While the April 25 “Play-In” Round which saw Cal FC and Harpos FC (Colorado) advance whet the appetite for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the competition goes into full swing Wednesday as a record 21 First Round matches kickoff across 15 different states.
Having qualified through varying means over the last year, amateur clubs from the PDL, NPSL, USASA and USSSA face off against each other Wednesday night for a shot at professional USL sides in the tournament’s Second Round on Wednesday, May 20.
ussoccer.com will cover the First Round by providing links to match streams around the country as well as continued coverage on the official Open Cup Twitter account (@OpenCup) Wednesday night.
Following Wednesday’s First Round coverage, U.S. Soccer will provide live social coverage of Thursday’s Third Round draw on @OpenCup as the competition committee determines hosting scenarios for the May 27 match date where second division NASL clubs enter the tournament.
Below are notes on the competition history’s for each First Round participant, as well as how they qualified for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Game #1: Fort Pitt Regiment FC (Pa.; NPSL) at West Virginia Chaos (PDL)
Time/Location: 7 p.m. ET; Schoenbaum Stadium in Charleston, W.Va.
Previous Appearances: First appearance for both teams
- Entering their 13th season of existence, the West Virginia Chaos became the first club from The Mountain State to qualify for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by winning the USL Premier Development League’s South Atlantic Division in 2014.
- Entering their second season in 2015, Fort Pitt Regiment gained entry to this year’s Open Cup by finishing atop the NPSL’s Great Lakes East Division in 2014.
Game #2: Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (N.Y.; NPSL) at Western Mass Pioneers (PDL)
Time/Location: 7 p.m. ET; Lusitanio Stadium in Ludlow, Mass.
Greater Binghamton FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; First Round)
Greater Binghamton FC Overall Record: 0-1-0
Western Mass Pioneers Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 8 (2005; Third Round)
Western Mass Pioneers Overall Record: 4-7-1
- Greater Binghamton FC return for their second U.S. Open Cup appearance after winning the NPSL’s Keystone Conference with a 9-1-2 record in 2014.
- Western Mass Pioneers return to the competition for the second straight year after their 8-4-2 PDL in 2014 earned the side one of the PDL’s At Large berths in 2015.
- In 2014, Western Mass used a pair of braces from Will Daniels and Junior Alencar to down GPS Massachusetts 4-1 in First Round play before falling 2-1 on extra time to USL’s Rochester Rhinos.
Game #3: RWB Adria (Ill.; USASA) vs. Lansing United (Mich.; NPSL)
Time/Location: 7 p.m. ET; East Lansing Soccer Complex in East Lansing, Mich.
RWB Adria Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 4 (2014; Third Round)
RWB Adria Overall Record: 1-3-2
Lansing United Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
- Having qualified this year with one of the USASA’s wild card berths, south Chicago based RWB Adria were one of the darlings of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, upsetting the NPSL’s Detroit City FC on penalties and downing the PDL’s Michigan Bucks 1-0 in extra time before falling 3-2 in extra time to the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds in third round play.
- RWB Adria are one of the few clubs in the 2015 tournament to take part in the competition prior to the “Pro Era” beginning in 1995. The club appeared in the 1991 U.S. Open Cup, falling 1-0 in the semifinals to that year’s champions Brooklyn Italians.
- Lansing United makes its first tournament appearance in 2015 by virtue of an 8-2-4 record and the NPSL’s Great Lakes West Conference championship in 2014. In their first year of existence, United made it to the NPSL’s national semifinal where they fell 2-0 to New York Red Bulls U-23.
Game #4: SW Florida Adrenaline (PDL) at Miami United (NPSL)
Time/Location: 7 p.m. ET; Milander Park in Hialeah, Fla.
Previous Appearances: First appearance for both teams
- Entering their third season of existence, Naples-based SW Florida Adrenaline earned their first tournament appearance by virtue of a 7-2-5 record and At Large berth from the PDL’s Southeast Division in 2014.
- Entering their third season of existence, Miami United also make their first bow in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by virtue of a 7-0-3 record and NPSL Sunshine Division championship in 2014.
Game #5: Triangle Brigade (N.C.; USASA) Upward Stars (S.C.; NPSL)
Time/Location: 7 p.m. ET; Star Center in Spartanburg, S.C.
Previous Appearances: First appearance for both teams
- North Carolina based Triangle Brigade qualified for their first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2015 by winning the USASA Region III Open Cup in late March.
- Upward Stars make their first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearance in 2015 after winning the NPSL’s South Atlantic Conference with a 7-3-0 record in 2014.
Game #6: Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) vs. AC Connecticut (PDL)
Time/Location: 7 p.m. ET; Westside Athletic Complex in Danbury, Conn.
Previous Appearances: First appearance for both teams
- Virginia Beach City FC make their first tournament appearance after a 6-1-3 record saw the team finish second in the NPSL’s Mid-Atlantic Conference in 2014.
- In their first tournament appearance, AC Connecticut (formerly Connecticut Azul FC) earned an At Large berth following a 9-2-3 second place record in the PDL’s Northeast Division in 2014.
Game #7: Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) at Long Island Rough Riders (PDL)
Time/Location: 8 p.m. ET; St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, N.Y.
Brooklyn Italians Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 5 (2014; Third Round)
Brooklyn Italians Overall Record: 2-5-0 (Pro Era); 1979 and 1991 U.S. Open Cup Champions
Long Island Rough Riders Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 6 (1997; Quarterfinals)
Long Island Rough Riders Overall Record: 4-6-0
- One of the few clubs in the 2015 tournament to take part in the competition before the “Pro Era”, the Brooklyn Italians won the National Challenge Cup as it was known in 1979, finished as U.S. Open Cup runners-up to A.A.C. Eagles (IL) in 1990 and won the tournament a second time in 1991.
- The Brooklyn Italians qualified for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by virtue of their 10-2-0 second place finish in the NPSL’s North Atlantic Conference in 2014.
- Returning to the tournament for the first time since 2012, Long Island Rough Riders earned one of the PDL’s At Large berths after finishing with an 8-2-4 record in 2014.
Game #8: Detroit City FC (NPSL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)
Time/Location: 7:30 p.m. ET; Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich.
Detroit City FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; First Round)
Detroit City FC Overall Record: 0-0-1
Michigan Bucks Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 11 (2012; Fourth Round)
Michigan Bucks Overall Record: 12-10-1
- Detroit City FC vs. Michigan Bucks will be broadcast live on buckssoccer.com.
- After bowing out on penalty kicks to RWB Adria in the First Round of last year’s tournament, Detroit City FC returns to the competition for a second-straight year as the highest ranking returning team in the NPSL’s Midwest Division.
- Following Detroit City’s exit to Adria in 2014, the Bucks fell 1-0 to the Chicago based club in the Second Round.
- No amateur side has had as much success in the U.S. Open Cup’s “Pro Era” as the Michigan Bucks, who make their 12th tournament appearance in 2015. The Bucks are the only amateur side to have defeated two MLS teams in the competition, downing the New England Revolution 1-0 (2000) and Chicago Fire 3-2 in Extra Time (2012).
- The Michigan Bucks hold the all-time tournament record for most amateur wins over professional teams (Division Three and up) with 8.
- The Michigan Bucks qualified for the 2015 competition by winning the PDL’s Great Lakes Division in 2014 and also went on to win their second North American PDL title with a 1-0 championship victory over fellow Open Cup qualifiers Kitsap Pumas later that season.
Game #9: Ocala Stampede (Fla.; PDL) vs. Chattanooga FC (NPSL)
Date/Time: 7:30 p.m. ET; Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Ocala Stampede Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 2 (2013; Second Round)
Ocala Stampede Overall Record: 1-2-0
Chattanooga FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 3 (2014; Third Round)
Chattanooga FC Overall Record: 1-2-1
Broadcast: Chattanooga FC YouTube
- Perennially strong NPSL side Chattanooga FC return to the competition in 2015 for the fourth time after finishing as NPSL Southeastern Conference champions last season. Chattanooga proceeded to advance to the NPSL championship match where they fell 2-0 to the New York Red Bulls U-23s.
- Now in their fourth season of existence, Ocala Stampede return to the competition for the third-straight year after again winning the PDL’s Southeast Division with a 9-4-1 record in 2014. Much like Chattanooga, the Stampede advanced to the PDL’s North American semifinals before falling 2-1 to the Kitsap Pumas last year.
- In 2014, Chattanooga FC got two goals from Luke Winters and an insurance marker from Chris Ochieng helped the side to a 3-1 Second Round home upset over USL’s Wilmington Hammerheads before a 5-0 thumping away to the Atlanta Silverbacks.
- Ocala Stampede will hope to redeem their Second Round exit from 2014 where Ben Knight’s lone strike was enough in a 4-1 defeat to Orlando City.
Game #10: New York Greek Americans (USASA) at Jersey Express (PDL)
Time/Location: 8 p.m. ET; NJIT Stadium in Newark, N.J.
NYGA Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 4 (2013; Second Round ); Pre-Pro Era Champions (1967-69; 1974)
NYGA Stampede Overall Record: 1-4-0 (Pro Era)
Jersey Express Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; First Round)
Jersey Express Overall Record: 0-1-0
- New York Greek Americans make their fifth “Pro Era” appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as the USASA Region I Amateur Cup champion. The club joins Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders FC as the two other tournament entrants to have won the title four times, with Greek American’s championships coming in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1974. Additionally, they were runners-up in 1989.
- The Jersey Express return to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the second-straight year after winning the PDL’s Mid Atlantic Division with a 10-1-3 record and making a run to the league’s national semifinal in 2014.
- In 2014, New York Greek Americans dispatched the Ocean City Nor’easters 2-0 in First Round play before being narrowly edged 2-1 by USL’s Richmond Kickers in the Second Round. Their opponents Jersey Express fell 4-2 in Second Round play to the NPSL’s Brooklyn Italians.
Game #11: Maryland Bays (USASA) at Reading United AC (Pa.; PDL)
Time/Location: 7 p.m. ET; Don Thomas Stadium in Reading, Pa.
Reading United Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 7 (2013-2014; Third Round)
Reading United Stampede Overall Record: 4-8-0
Maryland Bays Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
- Having run to the tournament’s Third Round each of the past two years, Reading United make their eighth Open Cup appearance by virtue of a 9-1-4 record, good enough for second place in the PDL’s Mid Altantic Division in 2014.
- In 2014, Reading United took down Greater Binghamton Thunder 5-2 in First Round play, before falling 2-1 in extra time to USL side Rochester Rhinos.
- After being crowned USASA Amateur Open Cup champions in 2014, Maryland Bays earned their competition debut by winning the USASA’s Region I Open Cup earlier in 2015.
Game #12: Seacoast United Phantoms (N.H.; PDL) vs. GPS-Massachusetts (USASA)
Time/Location: 8 p.m. ET; Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, MA
Seacoast United Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 3 (2006; Third Round )
Seacoast United Overall Record: 2-3-0
GPS-Massachusetts Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
- With their last U.S. Open Cup appearance coming in 2006, the Seacoast United Phantoms returned to the competition in 2015 following their 11-1-2 record and PDL Northeast Division championship in 2014.
- GPS-Massachusetts take their first bow in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, qualifying with one of the USASA’s wild card berths.
Game #13: Madison Fire (USASA) at Des Moines Menace (PDL)
Time/Location: 7:30 p.m. CT; Valley Stadium in West Des Moines, Iowa
Madison Fire Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Des Moines Menace Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 8 (2005; Fourth Round)
Des Moines Menace Overall Record: 9-7-1
- The Des Moines Menace return for their third straight and ninth overall Open Cup appearance after winning the PDL’s Heartland Division with a 12-1-1 record in 2014.
- Qualifying as a USASA side in 2014, the Menace dispatched the PDL’s Real Colorado 3-0 in Second Round play before falling 1-0 to the NASL’s Minnesota United FC in the Third Round.
- First-time qualifiers Madison Fire of Wisconsin earned an at large berth via USASA’s Region II.
Game #14: Tulsa Athletics (NPSL) vs. Midland/Odessa Sockers (Texas; PDL)
Time/Location: 7:30 p.m. CT; Grande Communications Stadium in Midland, Texas
Tulsa Athletics Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2014; First Round )
Seacoast United Stampede Overall Record: 0-1-0
Midland/Odessa Sockers Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
- After getting dispatched by USL’s Oklahoma City Energy in the First Round of the 2014 U.S. Open Cup, the Tulsa Athletics qualified for their second tournament appearance this year after finishing with a 9-1-0 record and the NPSL’s South Conference championship last season.
- Following the Austin Aztex move from the PDL to USL over the offseason, the Midland/Odessa Sockers took the PDL Mid South Division’s second qualifying berth in the tournament after earning a 7-4-3 record in 2014.
Game #15: NTX Rayados (USASA) vs. Laredo Heat SC (PDL)
Time/Location: 8:15 p.m. CT; Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex in Laredo, Texas
NTX Rayados Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 3 (2014; Third Round )
NTX Rayados Overall Record: 0-3-1
Laredo Heat Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 4 (2014; Fourth Round)
Laredo Heat Overall Record: 4-2-2
Broadcast: Laredo Heat SC YouTube
- Dallas based NTX Rayados earned their fourth consecutive Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearance by finishing as runners-up in the USASA Region III Open Cup.
- In 2014, NTX Rayados downed the PDL’s Austin Aztex 4-2 on penalties after a wild, 4-4 First Round draw. In Second Round play, the USASA side fell 4-2 to NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions.
- Following their run and narrow 1-0 Fourth Round defeat to the Houston Dynamo in the 2014 competition, perennial PDL power Laredo Heat return for their fifth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearance after finishing with a 7-4-3 second place record in the Mid South Division in 2014.
Game #16: Harpo’s FC (Colo.; USSSA) at BYU Cougars (Utah; PDL)
Time/Location: 7:30 p.m. MT; BYU South Stadium Provo, Utah
Harpo’s FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Harpo’s FC Overall Record: 1-0-0 (won “Play-In” Round 2-0 vs. KC Athletics)
BYU Cougars Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 2 (2007; First Round)
BYU Cougars Overall Record: 0-2-0
Broadcast: BYU Men’s Soccer
- Harpo’s FC made their tournament debut beginning with the 2015 “Play-In” round 2-0 victory over KC Athletics on April 25 in Commerce City Colorado. (WATCH HIGHLIGHTS) Shane Wheeler and Dan Campbell scored the goals on the day, off assists from Kyle Leutkehans.
- Harpo’s FC qualified for the competition by finishing as runners-up in the USSSA National Championships in March.
- After an eight-year absence from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the BYU Cougars return to the competition following a 7-4-3 record and second place finish in the PDL’s Mountain Division in 2014.
Game #17: Chula Vista FC (USASA) at FC Tucson (PDL)
Time/Location: 7:30 p.m. MT; Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.
Chula Vista FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
FC Tucson Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 1 (2013; Third Round)
FC Tucson Overall Record: 1-1-1
Broadcast: FC Tucson YouTube
- Open Cup debutantes Chula Vista FC advanced to this year’s competition as the USASA Region VI qualifying winner.
- Following a year away from the competition, FC Tucson returns in 2015 by virtue of finishing atop the PDL’s Mountain Division last season with an 11-1-2 record. The club will hope to emulate their 2013 run, where they dispatched professional sides Phoenix FC and San Antonio Scorpions before going out to Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.
Game #18: Kitsap Pumas (Wash.; PDL) at FC Tacoma 253 (NPSL)
Location/Time: 6:30 p.m. PT; Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma, Wash.
Kitsap Pumas Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 4 (2011; Third Round)
Kitsap Pumas Overall Record: 2-4-1
FC Tacoma 253 Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
- After a two-year absence, Kitsap Pumas return to make their fifth U.S. Open Cup appearance in this year’s competition thanks to their first place, 9-1-4 finish atop the PDL’s Northwest Division in 2014. The club came one win short of the league’s North American title match, falling 1-0 to the Michigan Bucks last August.
- The Kitsap Pumas made their best run in the 2011 edition of the tournament, downing Chivas El Paso Patriots and Real Colorado Foxes before being narrowly edged by eventual champions Seattle Sounders FC. Spurred by Open Cup success, later that year the club won its first PDL North American title.
- FC Tacoma 253 makes its first U.S. Open Cup appearance thanks to navigating the NPSL Western Conference’s qualifying tournament earlier this year. The expansion side won its first two matches of existence, 2-1 vs Spartans Futbol Club and 6-1 vs. San Diego Flash to punch their ticket.
Game #19: Burlingame Dragons (Calif.; PDL) at Sonoma County Sol (Calif.; NPSL)
Location/Time: 7 p.m. PT; Santa Rosa High School in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Burlingame Dragons Previous Appearances/Best Finish: First appearance
Sonoma County Sol Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 4 (2006; Second Round)
Sonoma County Sol Overall Record: 1-3-2
- Formerly known as San Jose Earthquakes U23, tournament debutantes Burlingame Dragons earned their first berth in the competition this year through the Earthquakes third place finish in the PDL’s Southwest Division in 2014.
- NPSL side Sonoma County Sol returns to the tournament for the first time since 2010, after navigating the league’s Golden Gate Conference qualifying tournament earlier this year. The Sol down San Jose Frogs 4-3 in the semifinals before besting CD Aguiluchos USA 2-1 in the final.
Game #20: Cal FC (USASA) at Ventura County Fusion (Calif.; PDL)
Location/Time: 7 p.m. PT; Ventura County Sportsplex in Ventura, Calif.
Cal FC Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 2 (2012; Fourth Round)
Cal FC Overall Record: 4-2-0 (won “Play-In” Round 2-1 vs. San Francisco City FC)
Ventura County Fusion Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 5 (2012; Third Round)
Ventura County Fusion Overall Record: 5-4-1
Broadcast: Ventura County Fusion YouTube
- Having set the tournament alight with their highly publicized upset of the Portland Timbers in 2012, Cal FC returned as the early Cinderella story again in this year’s tournament, downing San Francisco City FC 2-1 in the 2015 U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Round on April 25 in San Francisco. The team qualified for the tournament by finishing as Runner-Up in USASA Region IV qualifying.
- Cal FC made their second tournament appearance in 2014, but fell 6-1 to LA Galaxy II in Second Round play.
- The 2009 PDL North American champion Ventura County Fusion return for their sixth straight Open Cup appearance in 2015 thanks to a first-place 8-3-3 record atop the league’s Southwest Division in 2014.
- In 2014, Ventura County Fusion downed CD Aguiluchos 2-1 in First Round play before falling by the same score line to USL’s Sacramento Republic 2-1 in the tournament’s Second Round.
- Cal FC is coached by long-time former Ventura County assistant Ross Greaney and captained by former Fusion midfielder Danny Barrera.
Game #21: Golden State Misioneros FC (PDL) at PSA Elite (Calif.; USASA)
Location/Time: 7 p.m. PT; Weingart Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
Golden State Misioneros Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 3 (2008, 2014-15; First Round)
Golden State Misinoeros Overall Record: 0-1-1 (won “Play-In” Round 2-1 vs. San Francisco City FC)
PSA Elite Previous Appearances/Best Finish: 4 (2012-15; First Round)
PSA Elite Fusion Overall Record: 4-3-1
- The two sides should be well acquainted with each other after playing almost a year to the date at this stage in the 2014 competition. After playing to a scoreless draw in regulation, the Misioneros’ Javier Castro gave the side a 94th minute lead before 10-man PSA Elite found a 114th minute equalizer from Jose Ferciado to sent the match to penalties where PSA won 3-2.
- Following that match, PSA Elite advanced via past the San Diego Flash via forfeit and downed LA Galaxy II 2-1, before falling 5-0 to Seattle Sounders FC in the Fourth Round. Along with the Laredo Heat, PSA Elite tied for longest run by an amateur team in the tournament in 2014.
- The Golden State (formerly Los Angeles) Misioneros qualified with an at large berth via their 7-2-5, second place finish in the PDL’s Southwest Division last season.
- Similarly, PSA Elite qualified as one of three wild card clubs from the USASA.