The glass slipper has fallen off for the North American Soccer League’s Atlanta Silverbacks, as they fell 3-1 in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup to another MLS original team, and four time USOC champion, Chicago Fire.
Similar to what we saw in late-June in Colorado, the Silverbacks opened the game with great attacking and a wide lead in possession and chances, but the Fire were able to hold things down, not allow a goal, and get back into the game to make it an evenly contested final 30 or so minutes. There was some craziness in that 30ish minute mark, the 31st to be exact, as both Fire forward Mike Magee and Silverbacks midfielder Jesus Gonzalez were shown red cards for an altercation, leaving both sides with just 10 men for the rest of the game.
The first 45 minutes would see no goals, but it was Chicago that opened the scoring in the 50th minute, when off a free kick just a few feet outside of the Atlanta keeper box, Quincy Amarikwa lifted a shot above a diving ‘Backs keeper, Derby Carrillo. Atlanta wouldn’t wait long to answer, as in the 54th minute Deon McCaulay would boot the equalizer, but that’d be all Atlanta would get. Chicago would score the game winning goal in the 82nd minute, as a questionable penalty kick was awarded to the Fire, which was converted, and the cushion goal would come just moments later, in the 85th minute, to put the game at it’s inevitable 3-1 final.
The loss brings an end to a historic US Open Cup run by the Silverbacks, who had never advanced past their first round (the tournament’s fourth), and defeated their first two MLS opponents in Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids. In all three games this year, and the extra time loss to RSL last year, the ‘Backs proved that they belonged on the same field as the US’ big boys, and after a disappointing NASL first half, this is great momentum to build up for the second one.
Speaking of that second half for the Atlanta Silverbacks, it begins this Saturday on the road against heated rival Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Tags: Atlanta Silverbacks