Moving On Up: #USOC2023 Second Round Qualifying Review

The Second Qualifying Round of the 2023 U.S. Open Cup saw 35 teams from across the country move through to the next stage – with some stellar performances from the likes of Long Island’s Oyster Bay United and Inter San Francisco out West.
By: Jonah Fontela

The Second Qualifying Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup had a little of everything. Orange County FC got real hot out West and hit the net seven times while Chicago House AC needed penalties to scrape through to the next stage.


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Queensboro FC II felt the sting of an impressive Oyster Bay United side at Queens College. The Long Islanders, hunting a second straight berth in the Open Cup proper, never took their foot off the gas after being shocked by an early opener from their UPSL league mates Queensboro. Matthew Carriel, Duga Dambelly and Luis Altuve all scored in the 4-1 come-from-behind rout.


Elsewhere in the Empire State, regular Open Cup participants and amateur powers Lansdowne Yonkers made easy meat of four-time champions the NY Greek Americans. London-born former pro Shamir Mullings, who’s also the Yonkers club’s director, opened the scoring early. And the 2021 National Amateur Cup champions went on to cruise to a 3-0 win and book a place in the Third Qualifying Round with eight goals scored (and zero-conceded) in the space of two games.



Vereinigung Erzgebirge, playing out of their near-decade old homebase in Warminster, Pennsylvania, also earned a shutout against Lancaster Elite. Goals in each half from Derek Antonini and Chris Baker were enough for the victory as the club with a rich history proved there might just be more over the horizon.


“The boys are playing well. We’ve kept clean sheets in the last three league games and so we carried that into the cups,” said long-time VE coach and club member Rob Oldfield. “We were a little unlucky and should’ve scored a few more times but it’s always exciting to have your name called for the next round.”  


Another Pennsylvania club steeped in history, the United German Hungarians, were undone by the forward-thinking Blaise Santangelo and his ever-competitive West Chester United SC over at Temple University. The 4-0 result was never in question – with all the goals coming in a profitable second half in which Finn Reese bagged a pair.

Vereinigung Erzgebirge are on a roll in league and cup play

Brockton United, out of Massachusetts, needed a set-piece goal to decide the affair (1-0) at home at Rocky Marciano Stadium in the so-called City of Champions. The kick-off was delayed when Boston Street FC protested the width of the field – and a frantic relining process got underway to save the day.


The only other game in the Bay State never happened as a Santa Cruz forfeit saw Unations move on.


Florida hosted six games in the Second Qualifying Round and Miami United FC – four-time qualifiers for the Open Cup proper – surprised no one with a sensational 5-0 road win over International Soccer Association. Elsewhere in the Sunshine State, Florida Premier FC, Club de Lyon, Naples City FC, City Soccer FC and Miami Soccer Academy all pushed through to the Third Round.


Among the biggest shockers out East was the early elimination of Maryland-based Christos FC. Playing in their first game of the Qualifiers, after receiving a bye through to this Second Round, the 2017 Open Cup heroes and mid-atlantic powerhouses were pushed to penalties after 120 minutes of regular and extra-time ended tied at 1-1.


DCFC – the only team in the 2023 Qualifying line-up from the nation’s capital – scored all five of their spot-kicks to edge out the Marylanders 5-4.

Chicago House did it the hard way in their Second-Round contest

In Chicago, at Hales Franciscan High School, former Chicago Fire President and Open Cup evangelist Peter Wilt’s new team, Chicago House AC, needed penalties to seal a slim win over a motivated 1927 SC.


Second Round Qualifying Results (East)


Queensboro FC (II) 1 - 4 Oyster Bay United FC
TCSA 0 - 4 South Carolina United Heat
FC Birmingham 1 - 5 Kalonji Pro-Profile
Valhalla FC (Ohio) 0 - 1 Metro Louisville FC
Brockton FC United 1
- 0 Boston Street FC
Unations FC 1 - 0 Santa Cruz FC (Forfeit)
Florida Premier FC 2 - 1 Gainesville City FC
Orlando FC Wolves 1 - 3 Club de Lyon
Nova FC 6
- 0 Germantown City FC
Bowling Green FC 1 - 3 Beaman United FC
Vereinigung Erzgebirge 2 -
0 Lancaster Elite
Sahara Gunners FC 1 - 3 IASC Boom (N.Y.)
Chicago House AC 1 - 1 (4
- 3 PK) 1927 SC

United German Hungarians 0 - 4 West Chester United SC
Tobacco Road FC 3
- 1 Mint Hill FC

New York Greek American SC 0 - 3 Lansdowne Yonkers FC
Naples City FC 4
- 0 Naples United FC

DCFC 1 - 1 (5 - 4 PK) Christos FC

Jackson Lions FC 1 - 2 SC Vistula Garfield
Hurricane FC 0 - 2 City Soccer FC

Miami Soccer Academy 3 - 1 Juventus Academy
International Soccer Association 0 - 5 Miami United FC

Inter San Francisco aren’t long on history, but they’re aiming high in these 2023 Open Cup Qualifying Rounds. Matt Fondy, a former Semifinalist with Chicago Fire during his Major League Soccer days, scored his third goal in the space of two games as the talented Bay Area club eased past an outgunned Real San Jose on the road.


Fondy, though steady as ever, wasn’t the star of the show this time. Dylan Autran scored two and assisted two as Inter remain unscored-upon in their two games so far (scoring an impressive nine times).


“Once we got the first goal we found our rhythm and controlled the game from that point on,” said Autran, the Oakland native and former Santa Clara standout. “We’ve got big goals with Inter so every time we come out and get a good result it feels we’re growing towards a special experience in this Open Cup season.”

Inter San Francisco are on fire after two Qualifying games 

There were six more games in the Golden State in the Second Qualifying Round, with Davis Legacy FC pulling off an energetic late comeback against Elk Grove Blues. Escondido FC and Desert FC also won out while Orange County FC, who beat two USL Championship sides in the 2019 Open Cup and are currently reigning UPSL champions, showed no mercy to Temecula FC with a 7-1 mauling in Irvine.


One game in California, between Laguna United and Capo FC, was postponed due to dangerous weather and will be rescheduled for a later date.



Down in the always-competitive state of Texas, 2022 Open Cup participants D’Feeters Kicks SC had to endure a tough fight on the road at Alamo City Soccer Club. They eventually finished on the right side of a 3-2 result. And it was that same scoreline, 3-2, that saw the D10 Lions move on in another all-Texas affair against Houston FC.


Rounding out the West, Azteca FC beat FC Denver 4-1 in an all-Colorado contest while, elsewhere in the Centennial State, and in one of the most exciting finishes of the Round, the Athletic Club of Sloan’s Lake scored twice in the dying minutes to overcome an 0-1 deficit and see off Boulder United FC.


Second Round Qualifying Results (West)


Azteca FC 4 - 1 FC Denver
D10 Lions FC 3 - 2 Houston FC

Alamo City Soccer Club 2 - 3 D'Feeters Kicks Soccer Club

Laguna United FC - Capo FC (Postponed)
Real San Jose 0 - 4 Inter San Francisco
Elk Grove Blues 1 - 2 Davis Legacy SC
UDA Soccer 4
- 0 Coronado Athletic Club
Athletic Club of Sloan's Lake 2 - 1 Boulder United FC
Escondido FC 1 - 0 Outbreak FC
Modesto City Football Club 2 - 4 BattleBorn FC
Orange County FC 7 -
1 Temecula FC
Olympians FC 2 - 0 Valley FC Raiders
Bellevue Athletic FC 0 - 1 Legend Football Gold

LA Monsters FC 1 - 6 Desert FC


The 36 winners from the Second Round move on to a Third Round from November 19-20 with a Fourth Round scheduled for December 17-18. The nine Open Division slots earmarked for the tournament proper, beginning in March of 2023, will be filled via this route.


Fontela is editor-in-chief of Follow him at @jonahfontela on Twitter.

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