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U.S. Open Cup champions

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U.S. Open Cup

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    U.S. Open Cup

    Third-tier Harrisburg stuns D.C. United 1-0 on Fisher header.

    Steve Fisher
    Steve Fisher headed home a corner kick for the goal that allowed the Harrisburg City Islanders to become the first third-division team to defeat D.C. United.
    -- Harrisburg City Islanders web site photo --

    LANDISVILLE, Pa. (Wednesday, July 11, 2007) -- Midfielder Steve Fisher scored just before intermission, leading the third-division Harrisburg City Islanders to a 1-0 decision over D.C. United, the four-time Major League Soccer champion, in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round before a capacity 5,219 thrilled fans at Hempfield High School tonight.

    Harrisburg became the second club from the third-tier United Soccer Leagues Second Division to advance to the Open Cup quarterfinals, along with the Richmond Kickers, who edged MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 last night. United and the Galaxy are among three MLS teams upset in the third round -- their tournament openers -- after the defending MLS champion Houston Dynamo fell to the Charleston Battery of the second-division USL First Division.

    The Islanders were making their first appearance in the Open Cup. United, like the Dynamo and Galaxy last night, chose to use mostly reserves, employing only two lineup stalwarts and two part-time starters. The result: the franchise lost for the first time ever to a U.S. third-division side and only its third defeat ever at the hands of a USL club.

    "I don't want to say that we were pathetic, but you have a couple opportunities each year in different tournaments to do well, and to come in here and lose this game the way we lost it is upsetting," defender Bobby Boswell, one of the two regular starters, told The Washington Post. "You are out of the tournament, just like that."

    Two games still remain in the Open Cup third round. Harrisburg moves on to the quarterfinals and an August 7 date with MLS's New England Revolution at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass., a ground the Islanders know as the home of the USL-2's Western Mass Pioneers.

    United goalkeeper Jay Nolly, who earlier denied midfielder David Schofield one-on-one, misjudged Schofield's corner kick to allow Harrisburg to go ahead. He came out, but missed the ball, leaving Fisher to elevate and drill a header into a suddenly unguarded net to make it 1-0 in the 44th minute.

    "I came out and kind of collided with (Boswell) and his guy," Nolly told The Post "I didn't get a full jump on it. I thought I could have come and got it. It was just over my fingertips."

    To which United coach Tommy Soehn said, "If he's coming to get it, he's got to get it."

    Fisher has only one goal and two assists in 11 league matches this year for Harrisburg, which stands fourth in USL-2 at 7-2-4 with 25 points. Schofield has four assists in 13 league outings.

    United attacked relentlessly in the second half, but did not produce many chances. Striker Nicholas Addlery missed just wide, while recently-signed forward Mira Mupier, a USL veteran, wasted a point-blank volley for the visitors.

    "It was a great opportunity for our reserves to show what they are about," Soehn told The Post. "I really felt like they let themselves down tonight. We need to walk away from a game like this today and say those guys really stand out. They should be (ready to be) playing on the weekends (in MLS games) and I don't get that feeling from a lot of the guys today."

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