skip navigation

Slaying MLS dragons nothing new for lower league teams

By Staff, 04/16/22, 9:15PM EDT


Chattanooga Football Club prepares to add another chapter to its historic story by facing MLS side Atlanta United in the Third Round of the US Open Cup.

The boys in blue are not just happy to be there. They are going down with an eye on winning the game. And there have been plenty of MLS upsets in the US Open to give them reasons to believe. Take a look back at some of the memorable "Cupsets" involving matches between MLS teams and a lower league team.

  1. 2013: Charleston Battery (USL Pro - Div. 3) defeated the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 1-0.
  2. 2013 Orlando City SC (USL Pro - Div. 3) took down the Colorado Rapids 3-1 before Orlando was part of the MLS. 
  3. 2012: San Antonio Scorpions (NASL - Div. 2) defeated a strong MLS team, Houston Dynamo. Houston had made it to the MLS final the year before and would in 2012 as well.
  4. 2012: Perhaps the most dramatic upset came when amateur side Michigan Bucks beat Chicago Fire 3-2 in an indoor stadium with a game-winner in the 93rd minute. 
  5. 2012: Another amateur side from the fifth tier scored the knockout punch when Cal FC beat the MLS' Portland Timbers 1-0.
  6. 2012: The Dayton Dutch Lions were about to lose 1-0 to the MLS' Columbus Crew. With just 11 minutes remaining, the underdogs began the comeback and would win 2-1.
  7. 2012: Los Angeles Galaxy were defending MLS champions after winning back-to-back titles when Carolina RailHawks (NASL) upset them 2-1 with two late goals. This LA team had the great Robbie Keane.
  8. 2008: Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) knocked off the New York Red Bulls with a convincing 2-0 victory. 
  9. 2006: Another amateur side, Dallas Roma FC, defeated the MLS' Chivas USA 4-2 in PKs.
  10. 1997: The first upset of the MLS era came when San Francisco Bay Seals took down the MLS' Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) 2-1.