Welcome to From The Upper Deck, my blog about RSL and soccer in general. I have a lot of passion for the beautiful game. I am just a fan that likes to sit in the upper deck and take it all in.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

RSL's History in the US Open Cup

Tonight RSL faces Portland in the semi-finals of the US Open Cup (USOC). The winner will host either DC United or the Chicago Fire in the finals in October. There is no question of the importance of this match. But instead of looking forward I thought that I would look back at RSL's history in the USOC. Prior to this year, RSL has had very little success in this tournament.

RSL in their first USOC match in club history against Minnesota
Photo by Brian Quarstad

2005- In the first year of club history, RSL entered the USOC in the third round. They headed on the road to face their opponent, the Minnesota Thunder. They ended up falling to the Thunder in a high scoring affair 6-4. Jason Kreis scored a hat trick in the match and Jamie Watson also had a goal in this match.

2006- Again, RSL entered into the USOC in the third round and played a home match at Rice Eccles Stadium. Their first opponent was the Virginia Beach Mariners. RSL won 2-1 to advance to the next round with goals from Jeff Cunningham and Andy Williams. In the fourth round, RSL faced the Colorado Rapids also at Rice Eccles. The Rapids knocked RSL out of the Open Cup advancing 1-0.

2007- In 2007, RSL had to go through qualification rounds before reaching the tournament itself. Their first match was against the Kansas City Wizards. RSL was able to advance 2-1 with goals once again coming from Jeff Cunningham and Andy Williams. That set up a rematch with Colorado. Unfortunately, RSL once again came up short suffering a 2-1 defeat. Chris Klein was the goal scorer for RSL in that match.

2008- Again RSL needed to go through the qualification rounds to proceed to the tournament. They traveled to Columbus and fell 2-0. 

2009- This season they faced expansion team Seattle on the road in the qualification round.  They were humbled in Seattle losing 4-1. The lone goal was scored by Will Johnson.

2010- The first game of the qualification round this year took place in San Jose. After 120 minutes of play, the game was tied 3-3. Goals were scored by Robbie Findley, Nelson Gonzalez, and Nat Borchers whose 117 minute goal was the needed goal to send the game to a penalty shootout. RSL was able to advance 5-3 in the PK shootout with goals by Johnson, Findley, Williams, Kyle Beckerman, and Robbie Russell. The team next traveled to face DC United. They fell 2-1 with the lone goal being scored by Johnson.

2011- RSL entered the tournament in the third round this season first playing the Wilmington Hammerheads at Rio Tinto Stadium. They defeated the Hammerheads 2-0 with goals being scored by Tony Beltran, and Jean Alexandre. They next traveled to face FC Dallas. They would end up getting beat by Dallas 2-0. 

2012- RSL once again entered the tournament in the third round and would face the Minnesota Stars . Due to the rules at the time, RSL paid a sum of money to Minnesota to switch the game from being in Minnesota to being played at Rio Tinto Stadium instead. The move did not pay the dividends that RSL was hoping for and they were defeated 3-1. The lone goal for RSL was scored by Luis Gil.

2013- Entering the tournament in the third round, RSL has rolled past the Atlanta Silverbacks (3-2), Charleston Battery (5-2) and the Carolina Railhawks (3-0). Already considered the best USOC run in team history, RSL is just two wins away from raising the US Open Cup and receiving one of the precious bids to play in next season's CONCACAF Champions League tournament.

Special thanks to Brian Quarstad (@imsoccernews) for use of the picture.

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