MLS Clubs FC Cincinnati And Houston Dynamo Advance On First Night Of 2023 U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals

Cincinnati Defeated Underdogs Pittsburgh Riverhounds while Houston Scored a Road Win at Chicago Fire FC; Quarterfinals Continue Wednesday on CBS Sports Golazo Network and B/R Platforms Beginning at 8 p.m. ET

CHICAGO (June 6, 2023) – Opening night of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals saw FC Cincinnati and Houston Dynamo punch their tickets to the penultimate round of U.S. Soccer’s National Championship. Cincinnati (Division-I, MLS) claimed a 3-1 win against the underdog Pittsburgh Riverhounds (Division-II, USL Championship) in the night’s early game before Houston followed up with a 4-1 road win over fellow MLS side Chicago Fire FC.

The Open Cup Quarterfinals continue tomorrow night with the last two matches of the round. The evening kicks off with USL Championship underdogs Birmingham Legion seeking a Cupset of MLS club Inter Miami CF in front of what is certain to be an amazing hometown crowd. Kick-off is set for 8 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Golazo Network.

The final ticket to the tournament Semifinals will be decided at 9:30 p.m. ET when Real Salt Lake take on LA Galaxy in Sandy, UT. Fans can watch the high-stakes match on the B/R app and B/R Football YouTube.

Cincinnati began the night with a hard-earned win in a competition between two of the hottest teams in American professional soccer. FCC, who’ve won nine consecutive home games in MLS and 12 in a row across all competitions, were unable to break through in the first half against a Pittsburgh side that entered the match as the first USLC team to shutout two MLS squads in the competition and had won six successive matches across all competitions.

But the visitors’ resistance was pierced early in the second half by U.S. Men’s National Team forward Brandon Vazquez before Alvaro Barreal added a stunning golazo and a Santiago Arias stoppage time strike sealed the result. The Riverhounds’ Tola Showunmi struck a consolation goal for head coach Bob Lilley’s men.

Houston Dynamo made easier work of their opponents thanks to an early 1-0 advantage earned from the penalty spot. Amine Bassi’s 12th minute PK gave the Dynamo a lead they would never relinquish. An Aliyu Ibrahim brace notch either side of halftime kept Houston’s nose in front after the Fire’s Arnaud Souquet’s 40th minute strike made it 2-1 and gave the Fire hope just before the break.

Ibrahim’s second in the 59th minute that gave Houston a 3-1 lead came moments after a contentious play in their own box was ruled not to be a penalty. Nelson Quiñones then effectively iced the match with a 74th-minute capper that sent the Dynamo into the Semifinals with a 4-1 win.


FC Cincinnati (MLS) 3, Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USLC) 1

Brandon Vazquez snapped a scoreless deadlock, Alvaro Barreal added a stunner and Santiago Arias tallied in stoppage time as the hosts reached the Semifinals for the second time after a confrontation between two of the hottest teams in American professional soccer at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

FC Cincy, who’ve won nine consecutive home games in MLS and 12 in a row across all competitions, qualified for the Open Cup Semis when they played in the USL Championship in 2017. Pittsburgh, who entered the match as the first USLC team to shutout two MLS squads in the competition with hopes of pulling off another Cupset, had won six successive matches across all competitions. The Riverhounds' loss left the Birmingham Legion FC as the lone non-MLS club still alive in the competition. Birmingham host Inter Miami CF on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Vazquez boosted Cincinnati into the lead in the 56th minute as Luciano Acosta, who set up both goals, sent a short pass to Dominique Badji, who tapped the ball to Vazquez. The U.S. Men's National Team forward then buried his eight-yard shot from the right side past goalkeeper Alec Kann.

Barreal, who replaced Raymon Gaddis on the hour mark, scored a spectacular insurance goal, drilling a volley with his left foot from the top of the penalty arc off an Acosta corner kick in the 71st minute for a two-goal advantage.

Arias, a defender, connected for his first goal for FC Cincy when he headed home Barreal's corner-kick from six yards out three minutes into injury time.

Only a minute later, Pittsburgh pulled one back on Tola Showunmi's eight-yard strike.


Chicago Fire FC (MLS) 1, Houston Dynamo (MLS) 4

Either way, one former champion was headed back to its first Open Cup Semifinal since 2018.

Amine Bassi converted an early penalty, and Aliyu Ibrahim scored twice as Houston Dynamo pushed through at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Ill.

Nelson Quinones was brought down at the edge of the box, and Bassi scored the opening goal from the spot in the 12th minute. The Dynamo grabbed a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute when Coco Carrasquilla delivered a ball past Chicago’s backline for Ibrahim to finish on the run.

Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner kick was nodded inside the far post by Arnaud Souquet in the 40th minute as the Fire, four-time Open Cup champions, got back into the match before halftime.

In the second half, Houston ‘keeper Andrew Tarbell miraculously avoided giving away a penalty kick moments before Ibrahim was able to stay onside at the other end then tapped home a third Dynamo goal from a rebound in the 60th minute.

Quinones added a fourth and final goal in the 74th minute for Houston, the 2018 Open Cup champion, which advances to play the Real Salt Lake-LA Galaxy winner in the Semifinals.