The US Open Cup is American Soccer’s version of the FA Cup in Great Britain. One of the most compelling features of the FA Cup is the possibility that a small, local football club can become a “giant killer” and take on a top-flight side (like Hereford United’s stunning defeat of Newcastle United in 1972). This year, the US Open Cup has a potential “giant killer” of it’s own, albeit with a bit more glitz: Hollywood United. Actor, Anthony LaPaglia, who was a professional goalie in Australia before his acting career, founded the club in the late 1980’s.
Hollywood United, from the USASA, has already upset the Portland Timbers, from the USL First Division, and will face the Seattle Sounders, also from the USL First Division, next in the 2nd round. If they can get past Seattle, Hollywood United will face a MLS team in the 3rd round.
Many Hollywood United members are former professional players and celebrities. Some are:
“Alexi Lalas, 1998 World Cup winner Frank Leboeuf, Paul Bravo, John Harkes, Eric Wynalda, John O’Brien, Richard Gough, Allen Hopkins, Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols, actor and former English Premier League player Vinnie Jones, Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard, Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury of The Cult, Ziggy Marley, actors Brandon Routh (“Superman”), Jimmy Jean-Louis and Santiagi Cabrera (“Heroes”) and the man who started it all, Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia.”
But before you imagine Vinnie Jones applying his patented testicle-crushing grip to the likes of Claudio Reyna or Brian Ching, most from the list above are on the Over-30 and Over-40 teams. Hollywood United fields a US Open team, stocked mostly with “younger more fit players.”