On Wednesday night The Revs won the U.S. Open Cup, their first ever championship in their 12 year history, with a score of 3-2 over FC Dallas.
Pat Noonan scored the opener in the 21st minute, after a Steve Ralston cross found its way through the defense of FC Dallas to Noonan, who was left unmarked. Dallas’s Arturo Alvarez equalized with a brilliant goal in the 30th minute, blasting one by the outstretched hands of Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis, and ricocheting in off the post.
The Revs went ahead just before the half with Taylor Twellman steering in a ball headed down by Pat Noonan from another Ralston cross. Wells Thompson gave them all the goals they would need when he put in a heel flick from Noonan early in the second half. Dallas would come back within one in the 68th minute with a goal off the volley from substitute Abe Thompson, but in the end could not find an equalizer.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in the United States, and is open to all soccer teams both amateur and professional. This year 40 teams competed in the tournament, and the last team standing wins it all.
The Revolution’s path to the championship started in the third round, as qualifying MLS teams are granted a bye for the first two rounds of the tournament. There the Revs defeated the 1999 US Open Cup champion Rochester Raging Rhinos. They went on to face the Harrisburg City Islanders, who defeated MLS perennial powerhouse DC United, before going on to face the Carolina Railhawks in the semi finals.
It should be noted that only three MLS teams made it to the quarter finals. DC United was joined in defeat by the likes of former US Open Cup champions Chicago Fire and LA Galaxy, and reigning MLS Cup champions Houston Dynamo, all falling to so-called “minor league’ teams of the USL (United Soccer League) in Carolina, Richmond Kickers, and Charleston Battery. Chivas USA, one of the best teams in MLS, also lost to the USL Champion Seattle Sounders. Colorado was the only other team to reach the quarter-finals, where they were thumped 5-0 by Seattle.
After needing extra time to beat Charleston, FC Dallas managed to reach the semis where they faced off against Seattle. Dallas again went to the wire to win in extra time to make it through to the Finals.
The cup is named after Lamar Hunt (yes the same Lamar Hunt that owned the NFL Kansas City Chiefs until his recent passing). Hunt was an original investor in the North American Soccer League (NASL) in the 1970s, and was a major investor in Major League Soccer – owning three teams (including Dallas) and financed the Columbus Crew Stadium, the first of now many soccer specific stadiums in the country. In 1999, the U.S. Soccer Federation decided to rename the tournament the "Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup" in honor of hunt and his devotion to the sport.