CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Futbol Club Cincinnati clinched a major upset against Chicago Fire to move onto the next round of the U.S. Open.
32,287 fans packed Nippert Stadium Wednesday night to watch FCC take on the Major League Soccer team in a nationally-televised match.
Goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt played hero in a penalty kick round for the 3-1 take down.
"I'm proud of our players. Equally proud of our city. We feel pretty good right now, that's for sure," coach Alan Koch said after the match.
The high-profile match aligned with FC Cincinnati's bid for a spot in Major League Soccer.
Next, the team travels for the quarterfinal round of the competition to play Miami FC of the North American Soccer League (NASL).
Currently sitting second in the MLS Eastern Conference standings, Chicago has a pretty impressive history. But it wasn't enough to stop FCC.
Chicago began MLS play in 1998 as one of the league's first expansion teams. They won the MLS Cup as well as the U.S. Open Cup on their first season. They have also won U.S. Open Cups in 2000, 2003, and 2006; in addition to the 2003 MLS Supporters' Shield.
Chicago forward Nemanja Nikolic and midfielder David Accam lead the team with a total of 24 goals this season. Nikolic leads the MLS with 14 goals.
"It's going to be great with the atmosphere, but as a player you want to play the best you can match yourself up against and those are the games you dream about. You put yourself against them and see how you hold up," said FC Cincinnati defender Kenny Walker before the game.
The club set an Open Cup record for a non-final match by drawing 30,160 fans to Nippert Stadium for their fourth-round win against Columbus Crew SC on June 14.
FC Cincinnati is one of 12 clubs vying for one of the four MLS expansion bids. The club submitted their paperwork in January and is expecting to have an answer by the end of 2017.
The club recently released renderings of a proposed soccer-specific stadium and the three possible sites to build it. They are looking to build the stadium in Oakley, Over-The-Rhine/West End and across the river in Newport.
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