Best Soccer Player to Win the U.S. Open Cup

Philadelphia Union v Houston Dynamo: Final - 2018 U.S. Open Cup
Philadelphia Union v Houston Dynamo: Final - 2018 U.S. Open Cup / Bob Levey/GettyImages

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the longest-held tradition in American soccer. The knockout competition was first played in 1913-14 and has gone through several rebranding efforts in the years since, but it remains a fixture in the country's soccer institution.

This year's Cup is already down to four teams. The semifinal matches will take place later this month on July 27 and the final match will commence on September 7. In preparation for the upcoming excitement, let's look at some of the best players to have ever won the U.S. Open Cup.

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Kenny Cooper

Cooper ranks second in goals scored during U.S. Open Cup competition for his career with 13 and had a legendary run with Seattle Sounders FC in 2014. Cooper scored six goals in four games and his most impressive performance came in the semifinal match against Chicago Fire FC in which he notched two goals and two assists.

Stephen Negoesco

Negoesco never won a Cup as a player but won as a coach and his overall career is impressive enough to earn a spot on this list. Negoesco won a co-championship while playing for the University of San Francisco before he took over as coach of the program from 1961-2000. In that span, he led his alma mater to five NCAA championships. In 1976, Negoesco coached the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club to its first U.S. Open Cup win, the first time a team from Northern California had ever won the tournament. A remarkable man with a remarkable life and one of the best coaches in American soccer history.

Mike Noha

Once in a while, a player has a performance so spectacular that it lives on in memory forever. Noha did just that in the 1960 Cup Final to wind up here. He scored five goals for the Ukrainian Nationals against the Los Angeles Kickers and set a record that has yet to be broken.

Dwayne De Rosario

De Rosario is an MLS MVP and one of the best Canadian National Team players to grace the field, and made an indelible mark in U.S. Open Cup history when he played for D.C. United in 2013. United finished last in the league when they brought De Rosario aboard as a Designated Player ahead of the 2013 U.S Open Cup tournament. De Rosario showed out, scoring five goals in five tournament games and notching a hat trick performance along the way. He won Player of the Tournament for his efforts in helping D.C. United go on an epic underdog run and win an unlikely championship.