The United Soccer League (USL) certainly had the upper hand in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup last year, holding the North American Soccer League (NASL) winless in all seven matchups (0-6-1, 0-1 PKs) between the rival leagues. This year, the NASL rebounded as seven of the nine entries advanced to the Fourth Round, including six of them that eliminated USL teams.
As impressive as the NASL was on Wednesday night, they weren’t the only headliners. Sharing the spotlight was a pair of amateur teams that won to punch their ticket to the Fourth Round, a place that very few fourth division teams have ever reached. Both came late in the evening as Southern California side La Maquina won an all-United Premier Soccer League matchup with the Los Angeles Wolves while the Kitsap Pumas closed out the round with a stunning 3-1 upset of the Sacramento Republic. La Maquina will face the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Pumas will take on the Seattle Sounders and if either one of them are able to pull off the massive upset in Round 4, they will be the first amateur team since 1995 to reach the Round of 16.
The round also featured the long-awaited Oklahoma City derby, the Carolina RailHawks breaking a goalscoring record and more. Check out a brief recap of each Third Round game with links to the full match report (Check back as more will be added):
Both teams scored in the first half, but neither could break the tie in the second. A 107th minute goal for Jacksonville’s Keita gave his club the advantage they would need to win its first Open Cup game in the team’s brief history. FULL MATCH REPORT [+]
A free kick broke the scoreless tie in the second half, and Rochester added another to seal the win. The two goals in an 11-minute span helped the Rhinos end the cup run of the amateur Lansdowne Bhoys from New York City. With the win, Rochester improves to 16-0-0 all-time against amateur clubs and earns a date with the New York Red Bulls of MLS. FULL MATCH REPORT [+]
Harrisburg needed a second half rally to get past the hometown Chattanooga FC. The City Islanders trailed 1-0 entering the 71st minute, but two goals in 11 minutes helped Harrisburg survive and advance. FULL MATCH REPORT
A near-perfect free kick gave New York the lead early, and a late header did all but put this game away. With the win, the Cosmos earn a date with New York City FC of MLS for the second year in a row. FULL MATCH REPORT [+]
As hard as it is to believe, this was a scoreless draw at the end of regulation. The RailHawks scored a record five extra time goals to change a close result to a lopsided one against the Charlotte Independence, who played the majority of the match with 10 men due to an early red card. An early goal had Tampa Bay Rowdies fans on edge all night, but it turned out to be the only goal they would need. The Rowdies will take on the Columbus Crew in the next round. FULL MATCH REPORT [+]
Louisville held the 1-0 advantage at the half, but Indy came all the way back, netting two goals in 10 minutes to emerge with the win to set up an intriguing Fourth Round matchup with the Chicago Fire of MLS. FULL MATCH REPORT [+]
Wilmington scored two goals in the first five minutes of the match and held off Miami FC for the remainder of the match. FULL MATCH REPORT [+] Minnesota United avenged last year’s loss to Saint Louis FC by scoring a counter attack goal in the 69th minute and then adding a late clincher to put the game out of reach. FULL MATCH REPORT [+]