2017 US Open Cup qualifying review: A New York-New Jersey thriller highlights opening weekend of Round 2
FC Motown celebrates the game-winning goal scored in second half of stoppage time in the club’s 3-2 win over Lansdowne Bhoys in the 2017 US Open Cup qualifying. Photo: James O’Rourke | FC Motown
The second round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualifying tournament kicked off with four games. Three teams that qualified for last year’s US Open Cup (West Chester United, Aromas Cafe FC, Lansdowne Bhoys FC) were eliminated by teams who are seeking their first-ever tournament berth (Christos FC, Tartan Devils Oak Avalon, FC Motown). The fourth game featured recent tournament regular GPS Omens who knocked off Newtown Pride FC (CT) as they aiming to qualify for the third time in four years.
The biggest game of the weekend was between New Jersey’s FC Motown and New York’s Lansdowne Bhoys. The Bhoys tied the game up in second half stoppage time but FC Motown answered that with the game-winner in the final minute.
There are still 14 more games to be played in Round 2, but they will take place the following weekend (Oct. 22-23). Check out the full schedule, and past results, here.
Below is a brief recap of each game:
Christos FC kept the Maryland flag flying in the 2017 US Open Cup qualifying tournament with a narrow 1-0 win over one of last year’s darlings, West Chester United. In the end, it was a trio of former University of Maryland Baltimore County players who eliminated the Philadelphia-area club. Pete Caringi III headed home a pass from Geaton Caltabiano in the 87th minute to break the scoreless tie and Phil Saunders earned a clean sheet in goal. Christos FC won last year’s USASA Amateur Cup and has won three Over-30 national championships in club history. They have been a regular entry in US Open Cup qualifying, but have yet to punch their ticket to the big dance. Now they are moving on to the third round.
Keith Caldwell assisted on two of GPS Omens’ three goals as the Massachusetts-based club cruised into the third round of the tournament with a 3-1 win over Newtown Pride FC. With the win, GPS takes another step toward qualifying for the US Open Cup for the third time in four years. FULL MATCH REPORT »
Last year, the Tartan Devils Oak Avalon traveled to Charlottesville, Va. and lost 3-1 to Aromas Cafe FC. It was the second year in a row that they had lost their opening round qualifier by the score of 3-1 (They lost to the Aegean Hawks the year before). This year’s rematch took place in Pittsburgh and it was the Devils who advanced 3-1. It was the first qualifying win in club history and they did it on the strength of two goals by former Pittsburgh Riverhounds player Travis MacKenzie. FULL MATCH REPORT »
FC Motown celebrates their 3-2 win over Lansdowne Bhoys in the 2017 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: James O’Rourke | FC Motown.
New York vs. New Jersey is always a heated rivalry, especially in the sports world. This made Sunday’s battle between FC Motown (Morristown, NJ) and Lansdowne Bhoys FC (New York City) even more intriguing because it featured two of the best amateur clubs from those respective states. The game lived up to the hype with FC Motown, who are making their US Open Cup qualifying debut, eliminating the Bhoys 3-2 on a game-winning goal scored in the final minute.
FC Motown got off to a hot start with a pair of goals in the opening 30 minutes by Dritan Sela and Max Garcia. The Bhoys pulled one back in the 36th minute and could have equalized five minutes later. They earned a penalty kick, but FC Motown’s Andrew Tartara made a full-extension save to help Motown take a one-goal lead into the halftime break.
After a more physical second half, Lansdowne Bhoys earned another penalty kick in stoppage time. This time they converted and most in attendance thought the goal would send the game into extra time. Everyone except Motown FC. They pushed forward and earned a free kick just outside the Bhoys’ penalty area. There, Martin Lukaschik delivered a cross into the box where it was headed into the back of the net by Andres Berriel to give the home team the dramatic 3-2 win.
MORE: Interview with FC Motown head coach Sacir Hot after the win (from OnceAMetro.com)