It's been quite a first season for New Mexico United.
The expansion USL Championship team is in contention for the Western Conference lead and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open
Cup on Wednesday when it beat an MLS team on the road for the second week in a row. It's the first expansion team to reach the final eight since the current USL launched in 2011.
week New Mexico United downed the Colorado Rapids in a shootout after their match ended in a 2-2 tie when Jamaican Kevaughn Frater
evened the score four minutes into stoppage time. On
Wednesday, New Mexico United rallied to beat FC Dallas, 2-1 on goals by Frater just before halftime and Sam Hamilton
in the 64th minute. Cody Mizell
made seven saves to
preserve the victory over FC Dallas, which again started U.S. U-17 star Ricardo Pepi
, on loan from North Texas SC, and brought on Paxton Pomykal
for his first appearance since the U-20
World Cup, there he started for the USA. Two other U-20s, Brandon Servania
and Edwin Cerrillo
, started for FC Dallas.
Wednesday's victory in a game played at SMU was the
first in four games by New Mexico United that had not gone to overtime. It beat the 2018 USL Championship runner-up Phoenix Rising in shootout in the second round and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks
in the third round after overtime.
New Mexico United leads the USL Championship in attendance with an average of 12,836 fans through seven games at Isotopes Park, a baseball stadium that
is primarily used by the Pacific Coast League's Albuquerque Isotopes, but it has been on the road for all four Open Cup games and will be away to Minnesota United on July 10 in the quarterfinals.
A scheduling conflict with the Isotopes prevented New Mexico United from hosting in the round of 16.
Saint Louis FC-FC Cincinnati.
Saint Louis FC reached the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup when it upset FC
Cincinnati, 1-0, on captain Sam Fink
's goal on a header off a corner kick in the third minute of stoppage time.
The victory followed a 2-1 win over the Chicago in the round of 32,
STLFC's first ever over an MLS team in its five seasons.
“I think it was a deserved win, honestly,” said STLFC coach Anthony Pulis
. “Overall, the guys were
outstanding tonight and they deserve it. They are a fantastic group to work with, so to see the joy on their faces and delight for the fans and everyone for the club, it was another memorable night
and I hope everyone enjoys it because they deserve it.”
New Mexico United and Saint Louis FC give the USL its most representatives in the quarterfinals since 2012 when Charlotte,
Dayton and Harrisburg made the final eight, where they all lost to MLS clubs.
-- New York City FC and Orlando City, which both entered MLS in 2015, reached the quarterfinals for the first
time when they beat D.C. United and the New England Revolution, respectively, by 2-1 scores.
-- The Portland Timbers will make their second consecutive quarterfinal appearance after
crushing the LA Galaxy, 4-0, before more than 16,000 fans at Providence Park. They will face the winner of Thursday's match between Los Angeles FC and the San Jose Earthquakes.