Pennsylvania has long history of Open Cup success

[MAKING A LIST] If the Philadelphia Union beats the Seattle Sounders in Tuesday's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, it would become the seventh Pennsylvania team in the 101 years of the competition to be crowned champion. Pennsylvania has produced 14 Open Cup champions, more than any state except California (26) and New York (15).

Pennsylvania's other six champions are among the most storied clubs in the pre-modern period of American soccer.

Pennsylvania team, Bethlehem Steel and Maccabi Los Angeles hold the record for the most Open Cup titles with five apiece. Bethlehem Steel was the first giant of American soccer, relying on workers it brought over from England and Scotland. Bethlehem Steel dominated the thriving East Coast soccer scene until it was hit by financial problems in the mid-1920s.

The Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals, winners of four titles in the 1960s, were arguably the best semipro team in the pre-NASL era. The club still operates a senior and youth program for men and women and is based out of the Ukrainian American Sports Center in suburban Horsham.

Besides the Ukrainian Nationals, the other Philadelphia area champion was Philadelphia German-American SC in 1936. It later became the Uhrik Truckers, another pre-NASL power.

Less known is the history of success of Pittsburgh area clubs. Gallatin SC, Morgan FC and Hammarville FC all won Open Cup titles during the period of 1942-56. Two other Western Pennsylvania teams, Morgan-Strasser and Pittsburgh Heidelberg, lost in the final.

The Pittsburgh clubs relied on players from the area's coal mines, mills and factories, but interest waned in the 1950s and 1960s as pro football -- the Steelers -- took off.

Pennsylvania Open Cup Champions:
1915 Bethlehem Steel
1916 Bethlehem Steel
1918 Bethlehem Steel
1919 Bethlehem Steel
1926 Bethlehem Steel
1936 Philadelphia German-American SC
1942 Gallatin SC
1949 Morgan FC
1952 Harmarville FC
1956 Harmarville FC
1960 Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals
1961 Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals
1963 Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals
1966 Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals
1 comment about "Pennsylvania has long history of Open Cup success".
  1. Andrea Hana, September 19, 2014 at 11:37 p.m.

    I think that Bethlehem Steel would be a great launch for a new franchise of MLS. It's one of the oldest clubs in the country and might have a great soccer atmosphere. Maybe not like Seattle, but great.

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