Despite their status as two of the original 10 clubs in Major League Soccer and their frequent meetings in league play over the course of two decades, FC Dallas and New England Revolution have met just once in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Their one previous meeting – like the decisive meeting ahead at Toyota Stadium on Tuesday (10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Univision Deportes) – came in the final nearly a decade ago.
Several of the participants on both sides shared their memories of that fateful night in Frisco back in 2007. Their recollections in this oral history start with the buildup to the Revolution’s 3-2 victory on that night and carry all the way through to what it means nearly a decade later.
After experiencing the disappointment of losing MLS Cup in 2005 and 2006, New England challenged on two fronts in 2007. Their status as a MLS Cup contender came as no surprise given their run to the previous two finals. The run through the Open Cup emerged from a somewhat different place, but their procession through the tournament -- including a rare quarterfinal home game at Gillette Stadium and the willingness to lean on the experienced figures more frequently during the course of the tournament -- reflected the desire to finally secure the club’s first trophy.
New England forward Taylor Twellman: “2007 was an interesting year. There was a real belief in our locker room that we were going to win. We were going to win MLS Cup, we were going to win Open Cup. Supporters’ Shield -- to be completely honest – never had that big of a feel then. We didn’t really care about it. I know none of us talked about it in the locker room. But there was a feeling when we got to the semifinal of the Open Cup.”
New England midfielder Wells Thompson: “It was such a packed team, an all-star team. A bunch of those guys were just great players: Twellman, [Andy] Dorman, [Steve] Ralston, Shalrie [Joseph], [Jay] Heaps. It was just awesome and it was fun to be a part of it.”
FC Dallas assistant coach Marco Ferruzzi: “I was going back through their roster from that game and a good majority of that starting lineup is in the coaching ranks now. They all had good careers, but you’ve got [Matt] Reis, [Pat] Noonan and Ralston, and obviously Heaps is coaching New England. They all had good careers. Twellman was on that squad. They were coming from two good runs to the final. At that time, they had a very congealed team. They were well worked and well drilled. They knew each other well. They had good quality. They certainly did.”
Read the rest of Kyle McCarthy's oral history of the 2007 U.S. Open Cup Final HERE.