And then there were none. The last two lower league teams were knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup last night when Orlando SC fell 5-1 to the Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake eliminated the Carolina RailHawks 3-0, guaranteeing an all MLS final.
The big surprise in the quarterfinals saw the DC United top the New England Revolution 1-0 for their second win in a week, after DC beat San Jose 1-0 in league on Saturday. Dwayne De Rosario, who is developing into a Open Cup hero for DC, scored the winner, after notching a hat trick last time out against Philadelphia to get United this far.
Chris Pontius opened the scoring in the waning moments of the first half with a right footed blast past Matt Reis to give DC a welcome lead at the break. The Revs came out strong at the re-start, leveling from a Juan Toja free kick, but the newly confident United came back to claim the victory.
DeRo headed home the go ahead goal off of a Pontius corner kick, and wouldn’t coach Ben Olsen like to see those two get it going. New England nearly tied the score via Juan Agudelo, but his 85th minute strike caromed off the post. Lionard Pajoy ended the suspense when he converted a penalty kick for DC just two minutes later, to send two time champs DC United to the semifinals at Chicago, where they will take on the Fire on August 7.
The Fire ended Orlando’s dream run with that decisive 5-1 win, but the result was in the balance for much of the game. Chris Rolfe got the Fire out to a quick start with a goal just six minutes from the opening whistle at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. But upset minded Orlando hung around, equalizing through Rob Valentino in the 51st minute.
The USL PRO side nearly took the lead moments later, but Sean Johnson stretched himself to deny Orlando’s goal scoring sensation Dom Dwyer with a game changing save. Chicago quickly turned things their way taking the lead with goals just four minutes apart from Patrick Nyarko and Chris Rolfe. A 72nd minute red card to Orlando defender Yann Songo’o set the stage for late Fire goals from Mike Magee and Joel Lindpere, ending Orlando’s excellent adventure.
Like Orlando the Carolina RailHawks had played Cinderella in the Open Cup, in their case sending home both Los Angeles MLS teams in reaching this stage. But there was no more magic in their tank, as Real Salt Lake ended their fun. RSL got goals from Tony Beltran, Chris Wingert and Alvaro Saborio to earn a result that was never in doubt.
This win sets up an intriguing matchup with Portland, RSL’s current co-leaders at the top of the Western Conference, on August 7 in Sandy, Utah.
The Timbers earned their semifinal berth, the first in their history, with a 3-2 defeat of Dallas in steamy Frisco, Texas. The home team got on top with a 15th minute tally from Je-Vaughn Watson, and that lead stood up until the 61st minute.
Darlington Nagbe continued his run of good form scoring the leveler and then setting up Diego Valeri for the go ahead goal, just two minutes later. Substitute Frederic Piquionne added to Portland lead, and the Timbers held on despite a late Blas Perez goal.