Braces from Dániel Sallói and Felipe Hernández Plus Strikes by Kortne Ford and Khiry Shelton Hand SKC Sixth Open Cup Semifinal Berth; Draw to Set Semifinal and Final Host Priority Will Air Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET on Futbol Americas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (June 22, 2022) – Not all Cinderella stories finish with glory.
But for Sporting Kansas City in Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup match against Union Omaha, it’s exactly the type of ending the Major League Soccer side wanted to give out to the tournament’s most unlikely quarterfinalist.
The four-time champions thrashed Omaha 6-0 at Children’s Mercy Park in a dominant display, sending the USL League One squad home with heads held high following a valiant run in their first Open Cup in team history.
Sporting now moves on to play another non-MLS club, Sacramento Republic of the USL Championship, in the Semifinals with a record fifth Open Cup title in sight — a mark that would tie two now-defunct teams (Bethlehem Steel and Maccabee Los Angeles) for the most cup wins since the tournament was founded in 1914.
“These are always really, really dangerous games,” SKC coach Peter Vermes said post-match. “You come with the effort and you have respect for your opponent. You understand that they want to win as well, and you go out and play your game. I thought we were very, very disciplined and that was huge for us tonight.”
Omaha was the final USL League One team remaining in this year’s competition and the first third-tier side to make it to the Open Cup Quarterfinals since Orlando City (then in USL Pro) did it in 2013. It was a big moment for the three-year-old club, one which saw many supporters make the drive from Nebraska to Kansas City, Kansas for the occasion.
What those who traveled south down Interstate 29 saw, however, was a complete dismantling by the hosts. Sporting winger Daniel Salloi struck first in the 10th minute with a tidy low finish before center-back Kortne Ford headed in a corner in the 37th, giving the MLS squad a 2-0 lead at the half that probably would’ve been more had Union goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu not managed to pull off several point-blank saves.
The scoring continued in the second 45, with Salloi and forward Khiry Shelton scoring three minutes apart (in the 53rd and 56th minutes, respectively) to widen the lead. A brace from midfielder Felipe Hernandez in the final half-hour only added further emphasis that Sporting were simply in a class of their own Wednesday.
Salloi’s double also meant that he passed former forward Dom Dwyer for the most career Open Cup goals in SKC history (seven).
“I was able to get a good touch and just put it away (on the first goal), then the second one … rolled off my foot pretty well and in the back of the net, so it was nice,” Hernandez said. “It was nice to go out there and get the job done.”
SKC will play Sacramento on either July 26 or 27 at a time and location to be determined via the Open Cup Final Draw, which will be held Thursday, June 23 on Futbol Americas (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
-LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP MATCH REPORT-
Sporting Kansas City (Div. I MLS) vs. Union Omaha (Div. III USLL1) – Quarterfinal
June 22, 2022 – 7:30 p.m. CT – 85 degrees, mostly sunny
Children’s Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan. (18,552 attendance)
SKC – Dániel Sallói (Khiry Shelton) 10th minute
SKC – Kortne Ford (Felipe Hernández) 37
SKC – Dániel Sallói (Khiry Shelton) 53
SKC – Khiry Shelton (Nicolas Isimat-Mirin) 56
SKC – Felipe Hernández 66
SKC – Felipe Hernández (Logan Ndenbe) 81
SKC: 1-John Pulskamp; 24-Kayden Pierre, 3-Andreu Fontàs (4-Robert Voloder, 68), 12-Kortne Ford (5-Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, 45+3), 2-Ben Sweat; 54-Rémi Walter (6-Oriol Rosell, 62), 20-Dániel Sallói (18-Logan Ndenbe, 74), 28-Cam Duke, 21-Felipe Hernández, 7-Johnny Russell (C) (27-Marinos Tzionis 62); 11-Khiry Shelton (15-Roger Espinoza, 62)
Substitutes not used: 22-Kendall McIntosh
Head coach: Peter Vermes
OMH: 24-Rashid Nuhu; 27-Ryen Jiba, 13-Daltyn Knutson (4-Alexander Touche, 72), 5-Gabriel Claudio, 2-Emir Alihodzic (12-Eddie Gordon, 63); 8-Joseph Brito, 22-Conor Doyle (C) (6-Chavany Willis, 72), 17-John Scearce, 7-Noe Meza (26-Dion Acoff, 63); 10-Hugo Kametani (16-Alex Bruce, 63), 11-Kemal Malcolm (21-Isaac Bawa, 45)
Substitutes not used: 33-Kevin Piedrahita
Stats Summary: SKC / OMH
Shots: 17 / 5
Shots on Goal: 12 / 1
Saves: 1 / 6
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 12
Offside: 1 / 2
OMH – Isaac Bawa (Caution) 71st minute
Referee: Brandon Stevis
AR1 & 2: Justin Howard, Jennifer Garner
4th Official: Jervis Atagana