Defending US Open Cup Champs Knocked Out by Rochester Rhinos

USOC

D.C. United’s 2013 Open Cup campaign ended with a bang – a third Open Cup title and a rare taste of glory during an abysmal campaign.

Their 2014 Open Cup run could not have ended more differently: an anti-climactic 1-0 loss to the USL PRO Rochester Rhinos in a torrential downpour at Sahlen’s Stadium.

Neither team looked much like a title contender in the game’s opening 45 minutes, but Rochester nevertheless found a way to get on the board. In the 13th minute, midfielder Mike Garzi collected the ball on the left flank, streaked past United defender Jalen Robinson and drove a low cross along the goal line. Rhinos forward Colin Rolfe did just enough to get a boot on the service, tapping it past United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra to give Rochester the early lead.

United – who fielded a lineup consisting primarily of reserves – were dealt a blow early in the second stanza when center back Steve Birnbaum was handed his second yellow card. Down a man, their comeback hopes were hampered even further when a severe storm moved into the area, delaying the match on two separate occasions and temporarily turning the pitch into a veritable lake.

Rochester advance to face the winner of Wednesday evening’s encounter between the Richmond Kickers and the New England Revolution.

 

Pedro Heizer

The founder, editor and publisher of 90 Minutes Stong, Pedro is credentialed member of U.S. Soccer, Orlando City Soccer Club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and others, as well as a member of the North American Soccer Reporters.

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