U.S. Soccer
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OC Nor’easters: Family Affair on the Jersey Shore

Among the tens of thousands of tourists and day-trippers that swell Ocean City’s population each summer, you’d hardly notice a couple dozen soccer players here or there. They mix right in with the throngs on the boardwalk. But every year they come, among the best collegiate players from every corner of the country (and the globe), for fun and sand and dramatic sunrises, sure, but mostly to join up with one of the best amateur soccer clubs in America: The Ocean City Nor’easters.

“For me this is not a business,” said Giancarlo Granese who bought the bankrupted South Jersey Barons in 2004, and moved them to Ocean City from “the middle of nowhere.” He immigrated to New Jersey in the mid-1970s from a small town near Naples, Italy that claims to have the best chestnuts in the world. His passion for soccer, for his adoptive city and his Nor’easters is palpable. “This isn’t a business for me. It’s about the game, about togetherness and family…and most of all it’s about Ocean City.”


(The Nor'easters, in orange, knocked off AFC Ann Arbor of NPSL & Charlotte Independence of USL)

The Nor’easters have existed, in one form or another, for the last 22 years. They now compete in the Premier Development League (PDL) – an all-amateur summer league whose sole aim is to groom top-class college players to take the next step up and into the professional ranks. That’s clearly the case in Ocean City, a club with pedigree and no trouble attracting the cream of the collegiate crop. Veteran of the 2012 squad Tyler Miller, is now lining up with LAFC in Major League Soccer (MLS), and a whole host of Nor’easters alumni dot the Division II USL ranks. But there’s something more than just boot-camp going on here at the Jersey Shore.

The players all live together in a house steps from the ocean. They play their home games in the heart of tourist season at Carey Stadium (aka ‘The Beach House’) – there’s no soccer field closer to the ocean in the whole country. The Nor’easters become, in a very real way, a part of the community that grows from a population of just over 10,000 in the off-season to ten times that in June, July and August when the sun shines brightest. The players get recognized on the two-and-a-half miles of boardwalk and they mingle in the community in a way that most PDL players don’t. “I think we win because of the togetherness we bring as a family and as a city and a club,” said Granese, who runs the Nor’easters as a labor of love with his wife and his son (and General Manager) Giancarlo Jr. “All the kids who come in have host families looking out for them and every summer there’s a huge connection between the people of the town and the players.”

Proven Results on the Pitch
All that has translated into huge success on the field. They’ve won two PDL Eastern Conference titles in the last six years and are annually among the best teams in the league alongside Reading United of Pennsylvania and the Michigan Bucks out of Pontiac. But most of all, the Nor’easters have become known as giant-killers in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by knocking off a raft of professional teams in recent years.

“I have too many great memories to count from my time with the club, and most of them are around the Open Cup,” said current head coach John Thompson, an Englishman and former Nor’easters captain. A two-time PDL Defender of the Year, he’s been involved – as a player or a coach – in five of the team’s six victories over professional opponents in America’s oldest soccer tournament. He was on the field in 2004 (the team went undefeated in league play that year) in an 8-4 loss to the Richmond Kickers that he calls “the wildest game” he ever played in, and again in 2009 when they met DC United of MLS and held them until the 70th minute. In 2013, they were on their way to a 1-0 win in the 90th minute against Philadelphia Union only to be undone by a 90th-minute equalizer that forced extra-time.


(Carey Stadium aka the Beach House - not a bad spot to spend your soccer summer)

With a pair of wins under their belt in the current competition (a 3-0 win over NPSL’s AFC Ann Arbor in the First Round and a 3-1 win over full USL pros Charlotte Independence last week) the Nor’easters are one win away from meeting MLS opposition for a third time in this year’s Fourth Round.

Along with the ideal locale, the sunny weather and all the fun there is to be had on the Jersey Shore in summertime – the team’s reputation as giant-killers is among the biggest draws of top talent to the Nor’easters. “We all want to be pros ourselves and so these are the games we’ve got to show we’ve got what it takes,” said Sam Jones, an English center-back who had to fly to Michigan for the First Round game against Ann Arbor and fly right out again after the final whistle to get back in time for final exams. Liam Bennett, a busy midfielder from Leeds, also cherishes the opportunities inherent in playing (and beating) pros. “It doesn’t matter who we play, we want to start every game sharp and bright. We want to get right in their face right away, and if we get to play an MLS team, we’ll do it just that same way – we’ll be right up for it.”

Between now and that dream tie with an unnamed MLS side, is a tough test – and their third straight game on the road – against North Carolina FC of the USL. If the Nor’easters are giant-killers, NCFC might be giant-killer-killers as they showed in their 3-0 rout of Lansdowne Bhoys, reigning double national amateur cup champs. The game will be a homecoming of sorts for UNC goalkeeper Alec Smir, Carolina born and raised. His parents and friends will be among the crowd at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on Tuesday night, but he’s got only one thing on his mind. “We all have aspirations to go pro,” said the net-minder who was a busy young man in the dying moments of the win over Charlotte Independence when the home side poured on the pressure in a desperate attempt to get level. “So we just want to show what we can do to achieve that dream of playing an MLS team – and who knows what can happen then?” 

Pros in Training
Coach Thompson has every faith in his players’ own professionalism. They may not be pros yet, but they’re ready for it. They know what it takes. He bristles when asked if it’s a tough job to keep all the boys calm on the big day. After all, they’re scouted hard and hand picked not just for their talent - character and experience both come into play in the year-long hunt by the Ocean City coaching staff. “Every time you go on the field, whether it’s against Charlotte or Manchester United, you’ve got to back yourself as a player,” he said. “You have to believe that you can man up and get it done.”


(Ocean City's Nor'easters have beaten 6 pro teams in their Open Cup history - and played MLS sides twice)

Man up, they may. But these are boys, some of them still in their teens. “That’s why we have our training sessions at 10 a.m. every day,” Thompson said with a chuckle, knowing the lure of the shore and the call of summer fun to youngsters. “We’re professional about what we’re doing and we expect a very high standard from the players. As long as they meet that and do what they’re meant to do, we don’t mind what they get up to. It’s the Jersey Shore after all and it’s a lot of fun here. They need to have their fun too.”

According to the players, spending so much time in close quarters helps their cause every year. “Our house is right on the beach and that’s great,” said Smir, the team’s outstanding goalkeeper. “After those first few days, everyone clicks. And you can see that spilling over out on to the field too.” Jones, when asked if they’ll all be sick of each other by the end of the summer, is quick with a joke and a smile: “Some of us are sick already!”

In all, it does feel like a family – special, imperfect and worth protecting. “It’s nice to see a lot of our boys go on to the pros,” said Granese, who watches a new group come to town every May and speaks of them like a proud papa might. “Just when you lose faith in the young people of the world, these guys show up and they’re smart, sharp, good and quick – and I can’t help think: this country’s in good shape after all.”

(Some video footage courtesy of SNJToday)
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U.S. Open Cup May 22, 2018
US Soccer

The Dream Continues: #USOC2018 Third Round Preview

Nine surviving amateur teams from last week’s Second Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are in action again this Tuesday and Wednesday (May 22 and 23) – and they’re all one win away from booking dates with clubs from Major League Soccer (MLS), the American game’s top professional tier. With a pair of the 12 Third Round matches being contested by two amateur sides, we’re guaranteed at least two games in the Fourth Round between MLS' big boys and part-timers from farther on down the trough.

Nine Survivors Hunt Glory & Cupsets
Ocean City Nor’easters, out of the Premier Development League, are back in the Third Round with their giant-killing reputation as strong as ever. They’re coached by former captain John Thompson, who’s been involved – on either side of the touchline – in five of the team’s six wins over pro clubs in their Open Cup history. “We put our heart and soul into this club,” said the former PDL Defender of the Year who got his tactics right in the last round against United Soccer League (USL) pros Charlotte Independence and is now one win away from seeing his Nor’easters up against MLS opposition for a third time. “Whether it’s Charlotte or Man United, you always need to back yourselves as players – you’ve got to believe you can man up and get it done.”


(Liam Bennett - left, in orange - of OC Nor'easters in First Round USOC action in Ann Arbor)

The Nor’easters will need to man up in a big way if they’re going to get the bulge on North Carolina FC of USL, who made light work of national amateur champions Lansdowne Bhoys in the last round. It’s the third game on the road for the boys from the Jersey Shore, who only just arrived at camp a few weeks ago from their various colleges.

Jacksonville Armada and Miami United FC are in action in an all-Florida/all-NPSL clash in the northeastern corner of the Sunshine State. The Armada, a part of the North American Soccer League in last year’s Open Cup, will fancy their chances against their neighbors to the south who knocked out 2017 Open Cup quarterfinalists Miami FC.


(Miami United FC laid down firm roots in South Florida - and they were simply better than Miami FC in the last round)

Elm City Express are rare entrants to the Open Cup from the city of New Haven in south central Connecticut. The first-year NPSL team (and reigning champs) are comprised of local talent from the area’s many institutes of higher learning – among them Post University in Waterbury, UConn, the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut, Southern Connecticut, Quinnipiac, and Sacred Heart. Though they’re likely to give it the old college try, they’ll need more than enthusiasm to get past a road date with Charleston Battery – the last non-MLS team to reach an Open Cup Final (2008). The Battery are loaded with talent and all full-pros, but they made heavy lifting of their 1-0 win over PDL side South Georgia Tormenta in the last round. The Third Round contest will be the Express’ first game in the current Open Cup against a professional side, having beaten Western Mass Pioneers and Seacoast United Phantoms (both of the PDL) in the previous rounds. It’s also a third away-game on the bounce for the boys from the Elm City.

Mississippi Brilla, an amateur team out of the PDL that doubles as a Christian ministry, were one of the big shockers of the Second Round. A team that draws talent from all over the world (39 different nationalities have worn Brilla baby-blue through the years) upended USL pros Indy Eleven with an 82nd-minute lone goal. This time they’re away from their home stadium and up against a second straight USL pro team in Nashville SC, who knocked out cross-town NPSL neighbors Inter Nashville FC last week.


(Nashville SC's fans are up for the Cup after beating city rivals Inter Nashville in the Second Round)

NTX Rayados and FC Wichita meet in an all-amateur affair in Dallas with the winner guaranteed a game against MLS opposition in the Fourth Round. Wichita play out of the NPSL and boast a stable of talented players like the Tayou Brothers (Uzi and Frank) and silky Brazil-born creator Leo Sosa. A club with as much investment and resources as many of their professional counterparts, the Kansans will nevertheless be up against it when they meet the in-form Rayados. The Texans steamrolled over OKC Energy FC in the previous round after an extra-time goal spree that saw the game end 5-2 and Christian Okeke score his third goal of the tournament. Having gone out in the First Round of the last three installments, it took the Rayados until 2018 to win their first Open Cup game. Now they’re bound and determined to keep their run going as far as it will take them.

Sporting Arizona FC are lone survivors from the all-amateur United Premier Soccer League (UPSL). Their shootout win in the Second Round over USL pros Phoenix Rising was one of the most impressive giant-killing performances on the 24-game schedule. Much of the credit goes to goalkeeper Andrew Weber, who won an MLS Cup in 2015 as a back-up with the Portland Timbers, and was in the form of his life on the outskirts of Phoenix in an Open Cup upset for the ages. “Of course [Weber’s] talented and he can keep the ball out of the net,” said Sporting’s coach Aidan Davison, a former English Premier League goalkeeper. “But he’s also a great mentor for the young guys in the team. He’s somewhere between a player and a coach for us.”


(Sporting Arizona FC brought the thunder against USL's Phoenix Rising in the last round)

FC Golden State Force, the PDL team out of Whittier, California, flew into the 2018 Open Cup under the radar. They rolled over SoCal amateur powers LA Wolves in the First Round before repeating the act against USL pros Orange County SC (4-2) in the Second Round. Up next, they host USL full-timers Las Vegas Lights – a colorful all-pro side with a pair of live llamas as mascots and one Freddy Adu in the squad.

All-Pro Action Elsewhere
While the underdogs hog the spotlight in the 2018 Open Cup’s Third Round, there’s a series of all-USL contests to fill out the schedule. Last year’s Cinderella side FC Cincinnati, who went on a run to the Semifinals and drew huge crowds to their Nippert Stadium, are on the road against fellow USL side the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The men from Pittsburgh arrived by edging out Erie Commodores of NPSL last week and have a proud Open Cup tradition in America’s oldest soccer tournament, having gone to the Quarterfinals of the 2001 Open Cup as members of the now-defunct A-League.

 
(FC Cincinnati went to the Semifinals of #USOC2017 & started strong with a win over Detroit City this year)

Louisville City of USL ran over PDL’s Long Island Rough Riders in their Second Round opener, scoring five unanswered goals. Their reward is a home game in the Third Round against fellow USL rivals St Louis FC, who didn’t have things all their own way in the game against Duluth FC up in Minnesota, but still managed to a 2-0 win on the day. 

The Richmond Kickers look to keep up the form after avenging last year’s early exit with a hard-fought shootout win over PDL side Reading United in the Second Round last week. The 1995 champion Kickers, a club for 25 years (among the oldest continually operating pro clubs in the country), now play hosts to Penn FC at their City Stadium in Virginia. “We’re set up for a good run in the Open Cup this year,” said coach Leigh Cowlishaw, a member of the young Richmond side who lifted the Open Cup in 1995. Penn FC, for their part, had a long night in their opener, eventually edging out FC Motown of the NPSL in the Second Round. 


(The Richmond Kickers went toe-to-toe with Reading United in the last round - and needed PKs to win the day)

San Antonio FC, who hammered NPSL side Midland-Odessa Sockers 4-0 in the last round, open their doors to Colorado Springs Switchbacks (also of USL), who had to huff and puff to get the better of amateur debutants FC Denver 3-2 last week. The last of the 12 Third Round contests pits Sacramento Republic, who went to the Fifth Round last year, on the road against Reno 1868 FC, who came back from an early deficit to destroy Portland Timbers U23 7-3 last week to reach the third stage. 

ussoccer.com is the official website of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and will provide a stream of as many Open Cup games as possible. Comprehensive video and written coverage of the tournament will also be available. You can follow the Open Cup on Twitter and Instagram @OpenCup and Facebook @OfficialOpenCup.

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U.S. Open Cup May 21, 2018
US Soccer

Miami United Take Root in Shifting Soil

Soon after arriving in Miami in 2005, Roberto Sacca noticed something missing. There was plenty of soccer talent around, but a dearth of professional teams. So, a few years later he and a group of friends started up a club of their own: Miami United FC.

“We created the team as a joke,” Sacca said while preparing for a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round trip north to take on the Jacksonville Armada. “Then, of course, we have to put up the money and purchase a franchise. NPSL [National Premier Soccer league] was the cheapest but my friends, who were supposed to put up the money, didn’t, so that’s why I did it.”


(Miami United are one win away from meeting an MLS team in the 2018 Open Cup)

From the days of the Miami Gatos in the early 1970s, soccer franchises have struggled in South Florida. Sacca, who grew up in Sicily, heard all the doubters loud and clear. “When we started, everyone was telling me, ‘Rob, you’re crazy,’” Sacca said. “Miami Fusion [of MLS] had failed. Miami FC too, with Romario [former Brazilian World Cup winner], you remember?

“In 2012, there was nothing here. Then, the first tryout, we had 120 guys and we selected 20. We started growing and, in 2013, we were champions of Florida. In 2016, we brought Adriano [former Brazil international] here to help us put Miami United and NPSL on the soccer map. The tryouts we did with Adriano, we had 400 people – players from all over the world: Brazil, Venezuela, France, Trinidad & Tobago – they came from all over.”

Adriano: Fanfare & a False Start
Former Inter forward Adriano Leite Ribeiro arrived with a flurry of publicity, but was clearly at the end of his playing days. Sacca, though, did not consider the acquisition a failure. “It was a positive experience,” he said. “Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it and he left. But we got a lot of recognition and reached people all over the world. And, last April 27, Miami Dade County declared Miami United Day and gave me the key to the county. That was the best recognition I’ve ever gotten.”


(Miami United FC have avoided many of the pitfalls that plagued previous teams in South Florida)

Miami United FC compiled a 3-2-3 record in its first NPSL season in 2013; won the Sunshine Conference with a 7-3-0 record in 2014; went unbeaten in 2015 (6-0-4) and 2016 (9-0-1); and hit the 7-4-1 mark in 2017. This year, Miami United are off to a 3-0-2 start in the NPSL, and also advanced past the First Round of the Open Cup for the third time in three tries.

Colombian David Ochoa, 26, leads the way on the field, tallying five goals as Miami United beat locals FC Kendall 5-2 and Miami FC 3-1 so far in the Open Cup. “Every year we get better, and this year we have the strongest team in our history,” Sacca said. “We have a couple of young talents already being scouted by Serie A in Italy. Ochoa is very talented, fast, a very strong player who can play in Serie A, for sure. Gabrielle Privitera is 19 years old, from Venezuela. He doesn’t want to go on to college, and a couple teams are interested in bringing him to the next level.”


(Adriano, second from left, had a brief stint with Miami United FC)

Ochoa played for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and was recommended by Ferdinando Di Mattheis, who helped bring Giuseppe Rossi to Europe, and also coached Miami United. “Ochoa is a phenomenon, I was surprised he hasn’t been in MLS,” Miami United coach Gerardo La Vieja Reinoso said. “He has the characteristics for Europe, he’s technical and grandote [physical presence], you know what I mean? He has football in his blood. Give him freedom and he resolves situations.

“Privitera is also talented, speedy with the ball at his feet,” the coach went on about the raft of impressive players at his disposal. “He’s young and he’s growing, he has the ability to create, and he can be a good player.”

Reinoso, a star with Independiente in Argentina in the ‘80s, continued his playing career in Chile where he made a connection with former Chilean FA executive Miguel Nasur, now president of Miami United. “Maybe nobody knows [Reinoso] here, but he’s a legend in South America,” Sacca said. “He has the character we need. He’s like one of the players, he trains with them. You see him putting his heart in this project.”


(Members of Miami United don't consider their USOC 2nd Round win over Miami FC an upset)

Miami United has knocked off one former North American Soccer League (NASL) team in Miami FC, who went to the Quarterfinals of last year’s Open Cup, and will likely be considered the underdog against Jacksonville, another former NASL team. “Jacksonville is going to be tough,” Sacca said. “Like Miami FC – one of their players gets paid what we have for our total budget, players and office staff.”

Work by Day; Soccer by Night
Miami United has an annual budget of about $500,000, high for a semi-pro/amateur team, according to Sacca. “We are investing in developing a dream for the players and, hopefully, we can give some players an opportunity to go to the next level,” Sacca said. “Basically, the Miami area has a lot of talent. The only thing missing is the mentality. Some players don’t find the right spot. There are a lot of teams around now so we’re working the last few years in selecting the best players in the area and helping them out with a little reimbursement per month. In the past I was bringing in players from Europe, but I realized we have to change the mentality of players here and let them feel they’re in a very serious club, so we can bring a professional mentality to them.”


(Miami United have gone from strength to strength in their short life as a semi-pro club)

Miami United’s players don’t consider their Cup victory over Miami FC an upset, according to forward Vinicius Tupan. “Actually, I think Miami United is much better than Miami FC,” Tupan, 22, said. “We played better than they did.”

Tupan works construction by day, then joins the team for training at Ted Hendricks Stadium nightly. Tupan and Miami United defender Daniel Navarro were born in Massachusetts and grew up in Brazil, playing together at Nacional in Curitiba as youngsters. “For sure, this team is going to grow year by year and, maybe, we’re going to be a big team,” Tupan said. “We already are, right? The objective is to do well in the U.S. Open Cup and, maybe, play against an MLS team [possibly Orlando City SC] and maybe we can be a tough game for them. All games against Miami United will be tough.” 

Miami United has outlasted many of South Florida’s soccer enterprises, including MLS’ Miami Fusion (1998-2001). Sacca, for one, is eager for the American top-flight to return under David Beckham’s direction. “I always believed in this project,” Sacca said of Beckham’s approved plan to bring an MLS franchise to the Miami area – and just one win away from his own team facing off with a top-tier pro side in the Open Cup. “I mean, the only difference between MLS teams and our teams, is some of our players are working in the morning. But we know that we can compete with them, absolutely. If we go to Orlando City or Kansas City, you’re not going to see them kick us, 4-0. If we lose, fine, but the difference is not going to be that much.
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U.S. Open Cup May 20, 2018
US Soccer

The Great Eight Rd. 2: Brothers Opposed, Swollen Scorelines & Seven Cupsets

Fans of the 105-year-old Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup live by its magic moments. And the Second Round of the 2018 competition tossed up a good few of those on May 16. Join ussoccer.com for a look back at eight moments of note from the 24 games, in which a pair of brothers squared off in Carolina, nine amateur strivers booked places in the Third Round, things got weird in Vegas and we said goodbye to a band of merry part-timers who will be missed.

The Mice that Roar
The light was strange on the outskirts of Phoenix – a burnt red like pulverized brick – when amateurs Sporting Arizona FC finished the 24-game Second Round late with a shootout win over Phoenix Rising - a pro USL club part-owned by Didier Drogba (who also lines up for the team, though not on this night). The celebrations were raucous and grateful and full of emotion – and they seemed to speak to something pure about the Open Cup. There was magic dust in the air elsewhere as well. Ocean City Nor’Easters, out of Jersey, rolled over pros Charlotte Independence. FC Wichita and NTX Rayados (both amateurs) will meet in the Third Round after beating full-timers, guaranteeing one of them a date with an MLS team in the Fourth Round. Mississippi Brilla became the first team from the Magnolia State to reach the Third Round of an Open Cup after a slim 1-0 win over Indy Eleven that sparked the kind of celebrations only the Open Cup generates. In all, seven amateur teams beat pro opposition and nine of them live to fight another day in next week’s Third Round. Stand up, boys, and take a bow.


(The sky turned red when Sporting Arizona FC knocked out full-pros Phoenix Rising - photo Christopher Viveros)

Lou City’s Tough Love
Louisville City just don’t give a damn about your Open Cup romance. The USL pros proved it for a second year straight when they beat up-by-the bootstraps amateurs Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) 5-0 in the teams’ Second Round contest. They stomped on the gas early and never let up. Just like they did last year, opening their account then by beating pub club hopefuls Tartan Devils Oak Avalon – a team with a dream out of Pittsburgh – by a whopping 9-0. The coach on that day (same as now) was Irishman James O’Conner, who remembers his playing days in the FA Cup fondly. He’s no bully, and neither is his team. Far from it. “It’s important to approach a game, any game no matter who or what level – MLS or pub team – the same way,” he told ussoccer.com. “That’s how you show a team and the Cup respect.” It’s a fact, and the Rough Riders can consider themselves respected (heavily).

Brother Against Brother in Cary, N.C.
The Lansdowne Bhoys, most Irish-born with heavy accents, call their giant goalkeeper from the Gambia Kabo for short. It’s easier that way – Abdoukarim Kabo Dansomakes is more than a mouthful. North Carolina FC’s players call their burly defender Futty – again, it’s simpler. The two brothers, Abdoukarim of the double national amateur cup winners, and Mamadou – a full professional veteran with stints in MLS before landing in USL – squared off in the Open Cup’s Second Round on Wednesday. After the game, a 3-0 loss in which the Bhoys were outplayed all over the field, the big brothers who hail from Africa’s northwest corner (Futty wears No. 98 & Kabo wears No. 99) wore a pair of giant smiles and shared in an embrace. One was a winner on the day, the other a loser – as the Open Cup dictates – but they’re brothers for life.


(Kabo & Futty, brothers from the Gambia, lined up against each other in the Open Cup's Second Round - photo Rob Kinnan)

Goals, Goals, Goals & a Reno Jackpot
For the second round in a row, the tournament produced zero goalless draws (after 90 minutes or extra-time) – proof, irrefutable and notarized, that a good offense is the best defense against getting eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup. In all, there were 93 goals scored over the 24 games played (an average of nearly four per game). Ten of them came in Reno, Nevada. Portland Timbers U23, who scored five times in an opening-round rout of Kitsap Pumas, began the scoring on the night by taking a 2-0 lead over Reno 1868 – the Biggest Little City in the World’s USL pro team. The home boys woke from their slumber in the second half and didn’t stop scoring until they were 7-3 winners on the day. Yep, you heard that right. And kudos to the young Timbers who scored eight goals in two games – there’s no better way to go out of an Open Cup than riding a wave of goals.

What Happens in Vegas…is Weird

There’s something strange going on in Las Vegas – which is normal. But now it’s happening on (and around) the soccer field. Is that Flava Flav turning up to Las Vegas Lights games? Yes. Are the team’s mascots a pair of long-eye-lashed (live) Llamas named Dolly and Dotty? Yes. Does Freddy Adu play for this team in pink and yellow neon jerseys? Yes. Did their goalkeeper, Gage Rogers, take a free kick and hit the crossbar in their first-ever Open Cup game in #USOC2018’s Second Round? Why yes, he did. Las Vegas Lights – a first-year USL team from the City of Sin – lit up their first taste of American soccer’s oldest competition, beating spirited amateurs FC Tucson 4-2 in a game that swung back-and-forth like a Cirque du Soleil trapeze artist. Up next, the Lights travel to Orange County to take on FC Golden State Force. We’ll find out if the circus act works on the road or if what happened in Vegas, stays in Vegas.


(A pair of Llamas - Dotty & Dolly - line up with USL's Las Vegas Lights - nothing to see here - Photo L.E. Baskow)

FC Cincinnati v. Detroit City – On & Off the Field
They’d been going at each other all week on Twitter. Detroit City’s fans were better, their club more authentic, they insisted. FC Cincinnati’s supporters, unsurprisingly, disagreed. It wasn’t always friendly. There was irritation that the home side decided to play at a smaller venue than their usual Nippert Stadium (a pivotal character in FCC’s run to the semifinals of last year’s Open Cup). Detroit fans, unsurprisingly, were miffed at the small number of tickets made available to their traveling band of die-hards. In the end, as has been, is and will always be, the matter was settled on the field. There was nothing between the teams in the first-half. The scrappy amateurs from the Motor City held their own, taking the lead before finishing regulation tied 1-1. Extra-time proved a different story and Emery Welshman used his superior pace (and professional fitness) to send DCFC out of the Cup while collecting a hat-trick for his troubles. Their disappointment at the defeat didn’t keep the traveling Detroit City fans from helping to pick up trash left behind in the bleachers. Class – on and off the field. 

Mother Nature – Open Cup Ever-Present
It’s springtime and the weather can be tricky across the plains and mountains and swamps and deserts and coasts of this huge and at times uncooperative land. Four games in Florida had to be delayed for fast-moving storms. A derby in Nashville, Tennessee between Nashville SC and Inter Nashville FC, had to be stopped and restarted after a 45-minute break. The heat in Midland, Texas where San Antonio FC hammered the Midland-Odessa Sockers, reached 101 degrees at kick-off. And over in Phoenix, where Sporting AZ FC and their veteran goalkeeper Andrew Weber made magic, there was sand in the air and the sky glowed an ominous red. Snow was spotted in Reno, Nevada before kick-off. Penn FC were waylaid by human nature when they got caught in rush-hour traffic. This is the Open Cup: many moving parts, but much to savor amid the unforeseen frustrations.


(How's that for some weather rolling in? The sky went wild over Nashville on Wednesday)

Fond Farewell
In among the upsets and the dreams, we’d be wrong not to spare a thought for those clubs who took their leave. With every rise, a fall; this is the Open Cup after all. There’s no winner without a loser – no draws here. Nothing to share. So, let us wish all the best to Sean Kelly and all the Bhoys from Yonkers, who are back at work today, building the offices and high-rises of Manhattan, wishing they’d gone a little farther – one round more maybe. And Reading United, those plucky young men from PA, who leave the Open Cup undefeated after winning in a shootout in the First Round and losing by that same sword in the Second. We’ll have to wonder what they might have done with a few more weeks to get to know each other. And Detroit City, we’ll miss you noisy folks, too. Thanks for bringing your own brand of magic to the Open Cup – and showing us into your lovely home in Hamtramck. To you and all the other dearly departed, thanks for showing us what grassroots soccer really means to America.

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U.S. Open Cup May 17, 2018
US Soccer

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 professional sides to be among the 24 teams that advanced to the Third Round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup. The Third Round is set for May 22-23, with the winners earning a Fourth Round date against a Division I, Major League Soccer side two weeks later.

Out east, Ocean City was the only amateur side able to overcome professional opposition, knocking off Charlotte Independence 3-1. However, the Nor’easters weren’t the only Open Division side to advance from the Northeast region as Elm City Express (NPSL) grabbed a late 2-0 win against PDL opponents Seacoast United Phantoms.

In the Southeast and West regions, the shock results rolled in, beginning with Mississippi Brilla’s unforeseen 1-0 win against established pros Indy Eleven, while NTX Rayados and FC Wichita both found themselves in high-scoring affairs against OKC Energy (USL) and Tulsa Roughnecks (USL), respectively.

And the surprises weren’t done until the final kick of the night when Sporting AZ FC slipped past local professional foes Phoenix Rising 5-4 on PKs.

The Third Round pits the 24 winners from the Second Round against one another with the victors advancing to take on Division I Major League Soccer clubs in the Fourth Round. The Third Round is made up of 15 Division II USL sides and nine Open Division clubs (four from NPSL, three from PDL and a pair of local amateur qualifiers).

A minimum of two teams from the Open Division are guaranteed to reach the Fourth Round and face MLS sides: the winner of Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) vs. Miami United FC (NPSL) and winner of NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. FC Wichita (NPSL). There is the potential for up to five other Open Division teams to join them:

  • Ocean City Nor'easters (PDL)
  • Elm City Express (NPSL)
  • Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL)
  • Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.)
  • FC Golden State Force (PDL)

U.S. Soccer will conduct the Fourth Round Draw for the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Thursday, May 24 at Soccer House in Chicago. The Fourth Round is scheduled to be played June 6.

SECOND ROUND RECAPS :

North Carolina FC (USL) 3, Lansdowne Bhoys (N.Y.) 0
Goals at the start and end of the first half fueled North Carolina FC (USL) in its 3-0 win over Lansdowne Bhoys (Cosmopolitan Soccer League) at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Only two minutes into the match, Connor Tobin tallied on his first touch of the season off a Kyle Becker feed. Marios Lomis chipped the Lansdowne goalkeeper off a Dre Fortune feed to double the margin in the 44th minute against the defending National Amateur Cup champions. Bernhard Luxbacher closed out the scoring with his first NCFC goal off Becker's second assist in the 74th. North Carolina FC will host the Ocean City Nor'easters in Cary, N.C. in the Third Round.

Erie Commodores FC (NPSL) 1, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL) 2
Donning the black and yellow that is synonymous with its city, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC found the back of the net twice in the first 30 minutes and held off the upset-minded Erie Commondores FC, 2-1, in the Second Round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup. Thomas Vancaeyezeele got the scoring started just four minutes into the match, heading home a corner from Kevin Kerr. Twenty minutes later, Kerr got a goal of his own when he buried a penalty from the spot. Cam Philpot pulled one back for Erie just before halftime, but the hosts were unable to find the equalizer in the final 45 minutes. Pittsburgh moves on to host FC Cincinnati in the Third Round on Wednesday.

Reading United AC (PDL) 1, Richmond Kickers (USL) 1 (3-4 PKs)
Goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg made two saves in a 4-3 shootout win to boost the Richmond Kickers over Reading United AC and into the third round at Alvernia University Stadium in Reading, Pa. The teams played to a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes. Spangenberg denied Alexander Lipinski on Reading's third penalty before making a diving save on Khori Bennett's attempt on the final penalty kick. Midfielder Neil Hlavaty converted what proved to be the game-winning PK on Richmond's fifth attempt. The Kickers grabbed the lead in the eighth minute as Koby Osei-Wusu scored his first goal for the club. Reading managed to knot things up in the 70th minute. Richmond will host Penn FC (USL) in the third round at John Gurski Stadium at Wilson H.S. in West Lawn, Pa. on Wednesday, May 23.

Louisville City FC (USL) 5, Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) 0
Louisville City FC turned in one of the most dominant victories of the young 2018 U.S. Open Cup over the Long Island Rough Riders, winning 5-0 in the Bluegrass State. After Long Island's barnburner first round victory, the reigning USL champions proved too much to handle. The USL side broke through in the 25th minute when Kyle Smith knocked in a ball from Ilija Ilic to give the Boys in Purple a lead they would not relinquish. Ilic notched a goal of his own in the 37th minute, burying a header to double Louisville's lead before half. The Derby City side continued to pad its lead after the half. Luke Spencer netted in the 68th minute and Brian Ownby blasted a shot to the top right corner in the 81st to put the game firmly out of reach. Cameron Lancaster provided a final exclamation point in the 86th minute, launching a free kick into the back of the net. After a dominant performance, Louisville will look to ride the momentum into the Third Round against St. Louis FC on May 23.

FC Motown (NPSL) 1, Penn FC (USL) 3
Faced with a one-goal deficit on the road entering the final 11 minutes, Penn FC struck three times to seal a comeback victory at Ranger Stadium on the campus of Drew University in Madison, N.J. Miguel Jaime equalized in the 79th minute before Prince Baffoe put the Pennsylvania side into the lead a minute later. One minute into stoppage time, Pedro Fidalgo Galvão added an insurance tally. Former MLS midfielder Dilly Duka, the hero of FC Motown's first-round win, scored in the 54th minute when Chris Katona intercepted and fed Duka, who worked his way into the penalty area and drilled a shot into the far side netting. Penn FC will meet Richmond Kickers (USL) in the Third Round on Wednesday, May 23.

Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) 0, Elm City Express (NPSL) 2
Two rounds of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup have seen Elm City Express take down two Premier Development League sides on the road. A week after seeing off perennial PDL power Western Mass Pioneers, the Connecticut club traveled back to Massachusetts for an encounter with Seacoast United Phantoms. Just like last week, Shaquille Saunchez opened the scoring for the visitors in the 80th minute and as the hosts pushed forward for a late equalizer, added his second of the match and third of tournament to seal the 2-0 victory for the NPSL side. Elm City Express moves on to a Third Round date at USL side Charleston Battery on Wednesday, May 23.

FC Cincinnati (USL) 4, Detroit City FC (NPSL) 1 (a.e.t.)
The upstarts from Detroit City FC made last year’s professional Cinderellas sweat, but FC Cincinnati’s quality shined through in extra time as the hosts pulled away for a 4-1 victory. The amateurs struck first in the 31st minute when Danny Deakin found Shawn Lawson on the counter wide open in front of net. The advantage did not last, however, as FC Cincinnati responded just four minutes later on an Emery Welshman header. The two sides remained level for the rest of regulation before FC Cincinnati fired home two goals in five minutes of the first period of extra time to put the game to rest. Corben Bone got the first, followed by a screamer from Welshman to bag his brace. Welshman completed his hat trick in the second period of extra time, beating the Detroit City FC ‘keeper far post on a counterattack. FC Cincinnati moves on to face Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the Third Round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.

Charlotte Independence (USL) 1, Ocean City Nor'easters (PDL) 3
The Ocean City Nor'easters (PDL) pulled off a major upset, stunning the Charlotte Independence (USL) by connecting for three first-half goals en route to a 3-1 win at Mecklenburg County Sportsplex in Matthews, N.C. In fact, the visitors bolted out a 2-0 lead within seven minutes behind two Kyle Gurrieri goals. Gurrieri slotted home the rebound of a Williams N'Dah shot from atop the penalty area before he converted a Deri Corfe feed at the back post three minutes later. Corfe continued his playmaking in the 44th minute, finding Fredlin “Fredinho” Mompremier at the top of the box before he finished at the near post. Jorge Herrera pulled one back for the hosts in the 58th minute. Ocean City will visit North Carolina FC for a Third Round encounter at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on Tuesday, May 22.

Charleston Battery (USL) 1, South Georgia Tormenta FC (PDL) 0
The Charleston Battery held off a tenacious effort from PDL side South Georgia Tormenta FC to win 1-0 and secure its place in the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup. Last week, Tormenta used a late rally to stay alive in the tournament but the Battery’s lone first half goal proved too great a deficit to overcome. Charleston dictated the tempo in the early-going. After a spell of patient build-up midway through the half, Nico Rittmeyer made a run from the right wing to the center of the field before dishing wide to Victor Mansaray. He chipped it up above the six yard line, where Patrick Okonkwo headed it to the near post for the game’s lone score. The Battery advance to face reigning NPSL champion Elm City Express on May 23. 

Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) 1, Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL) 0
Severe weather delayed kickoff for over an hour, but it didn’t take away Jacksonville Armada FC’s appetite for victory, as the NPSL side outlasted Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 at Southern Oak Stadium. An even first half gave way to the game’s only goal just before the hour mark, as a build-up down the left gave Armada attacker J.C. Banks an open look at goal. The son of 1990 U.S. World Cup defender Jimmy Banks made no mistake in slotting a low effort inside the left post in the 58th minute. Pushing for an equalizer, Tampa Bay almost pulled level, but saw Zac Portillos’ 71 st minute effort clang off the cross bar before Armada FC closed out the victory. With the win, Jacksonville advances to the Third Round where they’ll host Miami United FC on Wednesday, May 23.

Miami FC 2 1, Miami United FC 3
Miami FC, quarterfinalists in last year’s Open Cup, hosted Miami United FC in a Miami derby dubbed the “Magic City Clasico.” Dylan Mares provided a strong start for the hosts when he powered in a half volley to put Miami FC on top in the 17th minute. But in first half stoppage time, his teammate Kristopher Tyrpak was shown a straight red card for an off the ball foul and everything changed. Miami United took control of the match early in the second half; David Ochoa leveled five minutes after the interval. Three minutes later, Ochoa scored again, and United was over the hills and far away. Miami FC goalkeeper Daniel Vega gave the hosts a fighting chance with several great stops in the second half. But United’s Victor Pelae scored in second half stoppage to send the visiting “La 12 United” supporters into a frenzy as Miami United wrapped up the 3-1 win. Miami United travels to Jacksonville to face the Armada in the Third Round.

Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) 1, Indy Eleven (USL) 0
Making just their fourth U.S. Open Cup appearance, Mississippi Brilla FC bent, but didn’t break in order to come away with one of the night’s “Cupsets”. Indy Eleven carried the play throughout much of the match, with their best opportunity coming in the 71st minute when Justin Braun’s effort was tipped over the bar by Brilla goalkeeper Jordan Bell. The save kept things scoreless until an 82nd minute restart saw Bastien Oberli cross for Koray Eastering, who buried the game’s only goal. With the win, Mississippi Brilla FC will make their first-ever foray into the tournament’s Third Round where they will face Nashville SC on Wednesday, May 23.

Nashville SC ( USL ) 2, Inter Nashville FC ( NPSL ) 0
In a Music City derby, it was all Nashville SC (USL), taking down the NPSL's Inter Nashville FC 2-0. A brace from Tucker Hume separated the squads on the scoresheet, but SC dominated attacking opportunities from the start and claimed a victory in its first-ever Open Cup match. Upstart amateur Mississippi Brilla awaits Nashville SC in the Third Round on May 23 in a Southeast Region showdown.

Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL) 3, FC Wichita (NPSL) 4
Three separate times FC Wichita trailed on Wednesday night. But on each occasion, the amateurs answered the call. FC Wichita overcame three deficits to stun Tulsa Roughnecks FC, 4-3, in the Second Round of the U.S. Open Cup. After a first half that saw Tulsa emerge with a 2-1 advantage, Franck Tayou put FC Wichita back on level terms in the 48th minute. The two sides traded goals in the 52nd and 60th minute before Tayou scored one of the goals of the tournament thus far. With the score locked at three goals apiece in second-half stoppage time, the striker pulled down a deep cross in the box, pushed it away from the ‘keeper, and snuck in a shot from an impossible angle for the winner. Tayou ripped his jersey off in celebration, his heroics clinching the upset and a date with NTX Rayados in the Third Round next Wednesday.

Duluth FC (NPSL) 0, Saint Louis FC (USL) 2
Kadeem Dacres and Corey Hertzog tallied in the opening half as Saint Louis FC blanked Duluth FC, 2-0, at Public Schools Stadium in Duluth, Minn. Dacres lifted the visitors into the lead in the 25th minute before setting up Hertzog as Saint Louis FC doubled its advantage 10 minutes later. Saint Louis FC will play fellow USL side Louisville City FC at Lynn Stadium in Louisville, Ky. in the Third Round on Wednesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. ET.

NTX Rayados (Texas) 5, OKC Energy FC (USL) 2 (a.e.t.)
Another “Cupset” came in the Lone Star State, where NTX Rayados rode a 120-minute roller coaster before upending OKE Energy FC. A cagey first half saw Rayados take a 1-0 lead into the locker room thanks to Alberto Rodriguez’s 40th minute strike, but Energy FC pulled things back around after the break. A 50th minute hand ball led to an OKC penalty kick, which Philip Rasmussen converted and nine minutes later, Miguel Gonzalez gave the USL side a 2-1 lead. It Looked like OKC would cruise out of North Texas with a 2-1 victory, but Rayados had other ideas as Christian Okeke’s 90th minute penalty kick sent the match to extra time. Full of momentum, Okeke added the go-ahead goal – and also his third of the tournament – just before halftime. With the onus on Energy FC to push for an equalizer, the hosts put the match out of reach thanks to Lucio Martinez’s 109th minute penalty and Rodriguez’s second of the match in the 118th minute. With the win, NTX Rayados will host Wichita FC in Third Round play on Wednesday, May 23.

Midland-Odessa Sockers FC (NPSL) 0, San Antonio FC (USL) 4
For much of the night, Midland-Odessa Sockers FC pushed their professional counterparts to the brink, but as the match wore on, San Antonio FC found its stride. The visitors scored three goals after the 87th minute to run away with a 4-0 victory. Darnell King recorded the opener for San Antonio FC on a header in the 34th minute, but his squad would have to wait almost an hour for insurance. The floodgates finally opened when Mikey Lopez buried a free kick to double the lead. Maxi Rodriguez and Owayne Gordon tacked on two more strikes in the waning moments to put a bow on San Antonio FC’s win. The USL side advances to meet Colorado Springs Switchbacks in the Third Round.

Colorado Springs Switchbacks ( USL ) 3, FC Denver ( Colo .) 2
The Centennial State provided the stage for a wild back-and-forth affair on Wednesday night, as the USL’s Colorado Switchbacks escaped amateurs FC Denver 3-2. The Mile High City squad found the game’s first goal late in the opening half. Switchbacks goalkeeper Moise Pouty made a save, but then found himself out-of-place for the follow-up from Magallanes in the 38th minute. A formational shift saw the Switchbacks rewarded soon after the break as Josh Suggs found Pascal Eboussi in front of the net, where he headed it home. Colorado Springs struck again soon after when Uriel Macias volleyed home a booming service from Saeed Robinson to give the Switchbacks a 2-1 advantage. FC Denver refused to go down without a fight. A few minutes after a booming 50-yard free kick goal was ruled out by the offside flag, Joel Millere was fouled in the box, and Castillo, who bagged a brace last week, nailed the penalty to knot things up at two. Colorado Springs drew a penalty of its own in the 84th minute, when Robinson went down in the box. Jordan Burt went to the spot with the game on the line, and nailed it home to the top corner. Colorado Springs advances to take on San Antonio FC on May 23.

Sacramento Republic FC (USL) 3, San Francisco City FC (PDL) 1
Central California native Villyan Bijev scored the game-winning goal and had an assist as Sacramento Republic FC of the United Soccer League (USL) controlled the second half to win at Sacramento State University’s Hornet Soccer Field. Republic FC scored first when Canadian international Kevin Aleman tucked in a rebound in the 23rd minute, but SFCFC’s Arron Lombardi netted an equalizer – his second goal of the tournament – less than 10 minutes later as the partially fan-owned club held its own over the first 45. Bijev came in to start the second half and put the home team ahead in the 60th when he got the final touch on a cross from center back Mitch Taintor. Birthday boy and captain Adam Moffat added an insurance goal in 68th minute, putting away a Bijev assist to capitalize on abundant pressure from Republic FC, which moves on to play Reno 1868 in the Third Round next Wednesday.

Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) 1, Phoenix Rising FC (USL) 1 (5-4 PKs)
The Battle for Arizona came down to a shootout, with Sporting AZ FC of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) pulling a harrowing upset on Didier Drogba’s Phoenix Rising FC at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Ariz. Captain Chris Cortez netted Rising FC’s first goal with a left-footed blast in the 64th minute, but Sporting AZ FC’s Danny Arrubia found the equalizer in the 67th as the teams finished regulation locked at one goal apiece. Sporting AZ had an opportunity to seal the victory several times, and it took a double save by goalkeeper Andrew Weber in the sixth round of penalty kicks to set the table for Eijin Kishimoto to send the crowd into frenzy with a game-winning spot kick. Sporting AZ will host a second straight USL squad, Fresno FC in the Third Round on May 23. 

Fresno FC (USL) 2, Orange County FC (NPSL) 0 (a.e.t.)
With assistant coach and former Welsh international Robert Earnshaw manning the touchline, Fresno FC of the United Soccer League (USL) scored two overtime goals to slip past Orange County FC at Clovis High School’s Lamonica Stadium. The teams played a scoreless 90 minutes, but Terran Campbell’s goal off an assist from Jose Cuevas gave Fresno FC a lead in the 95th minute. Campbell then provided the helper for Renato Bustamante to add an insurance goal in the 118th minute as the Foxes earned their first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victory and a matchup against Sporting AZ FC in the Third Round on May 23.

Orange County SC (USL) 2, FC Golden State Force (PDL) 4
Gritty FC Golden State Force of the Premier Development League (PDL) continues to power in goals and move forward after a dominating second-half performance to beat Orange County SC at the Championship Stadium at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. An early goal from OCSC captain Christian Duke opened the scoring, but a series of referee decisions went the way of the Force as the visitors tied the game with a penalty kick in the opening minutes of the second half. Samuel Goni gave FC Golden State Force the lead for good in the 67th minute, and Pedro Fonseca added another at the death to cap the scoring and set a home date with Las Vegas Lights FC (USL) in the Third Round.

Reno 1868 FC (USL) 7, Portland Timbers U23 (PDL) 3
Jerry van Ewijk scored three times as Reno 1868 FC (USL) turned on the offense in the second half to overcome a halftime deficit and blow past Portland Timbers U23 at Greater Nevada Field in Reno. Ryo Shimazaki and Wouter Verstraaten had Timbers U23s’ first two goals off set pieces, but van Ewijk got Reno 1868 on the board less than 10 minutes before halftime and again two minutes into the second half to lead the comeback. An own goal gave Timbers U23s a brief lead, but former San Jose Earthquakes forward Danny Musovski scored twice midway through the second half and van Ewijk finished off his hat trick in the 81st minute for Reno 1868 FC, which will host Sacramento Republic FC in a Third Round game.

Las Vegas Lights FC (USL) 4, FC Tucson (PDL) 2
Veteran striker Sammy Ochoa had two second-half goals and even Freddy Adu made an appearance as Las Vegas Lights FC from the United Soccer League (USL) won its first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game, defeating FC Tucson at Peter Johann Soccer Field in Las Vegas. Carlos Alvarez had a goal and an assist, Adu came on as a late substitute, and Ochoa, the former Seattle Sounders (MLS) and Sacramento Republic FC (USL) standout, started up top for the Lights but waited nearly an hour to punch in two goals in a 10-minute span (56’ and 65’) to break a 2-2 deadlock and send the expansion club to Southern California to face FC Golden State Force (PDL) in a Third Round game next Wednesday. 

2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round Results


Northeast Region

Date

Game (home team listed first)

Result

Venue

May 16

North Carolina FC (USL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.)

3-0

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

May 16

Erie Commodores FC (NPSL) vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL)

1-2

Gannon University Field; Erie, Pa.

May 16

Reading United AC (PDL) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL)

1-1, 1-1 AET (3-4 PKs)

Alvernia University Stadium; Reading, Pa.

May 16

Louisville City FC (USL) vs. Long Island Rough Riders (PDL)

5-0

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

May 16

FC Motown (NPSL) vs. Penn FC (USL)

1-3

Ranger Stadium (Drew University); Madison, N.J.

May 16

Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) vs. Elm City Express (NPSL)

0-2

Seacoast United Sports Park; Amesbury, Mass.

May 16

FC Cincinnati (USL) vs. Detroit City FC (NPSL)

1-1, 4-1 AET

Gettler Stadium (Univ. of Cincinnati); Cincinnati, Ohio

May 16

Charlotte Independence (USL) vs. Ocean City Nor'easters (PDL)

1-3

Mecklenburg County Sportsplex; Matthews, N.C.

Southeast Region

Date

Game (home team listed first)

Result

Venue

May 16

Charleston Battery (USL) vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC (PDL)

1-0

MUSC Health Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

May 16

Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL)

1-0

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

May 16

Miami FC 2 (NPSL) vs. Miami United FC (NPSL)

1-3

FIU Soccer Stadium; Miami, Fla.

May 16

Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) vs. Indy Eleven (USL)

1-0

Clinton High School; Clinton, Miss.

May 16

Nashville SC (USL) vs. Inter Nashville FC (NPSL)

2-0

Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex; Nashville, Tenn.

Central Region

Date

Game (home team listed first)

Result

Venue

May 16

Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL) vs. FC Wichita (NPSL)

3-4

Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium; Tulsa, Okla.

May 16

Duluth FC (NPSL) vs. Saint Louis FC (USL)

0-2

Public Schools Stadium; Duluth, Minn.

May 16

NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. OKC Energy FC (USL)

2-2, 5-2 AET

Richland Community College (Field 10); Dallas, Texas

May 16

Midland-Odessa Sockers FC (NPSL) vs. San Antonio FC (USL)

0-4

Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas

May 16

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL) vs. FC Denver (Colo.)

3-2

Weidner Field; Colorado Springs, Colo.

West Region

Date

Game (home team listed first)

Result

Venue

May 16

Sacramento Republic FC (USL) vs. San Francisco City FC (PDL)

3-1

Hornet Soccer Field (Sacrament State Univ.); Sacramento, Calif.

May 16

Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) vs. Phoenix Rising FC (USL)

1-1, 1-1 AET (5-4 PKs)

Chandler-Gilbert Community College; Chandler, Ariz.

May 16

Fresno FC (USL) vs. Orange County FC (NPSL)

2-0 AET

Lamonica Stadium (Clovis H.S.); Clovis, Calif.

May 16

Orange County SC (USL) vs. FC Golden State Force (PDL)

2-4

Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, Calif.

May 16

Reno 1868 FC (USL) vs. Portland Timbers U23 (PDL)

7-3

Greater Nevada Field; Reno, Nev.

May 16

Las Vegas Lights FC (USL) vs. FC Tucson (PDL)

4-2

Peter Johann Soccer Field; Las Vegas, Nev.

2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round Schedule

Date

Game (home team listed first)

Time

Venue

May 22

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

7 p.m. ET

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

May 23

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

7 p.m. ET

Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 23

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

7 p.m. ET

City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

May 23

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

7 p.m. ET

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

May 23

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

7 p.m. ET

MUSC Health Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

May 23

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

7 p.m. ET

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

May 23

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

7:30 p.m. CT

Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex; Nashville, Tenn.

May 23

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

7:30 p.m. CT

Richland Community College (Field 10); Dallas, Texas

May 23

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

7:30 p.m. CT

Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas

May 23

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

7 p.m. MST

Chandler-Gilbert Community College; Chandler, Ariz.

May 23

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

7 p.m. PT

Rio Hondo College; Whittier, Calif.

May 23

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

7:30 p.m. PT

Greater Nevada Field; Reno, Nev.

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U.S. Open Cup May 17, 2018
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