All-MLS Semifinals: USL Sides Crash out of U.S. Open Cup

USL Side

EDITORIAL (July 10, 2019) – It will be an all-MLS semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. USL sides Saint Louis FC and New Mexico United crashed out of the tournament in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night.

All MLS Semifinals: USL Sides Crash out of U.S. Open Cup

Both USL sides had a touch match-up and travel schedule in the quarterfinals. STLFC were playing at MLS Cup Champion Atlanta United FC. They had to travel Fifth Third Bank Stadium outside Atlanta.

New Mexico played at Minnesota United FC. Their supporters managed to charter a flight to see the game. Manager Adrian Heath had the Loons on a five game unbeaten streak. Their home form at the newly opened Allianz Field has been excellent as well.

Saint Louis put in an admirable defensive effort but lost 2-0. Atlanta controlled the ball and had most of the chances on the night, but STLFC were resolute at the back. The visitors were most dangerous on set pieces, with Lewis Hilton finding captain Sam Fink on several occasions.

It was for not though. Pity Martinez scored on a curling shot after some nice passing to unlock the defense in the 52nd minute. With Saint Louis pushing numbers forward with a series of corners, Atlanta drew a penalty in the final minute of stoppage gime. Josef Martinez converted and the Five Stripes won 2-0.

New Mexico United arguably had the tougher night. Midfielder Santi Moar had NMU off and running with a goal in the 7th minute. Minnesota squashed any hope that goal gave though, scoring four times in nearly 15 minutes after that.

Angelo Rodriguez had a hat-trick and Darwin Quintero scored on a rebound in the 16th minute. The attack for Minnesota tore through the middle of NMU’s defense with speed and great passing. With a proper first team starting, they just had too much quality in the final third.

Atlanta and Minnesota advance to the semifinals of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. They find out the draw on Thursday, July 11th.

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