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The First Round of the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup kicks off tonight with 17 games (1 game on Wednesday) across the country. It’s an all-amateur field with the exception of four USL Pro teams with teams battling to reach Round 2 where the rest of the USL Pro teams and all of the NASL teams will enter.
Tonight expects to produce some very entertaining games as many of the clubs come into the competition performing well in league play, while others will be hard to predict as they will be playing their first game of the season. The 16 Premier Development League (PDL) teams come into the First Round undefeated, with a combined 6-0-3 record, while the eight National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) teams are a combined 9-2-2. Two of the four USL Pro teams have winning records (VSI Tampa Bay FC, Dayton Dutch Lions).
The second tier North American Soccer League contingent of six teams and eight remaining third tier USL Pro clubs will take on winners from the First Round of competition with at least three of the professional clubs set to open play on the road against amateur opposition and six others with a possibility of doing so. The USL Pro trio of Harrisburg City Islanders, Orlando City and Wilmington Hammerheads will all take to the road for the Second Round. Meanwhile, the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies, Atlanta Silverbacks and Fort Lauderdale Strikers along with USL Pro’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Charleston Battery and Charlotte Eagles are in wait-and-see scenarios.
All 16 US-based MLS clubs (Division I) will enter the competition in Round 3 (May 28).
TheCup.us is working on launching a new website in honor of the 100th edition of the Open Cup, and as always, will have live updates from every single game of the competition. You can follow TheCup.us on Twitter (@USOpenCup) and on Facebook. The Twitter hashtag for the tournament this year is #USOC100.
Here is the schedule for the First Round and the potential pairings for the Second Round:
2013 US Open Cup First Round (May 14/15)
All Times Eastern
Mass Premier Soccer (USASA) at GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL)
Memorial Field, Deering High School – Portland, ME – 8 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro)
Mass Premier Soccer Open Cup records
GPS Portland Phoenix Open Cup records
Overall: 0-1-0 | Home: 0-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-2 vs. Brooklyn Italians of NPSL – Round 1)
Mass Premier Soccer are making their first appearance in the Open Cup as they emerged out of the very challenging USASA Region I. They defeated Newtown Pride FC (Connecticut) 6-0 in the regional semifinals to become just the third Massachusetts-based USASA club to qualify for the tournament in the Modern Pro Era. GPS Portland Phoenix of the PDL are making their second straight Open Cup appearance and will also host for the second year in a row. Last year, they lost their opening game to the Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) 3-2. The Phoenix remain the only club (of any kind) from the state of Maine to qualify for the tournament in more than two decades.
GPS Portland (2012: 10-4-2, second in Northeast Division) kicked off league play in the PDL Saturday with a doozy as they dueled in a back-and-forth affair against the Vermont Voltage before prevailing 5-4. After falling behind 14 minutes in, Caue Da Silva tied the match up four minutes later before seeing the Voltage push out to a two-goal lead at the break. The second half belonged to the hosts though as Pierre Omanga scored four minutes in and an own goal two minutes later put the game level. Vermont scored one last time to retake the lead, but Richardo Israel equalized with four minutes left and fellow Gilbert Manier struck for the winner in stoppage time.
Icon FC (USASA) at Brooklyn Italians (NPSL)
Aviator Sports Complex – Brooklyn, NY – 8 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at Richmond Kickers (USL Pro)
Icon FC Open Cup records
Brooklyn Italians Open Cup records (Modern Pro Era)
Overall: 1-3-0 | Home: 0-0-0 | vs. Amateur: 1-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-0 at Rochester Rhinos of USL Pro – Round 2)
Best finish: 2012 Second Round (Lost 3-0 at Rochester Rhinos of USL Pro)
Icon FC of New Jersey bring some experienced players for their first Open Cup run. The club, led by former DC United and US youth international Danny Szetela, are just the second USASA club from New Jersey to qualify (2012 – Jersey Shore Boca) since 1995 and they will face a club with a strong Open Cup resume. The Brooklyn Italians who compete in the NPSL, have won the Open Cup twice (1979 as “Brooklyn Dodgers” and 1991), and finished runner-up in 1990. Those accomplishments happened a long time ago, but they have had some recent accomplishments too. This is the fourth year in a row that the Italians have qualified for the tournament, and with last year’s 3-2 win against GPS Portland Phoenix, they earned their first Open Cup victory since winning it all in 1991.
The Brooklyn Italians were off over the weekend after winning a 4-3 thriller in their league opener May 5 against the Rhode Island Red. Hakop Avesyan, Yannick Diese, Oliver Kelly and Patrick Ouckama each had a goal.
New York Red Bulls U23s (NPSL) at Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL)
Carey Stadium – Ocean City, NJ – 7:30 p.m.
If Ocean City wins: Host winner of Pittsburgh/RWB Adria
If New York wins: At Pittsburgh Riverhounds OR vs. RWB Adria (Site TBA)
Ocean City Nor’easters Open Cup records
Overall: 7-5-0 (6-4-0 as PDL) | Home: 5-3-0 (5-2-0 as PDL) | vs. Amateur: 3-0-0
Last entry: 2009 (Lost 2-0 at DC United of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: 2009 Third Round (Lost 2-0 at DC United of MLS)
New York Red Bulls U23s Open Cup records
The last time the Ocean City Nor’easters qualified for the Open Cup was in 2009 when they were known as the Ocean City Barons. Since then, the club has undergone a makeover both on the field and off it. New manager Tim Oswald led the club to their best league finish since their undefeated season in 2004 and qualified for this year’s Open Cup. The Nor’easters are one of the best amateur clubs to compete in the Open Cup during the Modern Professional Era. They have six wins in the Open Cup since joining the PDL in 2003, with four of those coming against professional teams. Only the Michigan Bucks (12) and the Des Moines Menace (7) have more Open Cup wins as a PDL team than the Nor’easters (6) and only the Bucks have more professional team upsets (9) than Ocean City. The Red Bulls Under 23s also qualified for the tournament after a successful league performance in 2012. The Red Bulls are in the tournament for the first time won the Atlantic Division title, finishing 11-3-0, the second best record in the NPSL.
The Open Cup contest will be the season opener for the Red Bulls, who don’t kick off league play until May 26. Similarly, Ocean City (2012: 13-3-0, first in Mid Atlantic Division) does not begin league play until May 18.
FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic (NPSL) at Reading United AC (PDL)
Oley Valley High School – Oley, PA – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Home game vs. Harrisburg City Islanders
FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic Open Cup records
Overall: 0-1-0 | Away: 0-0-0 | vs. Amateur: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-0 vs. Long Island Rough Riders of PDL in Round 1)
Best finish: 2012 First Round (Lost 2-0 vs. Long Island Rough Riders of PDL)
Reading United Open Cup records
Overall: 1-6-0 (1-4-0 as PDL) | Home: 1-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 1-1-0 (1-0-0 as PDL)
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 at Charleston Battery of USL Pro in Round 2)
Best finish: 2012 Second Round (Lost 2-1 at Charleston Battery of USL Pro)
Reading United will host FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic in a battle of Eastern Pennsylvania clubs. Reading is competing in the tournament for a record fifth straight time, something no amateur club has done in the Modern Professional Era. Reading has their friendly rivals, Ocean City, to thank for keeping their streak alive. The Nor’easters, by virtue of finishing with the Eastern Conference’s best record, earned a berth, leaving the second place team, Reading, as the Mid-Atlantic’s representative. Reading, despite qualifying for the tournament seven times since 1996, they are 1-6-0 in the tournament and picked up their first-ever Open Cup win by defeating the New York Greek American Atlas last year. Sonic has tweaked their team name (formerly FC Sonic Lehigh Valley) for their second straight Open Cup appearance. In 2012, they were one-and-done, losing to the PDL’s Long Island Rough Riders 2-0 in the First Round.
Lehigh Valley does not kick off their NPSL campaign until May 18. Meanwhile, Reading (2012: 11-2-3, second in Mid Atlantic Division) has a huge victory already under their belts having pasted the Westchester Flames 8-0 in their PDL opener Saturday. Pinto Neto scored three times while Emanuel Sanchez had a goal and an assist in the four-goal first half.
Ocala Stampede (PDL) at Red Force (USASA)
Florida International Soccer Stadium – Miami, FL – 7:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Home game vs. Orlando City SC (USL Pro)
Red Force Open Cup records
Ocala Stampede Open Cup records
A pair of first-time entries from Florida will square off in Round 1 with the USASA’s Red Force hosting the Ocala Stampede. The Red Force were the only USASA team from the state of Florida to enter the state qualifying tournament and therefore were given a bye into the regional tournament. The Red Force then won three games at the USASA Region III tournament in New Orleans to clinch a spot in the Open Cup. The Stampede qualified after a very successful inaugural season in the PDL. Ocala, which is located in Central Florida, just northwest of Orlando, won the Southeast Division title with an 11-3-2 record, which was the best record in the conference.
The Stampede (2012: 11-3-2, first in Southeast Division) are opening their campaign in the US Open Cup with their first PDL contest coming up May 17. The contest may prove to be emotional beyond most Open Cup contests as it will be the first without midfielder Richmond McCarthy, who passed away suddenly in February. He was a key figure in last year’s division title run, registering five assists as he logged the second most minutes played on the squad over the course of 15 regular season appearances.
VSI Tampa Bay FC (USL PRO) at Orlando City U-23s (PDL)
Seminole Soccer Complex; Sanford, FL – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Home game vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)
VSI Tampa Bay FC Open Cup records
Orlando City U-23s Open Cup records
Overall: 0-5-0 | Home: 0-2-0 | vs. Division III: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 vs. Jacksonville United of NPSL in Round 1)
Best finish: First Round
The Orlando City U23s are back in the tournament for the fourth year in a row and the sixth time in franchise history. However, they are still seeking their first Open Cup win. Last year was their best chance, losing 2-1 at home to Jacksonville United (NPSL) on an 89th minute goal by Ramak Safi. VSI Tampa Bay FC are making their debut in USL Pro and the Open Cup this year.
This matchup is part of a unique pairing as both clubs are in USL Pro and the PDL. The Orlando City U23 side (2012: 8-3-5, second in Southeast Division) open league play May 19 and play the VSI Tampa Bay PDL team three days later. Meanwhile, the USL Pro VSI TB squad is seven games into its season and is 4-3-0. The team has had trouble finding consistency with consecutive wins only once, but have been home for over a month now and have won three of the last four. Andriy Budnyy (2 goals) and longtime USL star Mauricio Salles (3 goals) are the leading scorers on the squad. The two USL Pro sides for the clubs have yet to play and will not meet until the final month of the season in August.
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) at Carolina Dynamo (PDL)
Macpherson Stadium – Greensboro, NC – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
Chattanooga FC Open Cup records
Overall: 0-1-0 | Away: 0-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 0-0-0
Last entry: 2011 (Lost 3-2 AET at Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL Pro in Round 1)
Best finish: 2011 First Round (Lost 3-2 AET at Pittsburgh Riverhounds)
Carolina Dynamo Open Cup records
Overall: 10-9-0 (5-4-0 as PDL) | Home: 8-2-0 (5-2-0 as PDL) | vs. Amateur: 6-2-0 (2-1-0 as PDL)
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 at Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks of USASA in Round 1)
Best finish (as Division III): 1996 Quarterfinals (Lost 2-0 at DC United of MLS)
Chattanooga FC are back in the Open Cup for the first since 2011 after winning their division last season. Tennessee-based clubs are few and far between in the Open Cup. Prior to Chattanooga qualifying in 2011, the Memphis Express (PDL) were the last entry in 2002, and before that, the Nashville Metros are the only Volunteer State-based club to qualify. The Carolina Dynamo have qualified for the Open Cup for the 10th time (5th time as a PDL club) both as a professional and an amateur team. They are 10-9-0 all-time in the tournament, but have been one-and-done the last two trips to the tournament after their historic run to the Fourth Round in 2006. During that run, they eliminated two professional teams (Richmond Kickers, Seattle Sounders) before falling to the Houston Dynamo. 2013 marks the Dynamo’s third straight appearance in the competition.
Chattanooga opened their NPSL campaign Saturday at Rocket City, posting a big 5-0 victory in which Jose Ferraz led the way with a pair of goals. Thibault Charmey, Chrispin Ochleng and Luke Winter rounded out the scoring. The Carolina Dynamo (2012: 11-1-4, first in South Atlantic Division) also posted a shutout to open their season Saturday, blanking Virginia Beach 3-0 on goals from Brandt Bronico, Hakan Ilhan and James Smith.
Dearborn Stars (USASA) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)
Ultimate Soccer Arenas – Pontiac, MI – 7:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at Dayton Dutch Lions OR vs. River City Rovers (Site TBA)
Dearborn Stars Open Cup records
Michigan Bucks Open Cup records
Overall: 12-8-1 | Home: 8-5-1 (0-1 in PKs) | Indoors: 2-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 3-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 AET vs. Dayton Dutch Lions of USL Pro in Round 4)
Best finish: 2012 Fourth Round (Lost 2-1 AET vs. Dayton Dutch Lions of USL Pro)
For just the second time in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present), two teams from the state of Michigan will square off in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The last time it happened was in 2001 when the Michigan Bucks defeated the Detroit-based Chaldean Arsenal 3-0 at White Pine Stadium in Saginaw, Mich. With a record 12 Open Cup wins, 9 of them against professional opponents, the Bucks have the strongest resume of any amateur team in the country. Last year, they bolstered their reputation as giant killers with their second win in franchise history over a Major League Soccer team, defeating the Chicago Fire 3-2 in extra time. Combined with their 1-0 road win over the New England Revolution in 2000, they are the only amateur team to defeat multiple MLS teams. They will host the Dearborn Stars who have been around since 1982, but are entering the tournament for the first time. When the two teams square off at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich., it will be just the fifth Open Cup game in the 100-year history of the tournament to be played indoors.
The Michigan Bucks (2012: 13-1-2, first in Great Lakes Division) will be off to a cold start in the Open Cup with their league opener coming up May 17.
RWB Adria (USASA) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO)
Highmark Stadium – Pittsburgh, PA – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at Ocean City Nor’easters OR vs. New York Red Bulls U23s (Site TBA)
RWB Adria Open Cup records (Modern Pro Era)
Overall: 0-3-0 | Away: 0-3-0 | vs. Division III: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2008 (Lost 2-1 AET at Rochester Rhinos of USL-1 in Round 1)
Best Finish: Round 1
Pittsburgh Riverhounds Open Cup records
Overall: 5-8-2 (0-2 PKs) | Home: 3-2-0 | vs. Amateur: 3-2-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 1-0 vs. Michigan Bucks of PDL in Round 2)
Best Finish: 2001 Quarterfinals (Lost 3-2 ASDET at Chicago Fire of MLS)
Since they launched in 1999, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds have qualified for the US Open Cup in 10 of their 14 seasons (the franchise was on hiatus in 2007). However, they have experienced very little success in the tournament. The club has only won multiple games in a tournament once and that was when they reached the Quarterfinals as an A-League team in 2001. Having said all that, it’s a new era in Pittsburgh as the Riverhounds opened their new soccer-specific Highmark Stadium near downtown Pittsburgh. Their opening round opponent, RWB Adria from Chicago, has been around since 1959 and have reached the semifinals twice (1978, 1991) but haven’t won a tournament game since 1991. They have qualified three times in the Modern Pro Era (1996, 2007, 2008) but lost to a professional team in their opening game each year.
The Riverhounds came into the USL Pro season with a lot of excitement and anticipation with the debut of their new facility, Highmark Stadium, but that has been tempered a bit by a 1-4-3 record. Since losing their opener in dramatic fashion, the club has since rebounded at home, picking up an 2-1 win last Thursday at Highmark in their second home fixture of the year and the first of a string of league games in which they are at home for 11 of 12. Though they have just one win, the Riverhounds have been a difficult opponent for most, allowing no more than two goals in any game. Scoring, meanwhile, has been paltry with only five thus far – three scored by Jose Angulo, who also has an assist to his tally. Midfielder Matthew Dallman has three assists. [Preview: OnTheFire.com]
River City Rovers (PDL) at Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO)
Beavercreek High School – Beavercreek, OH – 7 p.m.
If Dayton wins: Home game vs. Michigan Bucks/Dearborn Stars winner
If River City wins: vs. winner of Michigan Bucks/Dearborn Stars (Site TBA)
River City Rovers Open Cup records
Dayton Dutch Lions Open Cup records
Overall: 3-3-0 (3-2-0 as PDL) | Home: 0-0-0 | vs. Amateur: 2-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-0 at Sporting KC of MLS in Quarterfinals)
Best finish: 2012 Quarterfinals (Lost 3-0 at Sporting KC of MLS)
The Dayton Dutch Lions were one of the tournament’s best Cinderella stories last year and they are back in 2013 looking to build on their success from a year ago. Despite struggling in their first two years as a professional franchise (they moved up from the PDL to USL Pro in 2011), and losing their opening game in both 2010 and 2011, the Dutch Lions surprised many by upsetting the Columbus Crew 2-1 in the Third Round. They continued their run by defeating the Michigan Bucks 2-1 in extra time to reach the Quarterfinals where they lost to eventual Open Cup champions Sporting Kansas City. Dayton’s run to the round of eight was made even more impressive by the fact that they did it without playing a single home game. This year, they kick off the 2013 tournament with their first-ever home game as they host the PDL’s River City Rovers. The Louisville, Kentucky-based Rovers have qualified for the tournament for the first time, benefiting from the fact that Forest City London, the team who finished in second place in the Great Lakes Division, are Canadian and are not eligible for the Open Cup. The Rovers qualified and are the first Kentucky-based club to take part in the tournament since the Louisville Alliance reached the Regional Semifinals in 1993.
The River City Rovers (2012: 7-7-2, third in Great Lakes Division) do not begin PDL play until they face last-year’s division runners-up from Canada, Forest City London, on May 18. Dayton, meanwhile is 3-2-0 in USL Pro and are coming off a 4-3 victory against Phoenix Saturday, more than doubling their goal tally for the season. Gibson Bardsley scored twice in the game, bringing his total for the season to three. Joel DeLass has two of the other four goals.
NTX Rayados (USASA) at Austin Aztex (PDL)
House Park – Austin, TX – 8:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Home game vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro)
North Texas Rayados Open Cup records
Overall: 0-1-0 | Away: 0-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 at El Paso Patriots of PDL in Round 1)
Best Finish: 2012 First Round (Lost 3-1 at El Paso Patriots of PDL)
Austin Aztex Open Cup records
The Austin Aztex name is back in the US Open Cup after the previous version of the club left Austin to form Orlando City SC. New owners have brought the name back and launched a PDL franchise in 2012. A second place finish in the Mid-South Division last year was enough to get them back in the tournament. The North Texas Rayados from the USASA are back in the tournament for the second year in a row after cruising through the Region III tournament. They outscored their opponents 17-2 and won the Region III tournament. They not only earned a spot in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, but by defeating Florida’s Red Force 3-0 in the Region III title game, they will advance to the USASA Nationals in San Antonio.
The Aztex (2012: 9-5-2, second in Mid South Division) opened their league campaign on the road Saturday, taking a narrow 2-1 decision against Oklahoma City on a pair of second half goals in a comeback win. Tony Rocha and substitute Tucker Hume scored in the final 13 minutes for the victory.
Phoenix FC (USL Pro) at FC Tucson (PDL)
Kino Sports Complex Grandstand, Field 5 – Tucson, AZ – 10:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at San Antonio Scorpions
Phoenix FC Open Cup records
FC Tucson Open Cup records
For the first time in the Modern Professional Era (and quite possibly ever), the US Open Cup will feature a game between two Arizona-based clubs. Both teams are first-time entries with USL Pro side Phoenix SC kicking off their inaugural campaign this year. FC Tucson qualified after a successful first season in the PDL last year, edging out the Fresno Fuego for second place in the Southwest Division with a 9-3-4 record.
Tucson (2012: 9-3-4, second in Southwest Division) opened their league season in California Sunday, coming from behind to grab a 1-1 draw with a second half strike from substitute Aaron Long 20 minutes from time. Phoenix FC (2-5-2), meanwhile, is coming off a USL Pro road trip to Pittsburgh and Dayton where late rallies came up short in both contests as they fell 2-1 to the Riverhounds Thursday and 4-3 to the Dutch Lions Saturday. Winless in the last three (0-2-1), the club is led by a trio with a pair of goals each – Diego Faria, Joao Inacio de Jesus and Aaron King.
Sacramento Gold (NPSL) at Portland Timbers U23s (PDL)
JELD-WEN Field – Portland, OR – 10:30 p.m.
If Sacramento wins: Road game at Charleston Battery
If Portland wins: Home game vs. Charleston Battery
Sacramento Gold Open Cup records
Portland Timbers U23s Open Cup records
Overall: 0-1-0 | Home: 0-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 vs. PSA Elite of USASA in Round 1)
Best finish: 2012 First Rond (Lost 2-1 vs. PSA Elite of USASA)
The Timbers U23s are back in the tournament for the second year in a row, looking for their first win. Last year, they lost 3-1 in front of their home fans to USASA club PSA Elite. The Timbers are hoping their league success from the past three seasons, including the 2010 PDL championship, will translate into Open Cup success. On the other side, the Sacramento Gold from the NPSL are making their first appearance in the tournament, becoming just the second Sacramento-based club to qualify in the Modern Pro Era. The Sacramento Knights of the MPSL qualified through the USASA in 2004 and reached the Second Round before falling to the Utah Blitzz (Division III). The Gold qualified for the Open Cup through the NPSL’s preseason tournament where they cruised through the Northern Division, outscoring their three opponents 10-1, including a 5-1 championship game win over the Sonoma County Sol.
Well into their campaign, the Sacramento Gold are 4-1-1 and have not lost since their opener on the road. They have scored at least twice in each game since, but also only have one shutout to their record defensively. John Jones II leads the team with three goals with Max Alvarez, Manolo Pina and Oscar Sandoval each having two. The Timbers U23s (2012: 10-4-2, second in Northwest Division) will play their first league game two days of the Open Cup contest, squaring off against rival and fellow Open Cup participant Seattle.
Doxa Italia (USASA) at Sounders FC U23s (PDL)
Sunset Chevrolet Stadium – Sumner, WA – 10 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro)
Doxa Italia Open Cup records
Overall: 0-1-0 | Away: 0-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2011 (Lost 3-1 at Ventura County Fusion of PDL in Round 1)
Best finish: 2011 First Round (Lost 3-1 at Ventura County Fusion of PDL)
Sounders FC U23s Open Cup records
Doxa Italia of the USASA are back in the tournament and will face first-time entry Seattle Sounders FC U23s in the opening round. Doxa last qualified for the Open Cup in 2011 (losing 3-1 to Ventura County Fusion in Round 1), and would have returned in 2012 but a little-known club called Cal FC handed them their only qualifying loss and they missed the cut. This year, Doxa returned the favor, handing Cal FC their only qualifying loss and leaving last year’s USASA Cinderella story on the outside looking in. No matter what they are called, the Seattle Sounders U-23s are making their first Open Cup appearance in franchise history. The club was originally known as Tacoma FC, but never qualified from 2006-2011. Last year, the team re-branded and enjoyed immediate success, winning the Northwest Division championship and reaching the final four in the PDL playoffs.
The Sounders U23s (2012: 11-2-3, first in Northwest Division) will play their first league game two days of the Open Cup contest, squaring off against rival and fellow Open Cup participant Portland.
PSA Elite (USASA) at Laredo Heat SC (PDL)
Texas A&M International Soccer Complex – Laredo, TX – 9:15 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at Fort Lauderdale Strikers
PSA Elite Open Cup records
Overall: 1-1-0 | Away: 1-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 1-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 6-0 at Carolina RailHawks of NASL in Round 2)
Best finish: 2012 Second Round (Lost 6-0 at Carolina RailHawks of NASL)
Laredo Heat Open Cup records
Overall: 1-1-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 1-0-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 1-0-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-0 at San Antonio Scorpions of NASL in Round 2)
Best finish: 2012 Second Round (Lost 2-0 at San Antonio Scorpions of NASL)
PSA Elite are back in the Open Cup for the second year in a row after dominating the USASA Region IV tournament this year. They outscored their opponents 26-4, including a pair of wins against fellow Open Cup qualifier Doxa Italia to punch their ticket to the Open Cup and the USASA National Finals. They won their first Open Cup game last year, defeating the Portland Timbers U23s (PDL) 3-1, but a cross-country trip to North Carolina was too much to ask as they were trounced 6-0 by the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks in Round 2. They will have another long trip on their hands this year as they will travel to Laredo, Texas to take on the Heat who are back in the Open Cup for a second straight year, and just the third time in franchise history. Three trips to the tournament in a decade is a surprising number for one of the best teams in the PDL. The 2007 league champion, and a three-time runner-up, the Heat qualified for the Open Cup for the first time back in 2006 when they nearly eliminated Dallas Roma FC in Round 1 before Roma began their historic run to the Fourth Round. Last year, the Heat returned, winning their first-ever Open Cup game, 4-2 over fellow Texas amateur club ASC New Stars (USASA) in extra time. They hit the road in Round 2 and lost 2-0 to the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions. This is a PDL team that has qualified for the league playoffs nine years in a row, and have only failed to qualify once, during their inaugural season in 2004, so single-elimination tournaments are nothing new to them.
Laredo (2012: 10-3-3, first in Mid South Division) kicked off their PDL season Saturday on the road, coming from behind with a dramatic stoppage time equalizer from Alejandro De La Garza in the 92nd minute for a 1-1 draw in Houston.
Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) at Georgia Revolution (NPSL)
RYSA Soccerplex – Conyers, GA – 7 p.m.
If Georgia wins: Home game vs. Atlanta Silverbacks
If Real Colorado wins: vs. Atlanta Silverbacks (Site TBA)
Real Colorado Foxes Open Cup records
Overall: 1-2-0 | Away: 0-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 1-2-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 vs. KC Athletics of USASA in Round 1)
Best finish: 2011 Second Round (Lost 3-1 at Kitsap Pumas of PDL)
Georgia Revolution Open Cup records
Overall: 2-1-0 | Home: 1-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 2-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 1-0 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks of NASL in Round 2)
Best finish: 2012 Second Round (Lost 1-0 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks of NASL)
The Georgia Revolution (NPSL), making their second straight appearance in the tournament, will face the Real Colorado Foxes in Round 1. The Real Colorado Foxes (no relationship with the Colorado Foxes who took part in the 1995 US Open Cup), have qualified for the third year in a row as the second place team in the Heartland Division (Division champion Thunder Bay Chill are from Canada). The Foxes won their first-ever tournament game in 2011 when they defeated USASA’s DV8 Defenders from San Jose, Calif. 5-0. Then after being eliminated by fellow PDL side Kitsap Pumas the next round, they suffered another defeat at the hands of an amateur team, losing 3-1 to the KC Athletics (USASA) at home. If the Rovers are able to knock off the Revolution, it would make the first time in the Modern Professional Era (and possibly ever) that two Colorado-based clubs will meet in tournament play.
The Revolution will have at least two US Open Cup games under their belts before they even kick off NPSL play with their opener set for May 24. Real Colorado (2012: 8-4-4, second in Heartland Division) also have not begun league play with their opener scheduled for May 18.
FC Hasental (NPSL) at Ventura County Fusion (PDL)
Ventura College; Ventura, Calif. – 10 p.m .
Winner gets: Road game at Los Angeles Blues (USL Pro)
FC Hasental Open Cup records
Ventura County Fusion Open Cup records
Overall: 3-2-1 | Home: 1-2-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 2-0-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 1-0 vs. Chivas USA of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: 2012 Third Round (Lost 1-0 vs. Chivas USA of MLS)
First-time entry FC Hasental will travel to Ventura to take on the Ventura County Fusion of the PDL. The Fusion qualified for the Open Cup for the first time back in 2010 and were one-and-done to the USASA’s Arizona Sahuaros. Each year after that, they have improved on the previous year’s performance. In 2011, they won a single game before being eliminated by the Los Angeles Blues (USL Pro). Last year, they won two games, including a revenge win over the Blues in Round 2. They nearly knocked off an MLS team, but were unable to overcome an early goal by Chivas USA, and lost 1-0.
Well into league play, Hasental is 3-1-1 on the season, rebounding for a 3-0 victory Saturday after suffering their first loss two weeks prior. Fueled by a 13-0 opening win, the team has had plenty of goals this season. Liviu Leu and Ericson Penate lead the team with five each which Armando Gaitan and Gustavo Villalobos each having three. One of the few PDL teams with multiple league games under their belts thus far, Ventura County (2012: 12-2-2, first in Southwest Division) are nearly perfect through two games with a 1-0 win over Orange County two weeks ago and a 3-1 win against BYU on Saturday in which Francisco Lopez set up all three goals, including two in the second half by Chase Minter.
Madison 56ers (NPSL) at Des Moines Menace (PDL)
Valley Stadium – West Des Moines, IA – May 15 at 8:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game at Minnesota United FC
Madison 56ers Open Cup records (Modern Pro Era)
Overall: 1-1-0 | Away: 0-0-0 | vs. Amateur: 1-1-0
Last entry: 2011 (Lost 2-0 vs. Chicago Fire PDL in Round 2)
Best finish: 2011 Second Round (Lost 2-0 vs. Chicago Fire PDL)
Des Moines Menace Open Cup records
Overall: 7-6-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 4-3-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 3-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-0 vs. Minnesota Stars FC of NASL in Round 2)
Best finish: 2005 Fourth Round (Lost 6-1 at Kansas City Wizards of MLS)
One of amateur soccer’s giants, the Des Moines Menace are back in the competition for the second year in a row, making their seventh all-time appearance. Only the Michigan Bucks (10) have qualified for the Open Cup more times among PDL teams. They enter the tournament as a 3rd place team because the Heartland Division champion, Thunder Bay Chill, are based in Canada. The Menace are tied with the Ocean City Nor’easters for second place among PDL teams with four professional team upsets (Michigan Bucks have 9). The Madison 56ers, who date back to 1956, are back in the tournament after a one year layoff. In 2011, they defeated Chicago’s AAC Eagles 4-0 before falling to the Chicago Fire’s PDL team 2-0 in Round 2. According to TheCup.us records, 2011 was the first tournament appearance for the 56ers since reaching the Regional Finals in 1991 (they lost to 2013 qualifier RWB Adria in penalty kicks that year).
The Open Cup will serve as the season opener for Madison as the 56ers do not kick off their league campaign in the NPSL May 16. Des Moines (2012: 8-5-3, third in the Heartland Division), meanwhile, is coming off a 1-1 draw on the road in Springfield where David Santamaria’s opener proved to be enough as they held on for the point.
2013 US Open Cup Second Round (May 21)
All Times Eastern
GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL)/Mass Premier Soccer (USASA) at Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO)
Sahlen’s Stadium – Rochester, NY – 7:35 p.m
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL)/Icon FC (USASA) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO)
Richmond City Stadium – Richmond, VA – 7 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at Reading United AC (PDL)
Don Thomas Stadium – Reading, PA – 7:30 p.m.
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic (NPSL)
Whitehall High School Soccer Complex – Whitehall, PA – 7:05 p.m.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO)/RWB Adria (USASA) at Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL)
Carey Stadium – Ocean City, NJ – 7:30 p.m.
New York Red Bulls U-23s (NPSL) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO)
Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, PA – 7 p.m.
New York Red Bulls U-23s (NPSL) vs. RWB Adria (USASA)
Michigan Bucks (PDL)/Dearborn Stars (USASA) at Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO)
Beavercreek High School – Beavercreek, OH – 7 p.m.
Michigan Bucks (PDL)/Dearborn Stars (USASA) vs. River City Rovers (PDL)
Carolina Dynamo (PDL)/Chattanooga FC (NPSL) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
WakeMed Soccer Park – Cary, NC – 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at VSI Tampa Bay (USL PRO)
Plant City Stadium – Plant City, FL – 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Orlando City U23s (PDL)
Seminole Soccer Complex – Sanford, FL – 7 p.m.
Orlando City (USL PRO) at Ocala Stampede (PDL)
Trinity Catholic High School – Ocala, FL – 7 p.m.
Orlando City (USL PRO) at Red Force (USASA)
Florida International Soccer Stadium – Miami, FL – 7:30 p.m.
Des Moines Menace (PDL)/Madison 56ers (NPSL) at Minnesota United FC (NASL)
Site TBA – 8:30 p.m.
FC Tucson (PDL)/Phoenix FC (USL PRO) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)
Toyota Field – San Antonio, TX – 8:30 p.m.
Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO) at Austin Aztex (PDL)
House Park – Austin, TX – 8:30 p.m.
Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO) at North Texas Rayados (USASA)
Richland Community College – Dallas, TX – 9 p.m.
Ventura County (PDL)/FC Hasental (NPSL) at L.A. Blues (USL PRO)
Titan Stadium – Fullerton, CA – 9:30 p.m.
Charleston Battery (USL PRO) at Portland Timbers U23s (PDL)
JELD-WEN Field – Portland, OR – 10:30 p.m.
Sacramento Gold (NPSL) at Charleston Battery (USL PRO)
Blackbaud Stadium – Charleston, SC – 7:30 p.m.
Sounders FC U-23s (PDL)/Doxa Italia (USASA) at Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO)
Queens University of Charlotte Sports Complex – Charlotte, NC – 7 p.m.
Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Georgia Revolution (NPSL)
RYSA Soccerplex – Conyers, GA – 7 p.m.
Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) vs. Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)
Laredo Heat (PDL)/PSA Elite (USASA) at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
Lockhart Stadium – Fort Lauderdale, FL – 7:30 p.m.
2013 US Open Cup Participating Teams
Major League Soccer (Division I – 16 teams): Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City.
North American Soccer League (Division II – 6 teams): Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota United FC, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies
USL Pro (Division III – 12 teams): Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, Orlando City, Phoenix FC Wolves, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, VSI Tampa Bay FC, Wilmington Hammerheads.
USL Premier Development League - 16 places: The top two American-based teams from each division’s 2012 league standings. The teams will be: Austin Aztex, Carolina Dynamo, Des Moines Menace, FC Tucson, GPS Portland Phoenix, Laredo Heat, Michigan Bucks, Ocala Stampede, Ocean City Nor’easters, Orlando City U23s, Portland Timbers U23s, Reading United, Real Colorado Foxes, River City Rovers, Seattle Sounders U23s, Ventura County Fusion | PDL entry details [+]
National Premier Soccer League - 8 places: Brooklyn Italians, Chattanooga FC, FC Hasental, FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic, Georgia Revolution, Madison 56ers, New York Red Bulls U23s, Sacramento Gold
U.S. Adult Soccer Association - 8 places: Icon FC (New Jersey, Region I), Mass Premier Soccer (Massachusetts, Region I), Dearborn Stars SC (Michigan, Region II), RWB Adria (Illinois, Region II), North Texas Rayados (North Texas, Region III), Red Force (Florida, Region III), Doxa Italia (California South, Region IV), PSA Elite (California South, Region IV)
US Club Soccer - 1 place: Fresno Fuego Future
U.S. Specialty Sports Association - 1 place: Colorado Rovers
2013 US Open Cup Match Schedule
Preliminary Round - Date: May 7 – Number of Games: 2 – Teams: Georgia Revolution (NPSL) at Colorado Rovers (USSSA); FC Hasental (NPSL) at Fresno Fuego Future (US Club Soccer)
First Round - Date: May 14 – Number of Games: 18 – Teams: Preliminary Round winners plus USASA, NPSL, PDL entries and 4 USL Pro teams (Dayton Dutch Lions, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Phoenix FC Wolves and VSI Tampa Bay FC).
Second Round – Date: May 21 – Number of Games: 16 – Teams: First Round winners join remaining 8 USL Pro and 6 NASL teams.
Third Round - Date: May 28 – Number of Games: 16 – Teams: 16 Second Round winners are paired against 16 MLS sides.
Fourth Round – Date: June 12
Quarterfinals – Date: June 26
Semifinals – Date: Aug. 7 or 21
Final – Date: Oct. 1 or 2