The upstart USL sides are no more.
New England beat Carolina 2-1 while FC Dallas just finished off Seattle 2-1 in the US Open Cup semifinals. The Revolution will visit FC Dallas in early October to play for the Dewar Cup while the RailHawks and Sounders are left to ponder what might have been.
Neither USL team played lightly as both matches went into extra time. But it was in extra time where both unraveled. Actually, Carolina finished regulation with 9 men but the Revolution scored early in extra time and held on.
FC Dallas, meanwhile, also scored early in extra time, added a penalty-kick goal and staved off a final charge from Seattle which included a goal from the hosts.
It's tough for both USL sides to come this far only to fall apart in extra time. From what I saw of the Seattle-Dallas match, the Sounders played strong but their final touch inside the box let them down. Adrian Serioux was a beast in the back for Dallas, though. He was seemingly around every ball and disrupted Seattle often.
Looking toward the final, FC Dallas will finally host the final that eluded them the last two years. In some ways, it's like 2005 for the Galaxy in how the Galaxy failed to reach MLS Cup when it was here in '03 and '04 but won the double in '05. Not saying FC Dallas will reach MLS Cup but now they have a chance to play for a title at home in front of their fans after having failed miserably to do so when they had the chance the last two years.
For the Revolution, it's a chance to go to Pizza Hut Park and actually win a final. While FC Dallas didn't reach either MLS Cup final in Frisco, the Revs made both, but lost both in heartbreaking fashion.
It should be an interesting final but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want one of the USL teams to upset one of the big boys. Oh well.
EDIT: Carolina actually finished regulation with nine men while New England had 10 at the end of 90 minutes.