DC overcame a determined USL-1 foe to claim their second US Open Cup behind goals from Luciano Emilio and Fred. DC struck early with Emilio’s 4th-minute goal, but Charleston returned fire just 10 minutes later when Ian Fuller capitalized on good passing from Nelson Akwari and Chris Williams. DC maintained offensive pressure, but sweated out the next 40 minutes before Fred notched the game-winner.
The US Open Cup win gives the MLS a little breathing room after disappointing losses in the Champions League by New England and Chivas USA. Still, top flight sides are expected to knock out opponents from lower divisions.
The final’s attendance is an aspect of the game that has me concerned. I know Cup matches typically have poor attendance, but DC has enjoyed great crowds this season, and the team hasn’t won anything since the 2004 MLS Cup. You would hope that a cup final would draw more than 8,000+. Some of it may have to do with the competition and the game being on a wednesday night, but you’d think United fans would be salivating at the chance to win some hardware that isn’t a Supporters’ Shield. Nevertheless, United Head Coach Tom Soehn can breathe a little easier, as the pressure of DC’s slowly slipping stature in the MLS standings is sure to be relieved a bit by the Open Cup championship.