[U.S. OPEN CUP: Semifinals] It will the best of MLS against the worst as Real Salt Lake will face D.C. United in the final of the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Real Salt Lake will play in its first Open Cup final and host Oct. 1 after beating the Portland Timbers, 2-1, before 14,742 fans, a record crowd for an Open Cup semifinal.
Goals by Alvaro Saborio and Joao Plata were the difference for RSL, which leads the Supporters' Shield race on goals scored over the New York Red Bulls.
Argentine Diego Valeri, whose $3 million transfer from Lanus was completed on Tuesday, scored in the 90th minute mark for the Timbers, who will host RSL next Wednesday in MLS play and then return to Rio Tinto Stadium Aug. 30.
D.C. United's 2-0 win at the Chicago Fire made it four wins in four Open Cup matches this season, one more than it has won all year in 22 MLS games.
U.S. national team goalie Sean Johnson gifted United the opening goal right before the half as he let a deflected shot by Dwayne De Rosarioslip through his hands, and Nick DeLeon added to the D.C. lead three minutes after the break.
Chicago-D.C. United Highlights:
While Real Salt Lake will be heavily favored in the final, it's D.C. United that has won a lot more trophies.
D.C. United will be playing in its fifth Open Cup final after winning in 1996 and 2008. It's also won the MLS title four times, plus the old Concacaf Champions Cup and Inter-American Cup.
As for Real Salt Lake, its only MLS Cup title came in 2009. It is the only MLS team to play (and lose) in the Concacaf Champions League final -- a final it lost at home in the second leg after tying Monterrey in Mexico in the first leg.
RSL coach Jason Kreis hopes it will be different on Oct. 1.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about this today," he said. "We’ve had a lot of really momentous occasions here in this building in the past several years – a lot of big games that we looked forward to, that we talked about. Oftentimes, we may have felt that all we had to do was show up and we’d win – this would be the same type of match. We’ll be playing against a D.C. United team that has struggled this year, we’ll be in our building, we’ll be the favorites, and we’ll see if we can do what we’ve never done before: Win one of these things.”
Aug. 7 in Bridgeview, Ill.
Chicago 0 D.C. United 2.Goals: De Rosario 44, DeLeon 46.
Chicago --S.Johnson; Anibaba, Berry, Soumare, Segares (Amarikwa 74); Nyarko (Lindpere 36), Larentowicz, Alex, Duka; Magee, Rolfe (Anangono 57)
D.C. United --Willis; Riley, Jakovic, Woolard, Korb; Thorrington, Silva (Doyle 57), Kitchen, DeLeon (Pontius 74), Porter; De Rosario.
Aug. 7 in Sandy, Utah
Real Salt Lake 2 Portland 1.Goals: Saborio 7, Plata 78; Valeri 91+
Real Salt Lake --Rimando; Beltran, Borchers, Salcedo, Wingert; Beckerman; Gil (Alvarez, 88), Stephenson (Morales, 80); Grabavoy; Findley (Plata, 61), Saborio.
Portland --Ricketts; Harrington, Kah, Jean-Baptiste, Miller (Powell, 77); Chara, W.Johnson (Alhassan, 63), Valeri; Nagbe, R.Johnson (Valencia, 63), Wallace.