WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 3, 2008) — D.C. United won their second Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title on Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory against the Charleston Battery in front of their home fans at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
D.C. United substitute Fred scored the game-winning goal in the 50th minute, denying the Battery’s bid to become the first second division team to win since 1999. D.C. United last won the U.S. Open Cup in 1996 with a 3-0 victory vs. the Rochester Rhinos, with that match also at RFK Stadium.
“Getting a chance to run around with a trophy in front of our fans, who deserve it more than anybody, is a great feeling,” said D.C. United head coach Tom Soehn, who also won the Open Cup as a player with the Dallas Burnin 1997 and the Chicago Fire in 1998 and 2000. “You remember that stuff. There are a lot of things you forget but situations and moments like that you remember. You want to taste that again. I hope they all got a great taste of it because there are other things that we still have to accomplish.”
The hosts got on the board in the fourth minute, and it was Jaime Moreno setting things up with a remarkable back heel that sent Santino Quaranta to the fringe of the penalty area. Charleston’s John Wilson met Quaranta with a hard tackle, sending the D.C. midfielder tumbling, but the ball popped to the top of the penalty area where Luciano Emilio was able to curl his shot off the finger tips of Charleston’s Dusty Hudock and into the top corner.
Just minutes after Emilio tallied his team-high third goal of the tournament, the forward was replaced by Rod Dyachenko in the seventh minute due to an abductor strain.
Despite the early letdown, Charleston pushed forward and quickly evened the score on a counter-attack in the 10th minute. Defender Nelson Akwari sent a long, diagonal ball to Chris Williams on the right side. He quickly dribbled into the area and cut inside before leaving the ball behind for Ian Fuller to drive home from 16 yards inside the right post.
The teams exchanged chances with Ivan Guerrero shooting wide from a tight angle for the hosts, while the Battery came agonizingly close from taking the lead when Lazo Alavanja’s left-footed strike got past goalkeeper Louis Crayton only to find the post. After the Battery’s Osvaldo Alonso sent a free kick over the crossbar, D.C. followed suit as Moreno got free down the left flank in the 37th minute, but his attempt from a tight angle was smothered by Hudock.
D.C. United was forced to go to their bench for the second time in the first half in the 40th minute, when Fred came on for Joe Vide (hamstring strain). Fred didn’t waste any time putting his imprint on the match, pushing forward and racing on to a lofted ball over the Charleston backline, but his attempt to chip Hudock went just high and right. Just before halftime, Dyachenko found himself unmarked in the middle of the area but snapped his header wide.
In the second half, Fred continued where he started and provided D.C. United with the lead in the 50th minute. Clyde Simms played a hard ball that got Fred in behind the Battery backline on the right side. He calmly took a few touches as he drove in on goal before finishing past Hudock at the near post.
Charleston had a chance to equalize with a pair of chances in the 58th minute. Alavanja had a deflected pass come right to his feet inside the area, but his shot was deflected out for a corner off Devon McTavish. On the subsequent corner, the ball was headed out to Alavanja at the top of the area and his volley also deflected out.
With 10 minutes remaining, Charleston turned up the dial and created a number of chances but to no avail. In the 86th minute, Alonso took control of the ball near the top of the penalty area before pushing it out wide for Darren Spicer. After taking a settling touch, Spicer whipped the ball into the area finding Alonso who had streaked towards the near post, but his stretching header only got a small piece of the ball sending it wide left.
The Battery almost squeezed out the equalizing goal in the final moments of the game. After a free kick was cleared near the top of the box, the ball was sent back in snuck through the D.C. defenders and was left for a collection of Battery players near the six-yard box, but the offside flag was raised.
As the second place team, the Battery return to Charleston with $50,000 in prize money. D.C. United wins $100,000 as champions.
Dating back to 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, the annual U.S. Open Cup is a 95-year-old single-elimination tournament. In 1999, the U.S. Open Cup was renamed the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to honor the long-time soccer supporter and pioneer.
-- LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP MATCH REPORT --
Match-up: Charleston Battery vs. D.C. United
Competition: 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final
Venue: RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.)
Date: September 3, 2008
Kickoff 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, 87 degrees
1 2 F
DCU 1 1 2
CHR 1 0 1
DCU – Luciano Emilio 4th minute
CHR – Ian Fuller (Chris Williams) 10.
DCU – Fred (Clyde Simms) 50.
DCU: 27-Louis Crayton; 4-Marc Burch, 18-Devon McTavish, 23-Gonzalo Martinez, 26-Bryan Namoff; 3-Joe Vide (7-Fred, 40), 12-Ivan Guerrero, 19-Clyde Simms, 25-Santino Quaranta; 11-Luciano Emilio (15-Rod Dyachenko, 7, 10-Marcelo Gallardo, 80), 99-Jaime Moreno (22-Ryan Cordeiro, 92+)
Subs not used: 20-Michael Zaher, , 28-Craig Thompson, 40-James Thorpe
Head Coach: Tom Soehn
CHR: 1-Dusty Hudock; 2-Nelson Akwari, 3-Kevin Nylen, 5-Marco Reda, 25-John Wilson; 6-Osvaldo Alonso, 7-Chris Williams (9-Darren Spicer, 73), 16-Stephanie Armstrong (21-David Kenga, 82); 8-Lazo Alavanja, 11-Ian Fuller (14-Aaron King, 80), 20-Randi Patterson
Subs not used: 4-Tim Velten, 18-Brandon Curran, , 22-Domenic Cianciarulo, 30-Keith Wiggans
Head Coach: Michael Anhaeuser
DCU / CHR
Shots on Goal: 5/2
Corner Kicks: 2/7
CHR – Kevin Nylen (caution) 33rd minute
DCU – Gonzalo Martinez (caution) 35.
DCU – Clyde Simms (caution) 46.
CHR – Osvaldo Alfonso (caution) 62.
Referee: Mark Geiger
Asst. Referee: Gregory Barkey
Asst. Referee: Robert Fereday
4th Official: Andrew Chapin
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Fred