Upset may not be the right word to describe what happened last night in Sandy, Utah between D.C. United and Real Salt Lake. Maybe adding the word epic to upset makes it more meaningful, whatever the case may be, it was possibly one of the biggest upsets we’ve ever seen in Major League Soccer and the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
D.C. United shocked the US soccer world last night with a 1-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium to claim their third US Open Cup crown. An amazing accomplishment considering how dreadful their entire season has been in 2013.
RSL came into the Open Cup final as heavy favorites, sitting near the top of the MLS table. On the flip side, United have been at the bottom of the table nearly all season and actually came into the match with more wins in this edition of the USOC tournament than league victories.
In the end it didn’t matter all that much what had happened between the two sides during the regular season. United got a Lewis Neal goal right before halftime and rode that until the bitter end to win the trophy. It was United’s first trophy since the 2008 season.
D.C.’s win secures a berth in the 2014-15 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League and gives them a champion’s prize of $250,000 that can be used to bolster a squad that has collected a mere 15 points in league play. The win also likely keeps Ben Olsen at the helm for another season despite those 15 points in league play.
For Real Salt Lake, the question becomes, what now? The game looked remarkably similar to their Champions League loss at home from a couple years ago. Throw in the other recent playoff failures both from home and away, this one may hurt RSL fans the most.
“It is something I can’t really put my finger on,” head coach Jason Keis told reporters. “How we can get so close and how we can have so much momentum through the majority of the season and we get to get to a game like this and we can’t seem to put things together. We can’t seem to get over that last hurdle.”