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15 Games Highlight Open Cup Third Round as NASL Teams Begin Play

Since the NASL began participating in the competition in 2012, the league as a whole has gone 3-2-0 against USL sides, 4-2-2 against PDL, 5-0-0 vs. the NPSL and 2-0-0 against the USASA.

Fifteen matches in 13 different states will kick off with a Wednesday matinee as Portland Timbers FC 2 visit Seattle Sounders FC 2 at 1 p.m. PT in Tukwila, Wash.

Check out notes on each match below, stay tuned to ussoccer.com Wednesday for live links to matches and follow all the Third Round action via the competition’s official Twitter account @OpenCup.

Game #1: Seattle Sounders FC 2 (USL) vs. Portland Timbers FC 2 (USL)
Time/Location:
1 p.m. PT; Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Seattle Sounders FC 2 Overall Record: 1-0-0
Portland Timbers FC 2 Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Portland Timbers FC 2 Overall Record:
1-0-0

  • Two first half goals from Victor Mansaray and Pablo Rossi seemed to see Seattle cruising in their Second Round match with Kitsap Pumas, but Trevor Jensen’s 65th minute marker and Mike Ramos’ stoppage time equalizer sent the match to extra time. Three minutes into the extra frame, Rossi’s free kick restored Seattle’s lead and Andy Craven put the game on ice just before time, giving Sounders 2 a 4-2 extra time win in their first-ever U.S. Open Cup match.
  • Though scoreless through the first 45 with the Michigan Bucks, things were less dramatic in Timbers 2’s Open Cup debut as Seth Casiple set up Kharlton Belmar in the 52nd minute before dishing to Safiu Fatawu in second half stoppage time to ease Portland to a 2-0 victory.
  • The match will mark the third meeting between Sounders 2 and Timbers 2 this season and will be the second consecutive match between the two sides after Seattle downed Portland 2-0 on Friday, May 22 at Merlo Field. Seattle also defeated Portland 2-1 on April 11 at Starfire Stadium.
  • Seattle remains top of the USL’s Western Conference with a 6-3-1 record (19 points) while Portland are ninth with a 3-4-2 record (11 points).
  • The game should stoke some flames ahead of the two rival clubs’ first teams facing off in the tournament’s Fourth Round at the same stadium on June 16.
  • The winner will visit Real Salt Lake in Fourth Round play at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on June 17.

Game #2: Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) vs. Rochester Rhinos (USL)
Time/Location:
7 p.m. ET; Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, Pa.
Harrisburg City Islanders Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 7 (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012; Quarterfinals)
Harrisburg City Islanders Overall Record: 15-7-3
Rochester Rhinos Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 19 (1999; Champions)
Rochester Rhinos Overall Record: 33-15-5

  • Harrisburg City Islanders advanced to the Third Round using goals from Danny DiPrima, Cordel Benbowo and Ken Tribbett to earn a 3-0 win at PDL side Reading United.
  • Kenardo Forbes’s 39th minute strike was all Rochester needed to defeat NPSL side Greater Binghamtom FC Thunder 1-0 in Second Round play on May 20.
  • Wednesday’s match will mark the first game between the two USL sides this season as well as their first-ever meeting in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
  • Harrisburg’s Neil Shaffer will serve a one-match suspension after being shown a red card in the side’s 3-0 win over Reading on May 20.
  • Following a 0-0 draw with Toronto FC II on May 23, Rochester enter the match with an unbeaten 6-0-4 record  (18 points) in league play and sit first overall in the USL’s Eastern Conference.
  • Harrisburg sat idle this past weekend in USL play and are currently fifth in the USL’S Eastern Conference with a 4-2-1 (19 points).
  • With a win against Harrisburg, Rochester can equal Chicago Fire’s mark for most overall tournament wins in the “Pro Era” with 34.
  • The winner will visit the Philadelphia Union in Fourth Round play at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. on June 16.

Game #3: Richmond Kickers (USL) vs. Jacksonville Armada (NASL)
Time/Location:
7 p.m. ET; Richmond City Stadium in Richmond, Va.
Richmond Kickers Previous Appearances/Best Finish:16 (1995; Champions)
Richmond Kickers Overall Record: 27-14-2
Jacksonville Armada Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First Appearance

  • Richmond Kickers got second half goals from Nathan Shiffman (47th) and Jason Yeisley (89th) to earn a 2-0 victory over Virginia Beach City in Second Round play on May 20 at City Stadium.
  • Expansion NASL side Jacksonville Armada will make their U.S. Open Cup debut against Richmond Kickers and are coached by former Boca Juniors midfielder and Argentina international Jose Luis Villareal.
  • Richmond last fell 2-1 at home to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, May 23 and are currently in third place in the USL’s Eastern Conference with a 4-2-4 record (16 points).
  • Jacksonville comes into the match off a 3-2 away loss to Minnesota United FC on Saturday, May 23 and sit fourth in the NASL’s Spring Season standings with a 3-3-1 record (12 points).
  • The match will mark the first time Richmond has met an NASL club in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
  • The winner of the match will host Columbus Crew SC on June 17.

Game #4: Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)
Time/Location:
7 p.m. ET; Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 12 (2014; Quarterfinals)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds Overall Record: 8-10-3
Tampa Bay Rowdies Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 4 (2013; Fourth Round)
Tampa Bay Rowdies Overall Record: 4-4-0

  • Early goals from Rob Vincent (9th minute) and Lebo Molobo (10th minute) and a late strike from Kevin Kerr (87th minute) eased Pittsburgh to a 3-0 Second Round win over the West Virginia Chaos on May 20.
  • The Rowdies return to the tournament looking to avenge their 4-1 Third Round upending by USL’s Orlando City in 2014.
  • Pittsburgh enters the match coming off a 2-1 away win over the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, May 23. The victory moved the Riverhounds above the USL Eastern Conference’s red playoff line and into sixth with a 3-3-3 record (12 points).
  • Sitting idle this past weekend, Tampa Bay comes into the match riding a three-game unbeaten streak in NASL play (1-0-2) and sit third in the league’s Spring table with a 3-1-3 record (12 points).
  • Tampa Bay is 1-1-0 all-time vs. USL opponents in the Open Cup while the match will mark Pittsburgh’s first-ever game against an NASL side in the tournament.
  • The match winner will host three-time U.S. Open Cup champions D.C. United on June 17.

Game #5: Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)
Time/Location:
7:30 p.m. ET; Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Chattanooga FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 2 (2013; Second Round)
Chattanooga FC Overall Record: 1-2-2
Atlanta Silverbacks Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 11 (2014; Quarterfinals)
Atlanta Silverbacks Overall Record: 10-10-2

  • One of five amateur teams left in the tournament, Chattanooga FC advanced to the Third Round with a 5-3 shootout victory over USL’s Wilmington Hammerheads following a 1-1 draw. The penalty win was the team’s second straight after dispatching Ocala Stampede via shootout in the First Round.
  • The game falls almost a year to the day of last year’s Third Round encounter where Atlanta trounced Chattanooga 5-0 at Finley Stadium.
  • Chattanooga enter the match with a perfect 3-0-0 record in NPSL play, last defeating the New Orleans Jesters 3-1 on Saturday.
  • Atlanta returns to the competition following their best-ever finish in 2014, a quarterfinal run which saw them eventually fall 3-1 to the Chicago Fire.
  • Atlanta come into the game off a 4-2 away loss at FC Edmonton on Sunday, May 24. The Silverbacks sit seventh in the NASL’s Spring table with a 1-2-5 record.
  • The winner will visit New York Red Bulls in a Fourth Round encounter at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on June 16.

Game #6: Carolina RailHawks (NASL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL)
Time/Location:
7:30 p.m. ET; WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Carolina RailHawks Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 7 (2007; Semifinals)
Carolina RailHawks Overall Record: 16-7-1
Charlotte Independence Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Charlotte Independence Overall Record: 1-0-0

  • Charlotte won their debut U.S. Open Cup match, using a hat trick from Tomasz Zahorski and another strike from Enzo Martinez to defeat Upward Stars 4-1 on May 20.
  • Carolina returns to the competition after dispatching Chivas USA on penalty kicks and the LA Galaxy in extra time before falling 5-2 to FC Dallas in the 2014 Quarterfinals.
  • The Independence come off a 1-1 league draw away to the Charleston Battery while Carolina earned a 1-0 away win at Fort Lauderdale. Both matches were played on Saturday, May 23.
  • The RailHawks hold a 5-1-1 all-time record against Division III (USL) sides in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup since the club began participating in 2007.
  • Carolina sits fifth overall in the NASL Spring table with a 2-2-4 record (10 points), while Charlotte is eighth in the USL’s Easter Conference with a 2-3-3 record (9 points).
  • The winner will visit New England Revolution on June 17 at Harvard University’s Soldiers Field in Boston, Mass.

Game #7: Charleston Battery (USL) vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
Time/Location:
7:30 p.m. ET; Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.
Charleston Battery Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 15 (2008; Finalists)
Charleston Battery Overall Record: 26-13-5
Fort Lauderdale Strikers Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 8 (2008; 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014; Third Round)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers Overall Record: 6-6-2

  • Charleston set up their Third Round home date against Fort Lauderdale thanks to Heviel Cordoves’ 40th minute strike in a 1-0 win over NPSL side Miami United on May 20.
  • The club will be without Cordoves against Fort Lauderdale after the Cuban forward was shown a red card in the 83rd minute of the match.
  • Fort Lauderdale returns to the Open Cup in 2015, after being upset in their first match of 2014, falling 3-2 to the PDL’s Laredo Heat in Third Round play.
  • The two sides have met once before in Open Cup play, with the Charleston Battery downing, then Miami FC 1-0 in Second Round play on June 16, 2009.
  • Charleston enters the match following a 1-1 away draw with the Charlotte Independence on Saturday May 23. With the result, the Battery sit second in the USL’s Easter Conference with a 5-1-4 record (19 points).
  • Fort Lauderdale comes into Wednesday’s encounter following a 1-0 home defeat to the Carolina RailHawks. The Strikers are 9th in the NASL Spring table with a 2-4-1 record (7 points).
  • With 26 all-time Open Cup wins, Charleston are tied for fifth most wins among 2015 Open Cup participants behind only Chicago Fire (34), Rochester Rhinos (33), D.C. United (31) and Richmond Kickers (27).
  • Dating back to their first Open Cup participation in 1999, Charleston is 5-0-1 all-time against Division II (now NASL) sides in the tournament, while this match marks the first time Fort Lauderdale will face a Division III (now USL) opponent in the tournament.
  • If the Battery win, they will host Major League Soccer’s Orlando City on June 17 at Charleston’s Blackbaud Stadium. If Fort Lauderdale wins, they’ll visit City on the same date at The Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Game #8: Indy Eleven (NASL) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)
Time/Location:
7:30 p.m. ET; Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
Indy Eleven Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; Fourth Round)
Indy Eleven Overall Record: 1-1-0
Louisville City FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Louisville City FC Overall Record: 1-0-0

  • Indy Eleven return to the U.S. Open Cup after defeating the Dayton Dutch Lions 5-2 (Third Round) before falling 2-1 in extra time to the Columbus Crew (Fourth Round) in 2014.
  • Louisville City FC comes off their U.S. Open Cup debut, using an own goal to defeat NPSL side Lansing United 1-0 in Second Round play on May 20.
  • Indy Eleven comes in the match after giving up a late goal in a 1-0 away loss to the Ottawa Fury on May 23. The team sits 11th in the NASL Spring table with a 1-3-3 overall record.
  • Louisville used a brace from Matt Fondy to earn a 3-3 away draw with Saint Louis FC in USL play on May 24. The point keeps the side in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 4-1-4 record.
  • The winner of the match will move on to a Fourth Round date with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. on June 16.

Game #9: New York Cosmos (NASL) vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
Time/Location:
7:30 p.m. ET; Belson Stadium in Queens, N.Y.
New York Cosmos Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; Fourth Round)
New York Cosmos Overall Record: 2-1-0
Jersey Express Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; First Round)
Jersey Express Overall Record: 2-1-0

  • The New York Cosmos return to the U.S. Open Cup following a 2014 run that saw them defeat the Brooklyn Italians 2-0 (Third Round) and upset the New York Red Bulls 3-0 (Fourth Round) before falling to eventual finalists Philadelphia Union 2-1 in extra time in Fifth Round play.
  • One of five amateur teams left in the tournament, Jersey Express advanced to their date with the Cosmos following a 3-1 First Round win over New York Greek American SC and 1-0 Second Round defeat of New York Red Bulls II.
  • Originally scheduled for NJIT Stadium in Newark, N.J., the match was moved to Belson Stadium because of construction at the initial venue.
  • The last unbeaten side in the NASL, the Cosmos sit atop the Spring table with a 5-0-3 record after last defeating the San Antonio Scorpions 3-0 on May 23.
  • Jersey Express are 0-1-0 in PDL play after sitting idle this past weekend.
  • Though he never won the Copa del Rey in his years with Real Madrid, Cosmos striker Raul twice won the competition’s Golden Boot in 2001-02 and 2003-04 and did win the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) with Schalke in 2010-11, scoring the lone goal in the side’s 1-0 semifinal victory away to Bayern Munich.
  • Should the Cosmos defeat Jersey Express, they’ll host New York City FC in Fourth Round play on June 16. Should the Express be victorious, they’ll visit New York City FC on the same day.

Game #10: Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Minnesota United FC (NASL)
Time/Location:
7 p.m. CT; Worldwide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo.
Saint Louis FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Saint Louis FC Overall Record: 1-0-0
Minnesota United FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 4 (2012, 2014; Fourth Round)
Minnesota United FC Overall Record: 4-3-0

  • Saint Louis FC used goals from Bryan Gaul and Jeremie Lynch to earn a 2-1 extra time win over Des Moines Menace in the club’s Open Cup debut on May 20.
  • Minnesota United FC returns for their fifth tournament appearance after dispatching Des Moines 1-0 in Third Round play before falling to Sporting KC 2-0 in the Fourth Round in 2014.
  • Minnesota United come into the match following a 3-2 home win over Jacksonville Armada on Saturday. The win pushed United into second place in the NASL Spring table where they have a 3-1-3 record (12 points).
  • Saint Louis FC most recently come off a wild 3-3 draw with Louisville City FC on May 24. The result has Saint Louis sitting eighth, one point out of a USL Eastern Conference playoff spot, with a 3-3-2 record (11 points).
  • The winner of the match will pay a Fourth Round visit to Sporting KC on June 16 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

Game #11: Tulsa Roughnecks (USL) vs. Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL)
Time/Location:
7:05 p.m. CT; ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Okla.
Tulsa Roughnecks Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Tulsa Roughnecks Overall Record: 1-0-0
Oklahoma City Energy FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; Third Round)
Oklahoma City Energy FC Overall Record: 2-1-0

  • Tulsa used Chad Bond’s 58th minute goal to defeat Seacoast United 1-0 in Second Round play on May 20.
  • Oklahoma City Energy advanced to the Third Round thanks to a brace from Kyle Greig and another goal from Casey Townsend in a 3-1 away defeat of Midland/Odessa Sockers on May 20.
  • Tulsa comes off of a 1-0 away win over the Austin Aztex on May 24 while Energy FC earned a 2-1 away victory over Sacramento Republic FC on May 23.
  • Both sides sit just below the red playoff line in the USL’s Western Conference with Energy FC seventh (3-2-3; 12 points) and the Roughnecks in 10th (3-4-2; 11 points).
  • The winner of the match will move on to face FC Dallas in Fourth Round play at TCU Soccer Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on June 16.

Game #12: San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) vs. Austin Aztex (USL)
Time/Location:
7:30 p.m. CT; Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio Scorpions Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 3 (2012, 2014; Fourth Round)
San Antonio Scorpions Overall Record: 3-2-1
Austin Aztex Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2013, 2014; Second Round)
Austin Aztex Overall Record: 2-1-1

  • Austin used goals from Julio Cuero and Brian Fekete to earn a 2-0 victory over the Laredo Heat in Second Round play on May 20.
  • San Antonio makes their fourth U.S. Open Cup appearance following their 2014 run where they defeated USASA side NTX Rayados 4-2 before falling 2-0 to FC Dallas in the Fourth Round.
  • Most recently, Austin fell 1-0 to the Tulsa Roughnecks in USL play on May 24. The result leaves the Aztex in sixth place in the USL’s Western Conference with a 4-5-1 record (13 points).
  • San Antonio comes into the match following a 3-0 away defeat to the New York Cosmos on May 23. The Scorpions sit 10th in the NASL Spring table with a 2-4-1 record (7 points).
  • The winner of the match will move on to a Fourth Round date with the Houston Dynamo on a date to be determined.

Game #13: Real Monarchs SLC (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)
Time/Location:
7 p.m. MT; Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
Real Monarchs SLC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Real Monarchs SLC Overall Record: 1-0-0
Colorado Springs Switchbacks Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Colorado Springs Switchbacks Overall Record: 1-0-0

  • Both sides made their U.S. Open Cup debuts on May 20.
  • Real Monarchs SLC used Ricardo Velazco’s 76th minute strike to take a 1-0 away victory at the Long Island Rough Riders.
  • Marty Maybin’s first half brace was enough for Colorado Springs to hold on for a 2-1 home win over USSSA side Harpo’s FC.
  • Colorado Springs will be without the services of Rony Argueta who was shown a red card in the team’s 2-1 win over Harpo’s FC on May 20.
  • Real Monarchs enter the match following a 2-1 away defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps 2 on May 24, leaving them 12th in the USL’s Western Conference with a 1-6-3 record (6 points)
  • Colorado Springs earned the biggest win of their short history, downing Arizona United SC 5-0 on May 23. The win moved the Switchbacks to eighth in the USL’s Western Conference with a 4-4-0 record (12 points).
  • The winner of the match will advance to a Fourth Round match away to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. on June 16.

Game #14: Ventura County Fusion (PDL) vs. PSA Elite (USASA)
Time/Location:
7 p.m. PT; Ventura College Sportsplex in Ventura, Calif.
Ventura County Fusion Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 5 (2012; Third Round)
Ventura County Fusion Overall Record: 6-4-2
PSA Elite Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 2 (2014; Fourth Round)
PSA Elite Overall Record: 4-3-2

  • Of 15 Third Round games to be played on Wednesday, the only one that pits two amateur teams against each other.
  • Ventura County Fusion used Matt La Grassa’s first half strike and Abu Danladi’s 91st minute winner to down LA Galaxy II 2-1 in Second Round play on May 20. The win helped the Fusion equal their best Open Cup placement, which came in 2012.
  • Prior to that victory, the Fusion played to a 3-3 draw with Cal FC before dispatching the side on penalty kicks in First Round play on May 13.
  • PSA Elite advanced to the Third Round following a 7-1 thrashing of Golden State Misioneros (First Round) before goals from Michael Salazar and Mats Bjurman helped the side to a 2-1 Second Round upset of OC Blues on May 20.
  • PSA Elite will be without the services of Jamel Wallace who was shown a red card in the team’s victory over OC Blues on May 20.
  • Ventura County Fusion enter the match coming off a 1-0 victory over OC Blues U-23, moving the side to 2-2-0 in PDL play.
  • The winner of the match will advance to a Fourth Round game at the LA Galaxy on June 17 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Game #15: Sacramento Republic FC (USL) vs. Chula Vista FC (USASA)
Time/Location:
7:30 p.m. PT; Bonney Field in Sacramento, Calif.
Sacramento Republic FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; Fourth Round)
Sacramento Republic FC Overall Record: 3-1-0
Chula Vista FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Chula Vista FC Overall Record: 2-0-0

  • First-time U.S. Open Cup participant Chula Vista FC have become the new “darlings” of the tournament, following their First Round extra time 2-1 defeat of FC Tucson and 3-0 Second Round win away to USL side Arizona United SC.
  • Sacramento Republic FC returned to the tournament on May 20, using a hat trick from Thomas Stewart and extra goal from Gabe Gonzalez to see off NPSL side Sonoma County Sol 4-2 at Bonney Field.
  • USL (Division III) sides hold an all-time 45-9-3 record over teams representing the USASA in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
  • USASA teams are 2-0-0 against USL teams in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, including Chula Vista’s 3-0 win over Arizona United SC.
  • Sacramento Republic enter Wednesday’s Third Round encounter following a 2-1 away defeat to the Oklahoma City Energy on May 23. Despite the loss, Sacramento sit second in the USL’s Western Conference with a 6-5-0 record (18 points).
  • The winner of the match will pay a Fourth Round visit to take on the San Jose Earthquakes on June 16 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

Sounders 2 vs. Timbers 2: USOC Third Round Match Adds New Layer to Cascadia Rivalry

The rivalry between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders is one of the most intense and historic in American soccer; starting in the days of the ill-fated North American Soccer League, returning to life in the A-League and USL, and carrying on today in Major League Soccer. On Wednesday evening, a new chapter in that rivalry will play out as the two clubs’ new USL sides, Portland Timbers 2 and Seattle Sounders 2, face off in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time.

Seattle Sounders 2 host Portland Timbers 2 at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA on Wednesday, May 27th at 4:00 p.m. ET.

In the hearts of Timbers and Sounders fans, the Cup holds a special place. Since the teams’ USL era, the Timbers and Sounders have met in the U.S.’s oldest competition five times. Although the Timbers struck first, winning the 2005 meeting between the two teams, the Sounders would go on to win the next four in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2014.  The Sounders would go on to win the U.S. Open Cup in 2009, 2010, and 2014, as well as once more in 2011 when they did not face the Timbers.

The Timbers' and Sounders’ first teams will face off in the fourth round of the Open Cup in June, adding yet another layer to the clashes between the two clubs at every level. The Seattle Sounders will host the Portland Timbers at Starfire on Tuesday, June 16th at 10:30 p.m. ET.

The intensity of the matches between the two sides has always been evident in the play on the pitch. Few know the feeling of those early cup matches better than Andrew Gregor, one of the few players to have suited up for both clubs and one of even fewer to have played an Open Cup match for both.

“In a cup format, it is a win or go home sort of scenario,” says Gregor. "Usually you don’t have those sort of scenarios until playoffs. And so, earlier in the season, in the middle of the season, you are in this win or go home scenario in the cup, which brings an extra intensity; not to mention the standard rivalry that you have between Sounders and Timbers, so it makes for a very, very exciting game."

USOC 2004 Portland Timbers Cameron Knowles
Gregor, seen here playing for the then Division II Timbers, completed multiple stints with the Timbers in 2004 and 2007-08 as well as the Seattle Sounders in 1999-2000, 2001-02, and 2005-06.

With neither team willing to give an inch in their Cascadia derby matches, it should perhaps come as no surprise that in the five U.S. Open Cup matches between the Timbers and Sounders there have been red cards in four of them.

For Gregor, the possibility of a red card being shown is part and parcel of Open Cup matches. "I think tensions are going to fly either way, but there is that sort of thought of ‘you are not going to be a part of this competition any more if you don’t win.’"

Current Timbers first team assistant coach Cameron Knowles was red carded in the 2007 match between the two sides. Timbers’ starting midfielder Diego Chara was the most recent player to see red, getting sent off in the 2014 edition of the match up. 

Now an assistant coach with Timbers 2, Gregor is helping head coach Jay Vidovich prepare his side for Wednesday’s match. It will not be the first time that T2 and S2 have faced off; the two sides have already met twice in their maiden USL campaigns with S2 winning a narrow 2-1 victory at home in April, then coming to Portland this past Saturday and beating T2 2-0 on the road.

Saturday’s game in particular was a contentious one, with a trio of early yellow cards to T2 failing to keep the hotly contested match under control. As tempers flared after the match, T2 defender Harrison Delbridge was shown a red card of his own for dissent, paving the way for an intense Open Cup reunion.

USOC Timbers 2 assistant coach Andrew Gregor

After calling time on his professional playing career in 2009, Andrew Gregor rejoined the Portland Timbers as an assistant coach with the clubs USL Timbers 2 affiliate.

Looking forward to Wednesday, Gregor talked about T2’s approach to the upcoming match. “You are in a knockout competition; you do whatever you can to win that game. What matters is that we win that game and move on. That is kind of the unique aspect of the knockout competition side of it."

For both T2 and S2, the squads on hand are full of players with potential, being developed as possible future players for their respective first teams. Performances trump points for T2 in league play, according to Gregor, but not in a knockout match like this one.

Finding the balance between points and performance is less of a concern in the Open Cup. "In the knockout competition anything goes. You just want to win and move on,” Gregor says.

To anyone watching the matches between T2 and S2, it is clear that the rivalry between the two franchises is already extending down to the USL sides and both teams will certainly want to move on.

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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