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RSL, Red Bulls, Chivas fall to NASL teams in Open Cup fourth round

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It was a bad day for Major League Soccer teams in the U.S. Open Cup on Saturday.

In one fell swoop, Real Salt Lake, New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA were all eliminated from the tournament in the fourth round by teams from the second-tier North American Soccer League.

Despite missing starters Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Javier Morales for the World Cup, Real Salt Lake’s 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Silverbacks may be the most surprising as RSL sits second in the MLS Western Conference.

RSL capitalized early on a Silverbacks error, going up 1-0 by Robbie Findley in the first ten minutes. But they were outplayed for most of the match thereafter and let in goals from Junior Burgos and Kwadwo Poku.

Coach Jeff Cassar didn’t mince words, telling reporters: “I don’t think anybody played well tonight. I don’t think anybody at all played well. I got outcoached. We got outplayed. No, there’s no positives at all from this game.”

The New York Cosmos handed a harsh 3-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, who were missing a handful of starters. Striker Mads Stokkelien tallied a brace, getting on the board minutes after the start and again in the 73rd minute. Alessandro Noselli got a late insurance goal.

Chivas USA fell to the Carolina RailHawks in penalty kicks after a 120-minute stalemate, 1-1, with goals from Zack Schilawski and Ryan Finley.


Date Game Result/Time Venue
June 11 Laredo Heat (PDL) at Houston Dynamo (MLS) 0-1 BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
June 11 Sacramento Republic (USL PRO) at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 1-2 Kezar Stadium; San Francisco, Calif.
June 14 Real Salt Lake (MLS) at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) 1-2 Atlanta Silverbacks Park; Chamblee, Ga.
June 14 Chivas USA (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL) 1-1 (2-3 PKs) WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
June 14 New York Red Bulls (MLS) at New York Cosmos (NASL) 0-3 Shuart Stadium (Hofstra University); Hempstead, N.Y.
June 17 Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at Philadelphia Union (MLS) 7 p.m. ET PPL Park; Chester, Pa.
June 17 D.C. United (MLS) at Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO) 7:05 p.m. ET Sahlen’s Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
June 17 Indy Eleven (NASL) at Columbus Crew (MLS) 7:30 p.m. ET FirstEnergy Stadium (Univ. of Akron); Akron, Ohio
June 17* San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) at FC Dallas (MLS) 8 p.m. CT Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
June 17 Orlando City (USL PRO) at Colorado Rapids (MLS) 7 p.m. MT Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
June 17 Orlando City U23s (PDL) at Portland Timbers (MLS) 7:30 p.m. PT Providence Park; Portland, Ore.
June 18 New England Revolution (MLS) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) 7 p.m. ET Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.
June 18 Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO) at Chicago Fire (MLS) 7:30 p.m. CT Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.
June 18 Minnesota United FC (NASL) at Sporting Kansas City (MLS) 7:30 p.m. CT Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.
June 18^ PSA Elite (USASA) at Seattle Sounders (MLS) 7 p.m. PT Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.
June 18 LA Galaxy (MLS) at Arizona United SC (USL PRO) 7:30 p.m. PT Peoria Sports Complex; Peoria, Ariz.


  1. Petke, much respect but the “means nothingto us” excuse is only good when you actually win something else instead.

    • This game obviously meant more to Cosmos then Red Bull. RBNY has Champions League to worry about. They basically threw this game away.

      • Tht should be troubling given the history of this team after 18 yrs, One SS, & seasons of miseries. No wonder such loser mental surrounds the team, org & fans.
        I want my team to go for the jugular every mnute on the pitch.
        NY is about winning. It’s for winners. Not athletes & teams who take plays off.

      • Obviously RedBalls don’t care about anything..!
        What makes you think they gonna do good Champions League??

  2. Just a reminder…Chivas suck bad in any league. Second, who actually played for NYRB? My guess is that very few of their regular XI played. I give very little weight to these wins. MLS teams have been knocked out of USOC by USL teams in the past. Big deal! Enjoy your victories in the early rounds NASL. Talk trash when you raise the trophy.

    That said, it’s never a bad thing to have quality soccer at the lower levels.

    • Love it.

      MLS + NFL + SUM + US Soccer = corporate soccer.

      All the rest = punk soccer (until the pyramid is open, at least.)

  3. Happy for the NASL clubs. The stronger that league, the better it is for soccer in the United States.

    Having said that, the NYRB are an embarrassment this year and Petke’s comments about this match are troubling. Fans care about the US Open Cup a lot and teams are still not taking it very seriously. Utterly frustrated about it.

    It’s a quick way to a Champion’s League spot and it’s also just exciting for lots of other reasons.

  4. I’m a fan of the MLS, and admire what they’ve accomplished with their somewhat risk averse business model. That having been said, I won’t begrudge NASL teams any success they find, and think it is great that they may be bringing quality fútbol to a number of great communities that would otherwise not be in the running to get a MLS franchise. I hope they help expand opportunities for athletes, and possibly find some hidden talent in places the MLS doesn’t have a strong presence in.

    • Agreed 100% patrick2

      I think it will be very tough for any league if they have one team win it all every year, but I will all US soccer success. Weird how the reverse is not true when it comes to Cosmos fans……

  5. The quality of NASL is not nearly as bad as people think. And it is getting better by the year, as I keep following my beloved Tampa Bay Rowdies.

    Good showing yesterday, may it continue next week.

  6. This site used to do better write ups of NASL. Including the beginning of this season. Where many MLS single entity fans were complaining. Now rarely do NASL get that write-up, while USLPro write-ups have increased. What gives? Has Single Entity co-oped the Soccer Journos too?

  7. Robbie Findley had chance on a breakaway deep in stoppage time with RSL down 2-1. His shot went directly sideways and was kicked so softly that it might have stopped rolling by the time it reached the edge of the box.

    This time 4 years ago he was starting WC matches.

  8. and yes i know auto correct got me on two words, “our”=put and “mapping” = making.

    thought i would throw that in before the grammar nazi’s decide to kill the conversation lol

  9. Please tell us why nasl teams would deserve promotion? Where are their tv deals? Are they paying $50mm for franchise rights? And you guys sit here every time this happens thinking relegation is just some great idea that you can easily institute. Of course the lower league favors promotion, a free ride to top league. It’s ridiculous. You think the Wilmington hammerheads are a $50mm franchise? Carolina? Okc? Laredo? Minnesota? I don’t see the nasl opening its doors for free to those lower league teams mentioned above. Our your money where your mouth is and stop trying to institute a European view that is decades in the mapping and creates even less parity and a larger pyramid of wealth.

  10. Garber May starting looking at a 3rd team in NY with the Cosmos in mind. I don’t know how nycfc got it. Cosmos has a rich history and is well known.

      • This is true. They don’t wanna hand over their brand trademark to MLS, which is required if you want to enter that league. They also don’t want the archaic 1990s spending restrictions and signing rules. Both NASL and NPSL commissioners have gone on record in support of pro-rel. NASL is lobbying CONCACAF for a CCL berth for the Soccer Bowl winner. I think the Cosmos are intentionally going in a very non-MLS direction.

      • Really…does mexico’s 2nd division get a CCL spot?
        Great job by the Cosmos but there is still a long way to go and a lot of MLS teams (which always play their bench/younger player in the early stages of this cup) to beat before they can claim the only CCL spots given to US teams

      • Mexico’s 2nd div clubs have path to CCL thru promotion. NASL anticipating CCL berth removal from Open Cup, as Zigi Schmid alluded to a month ago. They will also be lobbying for D1 in a few years. As long as hundreds of clubs are locked out of D1, you will have these conflicts between leagues. Get used to it.

      • Had not heard about the possibility of the Open Cup losing that CCL spot which it shouldn’t because I’m in favor of clubs not in the MLS having that chance.
        Even without promotion/relegation I can’t see USSF and FIFA agreeing to let the US have two D1’s as it could then open the door for other countries having a group of D2 teams thinking about doing the same thing. Lets say the English Championship saying lets go D1 so we can have our teams play in the Champions League…and then asking teams like Spurs and Everton to switch leagues so they would have a better chance at one of those Champions League spots. I know it sounds crazy but it could happen…just like it could happen here with both the MLS and NASL what would stop the NASL asking the Galaxy to join them so the Galaxy could have open spending on players and with every player in Europe being linked to either NY or LA do you not think the Galaxy could be bigger version of the Cosmos with no cap?

      • The USSF is going to have a hard time fighting the Cosmos on their lobbying for an NASL slot in the CCL because of antitrust issues. Yes, the NASL is sanctioned as a 2nd division, but if they wanted to declare themselves a 1st division and the USSF refused to sanction them as such, that would raise some very serious antitrust questions. I believe that the NASL is angling to become the AFL to MLS’s NFL: an increasingly serious (albeit shorthanded) challenger who eventually merges, making everybody more money.

      • Nasl has a path to CCL, win the open cup. If NASL gets one, why not USL-Pro? US anti-trust laws don’t really apply to international tournaments. USSF, as a member of Concacaf and fifa, can choose, in consultation with those bodies, its representatives to the tournaments those bodies put on. (You can’t challenge ussf’s sole right to pick the World Cup team, right?) and ironically, the stronger nasl gets, the weaker a potential anti-trust case against MLS would be (which I don’t think exists anyway, single entity and the like) if the cosmos thrive outside the MLS system, then there is no MLS monopoly, right? Hence no anti-trust issues. The Flood case succeeded because there was no other way to make a living as a professional baseball player outside of MLB and it’s farm system.

        But I am interested in your CCL/USSF anti-trust argument. Can you provide some citations of non-profits (USSF) or international entities (Concacaf) being subject to US anti-trust law?

    • The Cosmos ownership refused to submit to the single-entity with spending limits that is enforced within MLS. MLS would probably have been happy to have them but they did not want to play by MLS’ rules. It is not any personal dislike MLS had towards the team, I don’t know why everyone keeps believing MLS is an enemy of the Cosmos and turned them away. The Cosmos do not agree with the business philosophy of MLS and MLS was under no obligation to accommodate them. The Cosmos believed (perhaps rightly so) that it was better to go the NASL route and try to become the #1 US soccer brand without MLS, rather than agree to single-entity and spending limits, and MLS felt that the Cosmos brand was not worth abandoning it’s business philosophy over. It’s as simple as that.

      • Totally see what the Cosmos want to do but if they don’t watch how they spend they could cause the rest of the league to over spend and kill off the NASL…no NASL team wants spend outside their means and if the only way they can compete with the Cosmos is to spend on better talent its only time before it will be the early 80’s all over again.
        If NASL teams can’t really compete with the Cosmos for a Soccer Bowl championship each year, will people still show up? Look how crowds at bottom teams in every league here in the US drop off towards the end every season when they have no chance to win

      • Zach,

        Just smile and read the posts, almost everyone of the people posting missed the late 80-early 90s due to being too young.

  11. What’s with the orphaned * on the June 17th match for San Antonio/FCD? There’s no footnote to explain what’s what.

    • Will someone break down for me what the hell is happening with these guys? So little thus far this season. But, is this what it takes to win an MLS cup? You know, inconsistency and streaks.

  12. A Transcript of Last Night’s Phone Call:

    Don: Hey Sunil.

    Sunil: Yeah, Don?

    Don: Um, I think it’s time we get rid of that CCL berth for the Open Cup.

    Sunil: Yes sir, I’ll start working on it right away.

  13. Big win and huge bragging rights for the cosmos. First time that an NASL team has dominated an MLS team like this. Yeah, there’s been the occasional lose but never a thrashing. I guess these Cosmos are for real.

    • How many NASL players are in Brazil?

      It was a good day for NASL but let’s keep this in perspective. That said, I think we ought to have a promotion/relegation system. That makes things interesting at the bottom of the table, too.

      • I dunno I think it might bankrupt teams that spend a lot of money on a stadium and/or player contracts. Also the contracts are technically paid by the MLS so how would you work it if Seattle Sounders or Toronto go relegated by these huge salaries still had to be paid by MLS none the less and the teams wouldn’t be in MLS anymore? I don’t think its workable.

      • Well, the relegated teams would have to sell their players, just like they do in Europe. But, you still could not have promotion and relegation unless you had a single organizational structure, like an FA. If you have multiple, independent, for-profit leagues like MLS and NASL, it will never work.

      • MLS would never voluntarily come to this party, which means their mini-me USL would boycott as well. Best bet is for NASL and NPSL to keep growing and eventually merge to form a multi-tiered league, open at the bottom and D1 at the top. (Let MLS keep their faux D1 as well and continue to do their NFL thing for now…)

      • Lets look at that from a owner of a NASL team…will they want to drop down into the NPSL or OPEN if they finish at the bottom of the NASL?
        Will a team like Tampa Bay Rowdies want to drop down and play teams that will not bring in the home crowds like a Cosmos or Strikers would?
        Lets say If I’m the Columbus Crew would you rather play 2 teams from NY, the Galaxy, Chicago, DC, PHIL Seattle, Portland…or Indy, San Antonio or Ottawa?
        It’s never going to happen for any league in the US, even 20 years from now

      • League ownership of contracts is going to have to go soon anyway (it’s likely an antitrust violation, but no one with standing has challenged it anyway). If the league has a properly negotiated CBA with a salary cap, you could protect clubs to some degree from spending into bankruptcy. You could also share revenue across the top 2 divisions on a more equitable basis than they do in Europe, thus softening the financial blow of relegation.

        I don’t think pro/rel works at the moment because the infrastructure is not there yet for enough teams in the lower divisions. But those divisions are growing quickly. Teams like the Cosmos, Silverbacks, Rail Hawks, and some others all probably would do just as well in the MLS as Chivas and the Revolution.

        I think limited pro/rel will happen in the US within 20 years or so if NASL and MLS keep growing.

      • I find it so naive when people say this. They have Promotion/Relegation in Europe and a lot of teams go bankrupt. Yes the top few team are very rich but team that get relegated often face sever financial hardships. It would be difficult to grow Soccer in the US or get inverstors with the threat of relegation looming over clubs.The United States has a system that is woking, modeling ourselves after Europe is not the correct path.

    • F#C& YA!!!

      America needs freedom! Go NASL!

      Gotta say I call these wins! I posed last week over/under 2 NASL over MLS upsets with Atlanta and Carolina and maybe New York. So pumped they all won!

      • Freedom ?
        By putting the league under one ruler ?

        We should get rid of the college soccer too and put that under the same organization in the form of developemnt youth teams.
        The smallest clubs are already affiliating so they will be under that same ruler.

        We are almost FREE !

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