There will be no better expert on the state of Texas at the end of the 2012 US Open Cup than the Charlotte Eagles. For the second consecutive week they won in the Lone Star State, this time stunning FC Dallas, 2-0, at Pizza Hut Park, to set up a third trip to face the San Antonio Scorpions in the Fourth Round.
The Eagles, struggling to find success in USL Pro with a 2-7-2 record, snuck by the Premier Development League El Paso Patriots a week ago on an own goal, 1-0, to get the coveted matchup against FC Dallas.
The team found more fortune in Frisco with the hosts losing two of its starting defenders to injury in the first half. The Eagles took advantage, scoring two minutes before the break when Nate Thornton delivered a cross to Darryl Roberts on the right side of the box. Roberts nodded it back to the far post past Chris Seitz, one of the most experienced backup keepers in the league.
Scott Sealy nearly found an equalizer in the 68th minute for FC Dallas, sending a header off the post and Matt Hedges following it up by striking the crossbar.
But the gifts continued to come Charlotte’s way with Jackson being sent off in the 78th with a straight red card for his challenge on Eagles goalkeeper Clinton Irwin.
Charlotte held on and received an insurance strike from Thornton in the fourth minute of stoppage time to ensure the victory, giving the Eagles their first-ever two-win performance in 10 appearances in the tournament.
The Eagles also now have as many shutouts in the Open Cup as they do for the USL Pro campaign.
With the NASL San Antonio Scorpions delivering a 1-0 upset against the Houston Dynamo, Charlotte will now face a Texas side from three different levels of the sport.