If seeing the underdogs prevail is your thing, then you went to sleep disappointed last night.
Of the fourteen matches first round US Open Cup matches last night, only one was won by a team from the lower division, and even that wasn’t much of an upset.
The evening began with the lone “upset” of the day, as the NPSL’s Sonoma County Sol, perhaps the hottest team of the 32 set to play in the First Round, defeated the PDL’s Orange County Blue Star 5-2. Shawn Percell scored twice and Trevor Hurst, Eric Lafon, Eric Larson added the others for the Sol. The Sol are 12-0-1 in all matches played in 2009.
The most dramatic game of the night was in Rochester, as the Rhinos needed a stoppage time equalizer and penalties to overcome the USL-2 Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Trailing 1-0 for much of the game, the Rhinos forced extra time when Tai Atieno knocked in a corner kick in second half stoppage time. Atieno then missed a potential game winning penalty kick with two minutes left in overtime, but Rhinos goalkeeper Scott Vallow came up with two saves in the penalty shootout to see his club through to the Second Round.
Two matches were postponed and were moved to the following day. Ocean City and Crystal Palace Baltimore was put off early in the day when heavy overnight rains left the Barons’ home field, Cary Stadium, flooded. The Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks and Real Maryland Monarchs were forced to set their game back a day when heavy thunderstorms rolled through the Rockville, Md. area.
The next day, the Ocean City Barons became the first PDL team to beat a USL professional squad in the 2009 tournament, winning a 3-0 decision over Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USL Second Division.
Byron Carmichael opened the scoring in the 7th minute, with an assist from Neal Melchionni. Carmichael struck again in the 33rd minute with an unassisted goal to gibe the Barons a 2-0 halftime lead.
With 12 minutes remaining, JT Noone left no doubt as to who the winners were with a Ryan Richter-assisted goal. The game had been postponed on Tuesday due to a flooded field from heavy overnight storms.
In Rockville, Maryland, the Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks were done in by Mother Nature on Wednesday night, as their opening round game versus the Real Maryland Monarchs was halted in the 74th minute after an hour and a half lightning delay, giving the USL-2 club a 1-0 win. The only goa,l of the match game from Ryan Cordeiro in the 14th minute, with an assist from Gary Brooks. Soon after, the Hawks were reduced to 10 men when Michael Goldman was shown a red card.
Hawks manager Jonathan Knight was understandably upset that the game was called. We have been told there was a 10 pm deadline, which is when the stadium lights had to be shut off (presumably by a city ordinance), and the game was official called at 10:18 pm. The game had to be rescheduled for tonight due to severe thunderstorms on Tuesday night.
This is the second year in a row weather has played a part in Real Maryland’s First Round Open Cup game. Last year their gasme against NY Pancyprian Freedoms was moves back three days after severe storms prevented play on the original date. Maryland won the rescheduled game 3-2 in extra time.
Ocean City will host Real Maryland next Tuesday in the Second Round.