It's been a rough week for MLS teams in U.S. Open Cup competition, as eight teams from the nation's top soccer league fell to lower-tier competition in the tournament open to all sanctioned clubs in the country. The latest such loss is the most embarrassing, as the Portland Timbers lost 1-0 in extra time to Cal FC, an amateur team from Thousand Oaks, California.
What's even more shocking is that while many of the previous MLS upsets happened while the teams were playing backups, the Timbers started their regular lineup—including $1.25 million dollar man Kris Boyd, who missed a penalty kick in front of 5,489 very angry Portland fans at Jeld-Wen Field.
While Portland outshot Cal FC 37-8 and had 11 corner kicks, they couldn't get a shot past Cal keeper Derby Carrillo. In all fairness, Carrillo's a former pro—as is Artur Aghasyan, whose goal in the 95th minute was the first goal ever scored by a US Adult Soccer Association team against an MLS side in the history of the U.S. Open Cup. Furthermore, Cal FC's not coached by some retired high school teacher, but three-time World Cup competitor and current Fox Soccer analyst Eric Wynalda.
That having been said, it's still a team of well-paid players losing to a squad of unpaid players, and that makes it an extraordinary upset.