History of Chicago and New Jersey Teams in the Open Cup Final
Northern New Jersey Teams – Four Appearances, Three Titles
The MetroStars are the first New Jersey based team to play in an Open Cup final since S.C. Elizabeth of New Jersey topped The San Pedro of California Yugoslavs 1-0 on May 21, 1972 at the Farcher’s Grove in Union, N.J. Overall, New Jersey based teams have won the U.S. Open Cup three of the four times they have made the final, with S.C. Elizabeth also winning the Open Cup in 1970, and Paterson F.C. winning the 1923 Open Cup via forfeit. F.C. Paterson lost the 1919 Open Cup to Bethlehem Steel. In all, New Jersey teams have won three finals in four appearances.
New York City Teams – 37 Appearances, 25 Titles
The inaugural U.S. Open Cup in 1914 was an all-New York City affair, with the Brooklyn Field Club topping Brooklyn Celtic 2-1 on May 16, 1914 at the Lonsdale Avenue Ground in Pawtucket, R.I. The next year, Celtic fell again in the final, losing to Bethlehem Steel.
Seven years later Brooklyn Robbins Dry Dock brought the title back to the city with a 4-2 over St. Louis Scullin Steel. The next year, what was basically the same team fell in the final as Brooklyn Todd Shipyard.
After another seven-year absence, the city was again represented in the final with the New York Nationals winning 3-1 on aggregate goals after a two-game series. Forward Bart McGhee from that 1928 Nationals team would go on to lead the U.S. in the 1930 World Cup scoring one goal in three different matches in Uruguay. New York Hakoah SC made it back-to-back titles from the city as they won the 1929 championship.
The New York Americans made a trip to the final twice in the 1930s, winning the Cup in 1937 and losing in 1933. Brooklyn St. Mary’s Celtic also split their Open Cup Final appearances, following up a loss in 1938 with a win in 1939. Brooklyn Hispano came on strong in 1943 and 1944 with back-to-back titles, while New York Brookhatten won in 1945 before losing in 1948.
In the 1950s New York teams won three finals and dropped one, while they were a perfect 5-for-5 in the 1960s. The great run in the 1960s was capped by the New York Greek-Americans who won three consecutive titles from 1967 to 1969.
In the early 1980s, the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms dominated the national scene with Cup titles in 1980, 1982 and 1983. The most recent winner from the Big Apple was the Brooklyn Italians, who brought home the championship in 1991.
In all, New York City teams have appeared in 37 finals and have come away with 25 victories.
Chicago Teams – 15 Appearances, Seven Titles
The first Chicago-based team to appear in the Open Cup final was the Chicago Bricklayers, who lost to the New York Nationals 3-1 on aggregate goals the 1928 Cup’s two-game series. The games that year were played at New York’s Polo Grounds and Chicago’s Soldier field with an estimated total of 31,000 fans seeing the two matches.
Three years later, the Bricklayers lost again to the Fall River Marksmen from Massachusetts. The first Chicago team to win the Open Cup was Chicago Sparta A.B.A., which defeated Brooklyn St. Mary’s Celtic in a two-game series in 1938.
After Chicago Manhattan Beer lost the 1939 Open Cup, Sparta A.B.A. returned to the final and finished as co-champions with Baltimore S.C. in 1940 after the team’s played to a 2-2 aggregate tie after two games. In
1946, the Chicago Vikings won the Open Cup with the second leg of the final being held in Comisky Park. Sparta lost the 1947 final, and six years later the Chicago Falcons brought the Cup back to Chicago with a 3-0 aggregate win over Pittsburgh Harmarville S.C.
It would be 37 years until the Open Cup title returned to Chicago. In 1965, Chicago Hansa lost the Open Cup to the New York Ukrainians. Chicago Olympic then came up on the short side in 1968, while Chicago Croatia lost the final in 1974, 1979 and 1984.
Finally, in 1990 Chicago A.A.C Eagles topped the Brooklyn Italians for the Open Cup championship, and eight years later the Chicago Fire, it their first year of existence, topped the Columbus Crew 2-1 in overtime at Soldier Field. In 2000, the final returned to Soldier Field where the Fire topped the Miami Fusion 2-1.
Overall, Chicago teams have won the U.S. Open Cup seven times in 15 final appearances.