A week after their original 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualifying match was rained out, the North Texas Rayados traveled two and a half hours south to eliminate Austin Real Cuauhtemoc, 4-2. The match was the final game of the opening round of the open division tournament, played at the McMasters Athletic Complex in Georgetown, Texas.
The win puts the Rayados one step closer to qualifying for the US Open Cup for the fifth year in a row, which would be a new Modern Era record for a USASA club.
Joshean Gonzalez scored the first two goals for Rayados, both in the early part of each half. The first was scored from the penalty spot in the 10th minute, followed by a left-footed blast from outside the box set up by Gerardo Salas in the 52nd minute.
In the 65th minute, Gonzalez, known to his teammates as ‘Yoshi,’ was the playmaker this time, crossing the ball from the right wing to Juan Torres who one-timed past the goalkeeper to make it 3-0 to the visitors.
Despite facing a three-goal deficit, Austin, which chose it’s team name based on the Mexican club “Real Juventud,” and the neighborhood (Cuauhtemoc) where team owner and coach Jose Bartolo grew up. didn’t give up. Edwin Madrid and Luis Maldonado each scored to pull the home team back to within one. The comeback attempt fell short though, as Davis Chavez connected on a left-footed volley into the upper corner from just outside the box to give Rayados a two-goal lead with about seven minutes to play.
North Texas advances to Round 2 where they will take on Oregon’s International Portland Select (IPS), who received a bye into the second round after the Kansas City Athletics withdraw since they were unable to make the long trip to Portland, Ore. The date and the location for the match has yet to be announced.