2017 US Open Cup Round 2 preview: Rowdies advance, now which 25 teams will join them in Round 3?

Posted by | May 17, 2017
The 99 entries of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Graphic by: Gilberto Hernandez (Twitter: @GilbertoHdz200)

The 99 entries of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Graphic by: Gilberto Hernandez (Twitter: @GilbertoHdz200)

The 104th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup continues with Second Round action on Tuesday with the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ 3-0 win over the Jacksonville Armada U23s. Now, there are 25 games across the country scheduled for Wednesday.

The 2017 US Open Cup started out with a Modern Era (1995-present) record 99 teams and after 28 amateur teams advanced to Round 2, most of them will meet professional sides from the United Soccer League (18 teams) and the North American Soccer League (6 teams).

Below, you will find links to our coverage on TheCup.us, as well as previews of all 26 games, including video and audio links where available. You can get all the latest updates from every game through Twitter, using the hashtag #USOC2017. Use that same hashtag on Instagram to share your US Open Cup-related photos.

#USOC2017 coverage:
* 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup schedule, results (video/audio links)
* 2017 US Open Cup Round 1 review
* 2017 Round 1: Pete Caringi of Christos FC spaces out hat trick to earn TheCup.us Player of the Round
* 2017 US Open Cup bracket (TheCup.us)
* 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup schedule, results
* A map of all 99 entries for the 2017 US Open Cup
* 2017 Meet the Underdogs series
* 2017 US Open Cup qualifying Round 2 review: 14 more teams advance as Round 3 moved to next year
* 2017 US Open Cup qualifying Round 1: Scores and recaps from every game
* Eric Wynalda hired to lead LA Wolves for 2017 US Open Cup run
* Reading United qualifies for record 9th straight US Open Cup, seeking more than an opening round win

Things you should know about the Second Round of the US Open Cup

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Jacksonville Armada U23sJacksonville Armada U23s  
0 : 3
Tampa Bay Rowdies    Tampa Bay Rowdies
 Al Lang Stadium – St. Petersburg, FL 

Winner will play winner of South Florida Surf (PDL)/Miami FC (NASL) on May 31

Stuart Campbell and the Rowdies have the roster to best their club-best Fourth Round finish, but will face a testy Armada youth team eager to prove itself against an in-state club with MLS ambition.

Tampa Bay enter the match unbeaten in three games, but after a victory in USL play Saturday, expect Stuart Campbell to make some changes from the side that defeated Louisville City.
As ever, the Rowdies frontline is led by Georgi Hristov, who scored the winning goal in Tampa Bay’s lone Open Cup triumph last year, a 1-0 victory over FC Cincinnati in third round action. More casual fans will recognize names like Jamaican international and former Colorado Rapids number nine Deshorn Brown, as well as longtime Premier League stalwart Joe Cole, who is no stranger to cup competition having won multiple FA Cups while playing for Chelsea in England. The Rowdies are also strong in defense, with speedy fullbacks Luke Boden and Darnell King providing menace on the overlap and steady veterans like Neill Collins and Damion Lowe in the center.

Jacksonville Armada’s U-23s are coached by Pat Cannon, who got all the changes right in helping the team pull off a come from behind win over The Villages SC last week. The Armada U-23s equalized moments after Cannon’s first two changes, and the winning goal, and seized control of the game from that point forward. The winning goal was scored by Cameron Grassmyer, who is one of several players on the club that also features for the Jacksonville University Dolphins, playing under the reputable manager Mauricio Ruiz.

AFC ClevelandAFC Cleveland  
0 : 1
FC Cincinnati    FC Cincinnati
 Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati, OH 

If AFC Cleveland wins …at Tartan Devils (USASA) or home vs Louisville FC (USL) on May 31
If Cincinnati FC wins… home vs. Tartan Devils/Louisville winner on May 31

Reigning NPSL champion AFC Cleveland had an impressive showing in Des Moines, Iowa in Round 1, defeating the host Des Moines Menace 3-1.

The Royals opened up play in the NPSL on Saturday evening, drawing with Dayton Dynamo 3-3. AFC Cleveland is looking to improve on its US Open Cup performance last season, during which it advanced to the Second Round but then fell to Saint Louis FC (USL), 2-0.

FC Cincinnati, meanwhile, sits at 2-4-3 in the early stages of its USL campaign. The Orange and Blue, in their second year, are led offensively by Djiby Fall who has tallied six goals so far this season. Kenney Walker has contributed three assists, while Harrison Delbridge has added one goal and one assist.

Last season, FC Cincinnati won its second round match up of the US Open Cup 2-1 over Indy Eleven NPSL before falling in the third round to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1-0.

Charlotte IndependenceCharlotte Independence  
3 : 2
Charlotte Eagles    Charlotte Eagles
 Charlotte Christian School – Charlotte, NC 

Winner at Carolina Dynamo (PDL)/North Carolina FC (NASL)winner on May 31

It’s old versus new in the Charlotte Derby as the Eagles host the Independence for the second straight year, hoping to avenge last year’s 2-0 loss in the Second Round.

The Eagles are flying high after a comprehensive 2-0 win over perennial NPSL contender Chattanooga FC, with Joao Costa providing the firepower (1 goal, 1 assist). They’ll be looking to expound on their Open Cup resume, having recently been to the Quarterfinals in 2012 when they were a pro team in the USL. Of course, this will be only their second go as an amateur team, as many of their Open Cup runs were as a professional team.

The Independence bought the Charlotte rights to a USL team from the Eagles in late 2014, and have gotten pretty good return from their first two Open Cup runs, advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2015 after beating in-state rival North Carolina FC and MLS’s New England Revolution. A win over the Eagles would potentially get them into WakeMed Soccer Park for their third consecutive showdown with North Carolina FC.

North Carolina FCNorth Carolina FC  
6 : 1
Carolina Dynamo    Carolina Dynamo
 Macpherson Stadium – Greensboro, NC 

Winner will host Charlotte Eagles (PDL)/Charlotte Independence (USL) on May 31

North Carolina FC (formerly Carolina RailHawks) begins this year’s US Open Cup run with their first-ever trip to MacPherson Stadium in Browns Summit, North Carolina to take on the Carolina Dynamo.

The connections between the two teams run deep. Brian Shriver, who was the top scorer in the 2012 US Open Cup while playing for the RailHawks, played two summers with the Dynamo. And many of the Dynamo players started out in the CASL (Capital Area Soccer League) youth system that’s based in WakeMed Soccer Park where North Carolina plays its home games.

Indeed, both teams play at soccer stadiums that sit among large youth setups. Mamadee Nyepon, who scored last week’s game-winner for the Dynamo, got his start playing on the various fields surrounding MacPherson Stadium while in the Greensboro United setup.

It’ll be a rare senior team matchup for two organizations whose youth teams play each other regularly. Even though the two clubs are regular entrants to the US Open Cup, this will be just their second meeting in Open Cup history, with North Carolina prevailing 3-1 in the Second Round of 2013.

The winner will host the winner of the other all-North Carolina matchup between Charlotte Eagles and Charlotte Independence in the Third Round.

GPS OmensGPS Omens  
2 : 1
Boston City FC    Boston City FC
 Della Russo Stadium - Revere, MA 

If Boston City wins…at Rochester Rhinos (USL) or home vs FC Motown (USASA) on May 31
If GPS Omens wins…at Rochster Rhinos (USL) or vs FC Motown (USASA) – host TBD – on May 31

GPS Omens has qualified for the US Open Cup four of the last five years, but one thing that has escaped the Massachusetts-based amateur club is multiple wins in a single tournament. In fact, prior to their 2-0 First Round road win over GPS Portland Phoenix, they were 0-3-0 in the tournament. With a win under their belt, they have a chance to make it two in a row as they travel to Revere, Mass. to take on Boston City FC.

Boston City FC from the NPSL advanced beyond the opening round in their first-ever trip to the US Open Cup. They needed penalty kicks to eliminate the Western Mass Pioneers in Round 1 and now are one win away from reaching Round 3 where they could play their first pro team in the Rochester Rhinos, or if the Rhinos get upset, Boston will only have FC Motown in between them and a date with a MLS team in Round 4.

Charleston BatteryCharleston Battery  
2 : 1
Atlanta Silverbacks    Atlanta Silverbacks
 Atlanta Silverbacks Park – Atlanta, GA 

Winner at Miami United (NPSL)/Jacksonville Armada (NASL) winner on May 31

Atlanta Silverbacks (NPSL) are coming off an impressive first round win over SC United Bantams by a score of 4-1. The match included an amazing half field goal from Alex Harlley, the nephew of former English Premier League star Emmanuel Adebayor. Deon McCaulay led the scoring for the match, with two goals. Atlanta are off to a hot start this year, having not lost yet in league play (3-0). This will be their 3rd US Open Cup appearance; they have never advanced in their previous outings (2009, 2016). Atlanta faced the Battery in 2009, losing 2-0 at Charleston.

The Charleston Battery (USL) are entering the second round of the 2017 tournament having a strong showing in league, currently holding a 5-1-1 record. In the 2016 tournament, the Battery lost in the third round in an exciting overtime match to the Jacksonville Armada.

The Battery’s claim to Open Cup fame are that they are one of two lower division clubs to reach the Final in the Modern Era (1995-present). They lost to DC United of MLS in the 2008 championship game. Charleston has the most Quarterfinal appearances of any lower division club since 1995 and are tied with the fifth-most wins (29) by any club in the Modern Era.

Jacksonville ArmadaJacksonville Armada  
2 : 1
Miami United FC    Miami United FC
 Ted Hendricks Stadium – Hialeah, FL 

Winner at home vs Atlanta Silverbacks (NPSL)/Charleston Battery (USL) winner

Contrasting styles.

Perhaps the most interesting matchup of the three second round games played in Florida, the Armada of the NASL are led by the young Englishman Mark Lowry, who demands his side defend, maintain quality shape and counterattack. The Armada are difficult to break down, having kept three clean sheets in their first seven games of the NASL campaign and conceding more than once on only one occasion.

The Armada lack a lethal forward, however, relying instead on smart midfield play from MLS veterans Zach Steinberger and Kevan George in the midfield and the blistering pace of Charles Elondou and Jemal Johnson, among others, on the wings. JC Banks and Jack Blake may be rested after lengthy NASL shifts this past weekend. Trinidad and Tobago international Jonathan Glenn is another speedy player built to counter.

What will be interesting is whether the Armada play to their strengths against a Miami United side chock full of professional experience and technical skill.

Nacho, the hero of Miami’s first round win, is a Miami amateur circuit legend and can finish comfortably with either foot. Mattias Menza is a pacy central midfielder who can effectively score from distance and the Brazilian Rafinha, from Cruzeiro’s youth system, is a punishing number six and a good option on a set piece.

If there’s an upset in the three 2nd round Florida games, it seems most likely to occur.

Christos FCChristos FC  
1 : 0
Richmond Kickers    Richmond Kickers
 City Stadium – Richmond, VA 

If Christos FC wins … at Chicago/Pitt winner
If Richmond Kickers wins … vs Chicago/Pitt winner

Christos FC received a hat trick from Peter Caringi in its first round match against Fredericksburg FC to advance to round two by a 3-0 scoreline. The hat trick was enough to earn Caringi TheCup.us Player of the Round honors.

Christos FC, the reigning USASA Amateur Cup champions, is in the midst of its first US Open Cup tournament.

Christos FC has opened the spring season in a number of other cup competitions, playing in qualifiers for the USASA Amateur Cup and the Werner Fricker Cup.

The Richmond Kickers, meanwhile, have played to a 2-4-2 record in their USL campaign and have yet to find their offensive rhythm. In eight matches, the team has notched just four goals, led by Fred Owusu Sekyere who has tallied two.

The Kickers organization is no stranger to success in the US Open Cup. The team won the Cup in 1995, and as recently as 2011, advanced to the semifinals of the competition, defeating two MLS sides in the process. In the 2016 edition of the US Open Cup, the Kickers advance to the third round before falling to the Ft Lauderdale Strikers on penalty kicks.

FC MotownFC Motown  
0 : 3
Rochester Rhinos    Rochester Rhinos
 Capelli Sport Stadium – Rochester, NY 

If FC Motown wins…at Boston City FC (NPSL) or against GPS Omens – host TBA – on May 31
If Rochester Rhinos wins…at home vs Boston City FC/GPS Omens winner on May 31

If you thought that FC Motown Celtics was an Irish team from Detroit, it’s ok, but this is not an old-school ethnic club. Motown is a common nickname for Morristown NJ, where FC Motown is based. And the Celtic moniker? The team’s first jerseys copied Glasgow Celtics because they looked good, and the name stuck.

FC Motown plays in the Garden State Soccer League, Yellow Super Division and entered round 2 after a dramatic 2-1 overtime win over NJ Copa. With the score tied at the end of regulation, the first period of overtime proved to be decisive as Motown’s Sammy Gehman smacked a 32 yard freekick over Copa’s two man wall to notch the game winner.

Motown come into their game against the Rhinos with a perfect 11-0-0 record in league play with 59 goals for and 13 goals against. Coach Sacir Hot, formerly with the NY Red Bulls and US youth national teams, is the most noteworthy individual with Motown, but fans should also watch for the athletic Marcus Hackett, and, if he is healthy, Andres Barriel, a crafty player on the ball.

Rochester Rhinos enter the 2nd round of USOC play as an automatic qualifier, playing in the USL Pro Eastern Conference where they finished 4th in 2016. So far in 2017, they are 2-2-1, with a tie and a win in the last two games and 6 goals scored over that span. Players to watch are on the wings and in goal. Jalen Brown, an NYCFC draft pick, holds down the left wing and impresses with his confidence on the ball. On the right side, Cristiano Francois – a former FC Motown player and Haitian national teamer – has speed to burn and will test the Celtics with his pace. Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez, formerly of San Jose Earthquakes, earned the USL’s Golden Glove award in 2016 with a 0.69 goals against average and will prove a stingier netminder than FC Motown are used to facing in the Garden State Soccer League. As the last non-MLS team to win the US Open Cup, in 1999, the Rhinos start their 2017 campaign with the memory of that success in the back of their minds, while remembering to take each game as it comes in their quest for a second title.

Louisville City FCLouisville City FC  
9 : 0
Tartan Devils Oak Avalon    Tartan Devils Oak Avalon
 Highmark Stadium – Pittsburgh, PA 

If Tartan Devils win … at FC Cincinnati (USL) or home vs AFC Cleveland (NPSL) on May 31
If Louisville City wins … at FC Cincinnati (USL) or at AFC Cleveland (NPSL) on May 31

Since its inaugural season in 2015, Louisville City FC have been one of the top teams in USL — finishing second in the Eastern Conference right behind the eventual league champions each year.

This year they’re right back near the top of the USL standings, but a 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday dropped them down to 3rd place — and looking forward to spending the upcoming week in Pittsburgh, where they will also take on the USL Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday.

First things first though, as this year’s US Open Cup path for Louisville City F.C. will run through the Steel City, where they will face an amateur team, Tartan Devils Oak Avalon FC, consisting of recent and former local college players.

The Devils advanced to the second round after battling back to defeat Louisville-based PDL side Derby City Rovers, 1-1 (4-3 on penalties) last Wednesday. After conceding an early goal, the Devils equalized on a Rob Heuler header from Derek Mackenzie’s free kick to the far post area in the 89th minute.

Louisville City FC (3-2 all-time in Open Cup play) will be looking for its third straight Second Round Open Cup win, while the Devils are the first amateur team from Western Pennsylvania to advance to the 2nd Round in the Open Cup modern era (since the inception of Major League Soccer). The results of this match may very well set up intruiging regional rivalry match-ups in the Open Cup’s third round game to be played on May 31. The winner will take on the winner of 2016 NPSL Champions AFC Cleveland-FC Cincinnati 2nd Round match, with possibilities of renewing a bitter rivalry between Lou City and FC Cincinnati or even a potential Pittsburgh vs Cleveland game.

South Florida SurfSouth Florida Surf  
2 : 3
Miami FC    Miami FC
 Cobb Field (Univ. of Miami) - Coral Gables, FL 

If South Florida wins … at Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) on May 31
If Miami FC wins … vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) on May 31

On paper, you’d think this is a mismatch, as Miami FC, coached by Italian World Cup champion Allesandro Nesta, enter the match sitting first in the NASL, led by powerful Ghanaian number ten Kwadwo Poku and Brazilian forward Stefano Pinho.

Miami FC play attractive soccer between the lines, with a staggered midfield trio of Dylan Mares, Johnny Steele or Calvin Rezende and the anchor man Richie Ryan all capable of pulling the string in attack. Still, the club do concede at a rate of a goal a game, and are vulnerable a bit on the flanks.

Look for the Surf, with a midfield that includes former Tampa Bay Rowdies man Jeff Michaud and Manny Gonzales, who played a significant part of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers run to last year’s Open Cup quarterfinals, to set up with a back five and wait to pick their spots on the counter. They defeated South Florida amateur power Red Force FC in the First Round to earn their first tournament win in franchise history.

Indy ElevenIndy Eleven  
0 : 1
Michigan Bucks    Michigan Bucks
 Ultimate Soccer Arenas – Pontiac, MI 

Winner will host FC Wichita/Saint Louis FC winner on May 31

The Michigan Bucks welcome the Indy Eleven to Ultimate Soccer Arenas this upcoming Wednesday as the US Open Cup shifts to Round 2.

The Bucks are currently 1-0-0 on the PDL season with a monumental win over division rivals K-W United of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The match featured the last three PDL champions (Bucks in 2014, 2016, K-W in 2015).

The Indy Eleven just had their first result of the season that wasn’t a draw, a 3-2 loss to Miami FC, dropping them to 0-1-6 (6 points) in the eight-team North American Soccer League.

The Bucks have a new team from the last time they were in the US Open Cup, missing current pro players like Lalas Abubakar (Columbus Crew), Francis DeVries (Vancouver Whitecaps 2), Adam Najem (Philadelphia Union, and Russell Cicerone (Portland Timbers 2), but for every person they miss, they always seem to bring in a new player to fill, like former pro Mo Kaba, Michigan Wolverine wing forward Francis Atuahene, and an exciting midfielder from Oakland University named Austin Ricci. Their returning spark plug off the bench is Andre Landell. He scored 11 goals for the Bucks last year, and already has one in the US Open Cup this year, the game-winner against AFC Ann Arbor in Round 1.

The Indy Eleven have a 2-3 record overall in the USOC, have come in off of great 2016 Spring and Fall season, finishing first and second respectively. But this year, it’s been very uneven. In seven games, they have scored eight goals, and given up nine. But they have the current goal scoring leader of the NASL with Justin Braun who has four. Indy Eleven still have their top two goal scorers in their short history, with Braun (12) and Irish-Libyan Eamon Zayed (17). They even sport former Buck David Goldsmith off the bench.

Harrisburg advances, 6-5 on penalty kicks
Harrisburg City IslandersHarrisburg City Islanders  
0 : 0
Ocean City Nor’easters    Ocean City Nor’easters
 Carey Stadium – Ocean City, NJ 

If Ocean City wins … home vs. New York Cosmos (PDL) or at Reading United (USL)
If Harrisburg City Islanders wins … at Reading United (PDL)/New York Cosmos (NASL) winner

In a rematch of a US Open Cup match from 10 years ago, the Harrisburg City Islanders will return to Carey Stadium to take on the Ocean City Nor’easters. Back in 2007, also in the Second Round, Harrisburg edged Ocean City (then known as the Ocean City Barons) 2-1 to deny the amateurs from the Premier Development League a chance at upsetting a pro team.

While it didn’t happen that day, Ocean City has given many professional teams a hard time in the US Open Cup. They have upset five pro teams in club history, the third-most of any amateur team in the Modern Era. The Nor’easters won the Eastern Conference championship last year and earned a spot in the PDL Final Four this year, but it’s a new year in 2017. Ocean City has a new head coach, John Thompson, a former PDL Defender of the Year who played for the club from 2002-06. The club features a talented roster, but very few players have returned from the team that reached the PDL Final Four last year. This collection of mostly new faces performed well in their opening round game. In Round 1, last Wednesday, they defeated Junior Lone Star from Philadelphia, 3-1 at “The Beach House”.

There are plenty of connections between these two teams. There have been 10 former Ocean City players that have moved on to sign with the City Islanders since the Nor’easters joined the PDL in 2003.

While Ocean City is one of the best Open Cup teams within the amateur ranks, the Harrisburg City Islanders have one of the most impressive resumes among lower division pro teams. While Ocean City has defeated five pro teams (none of them MLS), the City Islanders have eliminated five MLS teams. That is tied for 4th-most among lower division pro teams in the Modern Era. Harrisburg has also reached the Quarterfinals four times (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012).

The City Islanders are currently 12th in the USL Eastern Conference with a 2-3-2 record. Former PDL MVP Aaron Wheeler leads the team with two goals in seven appearances. In goal, Brandon Miller is the team’s top goalkeeper with five goals conceded in six appearances so far this season.

New York CosmosNew York Cosmos  
1 : 3
Reading United AC    Reading United AC
 Shirk Stadium – Reading, PA 

If New York Cosmos wins … at Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) or vs Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) on May 31
If Reading United wins … home vs. Ocean City/Harrisburg winner on May 31

The New York Cosmos enter the US Open Cup as one of the most successful non-MLS teams in recent years. In each of its three appearances it has reached the Fifth Round (Round of 16). And in each of those three years, they have eliminated a team from Major League Soccer. However, in each of those three years, their run ended in the Fifth Round to team from MLS.

Twice the Cosmos have been close to reaching the quarterfinals. A season ago, it led the New England Revolution until two goals in the last 15 minutes to lose 3-2. In its first appearance in 2014, New York went to extra time with the Philadelphia Union before losing 2-1.

Entering Wednesday’s matchup with Reading United, the Cosmos are in second on the NASL with one loss in seven games. Javi Marquez leads the team with two goals and seven players with one.

In two previous matchups with PDL teams, the New York Cosmos defeated Jersey express 3-0 in 2015 and 2-0 in 2016 with both games at home. This will be the first road game for New York against a non-MLS team in the Open Cup.

Reading United continued to find success in its Open Cup openers by winning its sixth straight (a Modern Era record for an amateur club). Haitian International, Frantzdy Pierrot scored the lone goal heading in the rebound off his penalty kick in first half stoppage time.

Aaron Molloy will not be available after receiving a red card in the first round in the 76th minute.

Reading played its first PDL game of the season Saturday defeating Lehigh Valley United 3-1. Pierrot, Molloy and Khori Bennett scored for United.

Reading has struggled against professional teams going 1-7-0 with the lone win coming at home against the Harrisburg City Islanders in 2013.

Pittsburgh RiverhoundsPittsburgh Riverhounds  
1 : 3
Chicago FC United    Chicago FC United
 Hoyle Stadium (Loyola Univ.) - Chicago, IL 

Winner will host Richmond Kickers (USL) or be on the road vs Christos FC (NPSL) on May 31


It was an own goal in the last minute of regular time of its first round match-up that sent Chicago FC United into the second round with the rights to host another match. The PDL side will have no other focus except the US Open Cup as it does not start its league schedule until Tuesday, May 23.

Chicago FC United will look to continue its run in its first appearance in the US Open Cup, under the direction of head coach Jamie Smith. Smith is a former Scottish national team player who had professional experience playing for Celtic and Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership and the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer, among other clubs.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are in the midst of their USL campaign, sitting at 3-3-2 so far. The Riverhounds have been led by Corey Hertzog, who has notched five goals so far this season. Marshall Hollingsworth has added two goals and two assists.

The Riverhounds look to improve on last season’s performance in the US Open Cup, in which they lost in their opening appearance in the second round. In the 2015 US Open Cup, Pittsburgh advanced to the fourth round of the competition where it narrowly lost to MLS-side D.C. United in extra time.

FC TucsonFC Tucson  
0 : 2
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC    Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
 Weidner Field – Colorado Springs, CO 

Winner hosts OKC Energy/Moreno Valley winner on May 31

FC Tucson will face the Colorado Springs Switchbacks in the Second Round of the US Open Cup at Colorado’s Weidner Field Wednesday.

PDL side FC Tucson arrives off a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rush in USOC’s First Round and with the momentum of their first league win of the year, a 2-0 road win against the San Diego Zest. USL’s Switchbacks will make their first appearance in the 2017 tournament, looking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss on the road to league opponents the Vancouver Whitecaps 2.

With both teams on short rest, the key to a Second Round win rests solidly on the depth of each team.

San Antonio FCSan Antonio FC  
2 : 1
Dutch Lions FC    Dutch Lions FC
 Dutch Lions FC Soccer Facility – Conroe, TX 

If San Antonio wins … at Tulsa Roughnecks or vs OKC Energy U-23s on May 31
If Dutch Lions win … at Roughnecks/OKC Enery U-23s winner on May 31


The latest chapter in the sporting rivalry between Houston and San Antonio takes place on Wednesday as the National Premier Soccer League’s (NPSL) Dutch Lions FC host San Antonio FC of the United Soccer League (USL). Although the Dutch Lions are actually based out of Conroe, a far north suburb of Houston, they still draw players from all over the greater Houston area and they’ll do their best to represent the entire metro area as they take on San Antonio’s premier team.

There used to be several Dutch Lions-themed teams around the US, but Houston has since become the flagship team for the brand. As the name might suggest, the club is run by coaches who were educated over in Europe and are looking to offer elite training to the youth players in the greater Houston area. The Lions have only played one competitive match so far: their 3-1 victory over North Texas Rayados in Round 1. Their first NPSL Lonestar Conference match takes place on Saturday against Fort Worth Vaqueros.

Meanwhile, San Antonio FC currently boast the best record in the entire USL with seven wins, two draws, and no losses in league play so far. Their goal difference of plus 15 is also the best in the league. Former San Antonio Scorpions standout Billy Forbes is leading the way for San Antonio FC with six goals in nine games. The Scorpions folded in November of 2015, but prior to that Forbes made a name for himself in the Alamo by scoring the game winner in the 2014 NASL Soccer Bowl. Backed by the same group that owns the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, San Antonio FC have aspirations of joining Major League Soccer in their next round of expansion. In the meantime, they’ll have to settle for being the USL affiliate of New York City FC.

The winner of this one will advance to take on the winner of the OKC Energy’s U-23 side and the Tulsa Roughnecks.

Saint Louis FCSaint Louis FC  
4 : 3
FC Wichita    FC Wichita
 Stryker Soccer Complex – Wichita, KS 

Winner at Michigan Bucks/Indy Eleven winner on May 31

Wichita FC will host St. Louis FC this week in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.
The National Premier League side advanced last week with a 1-0 extra time win over Azteca FC on the rain-soaked turf at Friends University. It was the Kansas side’s first ever USOC win, as well as its first game of the year.

Now Wichita FC will welcome USL side St. Louis FC to town.

St. Louis is off to uneven start in USL, with three wins in its first eight league games, but the team is still in position for an Eastern Conference playoff berth despite losing its last three games.

The matchup with Wichita FC will be St. Louis FC’s first game in this year’s US Open Cup.

Moreno Valley FCMoreno Valley FC  
1 : 5
OKC Energy FC    OKC Energy FC
 Taft Stadium – Oklahoma City, OK 

Winner at FC Tucson/Colorado Switchbacks FC winner on May 31

OKC Energy FC will host its first ever U.S. Open Cup match on May 17 when the USL side welcomes Moreno Valley FC.

The California-based squad earned its spot in the USOC second round by knocking off the Ventura County Fusion, 2-0, last week.

Moreno Valley leads the California division of the United Premier Soccer League, with four wins and a draw in five game so far this season.

Energy FC is off to a slow start in USL’s Western Conference, with only one win in six games. It has four wins and one tie, but has won each of its second-round USOC games in its three previous entries in the tournament.

Wednesday’s game will be at the University of Oklahoma soccer complex in nearby Norman.

Burlingame DragonsBurlingame Dragons  
1 : 2
San Francisco Deltas    San Francisco Deltas
 Stanford University – Stanford, CA 

If Burlingame Dragons wins … vs. Phoenix Rising or at Fresno Fuego on May 31
If San Francisco Deltas wins … home vs. Fresno/Phoenix Rising winner on May 31

While considered a home game for the Deltas in the record books, this match will be played on the Stanford University Campus. This is closer to the home field of the Burlingame Dragons than to the San Francisco Deltas as Stanford is located on the south end of the San Francisco Peninsula.

The Burlingame Dragons are in their 3rd year of existence and are making their 3rd straight appearance in the tournament. They picked up their first win in the Cup last week in the 1st round against historic El Farolito. The Dragons won a hard fought game 6-5 on penalties to advance to play their first ever pro-side in the competition. The Dragons are led by Gabe Silveira who created a majority of their best chances against El Farolito in the 1st round. They are coached by former MLS goalie, Joe Cannon, who will be making his debut as a head coach in a Cup match after not being able to attend the 1st round game. The Dragons faced a difficult lead up to the match as they played two games this past weekend, one against PDL Rivals SF City FC on Saturday and their own home opener against the Fresno Fuego on Sunday. They have picked up just one point from league play through the first 3 games of the PDL season.

The SF Deltas will be making their Cup debut, as they are the lone NASL expansion side for the 2017 season. The Deltas will be faced with a difficult week of their own with league matches three days before this Open Cup match and two days after. They are led by Head Coach Marc Dos Santos, who is no stranger to big matches in lower league soccer, having had stints in multiple different second division leagues. However, with most of his experience in North American soccer being in Canada, this will be his first time taking charge as a head coach in this tournament. The Deltas currently sit 2nd in the NASL table, having picked up 12 points in 7 games. Their captain is Canadian international, Nana Attakora, who will be looking to add a US Open Cup to his three Canadian cups.

Anahuac FCAnahuac FC  
0 : 4
Sacramento Republic FC    Sacramento Republic FC
 Papa Murphy’s Park – Sacramento, CA 

If Anahuac FC wins…at OSA FC or vs Reno 1868 on May 31
If Sacremento wins…vs OSA FC/Reno 1868 winner on May 31


Republic FC host the current UPSL Champion, FC Anahuac of Las Vegas, NV. Anahuac was minutes away from elimination from this, their debut Open Cup performance, but drew even 1-1 with Sonoma County Sol in overtime, before coming back to win in PKs. Anahuac currently sit fourth in the UPSL Nevada Conference, and qualified to the Open Cup by defeating fellow UPSL NV clubs MF10, and the Vegas High Rollers via forfeit.

Sacramento enters this Open Cup looking to make it to the fifth round for the first time in their history, and to return to their usual fourth round appearance. Republic FC made the fourth round in 2014 and 2015 but were eliminated in the third round last season by PDL turned NPSL club Kitsap Pumas, now known as Kitsap Soccer Club.

Reno 1868 FCReno 1868 FC  
1 : 1
 Starfire Sports Complex – Tukwila, WA 

If OSA FC wins…vs Sacramento Republic/Anahuac winner on May 31
IF Reno 1868 wins…vs Anahuac FC or at Sacramento on May 31


Starfire Sports complex is no stranger to playing host to big US Open Cup matches. It will once again play host to the Cup when NPSL side OSA FC of the Seattle Metro Area host USL Reno 1868, who will be making their Cup debut. OSA FC picked up the Club’s first ever win in the 1st round, knocking out the Seattle Sounders U-23 5-3 on penalties. In its previous incarnation as FC Tacoma 253, the Club played its inaugural match in the US Open Cup qualifying rounds in 2015. OSA FC is the defending Northwest Conference champions of the NPSL, and reached the 2nd round of the League’s playoffs last season. This will be just the 3rd match of the young season for OSA FC as they began NPSL play this weekend where they lost their opening league match to PDX FC of Portland, Oregon.

Their opponents are USL expansion side, Reno 1868. Reno has found life difficult as an expansion side as they currently sit in the bottom half of the USL Western Conference standings. However, they did pick up their first win in Club history in their most recent outing, beating the Phoenix Rising FC with a score of 4-0. They can use the Cup match as a way to keep that momentum going. This match will also be a homecoming of sorts for Reno Head Coach Ian Russell who was born in Seattle and played for both the Washington Huskies and the Seattle Sounders of the old USL A-League.

Chula Vista FCChula Vista FC  
0 : 1
LA Wolves FC    LA Wolves FC
 Azusa Pacific Univ. – Azusa, CA 

Winner hosts FC Golden State Force / Orange County SC winner on May 31

Eric Wynalda’s LA Wolves come into the second round of this Open Cup after defeating PDL side San Diego Zest with a convincing 4-2 performance in the first round, and after clobbering Sporting San Fernando 6-0, in UPSL play. Needless to say, LA Wolves are in form and ready to face 2015 US Open Cup amateur standout Chula Vista FC. The Wolves temporarily shot up to second place in the UPSL Western Conference this last weekend, while Chula Vista have apparently taken a season off from their usual So Cal Premier League competition, after finishing last in the 2016 SCP season.

Chula Vista defeated rival Albion Pros of the NPSL, a club that has rivaled Chula Vista at the youth level for years prior to them launching an NPSL team. Followers of the US Open Cup will remember CVFC for their 2015 run, when they shocked everyone by eliminating FC Tucson of the PDL, and then-known Arizona United of the USL (now called Phoenix Rising) before falling to Sacramento Republic in the third round.

Phoenix Rising FCPhoenix Rising FC  
3 : 1
Fresno Fuego    Fresno Fuego
 Fresno State Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium – Fresno, CA 

If Fresno Fuego wins…at San Francisco Deltas or vs Burlingame on May 31
If Phoneix Rising wins…at San Francisco Deltas/Burlingame winner on May 31


The Fresno Fuego and their top-level home support will play host to USL Phoenix Rising and their trio of big name players. The Fuego are no stranger to the 2nd round of the tournament having reached at least the 2nd round in all four of the Club’s appearances in the US Open Cup to date. Their most recent appearance in the tournament back in 2014 included an upset of USL pro-side, the Orange County Blues, in a 2-0 victory. The Fuego’s best run in the Cup was back in 2003 in the Club’s inaugural season. In 2003, they reached the 4th round of the Cup, but went on to lose 3-1 to MLS power, the LA Galaxy. The Fuego currently have 6 points from their first 2 matches and sit 2nd in the Southwest Division standings of the PDL on goal difference. They are led by local product and Club captain, Milton Blanco. Blanco has played with the Fuego in between multiple different stints with pro teams, including all the way back in the Club’s inaugural season in 2003.

Phoenix Rising FC has a trio of big name players, including Didier Drogba, Omar Bravo, and Shaun Wright-Phillips. Shaun Wright-Phillips picked up his first ever goal for the Club this past weekend with a dramatic winner in the 95th minute. This is the Club’s 4th appearance in the Cup since they were founded in 2014 as Arizona United Soccer Club. The Club’s best run in the Cup came in that inaugural season when they reached the 4th round, where they fell 2-1 to the MLS side. Through six games so far in USL League play in 2017, the Rising have won half and lost half of their matches, placing them currently mid table in the USL Western Conference. They are led by interim head coach, Rick Schantz.

Orange County SCOrange County SC  
5 : 2
FC Golden State Force    FC Golden State Force
 Citrus College – Glendora, CA 

Winner tavels to LA Wolves/Chula Vista winner on May 31


FC Golden State Force is the last remaining PDL side from the Los Angeles area in this Open Cup. They’re a traditional Southern California youth club power, with teams operating in Los Angeles and Orange County. In fact, 2016 Open Cup dark horse La Máquina was a project of FC Golden State Orange County, forged for competing in the UPSL. Golden State Force also have a U23 squad in the UPSL Championship, or second, division. FCGS got to this second round by defeating the top club in the So Cal Premier League, Outbreak SC, in the first round.

Orange County returns to the Open Cup rebranded from Orange County Blues to Orange County SC. OCSC will look to forge a new history and detach themselves from the historically poor performance of the OC Blues, who were eliminated by three amateur teams, one game and out, in three consecutive tournaments, by Fresno Fuego, PSA Elite and LA Wolves, who eliminated them from last year’s cup in PKs.

OKC Energy U23sOKC Energy U23s  
3 : 5
Tulsa Roughnecks FC    Tulsa Roughnecks FC
 Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium – Tulsa, OK 

If OKC Energy U23s win … at San Antonio FC or home vs. Dutch Lions on May 31
If Tulsa Athletic wins … home vs. Dutch Lions/San Antonio FC winner on May 31

The Oklahoma derby will be contested in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup, with a twist.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC will host the under-23 side of cross-state rival OKC Energy FC.

OKC Energy U-23 already owns a win over a Tulsa team this year. The youth side advanced to the USOC second round last week with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Tulsa Athletic after the teams played to a 1-1 tie.

Tulsa, which will be playing its first match in this year’s Open Cup, has won four of its first seven USL games this year.

The game will be played Wednesday at the University of Tulsa’s soccer complex, which also was the site of last week’s Energy U-23 victory.