Marcelo Saragosa scored 17 minutes into extra time Tuesday night, lifting D.C. United to a 2-1 away victory over the third-division Richmond Kickers in the U.S. Open Cup.
Seven of the 14 MLS clubs in action, however, lost to lower-division opponents.
“We got through it,” Coach Ben Olsen said. “I’ve been playing and coaching Open Cup games for a long time now and this is it, every time. It’s never great, the other team is always fighting for their lives and ramped up more than the ‘better team,’ and we survived.”
United will host the Philadelphia Union in a round-of-16 match next Tuesday at Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County. The Union defeated the third-tier Rochester Rhinos, 3-0, as Freddy Adu scored twice.
United’s Hamdi Salihi scored in the 24th minute but Stanley Nyazamba converted a penalty kick just before halftime for the Kickers, who were facing D.C. in the Open Cup for the fifth time. In the 30-minute extra session, Saragosa scored off Branko Boskovic’s corner kick.
United was without 2011 MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario and defender Dejan Jakovic. Both are with Canada’s national team.
Olsen played a mix of regulars and reserves. Center back Emiliano Dudar returned from a six-week injury layoff and partner Ethan White made his first appearance since recovering from knee surgery.
United is 18-3-0 all-time against lower-division teams in the Open Cup, a 98-year-old tournament featuring clubs from all levels of American soccer.
The full quote sheet is available here.
In other matches:
The second-division Carolina RailHawks scored in the 88th minute to upset the MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, in Cary, N.C. The Galaxy is 0-6-2 in the past eight matches in all competitions.
In the wildest match of the night, the New England Revolution scored three goals in extra time...and then conceded three in the last nine minutes before losing to the third-division Harrisburg City Islanders on penalty kicks, 4-3, after the 3-3 draw.
The New York Red Bulls won at the third-division Charleston Battery, 3-0. The third-division Dayton Dutch Lions upset the Columbus Crew, 2-1. The Colorado Rapids downed the second-tier Tampa Bay Rowdies, 3-1, and Sporting Kansas City edged third-division Orlando City, 3-2.
The fourth-division (amateur) Michigan Bucks stunned the Chicago Fire, 3-2, in extra time, while the second-tier San Antonio Scorpions surprised the MLS Cup runner-up Houston Dynamo, 1-0.
The third-division Charlotte Eagles upset FC Dallas, 2-0, and the second-level Minnesota Stars shocked Real Salt Lake, 3-1. Chivas USA knocked off the amateur Ventura County Fusion, 1-0, while the San Jose Earthquakes held off the second-division Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1.
Overall, MLS clubs won seven matches and lost seven, with two games remaining Wednesday: The Portland Timbers host amateur Cal FC and the three-time defending champion Seattle Sounders welcome the second-division Atlanta Silverbacks.
For more information about the Open Cup and future matchups, visit thecup.us
Harrisburg local news report and video: