We previewed the final here. But how did the teams arrive into Rio Tinto Stadium for the final of this centennial, 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup:
(Remember that MLS teams join the competition later than clubs from lower tier leagues; both of Tuesday’s finalists joined in the third round of tournament play.)
REAL SALT LAKE
Third Round: The run was almost over before it started as the visiting Atlanta Silverbacks from NASL took the MLS club into overtime at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kyle Beckerman scored early, but the men from Utah needed late goals from Devon Sandoval and Khari Stephenson for a 3-2 overtime win over the Silverbacks.
Fourth round: Sandoval, a rookie having a sensational season, mostly off the bench in league play, kept producing the Open Cup goods. He had two goals in this one as Real Salt Lake scored a 5-2 win over the Charleston Battery from the USL PRO league. This one, also at Rio Tinto, was closer that it looks, also extended into overtime.
Quarterfinal round: RSL’s outside backs roared in this one as Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert came forward to score on either side of halftime. Costa Rican international Alvaro Saborio scored late in the 3-0 win over the Carolina RailHawks of NASL in Sandy, Utah.
Semifinal round: Real Salt Lake prevailed in the tightly contested and highly anticipated clash with the Portland Timbers. Saborio and Joao Plata hit goals for the home team, while Diego Valeri’s late goal for Portland provided the final margin in the 2-1 win. It put Jason Kreis’ club into a final for the first time since the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League title game. (RSL fell to Monterrey from Mexico on aggregate in that one.)
Third round: Following a scoreless regulation in Richmond, Va., against the Richmond Kickers from USL PRO, United advanced through a PK tiebreaker, 4-2. Dwayne De Rosario, Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon and James Riley converted their penalty kick attempts for United.
Fourth round: In a meeting of MLS sides, United claimed a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union in a match in Boyds, Md. Dwayne De Rosario, in his best moment for the club in 2013, scored all three United goals. De Rosario thus established himself as the third Black and Red man to record an Open Cup hat trick; Raul Diaz Arce (2000) and Abdul Thompson Conteh (2001) were the others.
Quarterfinal round: It was De Rosario rising once again in a 3-1 win over the New England Revolution in another all-MLS meeting. Chris Pontius and Lionard Pajoy also scored for Ben Olsen’s team in the match in Maryland.
Semifinal round: Real Salt Lake never had to travel during its Open Cup pursuits. D.C. United, meanwhile, won twice on the road. This was one, as Olsen’s team took a 2-0 win from the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview, Ill. De Rosario’s goal just before intermission was the winner, while Nick DeLeon’s 48th-minute strike helped provide the visitors some safe distance.