U.S. Open Cup: 5 Most Successful MLS Clubs In The Competition

U.S. Open Cup
U.S. Open Cup

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, aka the U.S. Open Cup (USOC), is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious soccer cup competition in the United States. The competition was inaugurated in the 1913-14 season as the National Challenge Cup but has since gone through numerous alterations and facelifts. In its current format, it is contested by around 100 teams sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation and is dominated by teams from the highly-rated Major League Soccer (MLS).

Ahead of Wednesday’s (August 23) 2023 U.S Open Cup semi-final clashes between Cincinnati FC and Inter Miami, and Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake, let’s check out the most successful MLS teams in the competition’s history. Now, without further ado, here are the five current MLS teams with the most U.S. Open Cup honors:

Special note: Having won the competition five times each, Bethlehem Steel and Maccabee Los Angeles are the two most successful teams in U.S. Open Cup history. However, since they have been dissolved (Steel in 1930 and Maccabee in 1982), we are not including them in the list below.

#5 FC Dallas – 2 wins

FC Dallas Won The U.S. Open Cup In 2016
FC Dallas Have Played Four U.S. Open Cup Finals

With two U.S. Open Cup trophies to their name, FC Dallas are the fifth name on the rankings. The MLS club won their first-ever U.S. Open Cup in 1997, beating D.C. United in the final. They made it to the finals in 2005 and 2007, as well, but were beaten by LA Galaxy and New England Revolution, respectively. Finally, in 2016, they returned to the summit, beating New England Revolution in the final.

FC Dallas failed to live up to expectations in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup, losing 2-0 to Nashville SC in the round of 32.

#4 D.C. United – 3 wins

D.C United Have Won 3 U.S. Open Cups
D.C United Won The 2013 U.S. Open Cup Final Beating Real Salt Lake

Having played five U.S. Open Cup finals and bagged three wins, D.C. United are the fourth-most successful MLS team in the competition’s history.

D.C. United were founded in 1994 and played their first season in 1996. Playing impressive football under then-coach Bruce Arena, they won the U.S. Open Cup in their debut season. D.C. United reached the final in 1997 as well but were ultimately bested by FC Dallas. Their other triumphs came in 2008 and 2013, with them also contesting in the final in 2009.

D.C. United lost 1-0 to New York Red Bulls in the round of 32 of the ongoing edition of the U.S. Open Cup.

#3 Sporting Kansas City – 4 wins

Sporting Kansas City Have Won 4 U.S. Open Cups
Sporting Kansas City Last Won The U.S. Open Cup In 2017

Sporting Kansas City have won the U.S. Open Cup a joint-record four times, with their most recent triumph coming in 2017. Kansas City got the better of the New York Red Bulls to take the trophy home in 2017.

Sporting Kansas City have thus far won all four of their U.S. Open Cup finals. Their first success came in 2004 when they beat heavyweights Chicago Fire FC in the final. Kansas had to wait for eight long years for their next U.S. Open Cup in 2012. They claimed their third triumph three years later in 2015.

This year, they were eliminated by semi-finalists Houston Dynamo in the round of 32.

#2 Seattle Sounders FC – 4 wins

Seattle Sounders Have Won The U.S. Open Cup Four Times
Seattle Sounders Won Three Consecutive U.S. Open Cups

With four U.S. Open Cup victories and one runner-up finish, Seattle Sounders are the second name on this list. The club from Seattle are one of the youngest franchises in MLS, with them playing their first competitive match in 2009. However, the young guns have never lacked confidence, as demonstrated by their U.S. Open Cup triumph in their first competitive year.

They successfully defended their crown in 2010 and made it a hat-trick in 2011. Seattle made it to the final in 2012 as well but their streak was finally broken by a spirited Sporting Kansas City. Sounders won their last U.S. Open Cup in 2014 and were eliminated by LA Galaxy in the round of 32 this season.

#1 Chicago Fire FC – 4 wins

Chicago Fire Have Won The U.S. Open Cup Four Times
Chicago Fire Were Eliminated By Houston Dynamo This Year

Having won the tournament a whopping four times and played two more finals, Chicago Fire FC are the most successful MLS team in the U.S. Open Cup. Chicago Fire completed the double in their first competitive year in 1998, winning the MLS Cup before bagging the U.S. Open Cup beating Columbus Crew in the final. They went on to win the finals in 2000, 2003, and 2006 as well, but have been on a dry run since.

Chicago Fire have also finished second on a couple of occasions, once in 2004 and again in 2011. They were eliminated by Houston Dynamo in the quarter-finals in this year’s tournament.

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