FINAL: ATL 2, RSL 1 (Findley 10; Burgos 33, Poku 91+)
Silverbacks Park, Atlanta
One year ago, Real Salt Lake made it to the final of the US Open Cup before suffering a shock 1-0 loss to D.C. United. This year, RSL suffered another such shock in its first Open Cup match – a 2-1 loss to the NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks that was not as close as the scoreline indicates.
The MLS squad, which was missing at least six regular starters, including Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales, were back on their heels for all but the first few minutes of the match. RSL managed to fend off chance after chance by the Silverbacks but saw their Open Cup run end prematurely when Atlanta midfielder Kwadwo Poku hit a 25-yard line drive into the net in stoppage time to give the lower-division team the win.
RSL's lone goal came in the 10th minute on a blooper-reel play. Atlanta goalie Derby Carrillo stepped out of the box to clear the ball, but his kick – which looked like something out of a martial arts movie – whiffed altogether.
Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley, starting for the first time since knee surgery in December, almost walked the ball into the net to give his team the early lead.
But the visitors, who dominated play before the goal, were dominated themselves for the remainder of the match. RSL looked out of sorts for almost the entire game. In the 33rd minute, the Silverbacks equalized on a shot from distance by midfielder Junior Burgos that went off RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella's fingers, hit the post and bounced into the goal.
Atlanta's late goal eliminated RSL, giving them two weeks to think about the fact that they are winless (0-3-2) in five matches heading into their next game, June 28 at Chivas USA.
FINAL (PKs): CAR 1 (3), CHV 1 (2) (Schilawski 29; Finley 40)
WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.
Chivas USA battled the Carolina RailHawks for 120 minutes to a 1-1 draw, but came up agonizingly short in a wild penalty shootout and were eliminated from the 2014 US Open Cup in their first game.
In an even affair, former New England Revolution striker Zack Schilawski put the home side up in the 29th minute when he split Chivas USA's center backs to collect a through pass from Nazmi Albadawi and finish past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
Finley went on to rattle the crossbar early in the second half, and though both Kennedy and Carolina counterpart Scott Goodwin had plenty of work to do, neither team broke through.
The Goats took an early lead in the penalty shootout, but Kennedy, attempting to replicate his PK heroics from the 2013 tournament, had his attempt saved. The RailHawks leveled things, but both sides missed their fifth and sixth penalty shots before Goodwin stopped Marky Delgado and Daniel Jackson finished his chance to give Carolina a 3-2 triumph and book a home date on June 24 against either the LA Galaxy or Arizona United.
FINAL: COS 3, NY 0 (Stokkelien 7, 73, Noselli 78)
James M. Shuart Stadium, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.