On a night with surprises aplenty, three MLS teams were eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night by opponents from lower divisions while two others had to come from behind to avoid the same fate.
The New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA all suffered defeats on Tuesday, with Crystal Palace Baltimore, Charleston Battery and Seattle Sounders all providing the knockout blows. The Kansas City Wizards nearly suffered the same fate, but battled back for a win against the Carolina Railhawks, while FC Dallas came back in a win against Miami FC.
Crystal Palace Baltimore, the lone USL-2 team to reach the quarterfinals, shocked an undermanned and overmatched Red Bulls squad while Houston forced overtime but lost out on penalties to Charleston.
The Chicago Fire continued its quest for another Lamar Hunt Trophy with a dominant win at Toyota Park against Cleveland City while the New England Revolution disposed of the Richmond Kickers.
The quarterfinals are now set and will take place next week. Here are the match-ups, which will be played on July 8th:
- Crystal Palace Baltimore vs. New England Revolution
- D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire
- FC Dallas vs. Charleston Battery
- Kansas City Wizards vs. Seattle Sounders
Here were last night’s results:
- Crystal Palace Baltimore 2, New York Red Bulls 0
- New England Revolution 3, Richmond Kickers 0
- Chicago Fire 4, Cleveland City Stars 1
- D.C. United 2, Rochester Rhinos 0
- FC Dallas 2, Miami FC 1
- Charleston Battery 1, Houston Dynamo 1 (Charleston won, 4-3, on PKs)
- Kansas City Wizards 4, Carolina Railhawks 2
- Seattle Sounders 2, Chivas USA 0
So why does MLS keep having trouble with lower division teams? It’s a product of the MLS teams using mostly reserve-team squads and the bottom half of MLS rosters not being that much stronger than the USL teams they are facing (and in the case of a team like Seattle, it’s full-strength squad could compete with a full-strength MLS squad on most nights). This happens every year and will probably always happen.
What did you think of last night’s matches? Who do you think is the favorite to win it all? Could Crystal Palace be the Open Cup’s version of Barnsley? Share your thoughts below.