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Teammate Impressions with the U.S. WNT

The U.S. WNT players spend a ton of time together on and off the field, so they’ve become very familiar with each other’s on-field Idiosyncrasies, as Heather O’Reilly and Abby Wambach demonstrate.
She Believes Rampone
COPA

U-23 MNT head coach Andi Herzog Names 19 players to Roster for 2015 Toulon Tournament

CHICAGO (May 24, 2015) - U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has named 19 players to the roster for the 2015 Toulon Tournament, which runs from May 27-June 7 in the south of France.

Herzog will make one addition to complete the 20-player roster, which will officially be submitted on Tuesday evening.

“Toulon is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world at this age level, and we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to compete against some of the top teams in the world,” said Herzog. “Having seen matches here many times before, I know the type of talent we will face. This is huge for us as we get ready for qualification this October, and is another step in the development of our players in international competition.”

Roster By Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Charlie Horton (Cardiff City; Cleveland, Ohio), Tyler Miller (Zweibrücken; Woodbury, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (7): Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), William Packwood (Unattached; Concord, Mass.), Jalen Robinson (D.C. United; Catonsville, Md.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Sam Strong (Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (Unattached; Holmdel, N.J.), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool; Sunnyvale, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Julian Green (Bayern Munich; Tampa, Fla.); Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Tex.), Jerome Kiesewetter (Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Alfred Koroma Shams (Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.).

The last time the U.S. competed in the Toulon Tournament came in 2013 when they sent the U-20 MNT. Seven players from that roster return for this edition of the tournament.

The tournament comprises two five-team groups. The United States is with Costa Rica, France, Netherlands and Qatar in Group A. Group B consists of China PR, England, Ivory Coast, Mexico and Morocco. The top teams from each group will meet in the final on June 7, and the second-place teams from each group will play for third place that day.

The U-23s have logged three matches in 2015 (2-1-0), opening with a 5-2 win over Bosnia and falling 0-1 to Denmark in March before bouncing back with a 3-0 win against Mexico on April 22 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The Toulon event will play a part in the team’s continued preparations for the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, which will be played in the United States from Oct. 1-13.

Roster Notes:

  • Seven players from this roster were a part of the U-20 MNT which competed in the 2013 Toulon Tournament.
  • Eleven players from this roster were a part of the group that most recently defeated Mexico 3-0 in Carson. Cody Cropper made seven saves to earn the shutout in the game, while Jordan Morris scored a goal, and Dillon Serna and Shane O’Neill both recorded assists.
  • Five players were a part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team: Cody Cropper, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill.
  • Jordan Morris made his first start and scored his first international goal with the senior MNT during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
  • Morris is the leading goalscorer on this roster. In two matches in 2015 he has scored two goals, and overall in his four-game career with the U-23’s he has scored three times.
  • Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Alonso Hernandez, and Benji Joya are the most experienced players at the U-23 level, having each earned five caps.
  • Six players on this roster come from European clubs, five from MLS, three are from Mexico-based clubs, three are unattached and two compete at the collegiate level.
  • Cropper, Green, Morris, O’Neill and Serna have all been part of a U.S. MNT senior camp this year.
  • Julian Green played in the U.S. MNT’s Round of 16 match against Belgium in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and scored a goal, becoming the youngest player to score in a World Cup game since 2006. 

U.S. Soccer Unveils 2015 U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round Pairings

CHICAGO (May 21, 2014) – U.S. Soccer unveiled the potential Fourth Round pairings and hosting scenarios for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Fourth Round, scheduled for June 16-17, marks the opening stage of the tournament for the 17 domestic Major League Soccer (Division I) clubs, joining the 15 winners from the Third Round played May 27.

With an uneven amount of MLS clubs entering the competition in the Fourth Round, 15 of 17 MLS teams were paired geographically to a specific Third Round matchup, while two MLS teams, Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers, were paired together to complete the bracket. Instances where a logical geographic fit didn’t exist were resolved by random selection. Teams with an ownership affiliation (Portland Timbers and Portland Timbers 2, Real Monarchs SLC and Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders and Seattle Sounders 2) are precluded from being paired until the Final.

Home teams are determined by a random selection process among those clubs that have applied to host and whose venues meet the minimum tournament requirements.

Thursday’s draw was conducted with two-time U.S. Open Cup champion and former Chicago Fire midfielder Logan Pause serving as the official witness as matchups for June 16-17 were determined.

Fourth Round Possibilities

Date

Game

Time

Venue

June 16

New York City FC (MLS) at New York Cosmos (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Shuart Stadium; Hempstead, N.Y.

or

June 16

Jersey Express (PDL) at New York City FC (MLS)

7 p.m. ET

Belson Stadium (St. John’s Univ.); Queens, N.Y.

June 16

Rochester Rhinos (USL)/Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) winner at Philadelphia Union (MLS)

7:30 p.m. ET

PPL Park; Chester, Pa.

June 16

Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)/Chattanooga FC (NPSL) winner at New York Red Bulls (MLS)

7:30 p.m. ET

Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

June 16

Minnesota United FC (NASL)/Saint Louis FC (USL) winner at Sporting Kansas City (MLS)

7:30 p.m. CT

Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.

June 16

Louisville FC (USL)/Indy Eleven (NASL) winner at Chicago Fire (MLS)

7:30 p.m. CT

Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.

June 16

Oklahoma City Energy (USL)/Tulsa Roughnecks (USL) winner at FC Dallas (MLS)

8 p.m. CT

TCU Soccer Stadium; Ft. Worth, Texas

TBD

Austin Aztex (USL)/San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) winner at Houston Dynamo (MLS)

8 p.m. CT

BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas

June 16

Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)/Real Monarchs SLC (USL) winner at Colorado Rapids (MLS)

7 p.m. MT

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.

June 16

Chula Vista FC (USASA)/Sacramento Republic FC (USL) winner at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)

7:30 p.m. PT

Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.

June 16

Portland Timbers (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (MLS)

7:30 p.m. PT

Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.

June 17

Orlando City (MLS) at Charleston Battery (USL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

or

June 17

Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) at Orlando City (MLS)

7:30 p.m. ET

Orlando Citrus Bowl; Orlando, Fla.

June 17

Charlotte Independence (USL)/Carolina RailHawks (NASL) winner at New England Revolution (MLS)

7:30 p.m. ET

Soldiers Field (Harvard Univ.); Boston, Mass.

June 17

Columbus Crew SC (MLS) at Richmond Kickers (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

or

June 17

Columbus Crew SC (MLS) at Jacksonville Armada (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Hodges Stadium (Univ. of North Florida); Jacksonville, Fla.

June 17

D.C. United (MLS) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

or

June 17

D.C. United (MLS) at Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Al Lang Stadium; St. Petersburg, Fla.

June 17

Portland Timbers 2 (USL)/Seattle Sounders 2 (USL) winner at Real Salt Lake (MLS)

8 p.m. MT

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

June 17

PSA Elite (USASA)/Ventura County Fusion (PDL) winner at LA Galaxy (MLS)

7:30 p.m. PT

StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.

Third Round Schedule – Match Center

Date

Game

Time

Venue

May 27

Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Chattanooga FC (NPSL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.

May 27

Charlotte Independence (USL) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.

May 27

Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) at Charleston Battery (USL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

May 27

Louisville City FC (USL) at Indy Eleven (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Carroll Stadium; Indianapolis, Ind.

May 27

Jersey Express (PDL) at New York Cosmos (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Belson Stadium (St. John’s Univ.); Queens, N.Y.

May 27

Rochester Rhinos (USL) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Skyline Sports Complex; Harrisburg, Pa.

May 27

Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL) at Real Monarchs SLC (USL)

7 p.m. MT

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

May 27^

Portland Timbers 2 (USL) at Seattle Sounders 2 (USL)

1 p.m. PT

Starfire Stadium; Tukwila, Wash.

May 27

Jacksonville Armada (NASL) at Richmond Kickers (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

May 27

Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 27

Minnesota United FC (NASL) at Saint Louis FC (USL)

7 p.m. CT

St. Louis Soccer Park; Fenton, Mo.

May 27

Austin Aztex (USL) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)

7:30 p.m. CT

Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas.

May 27

Oklahoma City Energy (USL) at Tulsa Roughnecks (USL)

7:05 p.m. CT

ONEOK Field; Tulsa, Okla.

May 27

Chula Vista FC (USASA) at Sacramento Republic FC (USL)

7:30 p.m. PT

Bonney Field; Sacramento, Calif.

May 27

PSA Elite (USASA) at Ventura County Fusion (PDL)

7 p.m. PT

Ventura College Sportsplex; Ventura, Calif.

^Time Change May 19    

Second Round Results - Match Center

Date

Game

Result

Venue

May 20

West Virginia Chaos (PDL) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)

0-3

Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 20

Chattanooga FC (NPSL) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)

1-1 (5-3 PK’s)

Legion Stadium; Wilmington, N.C.

May 20

Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) at Richmond Kickers (USL)

0-2

Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

May 20

Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL) at Rochester Rhinos (USL)

0-1

Sahlen’s Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.

May 20

Louisville City FC (USL) at Lansing United (NPSL)

1-0

East Lansing Soccer Complex; East Lansing, Mich.

May 20

Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) at Reading United A.C. (PDL)

3-0

Don Thomas Stadium; Reading, Pa.

May 20

Miami United (NPSL) at Charleston Battery (USL)

0-1

Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

May 20^

Upward Star (NPSL) at Charlotte Independence (USL)

1-4

Eagle Field at Winthrop; Rock Hill, S.C.

May 19#

Portland Timbers 2 (USL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)

2-0

Ultimate Soccer Arenas; Pontiac, Mich.

May 20

Real Monarchs SLC (USL) at Long Island Rough Riders (PDL)

1-0

St. Anthony’s High School; South Huntington, N.Y.

May 20

New York Red Bulls II (USL) at Jersey Express (PDL)

0-1

NJIT Soccer Stadium; Newark, N.J.

May 20

Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) at Tulsa Roughnecks (USL)

0-1

Hurricane Soccer & Track Field; Tulsa, Okla.

May 20

Des Moines Menace (PDL) at Saint Louis FC (USL)

1-1, 1-2 AET

St. Louis Soccer Park; Fenton, Mo.

May 20

Oklahoma City Energy (USL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers (PDL)

3-1

Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas

May 20

Laredo Heat (PDL) at Austin Aztex (USL)

0-2

House Park; Austin, Texas

May 20

Harpo’s FC (USSSA) at Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)

1-2

Sand Creek Stadium; Colorado Springs, Colo.

May 20*

Orange County Blues (USL) at PSA Elite (USASA)

1-2

University High School; Irvine, Calif.

May 20

Chula Vista FC (USASA) at Arizona United SC (USL)

3-0

Scottsdale Stadium; Scottsdale, Ariz.

May 20

Ventura County Fusion (PDL) at LA Galaxy II (USL)

2-1

StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium; Carson, Calif.

May 20

Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) at Sacramento Republic FC (USL)

2-4

Bonney Field; Sacramento, Calif.

May 20

Kitsap Pumas (PDL) at Seattle Sounders 2 (USL)

2-2, 2-4 AET

Starfire Stadium; Tukwila, Wash.

#Date Change April 17     ^Venue Change April 27     *Venue Change May 18

Fifth Round Draw             June 18
Fifth Round                       June 30-July 1
Quarterfinals                     July 21-22
Semifinals                         August 11-12
Final                                  Sept. 29 or 30 

Handful of Upsets Highlight 2015 U.S. Open Cup Second Round

CHICAGO (May 20, 2015) – Division III USL clubs entered the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s Second Round mostly holding serve Wednesday night with 16 of the 21 professional sides advancing to Third Round play.

However, there was a quintet of upsets, as the PDL’s Jersey Express and Ventura County Fusion, USASA’s PSA Elite and Chula Vista FC and NPSL’s Chattanooga FC defeated clubs from higher divisions to join the other professional sides in next week’s Third Round, which will take place on May 27.

The unveiling of the Fourth Round match-ups and hosting scenarios will take place Thursday, May 21, 2015, at 7 p.m. ET on 120Sports.com. Fans can also follow all this year’s U.S. Open Cup action on Twitter @OpenCup.

2015 U.S. Open Cup Second Round Results - Match Center

Date

Game

Result

Venue

May 20

West Virginia Chaos (PDL) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)

0-3

Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 20

Chattanooga FC (NPSL) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)

1-1 (5-3 PK’s)

Legion Stadium; Wilmington, N.C.

May 20

Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) at Richmond Kickers (USL)

0-2

Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

May 20

Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL) at Rochester Rhinos (USL)

0-1

Sahlen’s Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.

May 20

Louisville City FC (USL) at Lansing United (NPSL)

1-0

East Lansing Soccer Complex; East Lansing, Mich.

May 20

Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) at Reading United A.C. (PDL)

3-0

Don Thomas Stadium; Reading, Pa.

May 20

Miami United (NPSL) at Charleston Battery (USL)

0-1

Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

May 20^

Upward Star (NPSL) at Charlotte Independence (USL)

1-4

Eagle Field at Winthrop; Rock Hill, S.C.

May 19#

Portland Timbers 2 (USL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)

2-0

Ultimate Soccer Arenas; Pontiac, Mich.

May 20

Real Monarchs SLC (USL) at Long Island Rough Riders (PDL)

1-0

St. Anthony’s High School; South Huntington, N.Y.

May 20

New York Red Bulls II (USL) at Jersey Express (PDL)

0-1

NJIT Soccer Stadium; Newark, N.J.

May 20

Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) at Tulsa Roughnecks (USL)

0-1

Hurricane Soccer & Track Field; Tulsa, Okla.

May 20

Des Moines Menace (PDL) at Saint Louis FC (USL)

1-1, 1-2 AET

St. Louis Soccer Park; Fenton, Mo.

May 20

Oklahoma City Energy (USL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers (PDL)

3-1

Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas

May 20

Laredo Heat (PDL) at Austin Aztex (USL)

0-2

House Park; Austin, Texas

May 20

Harpo’s FC (USSSA) at Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)

1-2

Sand Creek Stadium; Colorado Springs, Colo.

May 20*

Orange County Blues (USL) at PSA Elite (USASA)

1-2

University High School; Irvine, Calif.

May 20

Chula Vista FC (USASA) at Arizona United SC (USL)

3-0

Scottsdale Stadium; Scottsdale, Ariz.

May 20

Ventura County Fusion (PDL) at LA Galaxy II (USL)

2-1

StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium; Carson, Calif.

May 20

Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) at Sacramento Republic FC (USL)

2-4

Bonney Field; Sacramento, Calif.

May 20

Kitsap Pumas (PDL) at Seattle Sounders 2 (USL)

2-2, 2-4 AET

Starfire Stadium; Tukwila, Wash.

#Date Change April 17     ^Venue Change April 27     *Venue Change May 18 

2015 U.S. Open Cup Third Round Schedule

Date

Game

Time/Result

Venue

May 27

Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Chattanooga FC (NPSL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.

May 27

Charlotte Independence (USL) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.

May 27

Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) at Charleston Battery (USL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

May 27

Louisville City FC (USL) at Indy Eleven (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Carroll Stadium; Indianapolis, Ind.

May 27

Jersey Express (PDL) at New York Cosmos (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Belson Stadium (St. John’s Univ.); Queens, N.Y.

May 27

Rochester Rhinos (USL) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Skyline Sports Complex; Harrisburg, Pa.

May 27

Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL) at Real Monarchs SLC (USL)

7 p.m. MT

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

May 27^

Portland Timbers 2 (USL) at Seattle Sounders 2 (USL)

1 p.m. PT

Starfire Stadium; Tukwila, Wash.

May 27

Jacksonville Armada (NASL) at Richmond Kickers (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

May 27

Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 27

Minnesota United FC (NASL) at Saint Louis FC (USL)

7 p.m. CT

St. Louis Soccer Park; Fenton, Mo.

May 27

Austin Aztex (USL) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)

7:30 p.m. CT

Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas

May 27

Oklahoma City Energy (USL) at Tulsa Roughnecks (USL)

7:05 p.m. CT

ONEOK Field; Tulsa, Okla.

May 27

Chula Vista FC (USASA) at Sacramento Republic FC (USL)

7:30 p.m. PT

Bonney Field; Sacramento, Calif.

May 27

PSA Elite (USASA) at Ventura County Fusion (PDL)

7 p.m. PT

Ventura College Sportsplex; Ventura, Calif.

^Time Change May 19  

2015 U.S. Open Cup Second Round Match Recaps

Tuesday, May 19
Michigan Bucks (PDL) 0, Portland Timbers 2 (USL) 2
 
Hosting their second U.S. Open Cup match in a week, the Michigan Bucks looked the better side early on in Tuesday’s Second Round kickoff, dominating in attack and possession through most of the first half. In the ninth minute, Bucks forward David Goldsmith bolted into space towards goal before unleashing a powerful blast that skimmed just wide left of Justin Luthy’s goal. Bucks midfielder Calvin Rezende came close in the 35th minute, turning his marker at the top of the box before his low left footed blast went inches wide of the left post, taking the teams into halftime scoreless. Timbers 2 hit the reset button at the break and dominated in possession from the start of the second half. Debuting midfielder Seth Casiple picked out Kharlton Belmar at the left post where the forward nodded across goal into the far side netting. Though Timbers 2 dictated play for most of the second half, the Bucks pushed forward late and got a sequence of dangerous opportunities to equalize. In the end, the PDL side got caught up field in transition and Casiple fed Ghananian forward Fatawa Safiu, who put the game on ice in second half stoppage time. Timbers 2 advance to face the winner of Wednesday’s Seattle Sounders FC 2 / Kitsap Pumas match on May 27.

Wednesday, May 20
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) 3, West Virginia Chaos (PDL) 0
Making its 13th U.S. Open Cup appearance, Pittsburgh ran out to a fast lead when Kevin Kerr came away from a scramble in the box to lay off for Rob Vincent, who calmly slotted his effort in the lower left corner in the 9th minute. It took just seconds to add to the lead, as the ensuing kickoff was played toward goal and South African forward Lebo Moloto pounced in the box to make it 2-0 in the 10th minute. Firmly in the lead, the Riverhounds took the air out of the game before Kerr downed across the box to slot home in the 87th minute, to give the home side a 3-0 victory. With the win, Pittsburgh moves to 8-10-3 all-time in U.S. Open Cup play and will next host NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies in Third Round play on May 27.

Game #3: Wilmington Hammerheads (USL) 1, Chattanooga FC (NPSL) 1 (3-5, PKs)
It was deja vu for Chattanooga FC as they eliminated Wilmington Hammerheads for the second year in a row to set up a rematch with the Atlanta Silverbacks. Chattanooga prevailed in a shootout after 120 minutes left both teams tied 1-1. Wilmington’s Nick Zimmerman gave his side the lead in the first half before Chris Ochieng finished a nice move from Chattanooga to level the score. There were no more goals through extra time and Jon Finlay eventually converted the decisive spot kick. Chattanooga will hope for a better time against Atlanta this time around: in 2014 they lost 5-0.

Game #4: Richmond Kickers (USL) 2, Virginia Beach City (NPSL) 0
Richmond Kickers overcame Virginia Beach City FC courtesy of two second-half headers. Neither side landed a hit in the first half but it took the hosts only two minutes after the break to strike the first blow. Nate Shiffman headed home a corner kick to set Richmond on their way. Jason Yeisley added an insurance goal when he slammed home an 89th minute diving header off an assist from Fred Owusu Sekyere. Jacksonville Armada comes to Richmond next week to face the Kickers.

Game #5: Rochester Rhinos (USL) 1, Greater Binghamton FC (NPSL) 0
Rochester Rhinos got their 2015 Open Cup off to a rolling start by beating Greater Binghamton FC 1-0. Kenardo Forbes tallied the game’s only goal when he converted on a chance in the 39th minute for the hosts. Greater Binghamton had a few chances in the second half, but couldn’t muster the tying goal as the Rhinos backline held firm to complete the shutout. Rochester travels to Harrisburg next week to meet the Islanders.

Game #6: Lansing United (PDL) 0, Louisville City FC (USL) 1
There were first-half fireworks in the Capital City with six shots for Louisville City FC and four for hosts Lansing United but neither team was able to break the deadlock. That changed two minutes into the second half when Charlie Adams blasted a shot into the net off a deflection to give Louisville a lead they would not relinquish. Lansing had a chance in the 88th minute but fired over the Louisville goal and the score would not change before the final whistle. Louisville travels across state lines to Indianapolis next week for a showdown with Indy Eleven.

Game #7: Reading United A.C. (PDL) 0, Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) 3
The Harrisburg City Islanders dispatched Reading United 3-0 to advance to the Third Round. Danny DiPrima and Cardel Benbow notched first half goals to provide a healthy lead after 45 minutes. Ken Tribbett scored on a header one minute into the second half to put the result out of reach. The only damper on the evening came when Neil Shaffer was red carded on 76 minutes for his second bookable offense. Shaffer will be suspended when Harrisburg hosts Rochester Rhinos on May 27.

Game # 8: Charleston Battery (USL) 1, Miami United FC (NPSL) 0
It was a scrappy game in Charleston tonight, but there had to be a winner and the hosts prevailed in a tight contest. Heviel Cordoves scored the only goal and followed it up with a red card in the second half. Charleston held on for the final six minutes with 10 men to bring the match to the end. The Black and Yellow play host to Ft. Lauderdale Strikers next Wednesday.

Game #9: Charlotte Independence (USL) 4, Upward Stars (NPSL) 1
Charlotte Independence ended Upward Stars’ tournament with an emphatic 4-1 comeback win. The Stars got things rolling with a surprise goal in the 11th minute in Charlotte but it was not long before the home side collected themselves and got control of the match. Tomasz Zahorski tied the game in the 19th minute and Enzo Martinez’ 40th header was the eventual winner. Zahorski went on to tally the first hat trick of the 2015 Open Cup with additional goals in the 44th and 90th minute. Charlotte travels to face the Carolina RailHawks next.

Game #10: Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) 0, Real Monarchs SLC (USL) 1
Real Monarchs celebrated a win in their Open Cup debut tonight as they defeated Long Island Rough Riders 1-0 to advance to the Third Round. The match was poised on a knife’s edge for most of the night at St. Anthony’s High School, with both teams trading chances but meeting strong resistance from Joseph Martin and Eric Osswald in the nets. The deadlock was finally broken in the 77th minute when Ricardo Velazco played a delightful one-two with Max Rauhofer before slotting home the eventual winner past Martin. Osswald and the Monarchs held on for the clean sheet and club history as they can now take their first Open Cup win with them back to Salt Lake.

Game #11: Jersey Express (PDL) 1, New York Red Bulls II (USL) 0
Jersey Express punched their ticket to Queens next week to meet the New York Cosmos after they bounced New York Red Bulls II from the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night. Chris Karcz got the only goal of the game when he converted on a set piece in the second half. The Red Bulls poured on the pressure for the rest of the match. They couldn’t find a breakthrough and the Express held their nerve to pull the upset and live to fight another day.

Game #12: Tulsa Roughnecks (USL) 1, Seacoast United Phantoms (N.H.; PDL) 0
Bond, Chad Bond had a license to goal Wednesday night in the Open Cup as his Tulsa Roughnecks advanced to the Third Round. Bond scored directly from a corner kick - an olimpico - in the 61st minute and that strike was enough to send the Seacoast United Phantoms packing in this year’s tournament. Tulsa hosts Oklahoma Energy FC next week in a mouthwatering Sooner State derby.

Game #13: Saint Louis FC (USL) 2, Des Moines Menace (PDL) 1 (a.e.t.)
Saint Louis FC prevailed in an extra time victory against Des Moines Menace in front of more than 3,000 fans at St. Louis Soccer Park. Bryan Gaul opened the scoring by converting a through ball from Parker Maher in the 68th minute. Des Moines went down to 10 men in the 80th minute after a red card to Charlie Bales but managed to scrape an equalizer when Chris Hellman scored from the penalty spot five minutes later. Seven minutes into extra time Jeremie Lynch tallied the winner for St. Louis. The visitors would end up finishing with nine on the field after John Lujano was dismissed.

Game #14: Oklahoma City Energy FC 3 (USL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers (TX; PDL) 1
Coached by 2012 U.S. Open Cup winner Jimmy Nielsen, Energy FC looked the stronger side from the start when forward Casey Townsend hit the woodwork in the 25th minute. Just before the break, Energy FC would go up 1-0 as Kyle Greig buried a feed from Peter Toth in the 42nd minute. Just after the break, Townsend would come good on his post hit, blasting a finish into the top corner, giving Energy FC a 2-0 lead in the 51st. The home side would respond in the 68th minute when Andrew Fox’s centering pass was buried by Alberto Sanchez but Energy FC put the game on ice just two minutes later when a flip throw from Michael Harris found Greig’s head who nodded home for his second of the match, giving the visitors a 3-1 victory. The win sets up an all-Oklahoma matchup, as Energy FC will visit Tulsa Roughnecks on May 27. 

Game #15: Austin Aztex (USL) 2, Laredo Heat (PDL) 1 – 8 p.m. CT
Austin Aztex defeated Laredo Heat 2-0 behind goals from Andres Cuero and Brian Fekete. Austin got on the board in the first half when Cuero converted a pass from Michael Gunderson in the 29th minute. In the 68th minute Trevin Caesar set up Fekete to put the result out of reach. Next week Austin meets San Antonio Scorpions in a Texas matchup USL vs. NASL.

Game #16: Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL) 2, Harpo’s FC (Colo.; USSSA) 1
The clock struck midnight on Harpo’s FC Wednesday, with Colorado Springs Switchbacks ending the club’s cinderella run in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The game started poorly for Harpo’s with Martin Maybin scoring on the first chance of the game with a first minute header for Switchbacks. Harpo’s regained their composure but Maybin doubled the lead in the 35th minute after an assist from Davy Armstrong. After the break Harpo’s pulled a goal back through a header and from there threw caution to the wind. They peppered the Switchbacks goal with chance after chance but time ran out on the amateur team from Boulder.

Game #17: OC Blues (USL) 1, PSA Elite (Calif; USASA) 2
PSA Elite are doing their best to match their impressive 2014 Fourth Round run, advancing to the Third Round Wednesday night with a 2-0 victory over USL’s OC Blues. The USASA side took a 1-0 lead when Michael Salazar nodded home a cross in the 19th minute. On the other side of halftime, Mats Bjurman scored his second of the tournament, finishing a one-on-one opportunity in the 61st minute. OC Blues began to push and saw a glimmer of hope when PSA Elite’s Jamel Wallace was shown red for a foul in the 82nd minute. Playing up a man, the Blues would pull one back through Tyler Feeney in stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough as PSA Elite ran out 2-1 winners. The USASA side now moves on to a Third Round date at fellow giant killers Ventura County Fusion on May 27.

Game #18: Arizona United SC (USL) 0, Chula Vista FC (USASA) 3
Returning to Arizona for the second straight week, the USASA’s Chula Vista FC came out attacking for another upset. The side would find the go-ahead goal in the 37th minute when the ball squeaked through the Arizona United backline where Alberto Diaz ran on to the end, rounded ‘keeper Carl Woszczynski and buried into the empty net. Chula Vista would increase their upset bid when Angel Pinal pounced on a ball at the back post and finished from close range in the 50th minute. Diaz would bag his second and finish off the USL side when he curled home an effort from the top of the box in the 72nd minute, giving Chula Vista an emphatic 3-0 victory. With the win, the USASA side advances to a Third Round date at USL’s Sacramento Republic on May 27.

Game #19: LA Galaxy II (USL) 1, Ventura County Fusion (PDL) 2
LA Galaxy II may have been the professional side playing at home, but it was Ventura County Fusion that found first blood when Matthew Lagrassa fired a shot from the top of the box over the head of LA ‘keeper Nicholas Shackelford in the 30th minute. The Galaxy applied pressure and would respond just before halftime when Adonis Amaya was tripped up by Fusion goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg, forcing the referee to point to the spot. Ariel Lassiter finished the spot kick to equalize before the break. After trading blows in the second half, the match looked like it would head to extra time, but the Fusion found a stoppage time winner from Abu Danladi. The win means the Fusion return home to host fellow giant killers PSA Elite in Third Round play on May 27.

Game #20: Sacramento Republic FC (USL) 4, Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) 2
Sacramento Republic FC and Sonoma County Sol treated a record crowd to an Open Cup thriller in California’s capital Wednesday night. 10,386 fans went home happy as Sacramento prevailed 4-2, but not without a serious threat of burn by the Sol. The hosts got the best possible start when Tommy Stewart cleaned up a rebound in the 9th minute off a shot from distance. Gabe Gonzalez doubled the lead three minutes later but Omar Nuno brought the visitors back in the game when he scored a contender for goal of the round, crushing a 20-yard drive into the top corner in the 26th minute. Stewart completed his hat trick with goals in the 43rd the 61st minutes but the sun would not set on the Sol. Nuno notched a 73rd minute goal before a penalty call gave the visitors a gleaming opportunity. But Taylor Varnadore hit the post and from there Republic was able to see out the game. The attendance of 10,386 at Bonney Field was an Open Cup Second Round record, breaking the previous record of 9,339 set by the Columbus Crew in 2001.

Game #21: Kitsap Pumas (PDL) 2, Seattle Sounders FC 2 (USL) 4
With hopes in following in their parent club’s Open Cup successes, Sounders FC 2 made their first appearance in the competition Wednesday night, striking first blood in the 26th minute as Qudus Lawal headed for Victor Mansaray who made it 1-0. Sounders FC 2 looked to be cruising to victory as Lawal laid off a pass from Nathaniel Tongovula, allowing Pablo Rossi a wide open finish in the 45th minute. Kitsap wouldn’t lay down after the break and pulled a goal back when Mike Ramos smashed an effort of the underside of the cross bar and in to make it 2-1 in the 66th minute. The visitors continued to push for an equalizer and brought the drama when Ramos found the back of the net again in second half stoppage time, pushing the game to extra time. Just three minutes in Sounders FC 2 found their feet again when Pablo Rossi converted a direct free kick from just outside the box and Andy Craven put the game on ice just before the final whistle to finish the scoring at 4-2. The win sets up a Third Round home date with Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers FC 2 on May 27 in Tukwila, Wash.

Brothers Clash as Sonoma County Sol visits Sacramento Republic FC in Open Cup Second Round

Throughout its history, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament has been a great opportunity for local rivals to go up against each other, but rarely has the competition between teams been as personal as Wednesday evening when Sonoma County Sol travel to Sacramento Republic FC for a key second round match (7:30 p.m. PT, LIVE on SacRepublicFC.com).

Not only are the two teams based in close proximity in Northern California, but they share a family connection as well: Chris Daly plays midfield for his hometown Sol, while younger brother Mickey is a standout defender for Republic FC.

“This game is going to be another chapter in the Daly family soccer story,” said Chris. “We are going to compete as hard as we can against each other on the field, and afterward off the field we will share that experience.”

Mickey concurred, and added that the experience will be somewhat surreal for him, given the Sol was the first club team he played for, side by side with his older brother Chris, before embarking on his professional career.

“I’m looking forward to it, especially because I’ve played with so many of the guys on the other team,” said Mickey. “There’s a lot of excitement going around with my family and friends.”


Mickey Daly celebrates scoring for Sacramento Republic against Portland Timbers 2 in USL league play this season.

Both teams enter the game having started their seasons well. Sonoma County returns to the Bay Area following two wins on the road and sits in first place in the NPSL West region. Sacramento is riding its own two-game win streak and owns top spot in the USL Western Conference. The tournament provides the perfect opportunity for each to parlay its league success into a run at the Dewar Cup (the official name of the U.S. Open Cup trophy).

 “The Open Cup, for us amateur teams, really puts us on more of a national stage,” said Chris. “To be able to go two hours away to Sacramento and show them we are a great team is going to be awesome.”

As is often the case, lower league teams look at matchups against bigger clubs as a measuring stick, while the favored big sides do what they can to avoid upsets so they can advance in the competition. 

“We want to go far,” said Mickey. “Not only do we want to win in our league, but also be the last USL team in the tournament. We want to compete against some MLS teams, maybe even upset a couple, and see where we stand against them.” 

Republic FC is no stranger to success. In 2014, the club’s first year of existence, the team captured the USL PRO championship. In last year's U.S. Open Cup, they narrowly lost to the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in the Fourth Round. The Sacramento squad gets its bite from its head coach and philosophical leader, Preki, who, as a former profession player himself, won the tournament as a member of the 2004 Kansas City Wizards. 


Former U.S. MNT and MLS star Preki, now at the helm of USL side Sacramento Republic FC, hopes to recreate the success he found as a player with his current squad.

“He doesn’t have to tell us about his accomplishments and his stats,” said Mickey. “Everyone respects him, and when he says something to us, we take it fully and learn from it and get better.” 

Preki boasts a resume that also includes the 2000 MLS Cup with the Wizards, as well as two MLS MVP and two Golden Boot awards, and he is still the league's all-time leader in points with 270 (79 goals, 112 assists). Prior to leading Republic FC, he had head coaching stints with Toronto FC and Chivas USA. Known to demand a lot of his charges, Preki brought his touted strong mentality and professionalism to this brand-new USL club. 

“We have established certain standards here from the first day,” said Preki. “Our players understand that every day in training is important, never mind every game. They understand the task we have, they understand the preparation, and the group knows what’s at stake.” 

It may only be an early round game in the tournament, but Preki expects that no matter who he calls on to take the field, they will treat the match against Sonoma County as if it was a cup final. 

“We want to have the habit of winning,” said Preki. “Every trophy is important, every game is important, and this one is no different. We will go into that game with that mentality.”

And that importance will stretch down to the Daly brothers as well, who within minutes of the Sol’s advancement in round one, were on their phones calling and texting competitive messages. In all their years playing soccer, Chris and Mickey have never faced each other on the field, something Chris described as “crazy”, but neither player expects to go easy on the other. 

“I’ve watched him come so far,” said Chris, five years older than Mickey. “Now when I see him play, I’m in awe. He’s such a complete player; I don’t see a weakness I can go after. I am so proud of him.”

“We both work so hard,” said Mickey, eager to see his brother step into the spotlight at Bonney Field, “So for him to get the experience to play in front of a big crowd, with me on the other side of the field, is going to be very special.”

And no matter the result Wednesday night, the Daly family will celebrate a winner.

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