the final 12 minutes of regulation. But five minutes into the overtime period, Michel capitalized at the second time of asking as Orlando created a flurry of chances that the young attacker ultimately stabbed home. Akindele then poked the winning goal home with an off-balance shot that just trickled under Revs’ goalkeeper Matt Turner. While U.S. U-20 international Justin Rennicks snagged his first professional goal three minutes from time to give New England hope, Orlando closed up shop to secure the win and advance to a Quarterfinal date with New York City FC at Exploria Stadium in central Florida on July 10.
FC Dallas (MLS) 1, New Mexico United (USLC) 2
In a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup modern-era classic, New Mexico United stunned 2016 champions FC Dallas 2-1 on the road at Southern Methodist University to book a place in the Quarterfinals of the 2019 edition of the 106-year-old tournament. For a first-year team from the second-tier of American soccer (USL Championship), it was quite an achievement indeed. It’s the Albuquerque side’s second win in a row against MLS opposition and their fourth win in a row on the road – nothing to sneeze at.
New Mexico United were under heavy pressure in the early stages of the first half but, in a hint of things to come, center-back Justin Schmidt raced up the field in the 35th minute and hammered a vicious shot against the FC Dallas post. Six minutes later, FC Dallas’ U.S. youth international Brandon Servania scored a stinger of a long-range volley from a corner-kick that looked to have the home side – heavy favorites on the day – well on their way. But it was a night for underdogs and Kevaughn Frater – who scored a late equalizer in New Mexico’s win over the Colorado Rapids last week – drew level when he tapped into an open goal after a mix-up in the FC Dallas defense.
The second half saw New Mexico grab a 63rd-minute winner from defender Sam Hamilton, who got the last touch after an almighty goalmouth scramble. United hung on to their lead – thanks in large part to the outstanding play of goalkeeper Cody Mizell – and sealed a famous night in the history of both the young club and the old tournament. The upstarts from the second-division now move on to the Quarterfinals where they’ll face Minnesota United of MLS at their brand-new Allianz Field in Saint Paul.
Saint Louis FC (USLC) 1, FC Cincinnati (MLS) 0
Local product Sam Fink became a local hero with a last-minute winning goal for Saint Louis FC (USL Championship) that gave the Division II side a 1-0 win against FC Cincinnati (MLS) and a spot in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals where they will face reigning MLS Cup champions Atlanta United on July 12 at Fifth Third Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
While the visitors amassed just over 60 percent possession in the game, Saint Louis created more offensive opportunities, holding a 16-10 shot advantage and putting six shots on target compared to just a pair for Cincinnati. In just the 10th minute, Kadeem Dacres put the first warning shot across FCC’s bow as his goal-bound effort was snagged just in time by a recovering Przemyslaw Tyton in the Cincinnati goal. But for the heroics of Tyton and the woodwork, Saint Louis would not have had to wait until the death for their winner. But the home side’s offensive play finally brought the winning opportunity when Russell Cicerone’s blast was pushed aside for a corner by Tyton in the 92nd minute. The ensuing set piece taken by Lewis Hilton drifted over the FCC defense to an unmarked Fink at the back post and the Missouri native headed home with only seconds remaining to send the home supporters into rapturous celebrations.
Portland Timbers (MLS) 4, Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) 0
In a 2019 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 rout, the Portland Timbers cruised past LA Galaxy 4-0 and into their second consecutive Quarterfinal appearance where they will face the winner of the final Last-16 match between Los Angeles FC and San Jose Earthquakes, who face off on Thursday night in SoCal. Bryan Fernandez continued his torrid goal-scoring form for Portland, which also got a golazo from Sebastian Blanco and the capper from talisman creator Diego Valeri.
The home side got off the mark just before half an hour had elapsed as a free kick from the left side was headed toward goal by Fernandez and Perry Kitchen’s attempted clearance put the ball in the back of his own net. Fernandez then bagged a goal for himself, finishing off Jeremy Ebobisse’s chipped attempt that was cleared off the line but not out of danger, and Blanco capped off Portland’s run of three goals in 10 minutes. Collecting the ball at the top of the box, the diminutive Argentine beat a defender to open space for a rocket from 20 yards out that arced over Matt Lampson in the Galaxy goal on its way into the top corner for a 3-0 lead before halftime. Valeri, a second half sub, put the finishing touches on the win with a one-time rip from a Fernandez feed that beat Lampson from 16 yards out.