The fates of two Chicago sides differed in second round U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday night.
I had the opportunity to take in Schwaben AC’s match vs. USL PRO’s Dayton Dutch Lions at the German club’s complex in Buffalo Grove.
The match experience highlighted one of the coolest features of the Open Cup: A small community club with strong ethnic ties hosting a professional team.
Despite Schwaben’s identity, there’s no requirement to be ethnically German. Former Fire PDL player Mark Blades (above) captained the side while one-time U.S. youth international and ex-LA Galaxy and D.C. United defender Quavas Kirk (below) also featured for the side at right back.
Because there are no lights at Schwaben’s complex, the match kicked off at 4:00pm with about 100 spectators in attendance and in the first 30 minutes you might have been confused as to who was the amateur side as Schwaben owned possession and poured on chance after chance.
Despite that, Dayton goalkeeper Brad Stuver (on loan from the Columbus Crew) made a number of good saves and the pros proved why they were getting paid, catching Schwaben out on a counter attack as Eli Garner gave the Dutch Lions a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute.
Dayton seemed more empowered after the goal and closed out the half with more possession.
At halftime, another great feature of the Open Cup was ever-present. Walking up to the Schwaben concession stand I saw that brats were four dollars while beer was priced at two dollars. “Only at the ethnic German club is beer half the price of food,” I thought to myself.
To start the second half, Schwaben still found chances but it became clear that a goal may have been hard to find. Without an equalizer, a fitter Dayton team began to take overtake the game and found their second goal in the 70th minute as Joe Broekhuizen headed home a corner kick.
Schwaben never gave up but a goal eluded them by full time as they fell 2-0 to Dayton. The Dutch Lions advance to third round play where they’ll visit the NASL’s Indy Eleven on May 28 at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis.
RWB Adria downs Michigan Bucks
For the second straight week, South Chicago side RWB Adria went to Metro Detroit and pulled an upset as Carlos Munoz’s 92nd minute penalty kick stood as the only goal in 120 minutes of play against the PDL’s Michigan Bucks.
A USASA entrant, Adria now advances to the tournament’s third round where they’ll visit USL PRO’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds on May 28.
Chattanooga FC takes pro scalp
In the upset of the night, NPSL side Chattanooga FC took down USL PRO side Wilmington Hammerheads 3-1 after the Hammerheads were reduced to 10 men 15 minutes into the game.
Chattanooga moves on to host the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks on May 28.
Fourth Round Open Cup draw to take place Thursday
The fourth round draw (where MLS teams enter the competition) and coin flips are scheduled to take place Thursday afternoon at Soccer House in downtown Chicago.
It’ll be interesting to see where the Fire will fall in their grouping. Smart math says the team will be paired with the Indy Eleven/Dayton Dutch Lions winner. This is because Dayton could not be paired with Columbus because of their affiliation.
Another possibility lies with the Minnesota United SC/Des Moines Menace third round matchup. The geographic proximity could mean that the Fire would go into a random draw with Sporting KC to decide who would play the winners of the above two matchups, while I believe Columbus could be grouped with the RWB Adria/Pittsburgh Riverhounds match or thrown into a bigger grouping of East coast MLS teams to determine a more random draw.
Chicago-Fire.com will be present at Soccer House to witness the proceedings and will have a report on how it all went down later Thursday.