U.S. Open Cup: Last two USL Championship teams fall in quarterfinals

The last two USL Championship teams alive in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fell in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

More than 400 New Mexico United fans made their way to St. Paul to watch their expansion team take on Minnesota United. An early lead quickly evaporated, though, as the host Loons scored five first-half goals en route to a 6-1 win. They have scored 26 goals in their last six MLS and Open Cup matches.

The victory sets up a semifinal matchup on Aug. 7 against the Portland Timbers, 1-0 winners at LAFC on Jeremy Ebobisse's late goal.

"Some of my greatest memories in football have been winning cup competitions and now you’re a couple of games away," said Minnesota coach Adrian Heath. "Trust me, when you get to 50-odd years of age, you’ll look back and remember these games. It might be a semifinal or something so who knows. There’s been a lot of great players who’ve never won anything. All of a sudden, you’re a couple games from winning something. We didn’t take the game lightly, that’s why we put the team out that we did and now we advance."

Atlanta United advanced to the semifinals for the first time when they beat Saint Louis FC, 2-0, at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw.

The defending MLS champions dominated the game but did not score until early in the second half when Emerson Hyndman, making his Atlanta United debut, set up Pity Martinez. A Josef Martinez penalty kick in stoppage time sealed the win to move Atlanta United into the semifinals against Orlando City, a winner over NYCFC in a shootout after their match ended 1-1.

Only the Timbers have ever reached the semifinals before, advancing to the final four in 2013. Orlando City is in its fifth MLS season, while Atlanta United and Minnesota United are in their third seasons.

The draw to determine the semifinal hosts will be held on Thursday.
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