FRISCO, Texas (Sept. 13, 2016) – FC Dallas claimed its second Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title with a 4-2 victory over New England Revolution on Tuesday night.
Mauro Diaz served as the protagonist and played a part in all four goals as FCD won the trophy named after the club’s founder, Lamar Hunt, for the first time since 1997.
“We are champions again,” FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja said. “We won it. It proves we can do it after that many years. There are so many people involved with this club, waiting for that trophy and this moment... we’ve made it real.”
New England scored the opening goal through Juan Agudelo after six minutes, but the hosts responded through Maxi Urruti to restore parity. Matt Hedges nodded home a Diaz free kick to give FCD a lead it would not relinquish.
New England dared to dream of a second Open Cup triumph after Agudelo’s early opener. His rasping finish from Gershon Koffie’s vertical ball provided the Revs with a tangible advantage to protect, but it only served to spark a response from FCD.
Diaz opened his masterful performance with a precise diagonal for Urruti’s equalizer on 15 minutes. His delivery on the remnants of a corner allowed Hedges to give FCD the lead for good after 40 minutes.
Hedges drew a penalty deep in first-half stoppage time and watched Diaz convert from the spot to extend the margin on the stroke of halftime. The penalty kick converted just before the halftime whistle underscored his influence on the proceedings.
“It is a collection of what he has done this year,” Pareja said. “He showed the heart of his club and the heart of his teammates tonight. They all wanted to win.”
Diaz then split the Revolution center backs to supply Urruti with his second and FCD’s fourth on the hour and temper any thoughts of a Revolution revival.
Agudelo reduced the deficit by turning home at the far post inside the final 20 minutes, but his second goal of the night did not prove enough to prevent the visitors from slipping to a second defeat in an Open Cup final nor stop FCD from securing its first championship in 19 years.
With the victory, FCD qualifies for the 2017-18 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League and sustains its hopes of winning a double or triple as the MLS season winds to a close.
-2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Match Report-
Match: FC Dallas (MLS) vs. New England Revolution (MLS)
Date: Sept. 13, 2016
Competition: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
Venue: Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
Kickoff: 9 p.m. CT
Attendance: 16,612 (sellout)
Weather: 84 degrees; Partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
DAL 3 1 4
NER 1 1 2
NER – Juan Agudelo (Gershon Koffie) 6th minute
DAL – Maxi Urruti (Mauro Diaz) 15
DAL – Matt Hedges (Mauro Diaz) 40
DAL – Mauro Diaz (penalty kick) 45+7
DAL – Maxi Urruti (Mauro Diaz) 61
NER – Juan Agudelo (Teal Bunbury) 73
DAL: 18-Chris Seitz; 12-Ryan Hollingshead, 25-Walker Zimmerman, 24-Matt Hedges, 31-Maynor Figueroa; 77-Mauro Rosales (13-Tesho Akindele, 58), 23-Kellyn Acosta, 10-Mauro Díaz, 7-Carlos Gruezo, 21-Michael Barrios (8-Victor Ulloa, 82); 37-Maximiliano Urruti (2-Aubrey David, 90+1)
Subs not used: 1-Jesse Gonzalez, 5-Norberto Paparatto, 9-Getterson, 28-Colin Bonner
Head Coach: Oscar Pareja
NER: 18-Brad Knighton; 2-Andrew Farrell, 28-London Woodberry, 23-José Gonçalves, 15-Je-Vaughn Watson (8-Chris Tierney, 45+3); 6-Scott Caldwell, 7-Gershon Koffie (13-Kei Kamara, 42), 11-Kelyn Rowe (10-Teal Bunbury, 69), 14-Diego Fagundez; 17-Juan Agudelo, 24-Lee Nguyen
Subs not used: 1-Cody Cropper, 16-Daigo Kobayashi, 4-Steve Neumann, 88-Femi Hollinger-Janzen
Head Coach: Jay Heaps
Stats Summary: DAL / NER
Shots: 19 / 11
Shots on Goal: 9 / 3
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 15 / 18
Offside: 2 / 0
NER – Scott Caldwell (caution) 29th minute
NER – London Woodberry (caution) 48
DAL – Walker Zimmerman (caution) 50
NER – Diego Fagundez (caution) 66
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referee 1: Sean Hurd
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Wienckowski
Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica
Jorge Rodriguez was more than capable during his pro soccer years in Dallas. The versatile defender and midfielder could certainly hold his own, even if he wasn’t necessarily a game-changer or head-turner.
So how ironic that perhaps the most important kick in more than two decades of professional soccer in Dallas came off this Salvadorian international’s right foot. His well-placed penalty kick almost 20 years ago was the clincher of the 1997 U.S. Open Cup, the fifth successful conversion as the Dallas Burn took down a far more heralded D.C. United bunch at a neutral site on a cold Indiana night in November.
Who knew back then that it would be the only championship this club, rebranded as FC Dallas in 2004, would earn during its first two decades? That could change Tuesday night in the northern Dallas suburb of Frisco, where a stadium built by the same man for whom the tournament is now named, domestic soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt, hosts the U.S. Open Cup final.
Jorge Rodriguez converted the deciding penalty kick to deliver the '97 Open Cup title to Dallas.
The 1997 U.S. Open Cup files are thick with backstories from competitors on both sides of that cold night at the Carroll Stadium on IUPUI’s campus. For Dallas, the emotion of the evening was all about the thrill of the only professional soccer final in which many of the players would participate. And also about helping a teammate through some very hard times.
“It was definitely a very emotional night,” said Dante Washington, who scored 52 goals over 9 MLS seasons and helped Dallas lift the trophy that night.
Washington remained active in MLS circles after retirement as a broadcaster, but he’s hardly the most familiar name from coach Dave Dir’s hand-picked, tight-knit group. Most prominent was Jason Kreis, who would go on to be the youngest MLS Cup-winning manager, claiming Major League Soccer’s ultimate prize in 2009.
Garth Lagerwey, the front office architect of those successful RSL teams and now GM with the Seattle Sounders, was a backup goalkeeper on that 1997 team. So was Jeff Cassar, now RSL’s manager, who was injured and not available for the Open Cup final. Also on that team were current RSL assistant Ted Eck and Vancouver Whitecaps director of soccer operations Tom Soehn, himself a former MLS manager.
Kreis was on his way to becoming Major League Soccer’s original 100-goal scorer. (Great trivia: he is the only player to have hit the inaugural goal for two MLS franchises, doing so for Dallas in 1996 and Real Salt Lake in 2005.) Two years after that Open Cup championship Kreis became the first American-born player voted league MVP, doing so with the first 15-goal, 15-assist season in league history. He would be named an MLS All-Star five times.
But team-wise, the list of achievement was far shorter. A few of those of the early Dallas Burn men had come with Dir from the Colorado Foxes, having won two championships in the early 1990s in the old A-League. But for Kreis and quite a few others, their personal list of professional championships begins and ends with the Dewar Cup hoist that night in Indiana.
“That’s one of the fondest memories I have as a player,” Kreis said as he and others recalled the 1997 crown. “It’s the only trophy I ever won as player. In fact, it was the only final I ever got to play in.”
Jason Kreis was pivotal to the Dallas Burn in its run to the 1997 U.S. Open Cup title.
He recalled not starting for much of the 1997 season, but that he “did start in all the Open Cup matches, and felt like I had a big hand in getting our team to the final.”
There was actually a little more to it. Kreis, now manager at Orlando City SC, had come into the club as a rookie playmaking midfielder in 1996 and had big plans for 1997. But the club added blue chip Swiss international Alain Sutter, who pushed a young and brooding Kreis to the bench. (The next year, Dir moved Kreis ahead in the formation to striker to get both players on the field, which proved a master stroke that benefitted manager and player.)
The club was lucky to have Sutter, a Bundesliga vet and previously a driving force on a strong Swiss side in the 1994 World Cup. He was influential in getting the Burn into the MLS playoffs but also a big reason why the Burn crashed out. Sutter had been terrific in eliminating the LA Galaxy in the first round but developed a stomach bug and was ineffective as the team lost to Colorado in the conference finals.
So Dir and his men definitely felt that “something to prove” pressure. Andy Swift, working then in media relations but later the team’s GM and now executive director of the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, explained it like this:
“The Open Cup final was an opportunity to play MLS Cup champion D.C. United, who they would have played in MLS Cup, and who they generally felt they had a good chance of beating, provided Sutter was healthy.” Swift said. “So within the team, the game was an important opportunity to show they were as good as a two-time MLS champ.”
The Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) hoist the 1997 U.S. Open Cup trophy.
United was a fantastic team, blessed with individuals who would become MLS legends, Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno and Raul Diaz Arce foremost among them. Directed by Bruce Arena, they had won a second MLS Cup just days before the Open Cup final (which was played back then at a neutral site).
“I really feel like that was one of the best teams I have ever played on in terms of the talent we had,” Washington said. “We were really disappointed in how things worked out against Colorado and felt like we should have been in MLS Cup [against D.C. United]. So it was great that we got to meet D.C. for this title.”
A testament to the talent and close-nit nature of that team is the astonishing fact that the Burn captured the ’97 Open Cup title without playing a single home game the entire tournament and remains the only team to have achieved that feat in the competition’s modern era (1995-present).
Washington pointed out there’s a little more going on in today’s domestic soccer scene. In addition to MLS Cup and the Open Cup, there are CONCACAF Champions League positions at stake. And Supporters Shield today is a bigger deal now than it was in those earliest MLS campaigns.
“It’s a title, you know? Any title is a big deal, of course,” he said. “But back then it was pretty much MLS Cup and the Open Cup, and that was it.”
Tomorrow, we go for our 1st trophy since '97.— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) September 12, 2016
This is the must-watch look at that amazing team, told first-hand. pic.twitter.com/GKD6AQeHJU
The disappointment of a previous playoff ouster wasn’t only motivation driving the team. Dir had been careful to place the right people inside that barebones locker room at the old Cotton Bowl on the State Fair of Texas grounds, a roster full of “givers” rather than “takers,” as current national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann would say it. So the players were generally quite close, and it hit everyone hard when goalkeeper Mark Dodd’s mother died unexpectedly just days before the Open Cup final.
“We weren't sure if he was going to play, or even make the trip,” Swift said. “But once he decided to play, it became another rallying cry for the team, to win it for Mark.”
“To this day, I don’t know how Mark held it together for that match,” Washington said “It meant so much to all of us, to be able to give him just a little bit, even just an ounce of happiness after all the stuff he had gone through that week.”
The match was even, with United generating a slight edge in shots (18-14) but each goalkeeper claiming five saves. Both teams hit the post; Dallas did so twice, including once in the 30-minute overtime. (Highlights are here.) In the end, the teams played 120 scoreless minutes before Dallas prevailed in penalty kicks.
“I still have that medal,” said Lagerwey, who recalled picking up injured teammate Mark Santel and carrying him onto the field to be part of the post-game dog-pile and celebration. “It still means a lot. It’s still the only championship I won as a player, and it was a pretty cool moment to be part of that.”Read more
Timing is everything in MLS. It is the drumbeat in a grueling season, the lifeblood of a playoff push and the sole determining factor between failure and success. More than anything, it is the most critical component to success in a league predicated on fine margins.
Those realities provide hope for the New England Revolution as they seek their second Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title on Tuesday night. There were plenty of moments this season when a victory in a one-off match at FC Dallas looked well beyond them. This is not one of them.
For the first time this year, the Revs are operating in concert. Their past two league victories -- a 1-0 triumph over Colorado on Sept. 3 and a comprehensive 3-1 victory over New York City FC on Saturday -- reveal the potential in a side wondering whether this final arrives at the perfect time.
“I feel this team is starting to gel, starting to click and starting to fire on all cylinders,” Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton said. “We’ve had some issues at the back and we’ve sorted that out. We’ve found ourselves defensively and that ultimately led to us putting balls in the back of the net.”
It is how the team with the worst goal differential in MLS by five goals (-14) suddenly boasts the confidence to harbor realistic hopes of knocking off the Supporters’ Shield favorites on their home soil.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps credits his players for figuring out a way to smooth out the lapses in their performances over the past few weeks. The killer mistake -- most often present in a skewered chance from close range or a soft goal -- disappeared. The penchant for fluidity going forward and solidity in defense returned in its stead.
“It’s good momentum because we feel like we’re putting together 90-minute performances,” Heaps said. “Even against New York and San Jose, we thought those were steps in the right direction, but they weren’t complete performances. I feel like the last two games have been more complete over 90 minutes.”
Those improvements manifested in perhaps the best team performance of the season against New York City FC. The collective work on and off the ball limited NYCFC to just one shot on target and provided a platform to combine neatly in the attacking third. Those strides resulted in three goals and three precious points heading into the Open Cup final.
“It’s huge because you see the confidence of this team,” Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez said. “The way we celebrated the goals, you can see we’re a group. That’s what we want.”
All of those qualities must rise to the fore once again at Toyota Stadium. There is no room for error, even after FC Dallas sustained its first home loss this season against Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Revolution forward Juan Agudelo cited FCD’s pace in the wide areas and resolve in defense as two of the key traits behind the club’s push to the top of the Western Conference.
“When it comes to them, they are at the top of the league for a reason,” Agudelo said. “They are a really, really good team. I watched their Open Cup game against LA. They deserved to win that game, I think. They have very fast players out wide and their defense is strong.”
Even with the strength of the opposition in mind, the Revs remain intently focused on the task at hand. This one-off final supplies them with a chance to claim the club’s first title since 2008, lift the Open Cup for a second time and secure a tangible reward for their work this season.
This opening arrives at the perfect time for a side now finding its footing. It is up to this group to grasp it with both hands, according to Heaps.“For me, you don’t get many chances at championships,” Heaps said. “When you do, you have to relish it and you have to take your opportunity to win it. When you look at the finals we’ve been to as a club -- we were in four MLS Cup finals. As a player, I was there and I was in three Open Cup finals, two with the Revs and one with the Miami Fusion. And I was there in the SuperLiga final. We won two championships in six or seven opportunities. They’re difficult. …. Our one [Open Cup] championship came on the road in Dallas. We know it can be done.” Read more
They may not speak of it often, but everyone in the FC Dallas locker room understands that something special in American professional soccer lies just over the horizon – if they can bear down and complete the difficult march toward it.
No club has achieved the so-called “treble.” And while no one around FCD is getting ahead of themselves, players and coaches certainly know what’s up. So says veteran goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
FC Dallas leads in Major League Soccer’s Supporters Shield chase, and the club is a virtual cinch for an MLS playoff spot, with a good chance at keeping home field advantage through the push for MLS Cup. And then there is a trophy within even closer reach; any history-making run would need to start Tuesday in Frisco, where this first piece of hardware now dangles.
FC Dallas meets New England in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final (9 p.m. CT; ESPN2, UDN), providing FCD the chance to lay hands on its first major trophy since 1997. Any “treble” talk would die quickly if Seitz and his side can’t exploit home field advantage – something the club has done superbly over the last two years under manager Oscar Pareja – and seize the late summer night at Toyota Stadium in the northern Dallas suburb of Frisco.
FC Dallas’ starting goalkeeper says the games have been coming so fast and furious over the last two months – only Dallas is alive in three ongoing competitions, MLS league play, the Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League – that there hasn’t been much time for idle dreaming. At the same time …
“Everyone knows it’s there, and everyone knows we’re in a good spot,” Seitz said of the treble talk.
“This is what we’re built for,” he said of all the opportunities now coming into view, including the potential second Open Cup crown. “Last year we go close to MLS Cup and to Supporters Shield, so we brought in new acquisitions this year to give us the opportunity to get there. We know we are exactly where we want to be; we have put ourselves in contention to do all this.”
It’s not just the chance to do something special in American professional soccer that adds weight to Tuesday’s nationally televised night. The tournament carries special significance for this club, long under Hunt Family ownership. The U.S. Open Cup tournament is named for the man who built Toyota Stadium, Lamar Hunt, who did so much to help American professional soccer thrive. FCD manager Oscar Pareja has spoken often about it before, citing his respect for American soccer’s foremost pioneer, who died in 2006.
“It does mean a lot to this club because Mr. Lamar Hunt’s name is there,” said Pareja, who played eight seasons in Dallas, left briefly and then returned to take the manager’s seat in 2014. “We always consider it very important for us to compete and to try to win it.”
He already has the best winning percentage of any manager in the club’s 21 years. And that record doesn’t include wins in this year’s march toward the Open Cup. One of his signature results came a month ago in Los Angeles, where FCD rallied late from a goal behind to claim an Open Cup semifinal win at Los Angeles. Center back Matt Hedges and midfielder Victor Ulloa hit the goals in extra time, both off of corner kicks, as Dallas advanced into its first Open Cup final since a 2007 loss to New England.
“It’s always been high priority on our list,” Seitz said of the tournament, which dates to 1914. “We’ve gotten close a couple of times, and then we went out pretty early last year. So for us, we take this seriously anytime there is a trophy on the line, especially one with owner’s name on it, that means a lot. Obviously, it means a lot to the Hunt family and to the entire organization.”
Something else is adding just a little more pressure to the home team in this one: the legacy of a club that has not won anything in a long, long time.
Tomorrow, we go for our 1st trophy since '97.— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) September 12, 2016
This is the must-watch look at that amazing team, told first-hand. pic.twitter.com/GKD6AQeHJU
No professional soccer team in the country’s top tier has gone as long without a major trophy. Dallas’ drought stretches back to that 1997 Open Cup crown. The players being signed by FCD’s prodigious academy weren’t even born then; the team’s latest academy signing, Paxton Pomykal, was born more than two years after the club, then known as the Dallas Burn, outlasted DC United in a penalty kick tiebreaker to claim the 1997 Open Cup title.
Chicago has the next longest trophy-less streak, but the Fire’s window of less reaches back only to 2006.
“We’ve said it since the beginning of the year: we want to win something for this club and for us,” said Ulloa, one of the club’s homegrown players, now with 77 league starts. “We’re built to win a championship, and we’re built to step up.”
The “circumstance” for Dallas is quite a contrast to the opposition. As Dallas pursues a potentially historic season and is all but assured of an MLS playoff spot, Tuesday’s match may represent New England’s best chance to salvage a season going sideways. The Revs may have won two in a row, but they remain 7th in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of the playoffs. Five loses in the six previous matches had left New England’s 2016 season on the brink.
These divergent fortunes of 2016 were reflected in the clubs’ lineup selections during league matches on Saturday. While Revolution manager Jay Heaps deployed his first-choice selections, Pareja was able to limit the use of four important starters. Mauro Diaz and Michael Barrios started on the bench (but did enter after the break in a 1-0 loss to Colorado) while Ecuadorian international Carlos Gruezo and Honduran captain Maynor Figueroa got the night off.
That was the good news for FC Dallas. On the other side, Pareja’s team saw its club record home unbeaten streak fall away. FCD had not lost in 19 league games, going back to August of 2015. The streak was even longer including a CONCACAF Champions League win and a Round-of-16 Open Cup win back in July over Colorado.
Fabian Castillo set up one of the goals in the 2-1 tournament victory over Colorado. And the livewire Colombian winger stole it late for his team in a subsequent, quarterfinal Open Cup win at Houston. That was his final strike for the club; Castillo left soon afterward, pushing the team to accept a transfer into Turkey. Dallas is 5-2-3 in matches across all competitions since Castillo’s departure.
Seitz said Saturday’s league loss to Colorado won’t impact his team’s resolve nor its confidence before Tuesday’s final. “With trophies on the line, people have short memories,” said Seitz, who has been in Dallas since 2011, longer than almost all of his teammates. “We’re confident, we’re excited. To be able to go for trophies in front of you home fans, there is nothing better.”Read more
The 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup concludes as FC Dallas hosts New England Revolution in Tuesday night’s final (10 p.m. ET – ESPN2 and Univision Deportes Network).
The game serves as a rematch of the 2007 Final, which New England Revolution won 3-2 to lift their only tournament title. FC Dallas lifted its lone piece of hardware 10 years earlier when they drew D.C. United 0-0 before defeated the reining champs 5-3 on penalty kicks.
Take a detailed look at Tuesday’s championship match:
Tuesday, September 13
FC Dallas vs. New England Revolution
Time/Location: 10 p.m. ET; Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas
Broadcast: ESPN2 and Univision Deportes Network
Referees: R) Baldomero Toledo AR1) Sean Hurd AR2) Adam Wienckowski 4th) Sorin Stoica
FC Dallas Best Finish: Champions (1997)
FC Dallas Final Appearances: 3 (1997, 2007, 2016)
FC Dallas All-Time Record: 24-18-4
New England Revolution Best Finish: Champions (2007)
New England Revolution Final Appearances: 2 (2007, 2016)
New England Revolution All-Time Record: 17-10-5
Previous U.S. Open Cup Meetings
October 3, 2007 – FC Dallas 2, New England Revolution 3 - FINAL
How They Got Here:
New England Revolution
Fourth Round: Carolina RailHawks 0, New England Revolution 1 (AET) June 15
Round of 16: New York Cosmos 2, New England Revolution 3 June 29
Bunbury 43’, 83’, Kamara 75’
Quarterfinals: New England Revolution 1, Philadelphia Union 1 (4-2 PKs) July 20
Semifinals: New England Revolution 3, Chicago Fire 1 August 9
Kamara 16’, Watson 42’, Bunbury 89’
Fourth Round: FC Dallas 2, OKC Energy FC 2 (6-5 PKs) June 15
Lizarazo 37, 43’
Round of 16: FC Dallas 2, Colorado Rapids 1 (AET) June 29
Diaz 64’, Urruti 96’
Quarterfinals: Houston Dynamo 0, FC Dallas 1 July 20
Semifinals: LA Galaxy 1, FC Dallas 2 (AET) August 10
Hedges 116’, Ulloa 120+1’
- The game is a rematch of the 2007 Final, which New England Revolution won 3-2 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
- This is the first appearance in the final for either side since 2007.
- FC Dallas won the only meeting between the two sides this season, a wild 4-2 affair on May 21 at Gillette Stadium.
- New England leads the all-competitions series between the two clubs with a 24-16-3 advantage, while FC Dallas is 5-4-1 overall against New England at Toyota Stadium.
- Teal Bunbury leads the New England Revolution with three goals in the competition, while FC Dallas has received two from Carlos Lizarazo
- Having won with New England in 2007, Revolution head coach Jay Heaps looks to become the third man to the U.S. Open Cup as a player and head coach.
- Revolution assistant Tom Soehn was the first to win as a player and head coach, winning with the Dallas Burn (1997) and Chicago Fire (1998, 2000). Soehn then won as head coach of D.C. United in 2008. A part of that 2008 championship side, Ben Olsen became the second man to do it when he led D.C. United to an improbable championship in 2013.
- New England Revolution forwards Kei Kamara and Teal Bunbury previously won the tournament with Sporting KC in 2012, while FC Dallas midfielder Mauro Rosales won with Seattle Sounders FC in 2011.
- Sitting just one point outside of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, New England comes into the match on the heels of 3-1 home win Saturday night vs. New York City FC.
- FC Dallas enters the game after seeing their 19-match home unbeaten streak snapped with a 1-0 defeat to Colorado on Saturday. The club still sits five points clear atop the league’s Supporters Shield standings.
- The winner of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup receives a berth in the 2017-18 CONCACAF Champions League and $250,000 in prize money. The runner-up receives $60,000.