The championship game for the 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup isn’t until Tuesday (Sept. 13, 10 p.m. ET) but this weekend, the qualifying tournament for 2017 will begin.
After two teams (Newport FC, Miami Dade FC) dropped out of the competition, there are 62 open division amateur teams remaining and 52 of them will begin play in the Round 1. Of the 26 opening round games, seven of them will kick off this weekend (Sept. 10-11). The remainder are scheduled to take place the following weekend (Sept. 17-18).
UPDATE: A third team advanced to Round 2 by way of forfeit when the New York Greek American SC dropped out due to lack of player availability. FC Motown from New Jersey now moves on to Round 2.
You can follow updates from all qualifying games on Twitter @USOpenCup or with the hashtag #USOC2017. If you are attending any qualifying match, use #USOC2017 to share your photos and videos on Twitter or Instagram. You can also find the updates scores below in this article and on our home page scoreboard.
Christos FC, the defending USASA Amateur Cup national champions from Maryland started their quest to qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time. They defeated fellow Maryland club Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks 3-1 in extra time to move on to Round 2.
Former University of Maryland standout Kaoru Forbes opened the scoring in the 25th minute only to see the Hawks equalize with 15 minutes remaining in the match. In the first period of extra time, Mike Robinson found former Loyola Maryland midfielder Alex Bullington who fired a 25-yard shot that beat the Hawks goalkeeper. Christos put the game out of reach with the help of midfielder Michael Scott in the second extra time period. Playing a full 120 minutes was a challenge for both teams who were both shorthanded. The Hawks had just three subs to work with, while Christos only had one sub and he was the team’s backup goalkeeper. Christos will host West Chester United (East PA) in Round 2.
Junior Lone Star FC opened their quest to qualify for the 2017 US Open Cup with a 5-1 win over the Rising Stars FC.
It was the Rising Stars who struck first in the 31st minute on a goal from Titus Wright. Six minutes later, Junior Lone Star tied it up from the penalty spot after a Rising Stars defender handled the ball in the area. Anthony Allison stepped up and converted the spot kick.
Allison added a second goal just before halftime when he juggled the ball into the penalty box and fired a shot past goalkeeper Dan Doe. After the break, JLS got a pair of goals created by Josh Chelleh to put the game out of reach. The first, in the 65th minute, Chelleh scored off a rebound, but less than 10 minutes later, Chelleh fed Jerome Pour to make it 4-1. Pour added another one in the final minutes after Zoncher Dennis’ shot rebounded right to him.
Junior Lone Star will travel south to New Jersey to take on Brick Lions FC in Round 2.
Last year, GPS Omens fell one game short of qualifying for the US Open Cup after losing 4-0 to Southie FC. On Sunday night, they got their revenge by defeating a Southie side 4-2 in Madison Park in Roxbury Crossing, Mass.
Southie FC was already shorthanded, playing without any substitutes, but in the 25th minute, the situation was made worse when Mike Long exited the game after suffering an injury on a 50-50 challenge. Five minutes later, Nick Figeurido found Keith Caldwell in the box and he scored from close range to put GPS up 1-0.
After halftime, GPS continued to take advantage of the man advantage. A corner kick found the head of Ben Shuleva, who sent the ball to Caldwell who scored his second in the 50th minute. Five minutes later, Caldwell completed the hat trick thanks to a ball played behind the Southie backline by Jake Edwards.
Down 3-0, the 10-man Southie FC didn’t give up. In the 60th minute, they pulled one back and ten minutes later, a GPS turnover led to goal by Nathanial Short which made it 3-2. But ultimately GPS would hold on as TJ Thompson set up Figeurido for a goal in the 85th minute. GPS will head to Connecticut in Round 2 where they will play Newtown Pride SC in mid-October.
— GPS Omens (@GPS_Omens) September 11, 2016
After falling short in the opening round last year, El Farolito took the first step toward qualifying for the US Open Cup for the first time since they won the tournament in 1993. They started their 2017 journey with a 2-1 win over the Davis Legacy at Boxer Stadium in San Francisco to advance to Round 2 of the open division qualifying competition. El Farolito, which won the 1993 US Open Cup under the name CD Mexico, did all of their goal scoring in the opening ten minutes of the match, scoring in the 4th and the 7th minute. Davis Legacy, who were eliminated in last year’s tournament by San Francisco City FC in a thriller, pulled one back just after halftime. Unfortunately for them, in the remaining 40 minutes of the match, they were unable to find the equalizer.
El Farolito will play on the road in the next round of qualifying where they will face the winner of AC Brea Steaua and Strikers FC South Coast.
The Colorado Rush jumped out to an early lead and held strong the rest of the way in a 3-0 win over FC Boulder. Nick Blanco, Griffen Dorsey and Jack O’Brian all scored in the first 35 minutes of the match to develop that lead. It was a rematch of last year’s opening round match with the Rush winning 5-2. Ultimately, Colorado would fall one game short of the US Open Cup as they lost to Harpo’s FC in the next round that ultimately determined a berth in the tournament.
With the win, the Rush have a big road trip ahead of them as they will have to travel to Portland, Oregon to take on International Portland Select/Marathon Taverna. The match is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22 at Delta Park in Portland.
In a battle of Southeast Michigan, Oakland County FC defeated Ann Arbor FC 3-1 at the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills. Oakland County’s Julian Birge opened the scoring in the 21st minute (on an assist by Danny Dragoi), followed by a goal from substitute Breitmeyer after halftime. AAFC pulled one back shortly after, but Oakland County scored a third goal in the 83rd minute and held on for the win. OCFC’s first-ever entry into the qualifying tournament will continue on Saturday, Oct. 22. There, they will have to travel to Minnesota to take on Minneapolis City SC in Round 2. Both teams are members of the regional amateur league, Premier League of America.
NOTE: The last time an Open Cup-related match was played at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills, the Michigan Bucks of the PDL hosted Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew on July 12, 2006. The Bucks fell to the Crew 4-1 that day.
The Los Angeles Wolves got off on the right foot in their quest to qualify for the US Open Cup for the second year in a row with a 4-1 win over the Real Sociedad Royals. The game played between a pair of strong teams at St. John Bosco Football Stadium in Bellflower, Calif. looked very similar to the Del Rey City FC / FC Hasental match the day before. The Royals of the SoCal Premier League took a 1-0 lead in the first half, but their momentum was delivered a blow when they received a red card in the 38th minute. They held their one-goal lead into the halftime break, but the Wolves of the United Premier Soccer League used their man advantage to take over in the second half.
The Wolves received goals from Paolo Cardoza, Shannon Murphy, Henry Escobar, and Miguel Sanchez and kept the shorthanded Royals off the scoresheet. LA will remain in Southern California for their second round match as they will play on the road against fellow UPSL club Inland Empire FC on the weekend of Oct. 22-23.
The Strikers FC South Coast produced the most lopsided scoreline in almost three years of US Open Cup qualifying with an 11-0 win over AC Brea Steaua. The Strikers, who played in the United Premier Soccer League started the scoring early and often against their SoCal Premier League opponents. Carlos Gonzalez scored a pair of goals in the first ten minutes of the match (3rd minute, 9th minute). Victor Vasquez and Jose Preciado added two more before Gonzalez completed the hat trick just before halftime as the Strikers went into the break leading 5-0.
The Strikers added six more in the second half with Keith Woolley and Edgar Menendez scored two goals each and Fausto Espinoza and Gabriel Barriga also put their names on the scoresheet.
The Strikers will host 1993 US Open Cup champion El Farolito the weekend of Oct. 22-23 in Round 2.
The Santa Ana Winds kicked off their 2017 US Open Cup qualifying run with a 5-0 win over fellow United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) member La Habra City FC. The scoring opened in the 7th minute with a goal from Carlos Andrade. The next goal wouldn’t come until after halftime when Fermin Lara headed home a corner kick in the 54th minute. Eric Zuniga would add another goal two minutes later and Jorge Zuniga would make it 4-0 in the 67th minute. Andrade would add his second goal in the 69th minute and the Winds backline would hold firm and preserve the shutout.
The Winds will have their hands full in Round 2 as they will face another UPSL opponent in La Maquina, who were the darlings of last year’s US Open Cup. La Maquina made a rare trip to the Fourth Round before losing in extra time to the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS.
Two years ago, Chula Vista FC made an impressive run in the US Open Cup. Their run was headlined by a dominant 3-0 road win over the USL’s Arizona United. However, when the SoCal Premier League side tried to qualify the following year, they were ousted in the qualifying tournament 4-0 by UPSL powerhouse La Maquina. They took the first step toward returning to the Open Cup with a 5-1 road win over the UPSL’s Frontera United from Yuma, Ariz. They scored three straight goals before halftime before cruising in the second half to earn the victory.
Chula Vista will have their hands full with another strong UPSL team in FC Hasental, who will host their second round the weekend of Oct. 22-23.
For the first time since 2005, the state of Nevada is represented in the US Open Cup qualifying tournament. In fact, two teams from Nevada entered in the opening round, but only one registered enough eligible players for the tournament. Anahuac FC will advance to the second round of qualifying as the Las Vegas Highrollers did not have enough eligible players to play the game.
Anahuac FC will now face the third Nevada-based team in Round 2, who received a first round bye. Anahuac will host MF 10 Soccer Club the weekend of Oct. 22-23.
NOTE: The last Nevada-based team to enter US Open Cup qualifying was when the Northern Nevada Aces entered the USASA Region IV tournament in 2005. The Aces had recently left the USL’s D-3 Pro League and joined the newly-formed MPSL (now known as the NPSL). They lost all three of their group stage games and failed to advance to the tournament.