Birmingham Legion the Second USL Championship Side to Advance from 2023 U.S. Open Cup Round of 32

Birmingham Joins Pittsburgh Riverhounds as Only Two Lower Division Clubs to Advance to the Round of 16; Round of 16 Draw to be Broadcast Thursday at 2 p.m. ET on B/R App and B/R Football YouTube

CHICAGO (May 10, 2023) – On the final night of the Round of 32, Birmingham Legion FC (USL Championship) became only the second lower-division side to advance to the next round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s national championship. The Round of 16, scheduled for May 23-24, will consist of 14 Division I MLS clubs and two dangerous Division II underdogs in Birmingham and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USLC).

Birmingham defeated USL Championship rival Memphis 901 FC 3-0 to join fellow Cupsetters Pittsburgh -- who knocked off early MLS-Supporters Shield contenders New England Revolution 1-0 in Foxborough on Tuesday night. The pair of USL Championship clubs ensure a lower-division team’s participation in the Round of 16 – a streak dating back to 1997.

The night’s action began with the Columbus Crew (MLS) earning an authoritative 5-1 road win over Loudoun United (USLC), and U.S. Men’s National Team striker Brandon Vazquez firing Cincinnati FC past fellow MLS side New York City FC 1-0.

Despite playing with only 10 men for nearly an hour, Houston Dynamo rode an early Thor Ulfarsson goal to a 1-0 home win against Sporting Kansas City in an all-MLS encounter, while Nashville SC (MLS) simultaneously saw off FC Dallas (MLS) thanks to a pair of second-half goals from Fafa Picault and Alex Muyl.

Austin FC (MLS) ended any last hopes for a Cupet on the evening by earning a 2-0 win against a game New Mexico United (USLC) squad before a touch of Open Cup After Dark set in on the West Coast.

The LA Galaxy (MLS) established a 2-0 lead before a youthful Seattle Sounders (MLS) side scored to make for a tense final 20 minutes in Carson, California -- but a late Memo Rodriguez strike ensured the hosts prevailed 3-1.

The night’s final game gifted fans some Open Cup chaos as the Portland Timbers (MLS) and Real Salt Lake (MLS) traded blows in a 4-3 goalfest that swung in favor of both teams multiple times before RSL was able to outlast their hosts.

With the field now culled to the final 16 teams, the Round of 16 Draw takes center stage. The remaining clubs have been pooled geographically into groups of four and a random draw will determine the pairings within each group. Watch the Draw live on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET (B/R app and B/R Football YouTube) as the teams learn their Round of 16 opponent and are set into a bracket that will determine their path to the U.S. Open Cup Final. 




Columbus Crew (MLS)

Birmingham Legion FC (USLC)

FC Cincinnati (MLS)

Charlotte FC (MLS)

New York Red Bulls (MLS)

Inter Miami CF (MLS)

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USLC)

Nashville SC (MLS)




Austin FC (MLS)

Colorado Rapids (MLS)

Chicago Fire FC (MLS)

LA Galaxy (MLS)

Houston Dynamo FC (MLS)

Los Angeles Football Club (MLS)

Minnesota United FC (MLS)

Real Salt Lake (MLS)


Loudoun United (USLC) 1, Columbus Crew (MLS) 5

Columbus Crew grabbed control of the match from the opening whistle and never looked back. Midfielder Yaw Yeboah got the visitors on the board in the 6th minute after a poor clearance by Loudoun United to give the Crew a 1-0 lead. After Loudoun defender Gaoussou Samake was sent off in the 10th minute with a straight red card after taking down Mohamed Farsi outside the box, the rout was on. The Crew got goals in the 18th minute from Sean Zawadzki, Isaiah Parente in the 24th and 27th minutes, and Christian Ramirez, who also tallied two assists, in the 35th minute. The onslaught in a span of 17 minutes put the Crew up 5-0 and effectively ended the match. Loudon got a consolation goal in the 86th minute after midfielder Kalil El Medkhar was taken down in the box and calmly converted the resulting penalty. With the win, the Crew snapped a 10 consecutive tournament streak where they had not won multiple games in the Open Cup. The streak dated back to 2010 when they lost to the Seattle Sounders in the Final.

FC Cincinnati (MLS) 1, New York City FC (MLS) 0

Brandon Vasquez is building the resume of a top striker. He scored the lone goal in the 56th minute as FC Cincinnati shut out New York City FC at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati. “We keep going in the U.S. Open Cup,” said Vasquez, who made his 100th appearance for FC Cincinnati in the win. One of the newest members of the U.S. Men’s National Team, Vasquez got his head to a corner kick from Alvaro Barreal and put it past NYCFC goalkeeper Matthew Freese from inside the goal area. James Sands had an opportunity to draw level late for NYCFC but his header from close range was off target.

Birmingham Legion FC (USLC) 3, Memphis 901 FC (USLC) 0

In a contest between two USL Championship rivals, Birmingham put together a strong showing that will have them believing they can continue their run in the next round. The hosts struck first in the 20th minute with a short corner to Enzo Martinez who's quickly crossed ball into the box was hammer home by Juan Agudelo. In the 38th minute, Martinez added a goal of his own with some clever footwork that allowed him to place a left-footed shot in the lower right corner. Tyler Pasher’s goal in the 64th minute pushed Birmingham’s lead to 3-0, which is where the match would end.

Nashville SC (MLS) 2, FC Dallas (MLS) 0

Former FC Dallas midfielder Fafa Picault snapped a scoreless deadlock just after the hour, and Alex Muyl added an insurance tally to lift the hosts at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tenn. After taking a pass from Taylor Washington, Picault motored down the left side on a brilliant individual run before drilling a 15-yard effort past goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer in the 63rd minute. Four minutes prior to the goal, Dallas striker Jesus Ferreira had his on-target attempt deflected over the crossbar for a corner kick. Muyl gave Nashville some breathing room as he curled in a 16-yard shot in the 76th minute. Keeper Elliot Panicco recorded the shutout.

Houston Dynamo (MLS) 1, Sporting Kansas City (MLS) 0

In a battle between two MLS sides that have met in the Open Cup six of the last seven tournaments, Houston Dynamo got on the scoresheet in the 12th minute, when Thorleifur Ulfarsson pounced on a ball 23 yards outside the center of the box and sent a left-footed laser past Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. Dynamo defender Chase Gasper was shown a straight red card in the 35th minute after taking down SKC forward Marinos Tzionis just outside the 18-yard box. Houston GK ANdrew Tarbell made an acrobatic save to deny the resulting free kick, and although Sporting had the advantage of being up a man the rest of the contest, would not get closer to finding an equalizer.

Austin FC (MLS) 2, New Mexico United (USLC) 0

Austin FC struck twice within a 12-minute span in the first half as the hosts reached the Round of 16 for the first time at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas. Midfielder Rodney Redes, the first player the Texas side signed on July 6, 2020, lifted Austin into a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute, flicking home a header from Emiliano Rigoni's corner kick past goalkeeper Alexander Tambakis. In the 36th minute, Maximiliano Urruti converted Adam Lundkvist's left-wing feed from the middle of the box for an insurance goal. Austin almost added a third goal three minutes into stoppage time as Tambakis denied Sofiane Djeffal's diving header at the doorstep. Goalie Brad Stuver made two saves to secure the clean sheet, while Tambakis had six.

LA Galaxy (MLS) 3, Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) 1

Memo Rodriguez came off the bench and made a couple of memories. Rodriguez entered as a second-half substitute and scored in the 65th and 84th minutes as the Galaxy opened its 2023 U.S. Open Cup tournament with a win over the Seattle Sounders at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Julian Aude cracked a left-footed blast for the opening goal in the 3rd minute for LA, which started its first team against a collection of the Sounders’ MLS Next and academy talent. After Rodriguez’s first goal gave the Galaxy a 2-0 lead, Paul Rothrock got one back for Seattle in the 68th but it wasn’t enough as Rodriguez tacked on his second and LA’s third 20 minutes later. Jonathan Bond returned in goal for LA, which has now advanced to the Round of 16 in six consecutive tournaments.

Portland Timbers (MLS) 3, Real Salt Lake (MLS) 4

Maikel Chang's four-minute brace in the second half sparked Real Salt Lake's comeback to survive a topsy-turvy goalfest at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. The match was tied three times and saw four lead changes as all of the scoring came within the opening hour. With RSL trailing 3-2, Chang took center stage. He put away Andres Gomez's right-wing feed from 12 yards past goalkeeper David Bingham in the 55th minute to tie it and then Danny Musovski's pass from the right flank to boost the visitors into the lead in the 59th minute. Only four minutes after the opening kickoff, Sebastian Blanco gave Portland the lead, sliding in a Noel Caliskan pass after the midfielder picked Pablo Ruiz's pocket. RSL rallied behind by scoring twice within 11 minutes. Musovski connected on Damir Kreilach's left-wing pass in close quarters for a 1-1 tie on the half hour. Gomez made some nifty moves on Caliskan and powered home a spectacular 22-yard shot from the right side for a 2-1 halftime margin. The Timbers leveled at 2-2 in the 49th minute on Justin Rasmussen's blast from inside the penalty arc and grabbed the lead just three minutes later as halftime-substitute Jaroslaw Niezgoda chested down a Nathan Fogaca pass and scored for a 3-2 advantage before Chang’s heroics. RSL goalkeeper Gavin Beavers made vital saves throughout the match to help RSL steal a road win.