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.