New England Soccer Today

Upset in the City

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a tradition and experience unlike any other in American soccer.

The unique atmosphere and playing circumstances create opportunities for young players to shine, and for lower level teams to prove their mettle. That happened at Harvard University on Wednesday with the New England Revolution falling 1-0 to the Charlotte Independence.

Jorge Herrera’s 55th minute long distance effort was the only goal the third-division Independence needed to pull off the upset win over the top-flight Revolution, who were eliminated from the tournament.

The Independence will find out their fifth round opponent on Thursday, when U.S. Soccer will announce fifth round matchups, which will take place on Jun. 30 and Jul. 1.

The Revolution used a unique lineup that featured Donnie Smith, Steve Neumann, Tyler Rudy and Sean Okoli. They also gave former Academy superstar Zach Herivaux his professional debut.

The first chance that came for either team came off the foot of Daigo Kobayashi in the 13th minute. Kobayashi attempted a strike from well outside the box off a failed clearance attempt on a Steve Neumann corner kick, but his effort missed wide to the left.

After holding possession for an extended period, the Revolution nearly found the net on a terrific attempt by Kelyn Rowe near the half-hour mark. The midfielder made a run through the defense and received the ball on the end line with Charlotte goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap in the area. Rowe attempted to curl the shot around Gilstrap and for the far post from a near-impossible angle, only to miss by inches.

The Independence got their first attempt of the match in the 37th minute off the foot of Alex Martinez. The midfielder made a nice spin mover to free some space before putting a shot on frame, but it was easily saved. It was the first shot on target by either team on the night.

Martinez made another nice play in the 43rd minute, nearly finding the net. He took a far angle shot that went past Brad Knighton and just missed wide of the far post.

Although the Revolution controlled possession for most of the opening half, they failed to put a shot on target.

Charlotte started to push back when they opened action in the 50th minute with a strong shot from Jorge Herrera. He put the shot right on Knighton, but extended the lead in shots on target for Charlotte.

Charlotte continued to apply pressure, and eventually finding the back of the net in the 55th minute. From beyond the box, Herrera collected a pass from Alex Martinez, and curled his shot over the extended arm of Brad Knighton.

The goal appeared to wake up the Revolution offense as Rowe found their first shot on target in the 63rd minute. Rowe blasted a shot through to Gilstrap, but the save pushed the shot just wide of the net.

Rowe continued to show urgency, getting another near chance in the 65th minute. The opportunity was created by a great pass through the defense from Kobayashi, but Gilstrap came off his line to collect just in front of Rowe.

The Revs continued to look for the equalizer in the 76th minute when both Diego Fagundez and Kevin Alston made attempts from inside the box, but both shots were blocked by the Independence defense.

Herivaux came on for Kobayashi in the 86th minute, but the Independence held on to complete the upset victory.


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