Autumn is here, and like wood blocks for the fire place, the number of amateur clubs attempting to qualify the 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has been chopped in half.
Brockton FC United came in focused and was rewarded with a big Boston-area win in the East Region, while Celtic Cowboys Premier and Livonia FC cleared major hurdles in the Central, and the Chula Vista FC goalkeeper set a qualifying record to send his club on to the third round.
Join usopencup.com for a look back at all the action as the hopeful locals take their next step toward the 2020 U.S. Open Cup.
EAST REGION: Alves’ Goals Advance Brockton FC United
Some players are fortunate enough to get a second chance to make a first impression, and so Leandro ‘Geo’ Alves and Brockton FC United are taking that opportunity.
Alves, a University of Vermont grad drafted by D.C. United (MLS) in 2019, scored twice in the second half as first-timers Brockton FC United upended former national futsal champions Safira FC, 2-0, at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville (Mass.).
“He wasn’t lucky enough to stay with the squad [D.C. United], but we have a lot of players like Leandro looking to play at a high level of soccer, and that’s why they take this competition very seriously because they know this is the competition that will give them exposure,” Brockton FC United head coach Herminio Furtado said. “We are playing in the Open Cup for players like him that aren’t otherwise getting the opportunity to showcase their talent.”
Alves scored both goals as the result of crashing the box after the 75th minute, and Brockton FC United goalkeeper Denzindo Barros recorded a shutout in his first Open Cup game as the team has yet to allow a goal in tournament qualifying.
“We expected Safira to step back and hit us on the counter but we did very well. The boys really anticipated any danger and were able to solve everything before it became a problem for us,” Furtado said. “We didn’t allow them many opportunities, and we created opportunities, and our boys really, really took this game seriously, and took the game plan and took it to heart and executed very well.”
Elsewhere in the East, A.J. Bishop scored on both sides of halftime, and Andreas Bartosinski and Matt Greer had goals as West Chester United took an early lead and did not look back in a 4-2 win over Landsowne Yonkers FC in West Chester, Pa.
Despite holding a 3-0 lead into the 85th minute, CD Huateras needed two stoppage-time goals to defeat late-charging World Class Premier Elite FC, 5-4, at Howison Homestead Soccer Complex in Woodbridge (Va.).
On Sunday, New York Pancyprian Freedoms, the three-time Open Cup champions, scored twice in the second half – first by Adam Himeno and later by Nicholas Psarras – to defeat Cedar Stars Academy, 3-0, at Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah.
A late change in venue and two goals in extra time from Sean Fahy and Adam Bastidas were well-timed as Vereinigung Erzgebirge toppled United German Hungarians, 2-0, at General Ronald K. Nelson Field on the campus of Bryn Athyn College in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
Virginia United is one step closer to qualifying for its second consecutive Open Cup after a 2-1 victory over Alianza Futbol Club in a matchup of Beltway area clubs at George Hampton Middle School in Woodbridge, Va.
Pete Caringi III cannot stop scoring Open Cup goals and added three more to his career total as Christos FC outdueled the weather and Federal City Wanderers to earn a 7-1 victory at Glen Burnie High School in Maryland.
Rob Heuler and Max Flick scored in extra time as Steel FC moves on with a 3-1 victory over Tartan Devils Oak Avalon at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh.
Celtic Cowboys Premier Making Club History
Chris Wright, Dave O’Brien and Hasan Nhew each scored goals as Austin (Texas)-based Celtic Cowboys Premier moved on to the third round of Open Cup qualifying for the first time with a 3-0 victory on Saturday over San Antonio Runners SC at the UTSA Complex in San Antonio.
Eight-time Open Cup participants NTX Rayados overwhelmed first-timers Inocentes Futbol Club, 7-0, in the inaugural Fort Worth Derby at Premier Park in Balch Springs, Texas.
Henrique Pimpau’s close-range goal in the 90th minute was the difference as Louisiana Krewe FC struggled to defeat nine-man Athletic Katy FC, 3-2, at St. Thomas More Catholic HS in Lafayette, La.
Nashville United scored first and scored often in advancing to the third round for the second time in three years with an 8-0 victory over Springfield FC at Springfield Area Soccer Association in Springfield, Ill.
Kyle Breitmeyer and Pat Smith both scored twice as a flurry of goals after the 80th minute moved Livonia City FC on to the next round with a 6-2 win over Ann Arbor FC at Legacy Center Sports Complex in Brighton, Mich.
On Sunday, Matias Solari scored just before halftime and Nicolas Micoli scored in the 92nd minute as Miami United FC edged Florida Soccer Soldiers, 2-1, in a dramatic match at Ives Estates Park in Miami.
Jesus Castellon had two goals as Hurricane FC poured it on in the second half of a 7-1 victory over Orlando FC Wolves at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, Fla.
The game between Soda City Sorinex FC and Georgia Revolution FC Reserves, scheduled for Saluda Shoals Soccer Park in Columbia (S.C.), was postponed because of inclement weather and will now be played at the same venue on Saturday, Nov. 2.
‘Keeper Saves Day for Chula Vista FC
Alberto Diaz netted the equalizer in the 90th minute as Chula Vista FC climbed back from an early 2-0 deficit, and goalkeeper Cristian Garcia set an Open Cup qualifying round record with four saves in a penalty shootout to defeat Academica SC 2-1 on PKs after a 3-3 draw at Terra Nova Park in Chula Vista, Calif.
Willie Raygosa scored twice in a four-minute span in the first half, and J.P. Ortiz added a late goal as four-time Open Cup participants Cal FC held off Alta California Sol, 3-1, at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.
Raul Gonzalez had three goals, and Brenton Frame added two more as Oxnard Guerreros FC advanced with a 7-1 victory over Outbreak FC at Orange County Great Park.
Four different players scored goals – Matt Fondy and Bryan Burke among them – as Olympic Club led 4-0 before going on to defeat Oakland Stompers, 4-2, at Beach Chalet Soccer Field in San Francisco.
On Sunday, the wind on the range didn’t stop Jack Mayfield, who scored in the 2nd minute, and FC Boulder Harpos from putting the ball in the back of the net in a 6-0 victory over Colorado Rush SC at Boulder, Colo.’s Fairview High School.
Josh Seger and Jared Herselman scored in the second half as Colorado Rovers came from behind to defeat visitors from Uath San Juan FC, 2-1, at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Azteca FC led 2-0 at halftime but needed a goal in extra time to defeat long-time rival FC Union Jerez, 3-2 at Broomfield Commons in Broomfield, Colo.
Andy Nunez had two goals by the 8th minute as L.A. Monsters FC moved a step closer to qualifying for its first Open Cup with a 4-1 victory over SC Trojans FC in the weekend’s final game at Orange County Great Park.
All the second qualifying round winners now move on to the third round, which will be played the weekend of Nov. 23-24. The full schedule of second qualifying round match-ups will be published soon, following the pairing draw at Soccer House in Chicago, U.S. Soccer’s headquarters.