2022 U.S. Open Cup Photo Gallery - The Underdogs
Any Open Cup is defined (and inspired) by its underdog runs and upsets. The 2022 installment is no exception. From Union Omaha and Sacramento Republic to South Georgia Tormenta and the Northern Colorado Hailstorm – #USOC2022 is full of surprising results and incredible moments. Join usopencup.com for a look back at some of this year’s most impressive giant-slayers.
Detroit City FC, with a home-field advantage like no other, stormed through to the Round of 32 with wins over Michigan Stars (of the National Independent Soccer Association - NISA) and MLS’ Columbus Crew. Their run came to an end with a shootout loss to fellow USL Championship (second professional tier) side Louisville City – at their home ground of Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck. Photo Jon DeBoer
Louisville City are among the best of the best of the USL Championship (the country’s second-tier pro league) and so it was no surprise to see Danny Cruz’s men storm through to the Round of 16 after wins over the Chattanooga Red Wolves, new MLS Next outfit St Louis City SC and Detroit City. The Kentucky-based club’s tournament ended after a last-gasp goal from Nashville SC kept them from a Quarterfinal berth. Photo Connor Cunningham
Sixth-time participants FC Motown finished their 2022 Open Cup campaign in the Third Round – losing out on penalties to Rochester New York FC (formerly the Rochester Rhinos) after wins over fellow amateurs West Chester United and NISA pros AC Syracuse Pulse. The Morristown, New Jersey-based club went down swinging and scooped the $25,000 in prize money as the Open Division team to go farthest in the competition. Photo Jesse Wolfe
Union Omaha stole all the headlines in the 2022 Open Cup – with the third-division (USL League One) side from Nebraska flying through to the Quarterfinals with a pair of wins on the road against MLS opposition (Chicago Fire and Minnesota United). Making history for their league and inspiring underdogs everywhere, the Owls scooped the $25,000 prize as the third-tier team to reach farthest in the tournament.
Sacramento Republic, from California’s oft-overlooked capital city, picked up the $25,000 prize as the USL Championship (second-tier pro) team to go farthest in the 2022 Open Cup. Led by captain and local hero Rodrigo ‘RoRo’ Lopez, the side meant business from the start of the competition with wins over Portland Timbers U-23, Fresno’s Central Valley Fuego and powerful league-mates Phoenix Rising. It all culminated in a Round-of-16 win over MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes that booked a place in the Quarterfinals for the first time in club history. Photo Maciek Gudrymowicz
Third-division pros Tormenta FC, based in Statesboro, Georgia, got off to a hot start in the 2022 Open Cup. A pair of road wins against second-division opposition Charleston battery and Birmingham Legion signaled their intent. The end of the road came for the USL League One side in the Round of 32 – and a battling 3-1 loss to MLS’ Inter Miami in South Florida. Photo Aaron Cranford
San Antonio FC (of the second-tier USL Championship) bowed out in the Round of 32 to 2018 champions Houston Dynamo – but not before the Texans made a huge statement with an impressive win over MLS-based debutants Auston FC in what is likely the beginning of a proud Open Cup rivalry.
More than a few sides got caught in a Northern Colorado Hailstorm as the side, in their first year and based out of Fort Collins, went on a tear in their first-ever Open Cup. The USL League One (third division) side offed USL Championship leaders Colorado Springs Switchbacks before heading out on the road to knock off MLS’ Real Salt Lake (2013 Open Cup runners-up) 1-0 in one of the upsets of the tournament. The Hailstorm finally subsided in the Round of 32 with a loss to league mates Union Omaha.
The first-year Cal United Strikers (of NISA) proved to be one of the wonders of the early stages of the 2022 Open Cup. A young squad, boasting 15-year-old striker Marcus Lee, they routed amateurs San Fernando Valley FC and USL League One pros FC Tucson before going out of the competition with an impressive losing performance (2-3) against the 2005 champions LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer.