Miami United FC Secures Historic 10th Consecutive US Open Cup Qualification

qualified 2024 us open cup

In the stands in Hialeah, Florida on Sunday, a banner read “EL EQUIPO DEL PUEBLO” (The People’s Team).

No doubt the host Miami United FC faithful enjoyed the performance from their team as fans, family, and friends will now get to watch Miami play in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Proper — and they’ll likely be hoping for another inspired performance from their main man, Robertino Insua. He netted a brace for the home side in a 3-1 win over visiting City Soccer FC.

It was Miami’s 10th straight qualifying win dating back to 2020. United qualified in 2020 (3 wins) but the US Open Cup was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After not entering in 2022 (the club’s NPSL side qualified instead), Miami returned for the 2023 competition and won four games to qualify. Adding the three wins from this year, that gives them 10 straight wins, which is the longest winning streak of the competition’s short history, which began in 2015. Combined with Miami United’s NPSL club, the 2024 US Open Cup will mark the sixth time the club will participate in the United States’ national championship (7th time that they qualified, if you include 2020). It is also the team’s fourth straight qualification to the tournament.

“This will certainly be the most important Open Cup run given how football has grown, especially in South Florida,” said Miami United CEO Roberto Sacca. “We couldn’t miss the 2024 edition of the US Open Cup as we will try to do our best as the underdog and our dream is to get to play against Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami CF.”

The match between the two United States Soccer League (USSL) rivals started out with Miami controlling much of the possession. Although that didn’t lead to many chances right off the bat, a shot from just past the center circle highlighted the first 10 minutes. Miami United did not maintain its stranglehold on possession for the rest of the first half, but they would be the ones to break the deadlock.

During the 26th minute, a mistake at the back led to City Soccer conceding first. A failed clearance led to a deflection which put United’s Insua in on goal. He tucked it past the opposing goalkeeper, close to the near post.

On the 39th minute, Miami United had another good chance to score when a pass found an open man at the edge of the City box. The visitors’ goalkeeper managed to get a strong hand on it and pushed that shot wide. A third good attempt was saved by a defender helping his keeper out when United got a free shot in the 42nd. The tide of the first half was certainly flowing one way.

The second half started with controversy as City Soccer’s Juan Basco received his marching orders following an accumulation of yellow cards. Despite going down a man, City Soccer showed they would not go quietly. Besides two good chances off of corner kicks in the 68th and 72nd minutes, they held firm. Unfortunately, those would prove to be the most dangerous opportunities. Miami United found another breakthrough in the 73rd minute through Josduard Serrano following the set piece to give themselves a 2-0 cushion.

Miami took another step toward putting the game to bed in the 77th minute off yet another set piece. This time, directly from a free kick, Insua stepped up to put an exclamation point on the game. City Soccer’s shot stopper and his wall stood no chance in the face of Insua’s precision.

“Robertino is our Lionel Messi, our “DIEZ”, the undisputed leader of a fantastic group,” said Sacca. “Robertino comes from a family with football DNA; his brother also plays in the Argentine Serie A, and his dad Ruben Dario Insua is the current coach of San Lorenzo.”

According to Sacca, Insua grew up in the San Lorenzo de Almagro and subsequently made his debut in professional football in Ecuador with Liga de Portoviejo and Guayaquil City before arriving in the States with Miami United where he scored 67 goals (16 in the US Open Cup play and 51 goals since Nov. of 2021). During this competition, Insua has scored nine goals in three matches.

City showed a “Never Say Die” attitude throughout the whole game. In the 90th minute, it was Miami United’s turn to attempt a clearance which would land in their own net as the ball from a Miami defender smacked into a City Soccer player’s chest and went into the net. The lone goal would be all the visitors had to show for their efforts, however.

“I feel that a great group is being created thanks to the work of the new coach Mr. Claudio Frean,” said Sacca. “Our goal is to try to repeat our magic run from the 2018 US Open Cup where we reached the 4th round and faced Orlando City SC.”


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