Thursday, September 03, 2015

#TBT The US Open Cup 1997

With the US Open Cup final later this month, and Sporting KC doing a count down with posts each day this month heading into the US Open Cup final, I thought I'd do a Throw Back Thursday today on an old US Open Cup video I found the other day while doing some other work.

I'm going way back into the vault with this one, most die hard fans and 96ers probably haven't even seen this game. I'm going all the way back to 1997 with this one. While over the last five years KC has won at least one game in the US Open Cup each year it wasn't always that way. For the first five years of the club's existence the club didn't win a single game in the Open Cup. They went 0-3-1 and didn't compete in the 1999 version of the tournament. Of those four games, three of them were against lower division teams.

On July 24th, 1997, the Wizards traveled to Negoesco Field in San Francisco, to take on the San Francisco Bay Seals. The Wizards were one of the better teams in MLS at the time with a record of 13-7 (no draws, ties were settled by the shootout).

KC put out a strong lineup on the field against the Seals, with the likes of Preki, Frank Klopas, Mo Johnston, and Mark Chung all in the lineup for KC. For the Seals, the most noteworthy name was future Chicago Fire great, CJ Brown.

The Seals grabbed an early lead when Marquis White beat the offside line and raced onto a through ball, slotting it under goalkeeper Chris Snitko to make it 1-0. Klopas would score a goal for KC to tie things up in the 40th minute as both teams would go into half time tied at 1-1.

In the second half, KC didn't learn from their high line in the first half and White made them pay again. On another through ball White beat the offside trap. This time Snitko was quick off his line but White took a touch around him. Then from a tight angle White fired a shot into the net right in front of a sliding Sean Bowers who was trying to clear the ball away. The goal was all the Seals needed to advance on to the quarterfinals to take on the San Jose Clash.

For KC, they would have to deal with a loss to another lower division side, the Nashville Metros and a penalty kick loss to the Chicago Sockers of the PDL before getting their first win in the US Open Cup in 2001 against the Seattle Sounders.

Here's KC's lineup for that game against the Seals:
Chris Snitko, Ryan Tinsley, Matt McKeon, Sean Bowers, Steve Pittman, Uche Okafor (Brian Johnson 75), Mark Chung, Preki, Frank Klopas, Mo Johnston, Paul Wright.

Here are the two goals that the Seals scored, unfortunately they didn't include the Klopas goal.

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