Tuesday night is the Round of Dreams for the US Open Cup as 32 teams go head-to-head knowing that at the end of the night one of them will be facing a Major League Soccer team in a week’s time. For the amateur clubs whose odds of beating an MLS team are slim, a win against a professional opponent from the second division NASL or third tier USL Pro will go down as a major accolade in their history. For the pro clubs, the chance to square off against the top tier in a meaningful match is one of the most important moments in their seasons.
Among the matches are a few local showdowns between sides from the same state, including several that are within the same metropolitan areas. In Florida, Orlando City (USL Pro) visits the Ocala Stampede (PDL) and the two professional Tampa Bay clubs from the NASL and USL Pro square off. Also in the south, the Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) visit the Georgia Revolution (NPSL) and the Carolina Railhawks (NASL) host the Carolina Dynamo (PDL). In the northeast, fellow Philadelphia Union affiliates Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) and Reading United AC (PDL) will play one another in Reading while out west, the in-state showdowns will conclude with the LA Blues (USL Pro) playing host to the Ventura County Fusion (PDL).
|ROUND 2 BROADCASTS|
Charleston Battery at Portland Timbers U23s
AUDIO | VIDEO
Atlanta Silverbacks at Georgia Revolution
Icon FC at Richmond Kickers
Dearborn Stars SC at Dayton Dutch Lions
The Second Round also features a few cross-country meetings with the Sounders U23 side (PDL) traveling to Charlotte (USL Pro) and the Charleston Battery (USL Pro) visiting the Timbers U23 entry (PDL).
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 Second Round:
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) at Reading United AC (PDL)
Don Thomas Stadium – Reading, PA – 7:00 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game vs. Red Bull New York (MLS)
Harrisburg City Islanders Open Cup records
Overall: 12-5-3 (2-1 PKs) | Away: 2-4-0 | vs. Amateur: 8-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 5-2 at Philadelphia Union of MLS in Quarterfinals)
Best finish: Quarterfinals (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012)
Reading United Open Cup records
Overall: 2-6-0 (2-4-0 as PDL) | Home: 2-1-0 | vs. Division 3: 0-4-0
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)
Harrisburg has been one of the top clubs thus far in the USL Pro season with a 5-1-1 record. The City Islanders, whose lone defeat was at home to Charleston, is coming off a 2-2 draw against league-leading Orlando City over the weekend. The team features five players on loan from MLS affiliate Philadelphia Union (Don Anding, Leo Fernandes, Christhian Hernandez, Greg Jordan and Jimmy McLaughlin), and are led in scoring by Sainey Touray (5 goals, 3 assists) and Lucky Mkosana (3 goals, 1 assist).
Reading, meanwhile, are off to a dominant start to both competitions. After posting an 8-0 win in their league opener at home, they blanked Lehigh Valley last week in the First Round of the Open Cup 2-0 on goals from Darius Madison and Steve Neumann. They continued the shutout streak with a 3-0 win at home against the New Jersey Rangers in PDL action Sunday. Mario Pinto Neto (3 goals), Emanuel Sanchez (2 goals, 1 assist) and Jason Plumhoff (1 goal, 3 assists) are the leading scorers in league play.
GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) at Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL Pro)
Sahlen’s Stadium – Rochester, NY – 7:35 p.m.
Winner gets: New England Revolution (MLS) (Rochester hosts, Portland travels)
Rochester Raging Rhinos Open Cup records
Overall: 28-14-5 (3-2 PKs) | Home: 23-6-4 (2-2 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 10-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-0 at Philadelphia Union of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: 1999 US Open Cup champions
GPS Portland Phoenix Open Cup records
Overall: 1-1-0 | Home: 1-1-0 | vs. USL-Pro: 0-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-2 vs. Brooklyn Italians of NPSL – Round 1)
Best finish: 2012 First Round (Lost 3-2 vs. Brooklyn Italians of NPSL)
It has been the worst start in Rhinos history. Plagued by injuries and a ruthless road schedule with back-to-back matches, the team is off to a 1-6-1 start. A narrow 1-0 home loss to league-leading Orlando City over the weekend in which they allowed the winner with a man advantage proved to be the breaking point as coach Jesse Myers, formerly a longtime assistant for the Richmond Kickers, was relieved of his post. The club appointed current COO and USL Hall of Fame coach Pat Ercoli, who guided the team through its memorable Open Cup campaigns, including the 1999 championship, as interim manager. Rochester has had player on loan from MLS affiliate New England Revolution in the form of Gabe Latigue, Tyler Polak, Matt Horth and Bilal Duckett, who was recently called back due to injury issues.
For Portland, the season kicked off with a thrilling 5-4 win at home against Vermont a week ago accompanied by a 2-0 win against Mass Premier Soccer (USASA) in the Open Cup First Round Tuesday. Over the weekend the club played to a scoreless stalemate against Seacoast United Phantoms in PDL action.
Icon FC (USASA) at Richmond Kickers (USL Pro)
Richmond City Stadium – Richmond, VA – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: DC United (MLS) (Richmond hosts, Icon travels)
Icon FC Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Away: 1-0-0 | vs. Division 3: 0-0-0
Richmond Kickers Open Cup records
Overall: 23-13-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 18-4-0 | vs. Amateur: 7-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 AET vs. DC United of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: 1995 US Open Cup champions
The Kickers have been one of the dominant teams in USL Pro thus far and are just one of two unbeaten teams left at 4-0-3. Over the weekend the saw the visiting LA Blues snare a late 1-1 draw in USL Pro action. The club features numerous players on loan from MLS affiliate DC United, including starting goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra. Others are Taylor Kemp, Michael Seaton, Conor Shanosky and Casey Townsend, though he has been called in by DC of late. Brian Ownby of the Houston Dynamo has also spent time on loan with the Kickers, who are led in scoring by Joseph Ngwenya (6 goals) and Nathaniel Robinson (5 assists).
Icon FC, the New Jersey-based club that features former US international Danny Szetela, is coming off their first-ever Open Cup win, 4-1 over the Brooklyn Italians of the NPSL in Round 1. The victory was highlighted by a breakout performance by Argjent Duka, the brother of Dilly Duka of the Chicago Fire, who scored a hat trick.
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
WakeMed Soccer Park – Cary, NC – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Home game vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Carolina Dynamo Open Cup records
Overall: 10-9-1, 1-0 PKs (5-4-1, 1-0 PKs as PDL) | Home: 8-2-1 (5-2-1, 1-0 PKs as PDL ) | vs. Division 2: 2-2-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 at Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks of USASA in Round 1)
Best finish (as Division 3): 1996 Quarterfinals (Lost 2-0 at DC United of MLS)
Carolina RailHawks Open Cup records
Overall: 10-4-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 10-2-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 4-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 vs. Chivas USA of MLS in Round 4)
Best finish: 2007 Semifinals (Lost 2-1 AET at New England Revolution)
The RailHawks are tied atop the NASL at 3-1-2 in a league where no team has really set themselves apart as clear contenders for the spring season title. The RailHawks had pulled away from a three-way tie the week before, but saw the gap closed when they suffered their first loss of the season over the weekend, dropping a 2-0 game in Atlanta. The team, which includes RSL loanee Enzo Martinez, is led in scoring by Brian Shriver (5 goals) and Austin Da Luz (1 goal 4 assists).
Aside from their 4-4 thriller against the NPSL’s Chattanooga FC decided in penalties, the team has has been dominant thus far with a pair of shutout wins in league play. They downed Virginia Beach 3-0 prior to the Open Cup opener and the Dynamo took a 1-0 decision Saturday in Northern Virginia on a fifth minute tally. Hakan Ilhan, who had a hat-trick last Tuesday, has one league goal while all the other tallies have been scored by different players.
Orlando City SC (USL Pro) at Ocala Stampede (PDL)
Forest High School Soccer Field – Ocala, FL – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Colorado Rapids (MLS) (Orlando hosts, Ocala travels)
Orlando City SC Open Cup records
Overall: 3-2-0 | Away: 1-2-0 | vs. Amateur: 3-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-2 at Sporting KC of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: Third Round (2011, 2012)
Ocala Stampede Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Home: 0-0-0 | vs. Division 3: 0-0-0
The Lions have arguably been the most impressive lower division pro club so far this year with a record of 7-1-2 as they have outscored the opposition 26-10. They posted a 2-2 draw in Harrisburg and a 1-0 win in Rochester over the weekend. They have been fueled by loanee Dom Dwyer (12 goals 1 assist) from MLS affiliate Sporting KC. His two-goal outing in Harrisburg was the fourth consecutive game with at least two goals and the fifth in a row in which he has scored. Other loaned players are Christian Duke, Yann Songo’o and goalkeeper Jon Kempin. If Dwyer is held out from being cup-tied by KC, Jamie Watson (4 goals 5 assists) would be the other go-to player for Orlando City.
After posting the 4-2 road win against Red Force (USASA) in the Open Cup last week the Stampede kicked off their league campaign, falling on the road to VSI Tampa Bay U23s in a heartbreaker in which a scoreless draw turned into a 2-0 loss with goals scored in the 90th and stoppage time.
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at VSI Tampa Bay FC (USL PRO)
Plant City Stadium; Plant City, FL – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) (VSI travels, Rowdies host)
VSI Tampa Bay FC Open Cup records
Overall: 0-0-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 0-0-0 | vs. Division 2: 0-0-0
Tampa Bay Rowdies Open Cup records
Overall: 2-2-0 | Home: 0-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 2-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 vs. Colorado Rapids of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: 2012 Third Round (Lost 3-1 vs. Colorado Rapids of MLS)
In a rare derby match between the two Bay Area teams, the NASL entry based in St Petersburg comes into the match having pulled into a tie for the league lead at 3-1-2 this season. They won a thriller on the road in Minnesota over the weekend with a 90th minute winner from Keith Savage. The team, which 2-0-1 in their last three and has a 3-0-0 road record, is led in scoring by Luke Mulholland (4 goals 2 assists) and Georgi Hristov (2 goals 3 assists).
VSI Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is mid-table in USL Pro with a record of 4-3-0 and are 3-1-0 at home. The team was idle over the weekend after narrowly escaping an upset at the hands of Orlando City’s U23 PDL team via penalties following a 1-1 draw. The coach, Matt Weston, had stepped down a week prior to the Open Cup contest, which had conveniently fallen within a two-week idle period in league play for the team. VSI’s JT Noone has a chance to make history. If the Harrisburg, PA native scores a goal, he will become the first player in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present) to score a goal in five straight tournaments.
Des Moines Menace (PDL) at Minnesota United FC (NASL)
Elizabeth Lyle Riley Stadium – St. Paul, MN – 8 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Des Moines Menace Open Cup records
Overall: 8-6-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 5-3-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 4-1-0
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)
Minnesota United FC Open Cup records
Overall: 3-2-0 | Home: 1-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 2-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 1-0 at San Jose Earthquakes of MLS in Round 4)
Best finish: 2012 Fourth Round ((Lost 1-0 at San Jose Earthquakes of MLS)
Renamed and newly branded from Minnesota Stars, the team overhauled the roster with some of the league’s top players from the past few seasons, but has not found consistency as of yet with a record of 2-2-2. They are coming off a late 3-2 loss at home to Tampa Bay in which poor defensive play led to all three goals for the visitors. On the offensive end though, returning player Simone Bracalello has been impressive with three goals and three assists.
The Menace went into the Open Cup contest with a 1-1 draw on the road the weekend before and after snatching the 1-0 home win against the NPSL’s Madison 56ers, Des Moines repeated the result in their PDL home opener against Winnipeg on a goal from defender Taylor Diem.
Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro) at Austin Aztex (PDL)
House Park – Austin, TX – 8:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game vs. Portland Timbers (MLS)
Wilmington Hammerheads Open Cup records
Overall: 13-10-1 (1-0 PKs) | Away: 0-5-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 6-2-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 4-0 vs. Cal FC of USASA in Round 2)
Best Finish: Quarterfinals (2003, 2009)
Austin Aztex Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Home: 1-0-0 | vs. Division 3: 0-0-0
The Hammerheads have struggled through the opening portion of the league campaign with a 2-5-0 record but are coming off a 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Blues over the weekend – though it should be noted LA played in Richmond the night before. Wilmington’s two wins both came at home while they are 0-3 on the road being outscored 11-3. Paul Nicholson and defender Jamell Wallace are the only players with two goals.
The Aztex opened the league campaign with a 2-1 road win before getting the relatively easy 3-0 win at home against the NTX Rayados (USASA) in the Open Cup last week. Austin, now in the midst of a five-game home stand through the two competitions, edged visiting Houston 1-0 on Saturday with a goal from defender Aaron Guillen. Tony Rocha, who scored the third goal against NTX, has two goals on the young campaign.
FC Tucson (PDL) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)
Toyota Field – San Antonio, TX – 8:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Houston Dynamo (MLS) (San Antonio Hosts, Tucson Travels)
FC Tucson Open Cup records
Overall 1-0-0 | Away: 0-0-0 | vs. Division 2: 0-0-0
San Antonio Scorpions Open Cup records
Overall: 2-1-0 | Home: 2-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 1-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 AET vs. Charlotte Eagles in Round 4)
Best finish: 2012 Fourth Round (Lost 2-1 AET vs. Charlotte Eagles
Regular season champions a year ago, the Scorpions were raided for its top players during the offseason, leaving the opening of their new stadium as the only thing to really celebrate so far with a start that was winless prior to this weekend. They topped visiting Fort Lauderdale 3-1 to leap over the Strikers in the table with a record of 1-3-2. Hans Dennisen has two of the team’s six goals with Javier Saavedra having a goal and two assists.
FC Tucson kicked off their 2013 tournament in fine fashion, rallying from a goal down in the final eight minutes to defeat the Phoenix FC of USL Pro 2-1 in the First Round last week on a pair of goals from late sub Conner Bevans. The team had also rallied in their season opener the weekend before for a 1-1 draw in LA and moved to 1-0-1 on the season with a 3-1 victory against Southern California this past Saturday with a pair of goals from Ricardo Velasco. David Clemens also had a goal and assist.
Charleston Battery (USL Pro) at Portland Timbers U23s (PDL)
JELD-WEN Field – Portland, OR – 10:30 p.m.
Broadcast: AUDIO (WQNT – Charleston) | VIDEO: PortlandTimbers.com
Winner gets: Home game vs. San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Charleston Battery Open Cup records (fix)
Overall: 23-12-4 (3-1 PKs) | Away: 4-5-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 8-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-0 vs. New York Red Bulls of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: 2008 Runner-Up (Lost 2-1 at DC United)
Portland Timbers U23s Open Cup records
Overall: 1-1-0 | Home: 1-1-0 | vs.USL-Pro : 0-0-0
The Battery have been one of the better sides in USL Pro so far this season with a 6-2-0 record. Last week they dropped a narrow 1-0 decision on the road against unbeaten Charlotte but rebounded to pick up a 1-0 win in Houston over the weekend against the previously unbeaten Dynamo Reserves. The scoring has come from several players with Michael Azira (3 goals), Nicholas Paterson (3 goals 2 assists), defender John Wilson (2 goals) and Zachary Prince (2 goals 2 assists) leading the way. The team also features a pair of Vancouver Whitecaps PDL players on loan in the form of Ben Fisk and Emmanuel Adjetay.
The PDL club needed to come back from a two-goal deficit at home to advance in their 2013 campaign opener last week in the First Round to defeat Sacramento 3-2. Over the weekend the Timbers U23 side blanked Cascadia rival Sounders U23 2-0 with goals from Eric Miller and Zack Foxhoven, who scored the first goal in the Open Cup rally. They then posted a 2-1 road win over North Sound with a brace from Clark Phillips in the first 15 minutes.
Ventura County Fusion (PDL) at Los Angeles Blues (USL Pro)
Titan Stadium – Fullerton, CA – 10 p.m .
Winner gets: Home game vs. Chivas USA (MLS)
Ventura County Fusion Open Cup records
Overall: 4-2-1 (0-1 PKs)| Home: 2-2-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 3-0-1 (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)
Los Angeles Blues Open Cup records
Overall: 2-2-0 | Home: 1-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 2-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 AET vs. Ventura County Fusion in Round 2)
Best finish: 2011 Third Round (Lost 2-1 at Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS)
In large part courtesy of a league-leading 11 games played, the Blues are mid-table at 4-5-2 so far this season in USL Pro. The team is coming off a trip to the east where they were able to find a late draw in Richmond 1-1 before falling to Wilmington 2-1. Scoring has been a team affair thus far this season with five players having at least two goals with George Davis the only one with three. Rodrigo Lopez (1 goal 4 assists) is also an offensive leader.
The Fusion came from behind twice last Tuesday in the First Round of the Open Cup, defeating FC Hasental of the NPSL 3-2 on a late strike. The team came into that match with a pair of wins, one home and one away, and snared a second 1-0 road victory over the weekend to move to 3-0-0 on the season. The team is led in scoring by Chase Minter (2 goals), who scored the 87th minute Open Cup winner, and Frankie Lopez (3 assists), who scored the first equalizer in the 45th against Hasental.
This is the third year in a row the Fusion and Blues have squared off in the US Open Cup. The Blues won on the Fusion’s home field in 2011 by a score of 1-0, but the Fusion returned the favor last year, upsetting LA 3-1 in extra time in front of their home fans.
Sounders FC U23s (PDL) at Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro)
Queens University Sports Complex – Charlotte, NC – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Chicago Fire (MLS) (Charlotte hosts, Seattle travels)
Sounders FC U23s Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Away: 0-0-0 | vs. Division 3: 0-0-0
Charlotte Eagles Open Cup records
Overall: 8-10-0 | Home: 3-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 6-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 1-0 at Chivas USA of MLS in Quarterfinals)
Best finish: 2012 Quarterfinals (Lost 1-0 at Chivas USA of MLS)
The Eagles have arguably been overlooked so far this season with their unbeaten record due to the lack of games played, but the 1-0 win against Charleston last Tuesday in league play may have made a few people notice them at 3-0-3 with draws against Orlando City and Richmond as well. The defense has allowed just four goals in six games, three of them coming in the rare 3-3 draw at Richmond in which they rallied from two down. Four players – Christian Meza, Christian Ramirez, Nathan Thornton and defender Shaun Francis – each have a pair of goals, though Francis also has two assists to lead the team in total points.
A dominant 5-1 performance against Doxa Italia in the Open Cup to kick off their 2013 campaign has been followed by a complete nightmare in their opening weekend of league play. They were blanked 2-0 by Cascadia rival Timbers U23 and then fell 4-1 at Victoria in a game in which David Geno, who scored four in the Open Cup contest to earn TheCup.us Player of the Round honors, was knocked out with a potential broken foot and has skipped the trip to Charlotte.
Laredo Heat SC (PDL) at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
Lockhart Stadium – Fort Lauderdale, FL – 7:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Home game vs. FC Dallas (MLS)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers Open Cup records
Overall: 6-5-1 | Home: 6-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 4-1-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 at San Jose Earthquakes of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: Third Round (2008, 2010, 2012)
Laredo Heat Open Cup records
Overall: 1-1-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 0-1-0 | vs. Division 2: 0-1-0
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)
The Heat shut down PSA Elite with strikes on either side of the half whistle, as Danny Garza and Leo Medeiros struck for the 2-0 victory. This is the second consecutive year Laredo has made the Second Round, admittedly having a less formidable foe in a bottom-table Fort Lauderdale of the NASL. Last year the Heat fell 2-0 to NASL regular season champions San Antonio Scorpions. They sit in second place with four points, two behind fellow Open Cup qualifier Austin Aztex.
The Strikers have been down this season, sitting last in the NASL table on four points. While taking a 3-1 road loss Saturday to San Antonio, the bright side is that they picked up their sole win in their last home game, a 2-1 win in Minnesota the previous Saturday. Fort Lauderdale must adjust from their recent 1-2-0 form in order to continue their recent Open Cup success.
Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Georgia Revolution (NPSL)
RYSA Soccerplex – Conyers, GA – 7 p.m.
Winner gets: Road game vs. Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Atlanta Silverbacks Open Cup records
Overall: 5-7-2 (1-1 PKs) | Away: 2-4-2 (1-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 3-2-1 (PK)
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 5-1 at Seattle Sounders of MLS in Round 3)
Best finish: 2004 Fourth Round (Lost 4-1 vs. Kansas City Wizards of MLS)
Georgia Revolution Open Cup records
Overall: 3-1-0 | Home: 2-1-0 | vs. Division 2: 0-1-0
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)
Georgia had revenge on their mind, then almost lost their chance last week, as they had to withstand a rally from the PDL’s Real Colorado Foxes to get another chance at the Silverbacks. Kwadwo Poku scored a hat trick and Emeka Maduka added another to put the Revolution up 4-0, but the Foxes made a game of it, scoring three goals in a half hour and making the hosts sweat out the 4-3 win. The Revs have not played a game yet in the NPSL’s Flight Sunshine, with their first game set for Friday.
Atlanta is in third place in the NASL, one point back of leaders Carolina and Tampa Bay. Their last result was a 2-0 home win against the RailHawks, and they are even (1-1-1) on the road this season. This is a rematch of last year’s Second Round game, the Silverbacks grabbing a 1-0 win before losing 5-1 to Seattle Sounders FC. Another trip West awaits the winner, this time heading to Utah.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL Pro) at Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL)
Carey Stadium – Ocean City, NJ – 7:30 p.m.
Winner gets: Philadelphia Union (MLS) (Pittsburgh hosts, Ocean City travels)
Ocean City Nor’easters Open Cup records
Overall: 8-5-0 (7-4-0 as PDL) | Home: 6-3-0 (5-2-0 as PDL) | vs. Division 3: 4-1-0
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)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds Open Cup records
Overall: 5-8-2 (0-2 PKs) | Away: 2-7-2 (0-2 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 3-2-1 (0-1 PKs)
The Riverhounds avoided a huge upset at the hands of RWB Adria, advancing on a late 1-1 equalizer and penalties from the Open Cup First Round last week at home. The team has had little to celebrate other than the opening of their newly built Highmark Stadium with a 1-4-4 record. The team’s only win has come at home as they are 0-3-3 on the road. Jose Angulo (4 goals 1 assist) and Matthew Dallman (5 assists) have been the offensive engine for the club.
Ocean City dispatched the NY Red Bulls U23 side from the NPSL with a pair of second half goals in the Open Cup First Round last week to open their 2013 campaign. In their PDL opener on the road this weekend the Nor’easters used a two goal first half to net a 2-1 win against Central Jersey.
Dearborn Stars (USASA) at Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro)
Beavercreek High School – Beavercreek, OH – 7 p.m.
Broadcast: USLNation.com (video)
Winner gets: Road game at Columbus Crew (MLS)
Dearborn Stars Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Away: 1-0-0 | vs. Division 3: 0-0-0
Dayton Dutch Lions Open Cup records
Overall: 4-3-0 (4-2-0 as USL-Pro) | Home: 1-0-0 | vs. Amateur: 3-0-0
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)
Dearborn made quite an impression for their first time in the Open Cup, knocking off perenial giant-killer Michigan Bucks 2-0 in Pontiac last week. Niki Djokic provided the fireworks for the Stars, who qualified through the USASA’s Second Region tournament with some controversy, but proved they belong, and look to take out an even bigger opponent in the Dutch Lions.
Dayton, who has generally been near the bottom rungs of USL-Pro since making the transition from the PDL, has used success in the Open Cup last year to springboard themselves to mid-table so far this year. They sit in eighth place with a winning record (3-2-1) while having played the fewest games of any USL-Pro team. Their low place last season also meant they were one of four USL-Pro teams in action in the First Round. However, River City Rovers proved to be no challenge, as Irakli Khutsidze, Eric Kissinger, and Tjeerd Westdijk all scored in a 3-0 rout of the PDL side. The Ohio team hopes to build on the success of last year in the Cup, knocking off the Columbus Crew before falling to eventual champion Sporting Kansas City in the Quarterfinals.