For the first time since joining Major League Soccer and the first time since 2015, Minnesota United was on the losing end of a cupset in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Before last night, the last time it happened to the Loons was the 3rd Round of the 2015 USOC when they fell in penalty kicks to the now defunct St. Louis FC, who played in the then 3rd Division United Soccer League. Last night there was no need for penalties as after the Loons took an early 1-0 lead Union Omaha would mount a comeback and take their second win of the tournament over an MLS side.
While the Loons were facing a third division side, they had their work cut out for them. The Loons would only have a bench five players deep for subs with many regulars getting the night off. After an injury in warmups over the weekend to Tyler Miller, Eric Dick would get the nod to start in goal with homegrown player Fred Emmings serving as backup.
Minnesota United got out to a hot start when Adrien Hunou scored the matches opening goal, just six minutes into play.
The opening goal setup what seemed to be looking at a dominant night in St. Paul, albeit that would not be the case. Just before half time, Union Omaha’s Hugo Kametani knotted the match up a 1-1.
A little over 5 minutes into the second half, the Owls Joseph Brito scored what would end up being the game winner on a fantastic shot over Loons goalkeeper Eric Dick.
Minnesota had dominated the match most of the night, with 73.4% of possession and 16 shots with 6 going on goal. That would not be enough to overcome the USL1 side and their own short bench. The loss knocks out Minnesota United from the Open Cup for this season and advances Union Omaha to the Quarter-Finals, where they will meet another MLS side in Sporting Kansas City in the Quarter-Finals in about one month.
MNUFC will continue playing their Major League Soccer campaign and are gunning at another playoff appearance for the club.