Gonzaga University and former Spokane Shadow PDL striker Brian Ching was given the night off for the Houston Dynamo as the MLS side traveled to nearby San Antonio to face the expansion San Antonio Scorpions of the new North American Soccer League in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. It may have been a decision Ching, considering retirement after this season, and the club regret as San Antonio registered a surprising 1-0 victory to eliminate Houston from the tournament.
The Dynamo, however, were not alone as six other MLS teams saw their tournament campaign come to an unexpected end.
The Michigan Bucks of the PDL became the first amateur club to post two victories all-time against MLS opposition, downing the 2011 finalist and four-time tournament champion Chicago Fire, 3-2 in overtime.
Spokane Shadow fans may remember the club’s lone US Open Cup run in 1999. After qualifying for the event via early league games, the team posted an upset victory over the third division professional club Chico Rooks on the road, 3-2 in golden goal overtime. Jeff Rose and Dave Berto (pk) scored in regulation with Alika Cosner providing the 108th minute winner.They were then knocked out by the then second division Seattle Sounders, 3-1, in the Second Round at Memorial Stadium in Seattle with Rose scoring the lone goal.
The new MLS Seattle Sounders, along with Cascadia rival Portland Timbers, begin their tournament campaigns this evening in the final two games of the Third Round.
Seattle, looking to claim an unprecedented fourth consecutive US Open Cup title in the 99th year of the event, are playing host to the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks, a former rival from their days in the second division. The Sounders feature former Gonzaga defender Zach Scott, who will likely see action in the game. He has been with the club since graduating from Gonzaga, playing seven seasons in the second division before moving up to MLS with the Sounders, giving him two USL-1 championships in addition to the current Sounders’ three-peat in the Open Cup.
The Timbers are playing host to Cal FC, an amateur club out of the US Adult Soccer Association that was built in the past year by former US international star striker Eric Wynalda, who coaches the team as well as working for Fox Soccer. Cal FC has already made history with a record victory over the third division Wilmington Hammerheads, 4-0, on the road in the Second Round and could become the first USASA team to register a goal or defeat an MLS team. Only one USASA side has previously advanced from an MLS match as Dallas Roma did so via penalties after a scoreless draw against Chivas USA.
Both games are available via online broadcasts.
Seattle Sounders | Portland Timbers | TheCup.us Live Blog
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