Who should win 2019 TheCup.us Overall Player of the Tournament?
Sept. 18, 2019
The 2019 tournament saw two lower division sides reach the Quarterfinals while the rest of that field consisted of Major League Soccer teams which had never won the Lamar Hunt Trophy. As such, the field is dominated by MLS players for this vote.
Since 2006, TheCup.us has presented the award yearly for the most outstanding player of the most recent edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. For this year, voting is being conducted by TheCup.us staff, a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters , and patrons who’ve pledged $10 or more to the TheCup.us on Patreon .
While voting isn’t open to the general public we encourage our readers to make their voice heard on social media ( Twitter , Facebook , Instagram ).
Here are the finalists for the 2019 TheCup.us Overall Player of the Tournament (in alphabetical order):
Steve Clark (Portland Timbers of MLS – Division I)
With two shutout wins and seven saves in a Cascadia Cup clash win, Steve Clark’s 360+ minutes between the posts for the Portland Timbers are a big reason why 2019’s perennial road team advanced so far in the tournament. After making those seven stops to help the Timbers eliminate their rivals from Seattle in the opening round, Clark earned two clean sheets in back-to-back games. And he did it against two top offensive teams. In the Round of 16, Portland knocked off the LA Galaxy 4-0 before traveling to Southern California where they shut out the best offense in MLS with a 1-0 win over Los Angeles FC in the Quarterfinals. His work allowed the Timbers to not trail a game in the tournament until a 2-1 road loss in the Semifinals where Clark was beaten by a Darwin Quintero penalty kick early in the match and gave up a second half game-winning counter attack goal by Mason Toye
Round 4 : Started, played 90 mins., made 7 saves in a 2-1 road win at Seattle Sounders (MLS) Round 5 : Started, played 90 mins., made 4 saves in a 4-0 home win vs. LA Galaxy (MLS) Quarterfinals : Started, played 90 mins., made 1 save in a 1-0 road win at LAFC (MLS) Semifinals : Started, played 90 mins., made 4 saves in a 2-1 road loss at Minnesota United (NOTE: one goal was a PK)
Sam Fink (Saint Louis FC of USL Championship – Division II)
The winner of the 2019 TheCup.us Lower Division Player of the Tournament award is a St. Louis native who propelled his club through the tournament with stellar defense and a hard head. In Saint Louis FC’s best tournament performance to date, the side only allowed three goals in their four wins, two of which were penalty kicks, en route to the Quarterfinals. Fink, who played every minute of the tournament, etched his name into his hometown club’s history books during the Fifth Round (Round of 16) when he headed in a stoppage time corner kick from Lewis Hilton into the net of MLS side FC Cincinnati for the 1-0 win . The goal earned him Player of the Round honors from TheCup.us.
Round 2: Started, played 120 minutes in a 1-1 draw (3-1 PK win) at Des Moines Menace (USL League Two) – NOTE: Only goal allowed was a PK Round 3: Started, played 90 minutes in a 3-1 home win vs. Forward Madison (USL League One) Round 4: Started, played 90 minutes in a 2-1 home win vs. Chicago Fire (MLS) – NOTE: Only goal allowed was a PK Round 5: Started, played 90 minutes, scored a late game-winning goal in a 1-0 home win vs. FC Cincinnati (MLS) . Was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round Quarterfinals: Started, played 90 minutes in a 2-0 road loss at Atlanta United FC (MLS)
Adam Grinwis (Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer – Division I)
Round 4 : Started, played 90 mins., made 3 saves in a 3-1 road win at Memphia 901 FC (USL-C) Round 5 : Started, played 120 mins., made 2 saves in a 2-1 OT home win vs. New England Revolution (MLS) Quarterfinals : Started, played 120 mins., made 3 saves in a 1-1 draw (5-4 PK win, 2 saves in shootout) at home vs. NYCFC (MLS) . Was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round . Semifinals : Started, played 90 mins., made 5 saves in a 2-0 home loss vs. Atlanta United FC (MLS)
Justin Meram (Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer – Division I)
Justin Meram was an essential set-up and control man for Atlanta United during it’s championship run in the 2019 US Open Cup. In Round 4, only a month after being traded to the defending MLS Cup champions from the Columbus Crew, Meram came off the bench in the second half to lead his new team to a 3-1 extra time win against the Charleston Battery (USL-C). When the game was forced into overtime, the Michigan-born Iraqi National Team player set up Brandon Vazquez for both the game-winner and a stoppage time goal to put the game away. Meram would start the rest of the games in the tournament once again made an impact when his fantastic cross from the left side of the box was slammed into the top of the net by Pity Martinez for what would prove to be the winning goal in the 107th US Open Cup Final.
Round 4 : came off the bench in the 59th min., had 2 assists (game-winner in 110th min.) in 3-1 OT home win vs. Charleston Battery (USL-C) Round 5 : Started, played 68 mins. in a 3-2 road win at Columbus Crew (MLS) Quarterfinals : Started, played 84 mins., in a 2-0 home win vs. Saint Louis FC (USL-C) Semifinals : Started played 66 mins., in a 2-0 road win at Orlando City SC (MLS) Final : Started, played 90 mins., assisted on the game-winning goal in a 2-1 home win vs. Minnesota United FC (MLS)
Darwin Quintero (Minnesota United FC of Major League Soccer – Division I)
With six goals through his team’s first four games, Darwin Quintero tied the tournament record for the most goals scored by a single player in the Modern Era (1995-present). The former Columbian National team player started 2019 with two goals and one assist in a 4-1 home win against the 2017 Open Cup champion Sporting Kansas City. Quintero would score two more goals in the next round in one of the biggest comebacks of the 2019 tournament. Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Quintero sparked the comeback with a goal in the 66th minute and the equalizer in the 82nd minute before Mason Toye’s game-winner in the 90th minute. Quintero added the game-winning goal in a 6-1 home rout against USL Championship side New Mexico United as his team took control in the first half. In the Semifinals, his record-tying sixth goal came from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute in a 2-1 home win against the Portland Timbers. In a controversial decision, Quintero did not start the championship game, coming off the bench in the 75th minute in a 2-1 road loss to Atlanta United FC.
Round 4 : Started, played 90 mins., had 2 goals and 1 assist in a 4-1 home win vs. Sporting KC (MLS) Round 5 : Started, played 90 mins., had 2 goals in a 3-2 road win at Houston Dynamo (MLS) Quarterfinals : Started, played 73 mins., 1 game-winning goal in a 6-1 home win vs. New Mexico United FC (USL-C) Semifinals : Started, played 72 mins., 1 goal (PK) in a 2-1 home win vs. Portland Timbers (MLS) Final : Came off the bench in 75th min. in 2-1 road loss at Atlanta United FC (MLS)
Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer – Division I)
Round 4 : Started, played 120 mins., assisted on equalizer in 79th min. in 3-1 OT home win vs. Charleston Battery (USL-C) Round 5 : Started, 90 mins., 1 goal in a 3-2 road win at Columbus Crew (MLS) Quarterfinals : Started, played 90 mins., in a 2-0 home win vs. Saint Louis FC (USL-C) Semifinals : Started, played 90 mins., in a 2-0 road win at Orlando City SC (MLS) Final : Started, played 90 mins., in a 2-1 home win vs. Minnesota United FC (MLS)
Past winners of TheCup.us Player of the Tournament 2018: Mauro Manotas (Houston Dynamo) 2017: Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City) 2016: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas) 2015: Krisztian Nemeth (Sporting Kansas City) 2014: Kenny Cooper (Seattle Sounders FC) 2013: Dwayne De Rosario (DC United) 2012: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC) 2011: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders FC) 2010: Nate Jaqua (Seattle Sounders FC) 2009: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC) 2008: Chris Eylander (Seattle Sounders, USL) 2007: Pat Noonan (New England Revolution) 2006: Andy Herron (Chicago Fire)
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