Inter Miami CF, Real Salt Lake, Houston Dynamo, and FC Cincinnati advance to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals after beating their opponents
Inter Miami CF versus Birmingham Legion FC
On the same week that Inter Miami CF made headlines worldwide with Lionel Messi expressing his intention to join the club, they secured a spot in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals by defeating USL Championship side Birmingham Legion FC 1-0 at Protective Stadium.
Nicolás Stefanelli became the hero for Inter Miami in the 56th minute, breaking the scoreless deadlock with a first-time volley from inside the area. Corentin Jean provided the assist for Stefanelli’s crucial goal. Inter Miami’s solid defense held firm for the remainder of the match, securing a clean sheet and a narrow victory.
The win marks a historic achievement for Inter Miami CF as they advance to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in club history. They now prepare to face FC Cincinnati in the next round.
Looking ahead, Inter Miami will shift their focus to an MLS regular-season match against Philadelphia Union on June 24.
FC Cincinnati versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
FC Cincinnati showcased their dominance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, securing a 3-1 victory against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Tuesday night at TQL Stadium, advancing to the semifinals for the second time in the club’s history.
The game remained goalless in the first half, but FC Cincinnati unleashed their attacking prowess in the second half, scoring three impressive goals. Brandon Vazquez broke the deadlock in the 56th minute, followed by an outstanding strike from Álvaro Barreal in the 71st minute. Santiago Arias sealed the victory with a well-timed header in stoppage time.
Pittsburgh managed to score a consolation goal, but it couldn’t overshadow FC Cincinnati’s dominant display. With this win, FC Cincinnati extended their unbeaten home record and improved their overall season record to 15-1-4. Their exceptional performance in the U.S. Open Cup showcases their quality, as they hold an impressive 12-4-3 record in the tournament since 2016.
Houston Dynamo versus Chicago Fire FC
Houston Dynamo FC secured an impressive 4-1 victory over Chicago Fire FC in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The win propels Houston to the semifinals for the first time since their title-winning campaign in 2018.
The Dynamo took an early lead in the 11th minute when Amine Bassi converted a penalty kick after Nelson Quiñónes was fouled inside the box. Houston continued their dominance and doubled their advantage in the 31st minute when Aliyu Ibrahim calmly slotted the ball home following a swift counter-attack.
Chicago Fire managed to pull one back in the 39th minute through Arnaud Souquet’s well-timed header from a corner kick. However, Houston regained control in the second half. In the 57th minute, Aliyu scored his second goal of the match, capitalizing on a rebound from Quiñónes’ effort. Quiñónes himself got on the scoresheet in the 75th minute, courtesy of a precise pass from Héctor Herrera.
Despite a spirited effort in the second half, Chicago Fire FC couldn’t overturn the deficit against a dominant Houston side. The final scoreline of 4-1 reflects Houston’s control over the match, with both teams showcasing an attacking mindset and registering a total of 24 shots. Houston had 11 shots, six on target, while Chicago attempted 13 shots, with five on goal.
Real Salt Lake versus L.A Galaxy
Real Salt Lake secured a thrilling victory against the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at America First Field in Sandy, Utah. The match began with a setback for the Galaxy as their captain, Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, suffered a knee injury and had to be carried off the field in the 24th minute. Real Salt Lake took advantage of the situation and dominated the first half, scoring two goals through Damir Kreilach, who netted in the 18th minute and converted a penalty kick just before halftime.
In the second half, Real Salt Lake extended their lead with a goal from Jefferson Savarino in the 51st minute. However, the Galaxy fought back in the closing minutes of the game, with Gastón Brugman and Douglas Costa finding the net in the 82nd and 84th minutes, respectively. Despite their late surge, the Galaxy couldn’t equalize, and Real Salt Lake held on for a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
THEY SAID IT
“This win is very important, not just for us as a team, but for the whole organization. We made history today – it’s the first time that the team makes semifinals,” said Inter Miami CF interim head coach Javier Morales.
“I think in the first half, again, just a little bit disjointed in our possessions defensively I think we were a little too opened up. Conceded too much of the middle at times. And some of our, just individual defending, I didn’t think was great.” said L.A Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney.