CHICAGO (April 25, 2023) – The Third Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s national championship, began in record-breaking fashion as a sellout crowd of 22,423 enjoyed St. Louis City SC’s victorious tournament debut. The newest Major League Soccer (Division I) club cruised to a 5-1 win against one of last year’s surprise teams, Union Omaha of USL League One (Div. III), in front of the largest crowd to attend a Third Round Open Cup match in the Modern Era (1995-Present) of the history-laden competition.
- #USOC2023 Results & Schedule
Overall, the first matchday of the Third Round belonged to teams from the higher division in nearly every matchup, but the final game of the evening produced the first Cupset of the round as Div. II Monterey Bay F.C. (USL Championship) ousted Bay Area MLS neighbors San Jose Earthquakes 1-0.
In the day's opening pair of games, USL Championship (Div. II) sides Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Charleston Battery both dispatched Div. III Opposition. The Riverhounds left it late in regulation but advanced past NISA side Maryland Bobcats FC 2-0 with both goals coming in the final 10 minutes. Similarly, the Battery had a hard time of it against Charlotte Independence (USLL1), but ultimately prevailed 1-0 thanks to a Nick Markanich goal with only eight minutes remaining until a penalty kick shootout would have decided matters.
MLS sides had less trouble in the following handful of games as Charlotte FC, St. Louis City, Minnesota United FC and Sporting Kansas City all cruised to multi-goal wins. After the New England Revolution (MLS) dodged a hearty challenge from Hartford Athletic (USLC) – advancing with a 2-1 win – the fireworks started with Charlotte FC downing South Georgia Tormenta (USLL1) 4-1 and continued with the five-star display from St. Louis City.
Although they trailed Detroit City FC (USLC) entering the second half, Minnesota ripped off three goals in just under 10 minutes midway through the final 45 minutes to claim the night’s sole road victory 3-1 over the boys from the Motor City.
Before the nightcap rendered the only Cupset of the night, Sporting KC cruised to a 3-0 win against one of two remaining amateur sides left in the tournament, Tulsa Athletic (NPSL/Okla.).
The Third Round concludes with Wednesday’s massive slate of 16 games – 13 of which will be broadcast on various platforms, including four matches on the B/R app and B/R Football YouTube, two on CBS Sports Golazo Network, and a further seven streamed as Teamcasts. Check usopencup.com for the full schedule and links to watch all the available games.
2023 U.S. OPEN CUP THIRD ROUND MATCH RECAPS
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USLC) 2, Maryland Bobcats FC (NISA) 0
A little over a year to the date since their last match up, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds defeated the Maryland Bobcats 2-0. And it went the distance. The deciding goal came in the 81st minute, when Pittsburgh’s Edward Kizza was able to tap in a feed from Abiola Showunmi. In the 91st minute, the Riverhounds added an insurance goal, thanks to Burke Fahling. By the final whistle, the Riverhounds proved they belonged in the Third Round of the US Open Cup, despite automatically qualifying after their Second Round opponent had to forfeit. Though the scoreline was even for the vast majority of the match, Pittsburgh threatened time and again, pressuring Maryland’s backline with accurate long passes. The Riverhounds were also able to invade the Bobcat’s penalty area, delivering 18 shots inside the box, compared to three from the visitors. Pittsburgh advances to the Round 32 for only the fourth time in club history.
Charleston Battery (USLC) 0, Charlotte Independence (USLL1) 0, 1-0 AET
The Battery, which surprised three MLS sides en route to a runner-up finish in the 2008 Open Cup, averted a Cupset in a confrontation of Carolina clubs. Forward Nick Markanich snapped a scoreless tie in the 112th minute at Patriots Point Soccer Stadium in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Markanich, who fired a shot that barely traveled over the crossbar in the 101st minute, slotted home a left-footed shot – that was set up by Chris Allan’s left-wing cross – past goalkeeper Austin Pack for the winner. It was his fifth goal of the year across all competitions. In the waning minutes, the Independence had one final chance, but Luis Alvarez sent Tresor Mbuyu’s cross just high of the target. Keeper Daniel Kuzemka was flawless in the net, recording the clean sheet for Charleston.
New England Revolution (MLS) 2, Hartford Athletic (USLC) 1
Only two minutes after entering the match, Carles Gil set up Dave Romney's game-winning goal at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Gil's right-wing feed found Romney, who volleyed the ball from point-blank range past goalkeeper Richard Sanchez to snap a 1-1 deadlock. The Revolution had grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute as Justin Rennicks flicked home Damian Rivera's corner kick at the right near post. Five minutes into the second half, Hartford equalized on an Antoine Hoppenot goal as he slipped in a right-wing feed from Prince Saydee past keeper Earl Edwards, Jr. New England outshot the visitors, 17-6, but Hartford had more shots on target, 6-5.
Charlotte FC (MLS) 4, South Georgia Tormenta FC (USLL1) 1
Charlotte FC captain Kamil Jozwiak got the hosts on the board in the 24th minute following a solid spell of pressure to open the match. Forward McKinze Gaines swung a ball into the box from the left side that found midfielder Christopher Hegardt, who was able to head it out front. With his back to the goal, Jozwiak’s left-footed shot cracked the back of the net. In the 47th minute, South Georgia Tormenta FC defender David Mason picked up his second yellow of the match and was sent off, giving Charlotte a man advantage. They capitalized soon thereafter in the 55th minute when Akeil Omari Cambridge’s cross at the right post found Enzo Copetti, who calmly tapped it in to make it 2-0. Charlotte continued distancing themselves in the 65th minute when Derrick Jones’ shot just outside the 18-yard box deflected off a defender to make it 3-0. In the 84th minute, Matheus Cassini de Paula pulled one back for Tormenta on a beautiful left-footed shot from distance to give them some consolation. However, Karol Swiderski added another nail in the 84th minute to cement the final 4-1 scoreline. With the win, Charlotte advances to the fourth round and moves to 3-1-0 all-time in Open Cup play, while Tormenta drops to 3-3-0 all-time in the tournament and 0-2 versus MLS clubs.
Detroit City FC (USLC) 1, Minnesota United (MLS) 3
A dream start ended with a six-minute nightmare in the second half. Yazeed Matthews put Detroit City up early, but Minnesota United scored three unanswered goals after halftime to win on the road at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, Mich. Matthews gave Detroit City a fantastic start with a goal in the fifth minute off an assist from Devon Amoo-Mensah, and the home side looked comfortable taking a 1-0 lead into halftime. The goal was DCFC’s first in more than 460 minutes across all competitions. In the second half, Minnesota United’s Franco Fragapane equalized when his deflected shot found its way past Nate Steinwasher in the 58th minute, and the Loons grabbed the lead four minute later when Emmanuel Iwo’s cheeky chip floated inside the far post. Luis Amarilla finished off the scoring in the 65th minute with another deflected shot that got past Steinwasher as Minnesota United advanced to the Fourth Round for the fifth consecutive tournament.
St. Louis CITY SC (MLS) 5, Union Omaha (USL1) 1
CITYPARK was electric as the record-setting crowd of 22,423 witnessed an absolute shellacking, as St. Louis CITY scored three goals in the second half to win 5-1. The home side made 10 changes to their starting lineup in comparison to their recent league match, yet showed no signs of a drop in form. The right side of St. Louis CITY was especially strong, as right back Akil Watts (62’) and midfielder Jackson Azziel (3’) both scored a goal. Célio Pompeu, who was a routine presence on the score sheet, forced the ball into the box in the 48th minute, causing an Omaha own goal. Pompeu collected three assists as well as initiated the attack that ultimately led to the final goal in the 87th-minute from Eduard Löwen. In their first Open Cup appearance as an MLS club, St. Louis showed plenty of reasons for fans to be excited about a cup run.
Sporting Kansas City (MLS) 3, Tulsa Athletic (USASA/NPSL/Okla.) 0
The unicorns are dead. Tulsa Athletic was denied from the penalty spot in the first half, and Sporting Kansas City earned a hard-fought shutout at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. Goalkeeper John Pulskamp dove to his left to deny Tulsa Athletic’s Christopher Taylor’s penalty kick in the 17th minute, and Sporting KC took a lead into halftime on Daniel Salloi’s eighth career Open Cup goal in the 33rd minute. Mexican international Alan Pulido put his boot on a blistered cross from Salloi for a 2-0 lead in the 54th minute, and Marinos Tzionis opened his USOC scoring account 14 minutes later with a goal inside the near post past Tulsa Athletic goalkeeper Bryson Reed. “I’m very happy for my first goal and I come this season for the next round,” Pulido said. Sporting KC, the 2017 Open Cup champions, has never failed to advance to the fourth round.
Monterey Bay F.C. (USLC) 1, San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 0
After a back-and-forth opening 25 minutes, Monterey Bay forward Christian Volesky took advantage of a flubbed back pass in the 26th minute by San Jose Earthquakes defender Antonio Josenildo Rodrigues De Oliveria. The striker quickly gained control of the ball and slotted past goalkeeper Daniel De Sousa Brito to give the home team an early 1-0 advantage. Earthquakes manager Luchi Gonzalez brought on several of his regular starters to start the second half, and continued to introduce key players throughout the match. But the impact was minimal. In the end, the combination of Monterey Bay’s superb defending, an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Gerold Siaha Ngnepi and the Earthquakes inability to put it together in the final third proved the difference. Monterey Bay held on 1-0 for an historic Third Round Cupset as San Jose were eliminated by a lower division team for a second year running.