2014 US Open Cup Round 3 preview: NASL joins tournament as teams battle for dates with MLS (with broadcast links)

Posted by | May 28, 2014

Lamar Hunt US Open Cup logoUPDATE: Colin Rolfe of the Rochester Rhinos scored the game-winning goal in the 119th minute to give the Rochester Rhinos a 2-1 win over Reading United AC in the opening game of the Third Round. The Rhinos will host defending Open Cup champion DC United in Round 4. Read the full recap here.

The Third Round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup kicks off tonight with the Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO hosting PDL regular Reading United AC at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester. On Wednesday, 15 more games are on the schedule in arguably the most exiciting rounds of the 101st edition of the tournament as all 16 winners will earn a date with a team from Major League Soccer.

You can follow all of tonight’s games on Twitter @USOpenCup and by using this year’s hashtag #USOC2014.

Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at Baltimore Bohemians (PDL)
Calvert Hall College High School; Towson, MD – 5:30 p.m. ET
If Harrisburg wins … they play at Philadelphia Union (MLS) on June 17
If Baltimore wins … they play at Philadelphia Union (MLS) on June 10


2014 Round 3 previews
Notable upsets in Round 3 history
Things you should know about Round 3
2014 Round 4 draw scenarios
2014 Player of the Round winners 

2014 US Open Cup results
2014 US Open Cup bracket
2014 US Open Cup goalscoring leaders
The First Cup series (1913/14)
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Harrisburg City Islanders Open Cup records
Overall: 13-6-3 (2-1 PKs) | Away: 3-5-0 | vs. Amateur: 9-1-0
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 1-0 at Reading United AC  of PDL – Round 2)
Best finish: Quarterfinals (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012)
How they got here …
Round 2: 4-0 road win at FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic (NPSL)

Baltimore Bohemians Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0  |  Home: 1-0-0 | vs. Div. 3: 0-0-0
Last entry: First entry
Best finish: N/A
How they got here …
Round 2: 4-1 home win vs. Icon FC (USASA)


(All broadcasts embedded down this page)

Atlanta Silverbacks at Chattanooga FC (7:30 ET)
Orlando City U23s at Charleston Battery (7:30 ET)
Dayton Dutch Lions at Indy Eleven (7:30 ET)
Laredo Heat at Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (7:45 ET)
Radio: OKC Energy at Arizona United (10:30 ET)

The City Islanders will travel to Baltimore to take on the PDL’s Bohemians after dismantling Lehigh Valley United of the NPSL with four second half goals in their opening game. They will be looking to avoid a repeat of last year, when they were knocked out by another PDL side, Reading United AC. Their sole USL PRO match since then saw them take a 5-3 win against Dayton, moving them up a spot to 12th in the 14 team league, though they have the most games in hand of any team.

Harrisburg have made a name for themselves since their first appearance in the tournament since 2007. Since then, they have eliminated five Major League Soccer teams and have reached the Quarterfinals four times. Their loss to Reading in the opening round was their first one-and-done tournament experience and their first loss to an amateur team.

Baltimore took down Icon FC of the USASA 4-1 in their first-ever Open Cup match last round. Their league form hasn’t benefited, however, as they’ve lost 2-1 to FA Euro and 3-0 to Reading United AC to start the season. They currently sit with one point, tied for last place in the Mid-Atlantic Division with Northern Virginia Royals and Ocean City Nor’easters. Player/coach Santino Quaranta, who made his coaching debut against Icon FC, will be hoping to right the ship against their pro competition.


NY Greek American Atlas (USASA) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO)
Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, VA – 7 p.m. ET
If Richmond wins … they host New England Revolution (MLS) on June 18
If New York wins … they play at New England Revolution (MLS) on June 11

New York Greek American Atlas Open Cup records (Modern Pro Era)
Overall: 1-4-0 | Away: 1-2-0 | vs. Div. 3: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 at Reading United AC of PDL – Round 1)
Best finish (all-time): US Open Cup champions 1967, 1968, 1969, 1974
How they got here …
Round 2: 2-0 road win at Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL)

Richmond Kickers Open Cup records
Overall: 25-13-2 (1-1 PKs) | Home: 19-4-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 9-1-0
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 4-2 in PKs after 0-0 draw vs. DC United of MLS – Round 3)
Best finish: 1995 US Open Cup champions
How they got here …
Round 2: 6-1 road win at RVA FC (NPSL)

After their 6-1 thrashing of defending NPSL champion RVA FC in the first Richmond derby game in tournament history, the 1995 US Open Cup champion Richmond Kickers will now host New York Greek American Atlas, who have four Open Cup titles to their name.

The Kickers’ league form has also been impressive of late, gaining seven points in three matches since their Open Cup tilt on May 14. They traveled to Oklahoma City and Chicago for a 4-1 defeat of Energy FC and a scoreless draw against the Fire’s reserve team, then beat the Charlotte Eagles 2-0 at home. Richmond is currently tied for third in USL PRO, at 19 points along with the Sacramento Republic.

In 1995, the Kickers upset three professional teams en route to winning the 1995 Open Cup title, and have remained one of the best lower divisions in the tournament ever since. They have won 25 games all-time and still have their 2011 tournament run fresh in their memories, giving hope for lower division soccer fans nationwide. They became the first lower division team to upset two straight MLS teams on the road before falling one win short of the final with a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire in the Semifinals.

New York, who won Open Cup titles in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1974, beat the PDL’s Ocean City Nor’easters 2-0, with a brace by Josh Trott to give the Greeks their first tournament win of the Modern Professional Era (1995-present). Greek American Atlas are in a strange position compared to most sides in the tournament, as their regular season is actually over. GAA’s league, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, uses a fall-spring season instead of a summer season, with playoffs happening in May. Greek American Atlas had won their division, yet suffered a 3-2 upset loss to New York Pancyprian Freedoms in the playoffs. It will take a win for the team to continue their season, and not hang up their uniforms until September.


RWB Adria (USASA) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO)
Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, PA – 7 p.m. ET
Winner plays at Chicago Fire (MLS) on June 18

RWB Adria Open Cup records (Modern Pro Era)
Overall: 1-3-2 (1-1 PKs) | Away: 1-3-2 (1-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 3: 0-1-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 5-3 in PKs after 1-1 draw at Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Round 1)
Best finish (all-time): Semifinals (1978, 1991)
How they got here …
Round 1: 3-1 PK road win (1-1 draw) at Detroit City FC (NPSL)
Round 2: 1-0 OT road win at Michigan Bucks (PDL)

Pittsburgh Riverhounds Open Cup records
Overall: 6-9-3 (1-2 PKs) |  Home: 4-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 4-3-2 (1-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 1-0 at Ocean City Nor’easters of PDL – Round 2)
Best finish: 2001 Quarterfinals (Lost 3-2 in OT at Chicago Fire of MLS)
How they got here …
Round 2: 3-1 home win vs. New York Red Bulls U23s (NPSL)

United States Amateur Soccer Association (USASA) side RWB Adria will visit Highmark Stadium on Wednesday, May 28 to take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in a Midwestern showdown.

A year ago, in the same stadium, RWB nearly advanced to the Second Round for the first time in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present), but the Riverhounds defeated them 5-3 in a penalty kick shootout after finishing 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Chicago-based RWB Adria look like tournament darlings right now after a pair of dramatic victories in the first two rounds of the US Open Cup. In the first round they went to Livonia, Mich. and defeated National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) side Detroit City FC in penalty kicks 3-1 after regulation and extra time ended with the score tied at 2-2. By the time it got to penalty kicks, both sides had already been reduced to nine men each. Adria almost didn’t get that far though as they needed a second half stoppage time goal from Vlad Bacia, who would go on to be named TheCup.us’s Player of the Round for the first round. It didn’t get any easier in the second round as their match against Premier Development League power Michigan Bucks. The score was 0-0 at the end of the first 90 minutes before Carlos Muños scored in the 93rd minute and the Croatian-infused amateur side held on to defeat their second straight Michigan-based opponent. This is the furthest the team has advanced in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present).

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds entered the Open Cup in the Second Round and managed to defeat the New York Red Bulls U-23 side by a final score of 3-1. The first half was quite lively with each team getting one goal by the time the halftime whistle blew. But the USL-PRO Riverhounds would get second half goals from Jose Angulo and Rob Vincent to move on to Round 3. Pittsburgh will be hoping their good fortunes in the Open Cup distract from their poor form in USL PRO play this season. The Riverhounds have only managed to take three points from their first nine games, which led the last place team to fire their manager Justin Evans. Former Fulham striker Collins John has been the lone bright spot with three goals in seven appearances this season.

While RWB Adria, who reached the tournament’s final four in 1978 and 1991, are enjoying their best tournament performance in over two decades, the Riverhounds are still looking for a tournament run to hang their hat on. 2001 was the only time Pittsburgh won multiple games in a single tournament and they were an A-League team back then (Div. 2 professional). Since that run to the Quarterfinals that year, they are under .500 overall (6-9-3, 1-2 PKs), and have been eliminated by an amateur club four times, which is more than any professional team since 1995.

The winner of this game, which kicks off at 7pm ET, will travel to Bridgeview, Illinois to take on Major League Soccer (MLS) side Chicago Fire on Wednesday, June 18 at 7:30pm CT.


Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, NC – 7:30 p.m. ET
If Charlotte wins … they host Chivas USA (MLS) on June 17
If Carolina wins … they host Chivas USA (MLS) on June 14

Charlotte Eagles Open Cup records
Overall: 10-11-0 | Away: 5-9-0 | vs. Div. 2: 1-4-0
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 2-0 vs. Chicago Fire of MLS – Round 3)
Best finish: 2012 Quarterfinals (Lost 1-0 at Chivas USA of MLS)
How they got here
Round 2: 3-1 home win vs. Carolina Dynamo (PDL)

Carolina RailHawks Open Cup records
Overall: 13-5-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 13-2-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 3: 4-1-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 3-0 at Real Salt Lake of MLS in Quarterfinals)
Best finish: 2007 Semifinals (Lost 2-1 in OT at New England Revolution of MLS)
How they got here … First game

It’s a North Carolina Derby match as the Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO make the two and a half hour drive to Cary, North Carolina to take on the North American Soccer League’s (NASL) Carolina Railhawks at WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday, May 28 at 7:30PM EDT.

This will be the second meeting between the two teams in Open Cup play. The RailHawks opened up the 2010 tournament (then a member of USSF Division 2) with a 1-0 home win over the Eagles on a first half goal by Sallieu Bundu

The Charlotte Eagles defeated another North Carolina opponent, Carolina Dynamo (USL-PDL), in the Second Round by a score of 3-1 to advance to this point. The Colombian duo of Jorge Herrara and Jose Guzman led the line for the Eagles with Herrera notching two goals and an assist while Guzman added the third goal as they coasted past the Dynamo. Herrera now has six Open Cup goals to his name and his next one will make him Charlotte’s all-time leading goalscorer in the tournament. The Eagles currently sit in 9th place in the USL PRO standings with nine points from their first nine matches of the season.

This will be the first 2014 Open Cup match for the Carolina RailHawks as NASL sides enter the field in the Third Round. The RailHawks are right in the middle of the NASL standings as they sit in fifth place out of ten teams with 11 points from their first seven matches played. Carolina are led by forward Zack Schilawski, who has three goals and two assists so far this season. Former University of North Carolina standout Enzo Martinez is right behind him with two goals.

The RailHawks are traditionally tough to beat at home in the tournament, amassing a 13-2-1 (0-1 in PKs) Open Cup record at WakeMed Soccer Park. Ever since reaching the Semifinals in their first entry in 2007, they have been a force in the Open Cup. They have never lost their opening game (6-0-0), and are 13-5-1 (0-1 in PKs) overall.

The Eagles don’t have history on their side, as the USL PRO side has only had one year (2012) where they won multiple games in the competition. That 2012 run was a magical run for them as they upset MLS side FC Dallas and the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions before losing a tight road game against Chivas USA (MLS) in the Quarterfinals.

The winner of this game will move on to host MLS side Chivas USA in the Fourth Round.


Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Chattanooga FC (NPSL)
Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, TN – 7:30 p.m. ET
If Atlanta wins … they host Real Salt Lake (MLS) on June 14
If Chattanooga wins … they host Real Salt Lake (MLS) on June 18

Atlanta Silverbacks Open Cup records
Overall: 7-9-2 (1-1 PKs) | Away: 3-6-2 (1-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 4-3-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 3-2 in OT at Real Salt Lake of MLS – Round 3)
Best finish: 2004 Fourth Round (Lost 4-1 vs. Kansas City Wizards of MLS)
How they got here … First game

Chattanooga FC Open Cup records
Overall: 1-1-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 1-0-0 | vs. Div. 2: N/A
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 4-1 in PKs after 4-4 draw at Carolina Dynamo of PDL – Round 1)
Best finish: N/A
How they got here …
Round 2: 3-1 home win vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO)


After playing road games in their respective league matches over the weekend, the Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) will travel to Finley Stadium on Wednesday to face off against Chattanooga FC (NPSL).

The Silverbacks took an important 2-1 victory at FC Edmonton over the weekend, thanks to goals by Jaime Chavez and Kwadwo Poku. Meanwhile, the neighbor from the north had back-to-back league matches this weekend, which resulted into three out of possible six points.

Chattanooga fell 3-2 against the New Orleans Jesters, however, rebounded the following day with a 1-0 win at Pensacola City.

While the Open Cup has been known to showcase small teams going up against bigger teams, Chattanooga will enter Wednesday’s match as the underdog despite knocking out USL PRO side Wilmington Hammerheads on May 14, which ended 3-1 in favor of the NPSL side. With the win, Chattanooga became the first NPSL club to defeat a professional side and the first Tennessee club to win a tournament game since 2002 (Memphis Express – PDL). They are led by reigning TheCup.us Player of the Round Luke Winter, who scored two goals in the upset of the Hammerheads.

While Chattanooga has the homefield advantage, the Silverbacks haven’t lost to an amateur side since 2005 (Des Moines Menace – PDL) and after only winning multiple games in a tournament once in franchise history, the Silverbacks are motivated to put together their first defining Open Cup run.


Orlando City U23s (PDL) winner at Charleston Battery (USL PRO)
Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, SC – 7:30 p.m. ET
If Orlando City U23s win … play at Portland Timbers (MLS) on June 17
If Charleston wins … host Portland Timbers on June 18

Orlando City U23s Open Cup records
Overall: 1-5-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 1-2-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 3: 0-1-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 5-3 in PKs after 1-1 draw vs. VSI Tampa Bay of USL PRO – Round 1)
Best finish: N/A
How they got here …
Round 2: 2-1 home win vs. Jacksonville United (NPSL)

Charleston Battery Open Cup records
Overall: 26-6-4 (3-1 PKs) | Home: 21-6-3 (2-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 10-1-0
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 5-2 in OT at Real Salt Lake of MLS – Round 4)
Best finish: 2008 US Open Cup Runner-Up
How they got here …
Round 2: 4-1 home win vs. Panama City Beach Pirates (PDL)


After entering the last round with a tournament-high six-game US Open Cup winless streak, the Young Lions of Orlando City won their first-ever US Open Cup match against Jacksonville United FC. Now they face an even tougher task in the next round: a visit to Blackbaud Stadium on Wednesday for a meeting with the Charleston Battery.

The Battery throttled their way into the third round, defeating the Panama City Beach Pirates 4-0 on May 14 thanks to a hat trick by Cuban forward Haviel Cordoves. The match on Wednesday won’t come any better for the Battery, who look to pick up more momentum after a league win at Pittsburgh (their first victory after a two-game losing streak).

Meanwhile, the Orlando City U23s have the tough task of traveling to a hostile Blackbaud Stadium. Despite being unbeaten in an early PDL season, it will be hard to go up against a Battery side. Charleston is already on form, are 9-1-0 against amateur clubs all-time in Open Cup play and have never been upset by a lower division team at home.


Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Orlando City (USL PRO)
Seminole Soccer Complex; Sanford, FL – 8 p.m. ET
If Tampa Bay wins … play at Colorado Rapids (MLS) on June 10
If Orlando City wins … play at Colorado Rapids (MLS) on June 17

Tampa Bay Rowdies Open Cup records
Overall: 4-3-0 | Away: 3-2-0 | vs. Div. 3: 1-0-0
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 2-0 at Portland Timbers of MLS – Round 4)
Best finish: 2013 Fourth Round (Lost 2-0 at Portland Timbers of MLS)
How they got here … First game

Orlando City SC Open Cup records
Overall: 11-5-0 | Home: 8-1-0 | vs. Div. 2: N/A
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 5-1 at Chicago Fire of MLS – Quarterfinals)
Best finish: 2013 Quarterfinals (Lost 5-1 at Chicago Fire of MLS)
How they got here …
Round 2: 4-1 home win vs. Ocala Stampede (PDL)

In one of the juiciest Third Round match ups, Orlando City SC hosts I-4 rivals Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday at the Seminole Soccer Complex. It will be their second meeting this year, after the Lions took a demanding 3-0 victory last month.

The Rowdies rallied back over the weekend, beating Florida rivals Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3-2 at Al Lang Stadium, which saw Blake Wagner score in the dying minutes to give the Rowdies the win after trailing 2-0 in the first half.

OCSC paved their way into the third round after defeating the Ocala Stampede 4-1, thanks to braces from Corey Hertzog and Dennis Chin. The Lions, however, did not have a league match over the weekend but instead played an exhibition game with AS Roma on Friday, which resulted into a 1-0 result in favor of the Italian giants.

Orlando is looking to build on last year’s run to the Quarterfinals from last year while Tampa Bay is looking to continue their streak of winning their opening game every time they enter the tournament (2010, 2012, 2013).


Brooklyn Italians SC (NPSL) at New York Cosmos (NASL)
Belson Stadium (St. John’s Univ.); Queens, NY – 7:30 p.m. ET
If Brooklyn wins … play at New York Red Bulls on June 11
If New York wins … host New York Red Bulls on June 14

Brooklyn Italians Open Cup records (Modern Pro Era)
Overall: 2-4-0 | Away: 2-3-0 | vs. Div. 2: N/A
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 4-1 vs. Icon FC of USASA – Round 1)
Best finish: 2012 Second Round (Lost 3-0 at Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO)
How they got here …
Round 2: 4-2 road win at Jersey Express (PDL)

New York Cosmos Open Cup records
Overall: N/A | Home: N/A | vs. Amateur: N/A
Last entry: First entry
Best finish: N/A
How they got here … First game

History will be made as the New York Cosmos will make their US Open Cup debut against a club that has won the tournament twice. The reboot of the vaunted NASL side will make their debut against another local squad, the Brooklyn Italians of the NPSL. The original NASL did not permit its clubs to compete in the Open Cup, not wanting to risk the league’s reputation against amateur sides, which means that the Cosmos, playing in the new NASL, will get their first teaste of the tournament on Wednesday. After winning the fall league title, their league form this spring has been solid, as they sit in a second-place tie with the San Antonio Scorpions, both with 13 points from 7 games.

Brooklyn, who won the US Open Cup title in 1979 and 1991, are representing the NPSL in the tournament for the fifth straight year. They reached the Third Round after overcoming a slow start to beat the PDL’s Jersey Express 4-2. After being down 1-0 at the half, the Italians erupted for four goals to turn back their fellow amateur side. They have only played one game since their Open Cup bout, a 2-1 road win against the Rhode Island Reds. They sit atop the NPSL’s North Atlantic Division, with wins in all three games they have played. They sit three points above New York Red Bulls’ U23 squad, though the Red Bulls have a game in hand.


Laredo Heat (PDL) at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, FL – 7:45 p.m. ET
The winner plays at Houston Dynamo (MLS) on June 11

Laredo Heat Open Cup records
Overall: 3-1-2 (0-2 PKs) | Away: 0-1-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 2: 0-1-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 7-6 in PKs after 1-1 draw at Fort Lauderdale Strikers of NASL – Round 2)
Best finish: Second Round (2012, 2013)
How they got here …
Round 2: 2-1 home win vs. Red Force (USASA)

Fort Lauderdale Strikers Open Cup records
Overall: 6-6-2 (1-1 PKs) | Home: 6-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 4-1-2 (1-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 2-0 vs. FC Dallas of MLS – Round 3)
Best finish: Third Round (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013)
How they got here … First game


The Laredo Heat travel to south Florida when they visit the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium for the second year in a row on Wednesday.

The Heat suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dutch Lions over the weekend, while the Strikers also suffered a defeat as well, falling 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the dying minutes after squandering a two-goal lead.

Laredo enter Round 3 after opening their tournament run with a 2-1 victory over Miami-based Red Force (USASA) on May 15 and are hoping to get the best of the Strikers who eliminated them in penalty kicks last year, 7-6 after a 1-1 draw. The Strikers enter 2013 still seeking their first defining tournament run. The team has never won more than two games in a single competition and have been eliminated twice by amateur clubs.

There is a lot on the line as the winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to Round 4 to face the Houston Dynamo of MLS. Laredo has never met an MLS club in Open Cup play, while the Strikers have never defeated one (0-4-0)


Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) at Indy Eleven (NASL)
Carroll Stadium; Indianapolis, IN – 7:30 p.m. ET
Winner plays at Columbus Crew (MLS) on June 17

Dayton Dutch Lions Open Cup records
Overall: 6-4-0 | Away: 4-4-0 | vs. Div. 2: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 2-1 at Columbus Crew of MLS – Round 3)
Best finish: 2012 Quarterfinals (Lost 3-0 at Sporting KC of MLS)
How they got here …
Round 2: 2-0 road win at Schwaben AC (USASA)

Indy Eleven Open Cup records
Overall: 0-0-0  |  Home: 0-0-0 | vs. Div. 3: 0-0-0
Last entry: First entry
Best finish: N/A
How they got here: First game


One of the NASL’s off-the-field success stories this year with home crowds exceeding 10,000 fans, the Indy Eleven should have a strong crowd at Michael Carroll Stadium (the site of the 1997 US Open Cup Final) out in support for the first Open Cup game in club history. The Eleven should also be fired up for the match not only due to the success general manager Peter Wilt has had in the tournament (4 Open Cup titles in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006 with the Chicago Fire) but also because it’s an opportunity for the team to earn it’s first-ever victory in a regular season competition (0-3-4 in the NASL’s Spring Season). The Eleven are lead by forward Mike Ambersley, whose 3 goals has him tied for 2nd in the NASL.

It’ll be a short drive for the Dayton Dutch Lions (the cities are only about 100 miles apart), who come into the match after defeating amateur side Schwaben AC in the Second Round back on May 14. Since then, the Lions have gone on to lose their next two USL PRO matches and a friendly against their affiliate club, the Columbus Crew of MLS. While Dayton hasn’t been lighting it up on the field, they’ll be gunning for the club’s latest upset in the Open Cup. They beat the Crew in 2012 on the way to the Quarterfinals and a run to the Fourth Round last year before falling in another match with the Crew.

The winner goes on to face the Columbus Crew on June 17 at the University of Akron’s Cub Cadet Field.


North Texas Rayados (USASA) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)
Toyota Field; San Antonio, TX – 8:30 p.m. ET
Winner plays at FC Dallas (MLS) on June 14

North Texas Rayados Open Cup records
Overall: 0-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | Away: 0-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Div. 2: N/A
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 2-0 at Austin Aztex of PDL – Round 1)
Best finish: N/A
How they got here
Round 2: 4-2 PK road win after 4-4 draw at Austin Aztex (PDL)

San Antonio Scorpions Open Cup records
Overall: 2-1-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 2-1-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Amateur: 1-0-1 (0-1)
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 4-3 in PKs after 2-2 draw vs. FC Tucson of PDL – Round 1)
Best finish: 2012 Fourth Round (Lost 2-1 in OT vs. Charlotte Eagles of USL PRO)
How they got here: First game

The San Antonio Scorpions come in to this match with wounds from 2013’s failure in the US Open Cup still raw. After winning two games in their inaugural cup run in 2012, which included an upset of the Houston Dynamo (MLS), the Scorpions were upset in their opening round by the PDL’s FC Tucson.

Luckily for the Scorpions the squad is vastly changed with a strike force in that match of Hans Denissen and Blake Wagner, replaced by Eric Hassli and Tomasz Zahorski. Given Hassli’s well-published fitness concerns, it is unlikely that he will play any part in a match that the Scorpions will expect to win easily. Concerns of a repeat of 2013 will stop the Scorpions from taking it easy and in Walter Restrepo the Scorpions have an adequate back-up. Expect to see Jeremy Vuolo in goal for David Bingham. It’s been a mixed bag for the Scorpions in 2014 with an undefeated road record, but they’ve struggled at home, with just one win. The Scorpions will be hoping a big win in the cup can turn that record around.

The North Texas Rayados have had no such issues, being a USASA side, they have not had the rigors of a tight league season to exert themselves in, and so the Scorpions tough travel (coming from Canada) could play in to the Rayados’ hands. Despite that the second round match up certainly took it out of them as a thrilling finish and then a penalty shootout saw North Texas advance in their opening game for the first time in three attempts. Alberto Rodriguez was the key to getting past the Aztex as he scored a pair of goals and converted the winning penalty kick in the shootout. He was a constant thorn in the side of the Aztex and will be expecting big things against the Scorpions.


Minnesota United FC (NASL) at Des Moines Menace (USASA)
Valley Stadium; West Des Moines, IA – 8:30 p.m. ET
Winner plays at Sporting KC (MLS) on June 18

Minnesota United FC Open Cup records
Overall: 3-3-0 | Away: 2-1-0 | vs. Amateur: 2-1-0
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 1-0 at Des Moines Menace of PDL – Round 2)
Best finish: 2012 Fourth Round (Lost 1-0 at San Jose Earthquakes of MLS)
How they got here: First game

Des Moines Menace Open Cup records (USASA team)
Overall: 1-1-0 | Home: 1-1-0 | vs. Div. 2: N/A
Last entry: 2011 (Lost 1-0 vs. Chicago Fire PDL – Round 1)
Best finish: First Round (2011)
How they got here
Round 2: 3-0 home win vs. Real Colorado Foxes (PDL)

For the third year in a row, the Des Moines Menace will face Minnesota United. After Minnesota won the first meeting, but the Menace will be looking for a repeat of last year’s 1-0 upset. The PDL club, who actually qualified through the USASA this year, handily defeated PDL side Real Colorado Foxes 3-0 in the Open Cup’s Second Round and come into this match with a 2-0-0 record in the PDL’s Heartland Division.

Des Moines, as a USASA entry, has minimal experience, qualifying back in 2011 under the name the “Iowa Menace.” They lost their opening match to the Chicago Fire PDL 1-0. The PDL version of the Menace are one of the top amateur clubs in the tournament with nine wins, including four wins over professional teams.

Minnesota come into the match atop the NASL table with a 5-1-1 record in the spring season behind a league-leading four goals from Christian Ramirez. As well, their five goals allowed is amongst the lowest in league. The Loons enter this edition of the Open Cup ready for revenge against the Menace and, if they can handle that, look poised to be competitive in the tournament.

Aside from the upset last year at the hands of the Menace, Minnesota had a fair amount of success in their first two trips to the tournament. In 2010, they won their opening match against the KC Athletics (USASA) before falling to AC St. Louis (Division 2 professional), but in 2012, they defeated Des Moines in the opening round before upsetting Real Salt Lake (MLS) on the road and losing a tight game against the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS).

There’s even more on the line as the winner of thi re-match will take on Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park on June 18.


Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL PRO) at Arizona United SC (USL PRO)
Peoria Sports Complex; Peoria, AZ – 10:30 p.m. ET
If Oklahoma City wins … play at LA Galaxy (MLS) on June 11
If Arizona wins … will host LA Galaxy (MLS) on June 18

Oklahoma City Energy FC Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Away: N/A | vs. Div. 3: N/A
Last entry: First entry
Best finish: N/A
How they got here
Round 2: 2-0 home win vs. Tulsa Athletics (NPSL)

Arizona United SC Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Home: N/A | vs. Div. 3: N/A
Last entry: First entry
Best finish: N/A
How they got here
Round 2: 3-2 road win vs. Portland Timbers U23s (PDL)

A pair of USL PRO expansion teams square off with a chance to make a big splash in their inaugural seasons. The winner of the Oklahoma City Energy and Arizona United will earn a date with the Los Angeles Galaxy in Round 4.

Arizona got their first taste of the US Open Cup last round against a determined amateur side in the PDL’s Portland Timbers U23s. Arizona avoided an embarrassing upset in their first-ever game by scoring three goals after the 84th minute to erase a 2-0 defiicit. Daniel Antunez scored the game-winning goal on what would prove to be the final kick of the game in second half stoppage time to send United to the Third Round.

Oklahoma City had a slightly less difficult road game as they defeated the NPSL’s Tulsa Athletics 2-0 in front of nearly 4,000 fans in Tulsa. Dave Leichty and Cyprian Hedrick both scored for OKC as they won what is believed to be the first-ever all-Oklahoma Open Cup match in tournament history.


Fresno Fuego (PDL) at Sacramento Republic (USL PRO)
Charles C. Hughes Stadium; Sacramento, CA – 10:30 p.m. ET
Winner plays at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) at June 11

Fresno Fuego Open Cup records
Overall: 5-2-0 | Away: 2-2-0 | vs. Div. 3: 2-0-0
Last entry: 2012 (Lost 7-2 at Fort Lauderdale Strikers of NASL – Round 2)
Best finish: 2003 Fourth Round (Lost 3-1 at LA Galaxy of MLS)
How they got here
Round 2: 2-0 home win vs. Orange County Blues (USL PRO)

Sacramento Republic Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Home: 1-0-0 | vs. Amateur: 1-0-0
Last entry: First entry
Best finish: N/A
How they got here
Round 2: 2-1 home win vs. Ventura County Fusion (PDL)

PDL side Fresno Fuego will travel about three hours north to take on USL PRO newcomer Sacramento Republic on Wednesday, May 28 in the Third Round.

The Fuego overcame a bit of controversy in their Second Round match as they defeated Orange County Blues of the USL PRO, despite having three players declared ineligible right before kickoff. The match was delayed about 45 minutes while the confusion was sorted out, but Fresno ultimately pulled off the upset thanks to a pair of first half goals by Abraham Campos and Jose Cuevas that came just three minutes apart. The Fuego have faced very little adversity in their PDL campaign though as they currently sit atop the Southwest Division of the Western Conference with 35 points from 14 matches played so far this season. Paul Islas has been the star of the PDL season with nine goals in nine appearances.

Sacramento Republic have gained a lot of national attention for their attendance numbers in their inaugural season. They saw over 20,000 fans pass through the gates in their home opener and have averaged roughly 18,000 since the opener. On the field, Sacramento shook off Fresno’s PDL rivals Ventura County Fusion with a come from behind 2-1 victory in the Second Round thanks to goals from Harrison Delbridge and Dakota Collins. Sacramento conceded midway through the first half, but scored twice in the second to advance. Delbridge, who scored the Republic’s first goal in the 59th minute, had previously played for Ventura County. Sacramento are currently tied with the Richmond Kickers for third place in the USL PRO standings with 19 points in their first ten matches played.

The Fuego continue to long for the good old days, as they qualified for the tournament in their inaugural season in 2003 and became the first PDL team to reach the Fourth Round (only three have done it since). They upset two pro teams before falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Galaxy. They wouldn’t qualify again until 2012, and after qualifying as a US Club Soccer team (Fresno Fuego Future) in 2013, the Fuego PDL side are back.

The winner will advance to travel to Kezar Stadium to face MLS’s San Jose Earthquakes in the fourth round on Wednesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. local time.


PSA Elite (USASA) at LA Galaxy II (USL PRO)
StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium; Carson, CA – 10:30 p.m. ET
If PSA Elite wins … play at Seattle Sounders (MLS) on June 18
If LA Galaxy win … they host Seattle Sounders (MLS) on June 18

PSA Elite Open Cup records
Overall: 2-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | Away: 2-2-0 | vs. Div. 3: N/A
Last entry: 2013 (Lost 2-0 at Laredo Heat of PDL – Round 1)
Best finish: 2012 Second Round (Lost 6-0 at Carolina RailHawks of NASL)
How they got here
Round 1: 3-2 PK win after 1-1 draw vs. Los Angeles Misioneros (PDL)
Round 2: Advanced after San Diego Flash (NPSL) forfeited

LA Galaxy II Open Cup records
Overall: 1-0-0 | Home: 1-0-0 | vs. Amateur: 1-0-0
Last entry: First entry
Best finish: N/A
How they got here
Round 2: 6-1 home win vs. Cal FC (USASA)

Amateur side PSA Elite will travel to the Stub Hub Center Track & Field Stadium to take on Los Angeles Galaxy II, the reserve side for MLS’s Los Angeles Galaxy.

At the same StubHub Center field, PSA Elite needed penalty kicks to defeat another Los Angeles-based side, L.A. Misioneros of the PDL, in their First Round Open Cup match. PSA saw defender Noah Gaines sent off with a second yellow card in the 61st minute, but held on to force extra time. In the first 15 minutes of extra time, Misioneros’ Javier Castro made it 1-0, but PSA managed to regroup and converted a late penalty kick via Jose Ferciado to send it to a shootout. Ferciado would go on to score the decisive PK that sent PSA through to the Second Round, where PSA advanced after their opponents, San Diego Flash, were forced to forfeit after they were unable to secure a field to host the match.

Los Angeles Galaxy II, also known as ‘Los Dos’, advanced to the Third Round after defeating Cal FC in Round 2 by a final score of 6-1. Cal FC, under the leadership of former US international Eric Wynalda, made headlines in the 2012 Open Cup after they upset MLS’s Portland Timbers in the Third Round. However, any dreams of a repeat dream run for the Thousand Oaks-based amateur side were quickly dashed as Galaxy II’s Alejandro Covarrubias scored just six minutes in and Los Dos never looked back. It took just 33 minutes for the scoreline to read 5-0 in favor of Los Angeles thanks to a pair of goals from Travis Bowen. The Galaxy II have impressed in their inaugural USL PRO season as well. They currently sit in second place, behind future MLS side Orlando City SC, with 21 points from their first 11 matches. Former UCLA standout Chandler Hoffman has led the line with seven goals in nine appearances.

The winner of this match will take on MLS side Seattle Sounders in the fourth round of the Open Cup.

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