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Late Night Drama: Sporting KC advance to US Open Cup Semifinals

A massive performance from Tim Melia and Dany Rosero’s winner gave SKC the 2-1 win.

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Credit: Thad Bell

Tim Melia had seven saves and turned in a massive performance as Sporting KC beat FC Dallas 2-1 in a late night thriller on Wednesday. Dany Rosero headed home the winner in the 111th minute and SKC booked their spot in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Semifinals.

Sporting KC and FC Dallas facing off in the US Open Cup… A yearly tradition, it seems.

The two teams were extra familiar with each other, having played just three days prior, in the same stadium. Sunday’s match got heated and ended with a red card, giving some added spice to this matchup.

Zorhan Bassong, however, watched from the bench.

It was a fairly sparse Wednesday crowd, but they were feisty to kickoff this quarterfinal of the historic tournament. The pace was slow until the 20th minute when both sides traded big opportunities. Melia made a diving save and instantly sent Sporting KC the other way, but Willy Agada couldn’t finish it.

Paul Arriola, who was at the center of Sunday’s bruhaha, went down in the 26th minute. He was met with a less-than-friendly chant from The Cauldron.

Again at the 32 minute mark, the old foes traded back-to-back golden opportunities. Off an FC Dallas corner kick, Peter Musa’s header forced Tim Leibold into a goal line clearance. The ensuing counter attack looked sure to be a goal for Sporting KC, but the effort sputtered out after a poor pass from Erik Thommy.

The rain delay came just after halftime and lasted one hour and 45 minutes. But Sporting KC were on the attack right away. Not only because the restart began with their corner kick.

They came out of the gates ready for the fight and saw multiple looks on goal. Willy Agada finally broke the deadlock in the 77th minute.

But Petar Musa would bring FC Dallas level ten minutes later. The big Croatian managed to stay onside as the SKC backline stepped forward and he calmly chipped it passed Tim Melia.

The evening was extended further with the score 1-1 after 90 minutes. Sporting KC had several chances in the first period of extra time, but after 105 minutes, they were still level. It was only seconds after the break when FC Dallas were robbed of goals by the woodwork, then Tim Melia again.

Tim Melia, the greatest PK keeper in MLS history, had a vintage performance and would have been more than ready if the time came. But Sporting KC held on for the final whistle and are moving on to the semifinals.

That will take place on August 27th at Children’s Mercy Park against Indy Eleven out of the USL Championship.

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Jacie20

I’d be fine losing every game if the boys showed the tenacity they did tonight, man they were hustling. Probably the most fun game to watch of the year.

skcfanipromise

I found it to be a messy but inspired game by SKC. Giving up what I thought to be a lazy last minute equalizer felt about right, and then scoring a late winner felt wrong (but good.)

It’s fun to have something realistic and achievable to root for.

#vermesout #blissout #illigout

KCOutsider

Man, I feel so conflicted about this year’s USOC. On one hand, I can’t root against my team on the field. On the other hand, this year has a massive asterisk hanging over it after the way MLS neutered the tournament. Having to only face one MLS team to reach the final just doesn’t give it the same cachet.

And a dark, cynical part of me doesn’t really want SKC’s ownership/management to have anything to crow about and hide behind. Like the STL series last year: that was objectively amazing in the moment but it’s also been used since as an excuse to claim SKC was in better shape than it really was, because it would never have qualified in the first place without MLS weakening the playoff field. This year’s USOC is the same, there’s a high chance an SKC team this dysfunctional would never have made it this far against a full-strength MLS contingent in a normal USOC year.

I guess in the most statistically likely outcome, SKC get pantsed by LAFC in the final, and that solves the problem.

ar_jhawk

All of this. Also, I had just decided it was probably time to move on from Melia as part of the sweeping changes. Hmmm….

Sid Much Rock

It’s very hard to win a competition that doesn’t exist. That’s like saying a win against Miami doesn’t count if Messi has an off game. The open cup is what the open cup is and winning it is still winning it.

Last edited 1 day ago by Sid Much Rock
A&W

I mean, Miami only had to play 2 MLS teams to make the final last year,same with Atlanta in 2019, New England in 2016, and Philly in 2014, and the list goes on. And most of them played their first MLS team early enough that it was against reserves. RSL only had to beat one MLS team to make the final in 2013. Point is, playing mostly lower competition to make the final is a very common occurrence in USOC. And the USL teams are better now than they have ever been. Yes, it sucks that a bunch of MLS teams are sending academy kids and 2nd division lifers to play in USOC but there really hasn’t been an impact to the MLS teams that are there so far this year.

As for the ownership/management hiding behind USOC success, it might help to realize that nothing that happened this year was ever going to change anything. They committed to Vermes long term a long time ago and made it clear that he isn’t going anywhere and they tried to replace Bliss in the offseason so he was always going to go. So hoping they poorly so that something would change is futile. This direction was decided before this season and nothing that happened in it was going to change it. So might as well celebrate the few nice things we do get to have when we get to have them.

Kat

It was a scrappy performance (understandably given the circumstances), but ultimately I’m happy that the players and fans got the win and will advance. My only reservation—similar to others—is that advancing this far or winning (even in a severely weakened tournament) will be a backslide into complacency. I may be in the minority, but I personally found both the Bliss firing and recent transparency on past/future financials to be much more inspiring than a couple wins over depleted sides the last few weeks. I want to see big changes in the offseason and I don’t want Open Cup results to hinder that.

That said… is there any truth to the rumor that Dallas trashed the visitor locker room on Sunday and it was left that way for them last night? 

Last edited 2 days ago by Kat
ar_jhawk

Oh, if that were true it would be fun.

Questionmark

That was a hungry performance. Good to see. Jake seems to want very badly to become Roger 2.0, and I hope to see him grow into that role. There were positives and negatives in the rawness and hustle in his performance, but overall he was relentless and even joyful in his game. Looking forward to more.

KCSpurs1996

I hope I don’t regret saying this, but it does feel like the “vibes” are starting to turn in the right direction. May it continue!

Gumby

There were only a few thousand (several hundred?) of us who stayed to the end, but man, it was a fun night. Johnny was straight up broken from the 75th minute or so on, literally limping around off the ball, but when he was needed, he delivered. The ball to Davis, the winning corner. Dude’s a monster. He could barely move but he never quit. Davis was in a similar boat in extra time. Just. Kept. Going.
As amazing as the goal at the end felt, there was a lot of fan anger between Willy’s goal and our 111th minute goal that guys like Johnny and Jake were even on the field when Remy and Vargas were just waiting to come in. Their subs were running us ragged and I truly don’t believe they would have scored if we had refreshed the midfield more and swapped Jake for Remy and Johnny for Vargas.
Johnny being Johnny let the sub decisions off the hook and gave us a wonderful spectacle.

A&W

I kind of understand waiting on those subs. They have travel and a game less than 72 hours later, again, and those guys you mention are going to have to be leaned on for a lot of that game. Jake is gone to Paris now so Remi, who has only been running for a week or so, is going to have to play a role in the midfield and Alenis has never shown that he can go more than an hour in a week and we’re probably going to be asking him to start twice in 6 days with significant minutes in each.

I just think that a lot of fans don’t think about the bigger picture in these kinds of runs. We’re about to be on our fifth game in less than two weeks and have two more to go in the next week before we finally get a full week off. Seven games in 20 days in the middle of the summer with trips to colorado, san jose, and vancouver is BRUTAL. Especially when we’re already paper thin and getting thinner with no Davis, Bassong, or Pulskamp this weekend and with Castellanos, Rosero, Radoja, and Walter all either coming back from injuries or battling current ones. Some dudes that none of us want to see much of are going to have to play a lot and some dudes that we want to see more of are going to have to sit some. It’s just going to be that way.

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