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US Soccer

FC Golden State Force Pulls Cupset as Three Amateur Clubs Advance from 2018 U.S. Open Cup Third Round

CHICAGO (May 23, 2018) – The Third Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup offered up one last minute Cupset as PDL club FC Golden State Force knocked off professionals Las Vegas Lights of USL to advance alongside two other amateur teams, Miami United FC (NPSL) and NTX Rayados (Texas), to the Fourth Round of the competition, scheduled for Wednesday, June 6.

Additionally, nine professional USL clubs took care of business to also earn berths in the next round where Division I opposition from MLS awaits. All twelve Third Round winners will be paired with MLS opponents in the Fourth Round Draw, which will be broadcast on ussoccer.com and Facebook Live from Soccer House in Chicago at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 24.

The Third Round began on Tuesday night when North Carolina FC (USL) ensured they would not be among upset professional sides by pounding their PDL opponents Ocean City Nor’easters 4-1. Wednesday’s remaining 11 matches were much closer affairs with only FC Cincinnati (USL), Nashville SC (USL) and Miami United (NPSL) achieving more than a one-goal margin of victory. In the round's only match to reach PKs, San Antonio FC dispatched fellow USL club Colorado Springs Switchbacks 5-3 after a 1-1 draw in regulation.

As the remaining amateur teams in the competition, FC Golden State, Miami United FC and NTX Rayados are all still in the running to claim the $25,000 prize awarded to the amateur team to advance the farthest in the tournament.  


Tuesday, May 22
North Carolina FC (USL) 4, Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) 1
North Carolina FC were no mood for an upset in their 2018 U.S. Open Cup Third Round contest at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., scoring a comprehensive 4-1 win, that saw off a spirited challenge from amateur hopefuls, Ocean City Nor’easters. In the eighth minute, 30-year-old veteran Austin Da Luz controlled brilliantly on the left side and sent an inch-perfect cross through the penalty area to Marios Lomis, who poked home with the studs of his left boot. The visitors drew level ten minutes later after Matteo Bernatti sent the ball arcing up into the air over the penalty area, and Uros Ilic struck a volley from 12 yards that bobbled past NCFC goalkeeper Austin Guerrero after taking a deflection. But after 26 minutes, Da Luz grabbed the home side’s second goal when he rose in the area to head home a cross from Berhard Luxbacher. Still down late in the second half, the young visitors pushed forward in search of a goal, which left them exposed at the back, and the home side got insurance goals from Dre Fortune and Donovan Ewolo to book passage to the Fourth Round.

Wednesday, May 23
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) 1, FC Cincinnati (USL) 3

FC Cincinnati broke open a close game with two goals in as many minutes midway through the second half in a U.S. Open Cup Third Round matchup between USL sides. Jamaican international Lance Laing gave the visitors some breathing room and a 2-0 advantage in the 61st minute before Daniel Haber added one in the 63rd. Jimmy McLaughlin, off an Emery Welshman assist, had given Cincinnati a 1-0 edge in the 39th minute. Jamaican and second-half sub Dennis Chin pulled one back for Pittsburgh in the 88th minute, but it will be the men from south Ohio, who move on to a Fourth Round date on June 6.

Richmond Kickers (USL) 3, Penn FC (USL) 2
Heviel Cordoves volleyed home a left-wing cross from point-blank range in the 82nd minute to lift the Kickers, who had squandered a two-goal lead to a 3-2 win vs. Penn FC in the Third Round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup. The first hour was a battle of the braces. After only 22 minutes, Richmond grabbed a 2-0 advantage on Luiz Fernando's two goals. Conor Shanosky assisted the first score in the 13th minute, and Yudai Imura did likewise nine minutes later. The hosts, however, could not hold onto the lead as Penn FC equalized on either side of halftime. Jorge Rivera sliced the lead in half in the 36th minute before knotting things up on the hour for Penn FC, but Cordoves’ late heroics sent Richmond into the Fourth Round on June 6.

Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) 0, Miami United FC (NPSL) 2
The Miami United FC stunned their NPSL compatriots, Jacksonville Armada, with a pair of goals within a five-minute span in the opening half to win the teams’ U.S. Open Cup Third Round matchup at Southern Oak Stadium in Jacksonville. Tomas Granitto lifted Miami into the lead in the 21st minute, powering a brilliant 25-yard effort into the upper right corner. Shortly thereafter, the visitors doubled their lead as Nicolas Gorbosov converted a corner kick. Shamar Shelton, who replaced Granitto in the 79th minute, saved a goal by heading a Jacksonville shot off the crossbar in the 89th, and goalkeeper Occenat Peterson recorded the clean sheet after eight minutes of stoppage time to help send Miami through to the Fourth Round.

Charleston Battery (USL) 1, Elm City Express (NPSL) 0
Eleven minutes after he replaced Patrick Okonkwo, Ataulla Guerra set up Gordon Wild for the game-winner in the 83rd minute as Charleston Battery escaped with a 1-0 win vs. Elm City Express at MUSC Health Stadium. Wild penetrated deep into the penalty area, barely beat a defender and then goalkeeper Matthew Jones at the near post for the lone goal of the contest. Charleston ‘keeper and Cuban international Odisnel Cooper registered the shutout as the Battery now head into a Fourth Round showdown against an MLS side on June 6.

Louisville City FC (USL) 1, Saint Louis FC (USL) 0
Louisville City’s Sean Totsch crushed a 25-yard drive into the upper left corner and out of the reach of Saint Louis goalkeeper Tomas Gomez for the lone goal of the match in a 1-0 Louisville win at Lynn Stadium in Kentucky. Goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski secured the shutout for the victors who will hope to do the same against MLS opposition in the Fourth Round on June 6.

Nashville SC (USL) 3, Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) 1
Brandon Allen and London Woodberry scored first-half goals as Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first-timers Nashville SC of the United Soccer League topped Mississippi Brilla FC at Vanderbilt Soccer Complex in Nashville. Allen scored easily in the 20th minute and had a chance to add a second on a penalty kick four minutes later, but Brilla FC goalkeeper Jordan Bell made a one-handed diving stop to keep the game close until Woodberry slotted a bouncing free kick into the back of the net less than 10 minutes later. Napo Matsoso’s headed goal in the 59th minute gave Mississippi Brilla FC life, but Robin Schroot added an insurance goal in stoppage time to send Nashville SC on to the Fourth Round.

NTX Rayados (Tex.) 3, FC Wichita (NPSL) 2
Christian Okeke scored his third game-winning goal of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as amateurs NTX Rayados of the North Texas Premier Soccer League nipped FC Wichita at Richland Community College in Dallas. Adrian Ramos and Christopher Escalera gave Rayados a 2-0 lead in the first half, but Wichita stormed back with two second-half goals, first from Nelson Landaverde in the 60th minute and then Andres Ochoa on a corner kick from Matt Claire for the equalizer in the 65th. FC Wichita forward Franck Tayou had a slew of late opportunities but Okeke, who came on as a substitute, slotted the finisher in the 86th minute to advance NTX Rayados to a Fourth Round game for the first time in club history.

San Antonio FC (USL) 1, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL) 1 (5-3 PKs)
Sixteen-year-old U.S. Youth National Team midfielder Ethan Bryant made his Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup debut and drew a penalty kick as San Antonio FC of the United Soccer League played Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC to a draw before winning in a shootout at San Antonio’s Toyota Field. Rafa Castillo scored from the spot to give San Antonio FC the lead in the eighth minute, but Tobenna Uzo pulled Switchbacks FC even with a headed goal off a corner kick from Joshua Suggs in the 26th. Neither team could find a breakthrough until the shootout when Switchbacks FC failed on their fourth attempt and the home team converted on all five spot kick tries to advance to the Fourth Round.

Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) 1, Fresno FC 2 a.e.t.
Renato Bustamante scored on a header in the first period of overtime as Fresno FC of the United Soccer League had to come from behind to defeat amateur side Sporting AZ FC at Mesa, Arizona’s Jon Riggs Stadium. Ryan Flood gave Sporting AZ FC a 1-0 lead in the 66th minute with a rocket from distance, but Fresno FC’s Danny Barrera returned the favor less than 10 minutes later to tie the game. Sporting AZ goalkeeper Andrew Weber, who came up with several game-saving stops in the Second Round, stood on his head again and finished with 12 saves, but Bustamante’s goal in the 99th minute sealed the win for Fresno FC, a USL expansion club advancing to the Fourth Round for the first time.

FC Golden State Force (PDL) 2, Las Vegas Lights FC (USL) 1
Allison Faramilio scored his third and fourth goals of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup as FC Golden State Force of the Premier Development League kept its tournament run going with a late victory over Las Vegas Lights FC at Downey, California’s Allen Layne Stadium. Faramilio sent a drive past Lights FC goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino for a 1-0 lead in the 75th minute, but Las Vegas captain Joel Huiqui equalized with a flying header in the 81st. The match looked headed to overtime before FC Golden State Force earned a penalty on the stroke of 90 minutes. Faramilio fired the spot kick into the top left corner for the game-winner, sending FC Golden State Force on to the Fourth Round and a clash with an MLS opponent.

Sacramento Republic FC (USL) 1, Reno 1868 FC (USL) 0
Canadian Men’s National Team member Keven Aleman scored his second goal in as many 2018 U.S. Open Cup matches to spur Sacramento Republic FC of the United Soccer League on to a road defeat of league rivals Reno 1868 FC at Greater Nevada Field. Recently-signed Reno 1868 FC goalkeeper Kyle Ihn made a number of tough saves to keep his team alive, but Aleman sent a left-footed free kick screaming into the top right corner to tally the game’s lone goal in the 69th minute for Republic FC, which survived eight minutes of added time to advance to the tournament’s Fourth Round for the fourth time in five years.

Third Round Results


Game (home team listed first)



May 22

North Carolina FC (USL) vs. Ocean City Nor'easters (PDL)


Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.

May 23

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL)


Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 23

Richmond Kickers (USL) vs. Penn FC (USL)


City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

May 23

Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) vs. Miami United FC (NPSL)


Southern Oak Stadium (Jacksonville University), Jacksonville, Fla.

May 23

Charleston Battery (USL) vs. Elm City Express (NPSL)


MUSC Health Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

May 23

Louisville City FC (USL) vs. Saint Louis FC (USL)


Lynn Stadium (Univ. of Louisville); Louisville, Ky.

May 23

Nashville SC (USL) vs. Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL)


Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex; Nashville, Tenn.

May 23

NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. FC Wichita (NPSL)


Richland Community College (Field 10); Dallas, Texas

May 23

San Antonio FC (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL)

1-1 (5-3 PKs)

Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas

May 23

Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) vs. Fresno FC (USL)

1-2 a.e.t.

John Riggs Stadium; Mesa, Ariz.

May 23

FC Golden State Force (PDL) vs. Las Vegas Lights FC (USL)


Allen Layne Stadium (Downey High School); Downey, Calif.

May 23

Reno 1868 FC (USL) vs. Sacramento Republic FC (USL)


Greater Nevada Field; Reno, Nev.

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U.S. Open Cup May 23, 2018
US Soccer

NCFC Through to 4th Round as Nor’easters Lose Steam

North Carolina FC of the all-pro United Soccer League (USL) were in no mood for generous romanticism in their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round contest at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. A productive day from Austin Da Luz and Marios Lomis, who each bagged a goal and an assist for the home side in a comprehensive 4-1 win, was enough to see off a spirited challenge from Premier Development (PDL) hopefuls Ocean City Nor’easters, who’ve earned a reputation as giant-killers with six wins over professional teams in recent Open Cup tournaments.

It was no surprise when the hosts took control of possession early in the contest. Ocean City’s young amateurs were happy enough to sit back and make sure they got their defensive shape right, aiming to hit out on the counter-attack only when the opportunity arose. But despite doing all the right things in the early going, the Nor’easters fell behind in the eighth minute when 30-year-old veteran Da Luz controlled brilliantly on the left side and sent an inch-perfect cross through the penalty area. The ball was met in a blare by Marios Lomis, who poked home past Alec Smir from close range with the studs of his left boot. 

(Lomis hit home NCFC's first goal before the ten-minute mark - photo Daniel Neal)

The setback didn’t faze the spirited visitors, always among the top teams in the PDL summer league. They drew level ten minutes later after NCFC failed to take full advantage of the momentum gained by their opening goal. Matteo Bernatti applied heavy pressure on the home side’s defense and sent the ball arcing up into the air over the penalty area. Uros Ilic struck toward goal on the volley from 12 yards and the ball bobbled past NCFC goalkeeper Austin Guerrero after taking a deflection off his defender Michael Harrington, who tried to hack the effort away from danger.

With a new lease on life, and balanced at 1-1, Ocean City began to grow into the game. Fredinho was a constant threat moving up through the middle of the field and he put NCFC’s defenders on the back foot on more than one occasion. But after 26 minutes, Da Luz – who had stints in Major League Soccer (MLS) with DC United and 2017 Open Cup runners-up New York Red Bulls – was at the heart of the home side’s second goal when he rose in the area to head home a cross from the right side from Berhard Luxbacher. After regaining the lead at 2-1, North Carolina FC were able to hold on to the break

(Da Luz was the outstanding performer in NCFC's win over OC Nor'easters - photo Daniel Neal)

North Carolina FC came out in control of possession in the second half, with the visitors still unwilling to push many bodies up into attack. Fredinho had the Nor’easters best chance to equalize on the hour mark when he curled a sizzling free-kick from 25 yards just wide of Guerrero’s top corner. After that, with time running out and caution aimed at the wind, the young visitors pushed forward into attack in search of a goal. It left them exposed at the back, though, and Luxbacher only missed out on making it 3-1 for NCFC by taking too much time to control a lofted ball in from Da Luz. But one minute later, the home side did get the insurance goal they needed. And what a goal it was. A low ball in from the left from Da Luz picked out Lomis, who made a first-time flicked pass to the streaking Dre Fortune. He raced into the box and slammed the ball home to make 3-1.

The Nor’easters spent the remaining minutes trying to claw their way back into the game. But they were caught out again by their professional counterparts who knew exactly how and when to exploit the spaces left open by their opponents’ forays forward. The goal from Donovan Ewolo that made it 4-1 had a whiff of good fortune about it. The substitute’s speculative shot from distance took a wicked deflection and bobbled past the despairing Smir. And that’s where the scoring ended, as North Carolina FC - deserved victors on the night - move through to the Fourth Round and Ocean City’s Nor’easters head for home with their heads held high after giving good account of themselves in yet another Open Cup.

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U.S. Open Cup May 22, 2018
US Soccer

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks Grand Opening of National Development Center

Home to U.S. Soccer Coaching Education and Sporting Kansas City’s first team, the National Development Center celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 16, 2018. The $75 million, 50.49-acre facility, which began hosting U.S. Soccer Coaching Education courses in February, is also home to Children’s Mercy Sports Medicine Center. Sporting the latest soccer-specific technology and sports medicine innovations, the NDC represents the future of the sport in the United States and aligns with U.S. Soccer’s primary objective of improving the sport at all levels.

Following the earlier announcement that Children’s Mercy Park would play host to the opening two games of the 2018 Tournament of Nations, including the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team clash against Japan, the buildup to the ribbon cutting drew in local, state and national soccer dignitaries. Presenting speaker and special guest Jill Ellis was joined by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Sporting Kansas City President and CEO Jake Reid, Chief of Sports Medicine at Children’s Mercy Dr. Kevin Latz, Governor of Kansas Jeff Colyer and Wyandotte County Major David Alvey. The U.S. WNT head coach, who recently completed the highest level coaching license available in North America by completing the U.S. Soccer Pro License in December, described the NDC as a milestone for the advancement of coaches in the United States.

“What this (NDC) is, is a testament to our commitment in this country to grow the game,” Ellis said. “From a coach’s perspective, we have succeeded. Because what this facility says to me is that it is about being the best. This sets the bar. By investing in the players, coaches and referees that will come through these doors, the National Development Center gives U.S. Soccer a valuable asset in the pursuit of championships. The technology, teaching facilities and overall resources this development center houses will certainly impact the coach’s learning and experience.”

Over the last several years, U.S. Soccer has continued to increase its investment in coaching education. The Coaching Education department has continued to revolutionize the federation’s online education tool, the Digital Coaching Center, and re-defined the coaching education pathway with the introduction of the U.S. Soccer Pro License in December 2015 and most recently, in January, the launch of eight new Grassroots Coaching Licenses. As the department continues to raise the level of coaching throughout the country, the NDC represents another initiative to achieve the department’s objectives.

“This National Development Center is world class,” Tschan said. “This is amongst the very best that we’ve seen on the globe when it comes to a facility that’s dedicated solely to the development of coaches who are ultimately responsible for developing players and we look at where we’re trying to head as the Federation. In order to do that, we need world class facilities, and this checks all the boxes.

“The thing you feel as soon as you come in here, is a learning environment. Coaching is teaching and to understand coaching and teaching, you have to understand learning. We want to bring our coaches into the most optimal learning environments possible. And if you look at this globally, we recognize that we are very unique. We don’t know of any other countries that currently have a dedicated learning center for coaches the way that we have. So, if you compare it globally, I think we are going to end up being best practice, and I think we won’t be looking outside, but rather folks will be looking inside to find out what is it that U.S. Soccer is doing in the coaching education space.”

By improving its coaches, U.S. Soccer is investing in the long-term development of soccer and its players in the U.S. Over 1,000 coaching course candidates are expected to engage in programming at the NDC in 2018. With increased programming for all levels forecast for years to come, U.S. Soccer has positioned its coaches to be able to learn in a soccer-specific learning environment that is truly special.

Ellis summarized the potential impact stating that, “If each one of the coaching candidates can take the experiences and the resources and tap into what is here, imagine the effect we can have on impacting our game.”

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May 22, 2018

Dave Sarachan Calls Youthful 22-Player Roster to Philadelphia for USA-Bolivia on May 28

CHICAGO (May 20, 2018) –  U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Dave Sarachan will once again put the prospects of the next generation of the MNT on display, calling 22 players to Philadelphia in advance of the team’s upcoming Memorial Day clash against Bolivia on May 28 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.   Along with serving as the first of match of the team&rsquo Read more
MNT May 20, 2018

Seven Amateur Teams Upset Professional Sides in Second Round of 2018 U.S. Open Cup

CHICAGO (May 16, 2018) – The Second Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup provided a bevy of upsets as local amateur qualifiers NTX Rayados and Sporting AZ FC along with the Premier Development League trio of Ocean City Nor’easters, Mississippi Brilla and FC Golden State Force and National Premier Soccer League duo Jacksonville Armada and FC Wichita all took down Division II prof Read more
U.S. Open Cup May 17, 2018

U-16 GNT Sweeps UEFA Women's Development Tournament with 2-1 Win vs. Switzerland

ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ, Portugal (May 16, 2018) – The U.S. Under-16 Girls’ National Team defeated its counterpart from Switzerland, 2-1, to sweep all three games at the UEFA Women’s U-16 International Development Tournament in Portugal. The USA also defeated Belgium 5-1 on May 12 and the hosts 2-1 on May 14. The game-winner against Portugal came two-minutes into second half stoppage t Read more
U-16 GNT May 16, 2018

U.S. WNT Hosts Australia, Brazil and Japan this Summer for 2018 Tournament of Nations

CHICAGO (May 16, 2018) – After hosting the 2018 SheBelieves Cup in early March, a tournament won by the USA, U.S. Soccer will stage its second elite four-team women’s international tournament of the year as Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan., Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., and Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., play host to the USA Read more
WNT May 16, 2018