2018 US Open Cup Round 3 review: USL dominates, but three Open Division sides break through to MLS round

Posted by | May 24, 2018

NTXTwo amateur teams, a pro team from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and eight United Soccer League (USL) teams joined North Carolina FC in the Fourth Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday night.

Five matches featured USL v USL match-ups while USL newcomers Las Vegas Lights FC were the lone USL team to fall to an opponent from outside the league. Las Vegas was bounced from its first Open Cup by PDL team FC Golden State Force.

On-loan (and cup-tied) Atlanta United forward Gordon Wild helped the Charleston Battery avoid falling victim to the defending NPSL champions while pro NPSL side Miami United FC got revenge for last year’s loss in a 2-0 win over fellow pro NPSL team the Jacksonville Armada.

Only one game ended in penalties, the all-USL battle between San Antonio FC and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, which San Antonio ended up surviving to advance with a 5-3 shootout win.

Scroll down to get a brief recap of all 12 games (with links to match reports as they become available)

#USOC2018 coverage:
2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup schedule, results
2018 US Open Cup statistical leaders

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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
FULL MATCH REPORT
After Ocean City’s Uros Ilic cancelled out NCFC’s opener by Marios Lomis earlier in the game, the hosts then cranked up the Austin da Luz show. Besides assisting on the opener, the midfielder notched the game-winning goal, as well as another assist, as North Carolina pulled away for a comfortable victory over their PDL guests. NCFC will attempt to improve on their record of 5-7-1 (1-0 in PKs) against MLS clubs in the Fourth Round.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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Charleston Battery hosted NPSL side Elm City Express, and for most of the night the visitors hung in tough against their second division competition. However, in the waning minutes, forward Gordon Wild, on loan from Atlanta United, continued his goalscoring prowess for the Battery with a pretty run and finish in the box in the 84th minute, knocking out the defending NPSL champions Elm City Express. MLS teams need to be wary of Charleston, who has eliminated nine teams from the country’s top division (second-most of any lower division team) and of the team’s 23 games against MLS opposition, 15 of them have gone to extra time or beyond (7-12-4, 2-2 PKs).
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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Louisville City has dominated the King’s Cup derby, losing only once to Saint Louis FC. They weren’t about to change history in this match, dominating possession and refusing to give SLFC much of a chance at goal. Defender Sean Totsch launched a rocket past Saint Louis goalie Tomas Gomez to ensure City the win. Gomez had a solid day otherwise, making eight saves, many of them single-handedly keeping his side in the game. LCFC hopes to finally notch a win against an MLS team in the Fourth Round, losing their only previous encounter to the Chicago Fire 1-0 in extra time in 2015.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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Jimmy McLaughlin scored before halftime and Lance Laing and Daniel Haber added two goals in the second half to lead FC Cincinnati back to the Fourth Round. McLaughlin opened the scoring in the 39th minute off an assist from Emery Welshman. The Riverhounds did pull a goal back late with a strike from Danny Chin assisted by Andrew Lubahn but were unable to make up any more ground in stoppage time.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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Luiz Fernando scored a brace inside 22 minutes, but the Richmond Kickers needed an 83rd minute game-winner from Heviel Cordovés to advance to the Fourth Round. After surrendering goals in the 13th and 22nd minute, Penn FC cut the lead in half on a corner kick when Jorge Rivera redirected a shot from Saalih Muhammad on goal in the 36th minute. Muhammad leveled the score in the 60th minute when he collected a long pass from Fabio De Sousa. Cordovés spoiled the comeback when he was left all alone in front of goal to score his fifth career Open Cup goal off a cross from Austin Yearwood.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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A Tomas Granito golazo in the 21st minute gave Miami United FC a lead they would never relinquish in a battle of two professional NPSL clubs. This game was also a rematch of a game won by the Armada (then in NASL) in last year’s competition. Nicolas Gorobsov doubled the lead in the 26th minute, and the Miami defense was able to keep the Armada off the scoreboard through the full 90 minutes, even with eight minutes of second half stoppage time added at the end of the match.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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Former New York Red Bulls and Bethlehem Steel FC forward Brandon Allen marked his arrival in Nashville with a goal 19 minutes in, thanks to an assist from Tucker Hume. London Woodberry added a goal 11 minutes later to put Nashville up 2-0 at the break. Napo Matsoso pulled a goal back for the PDL’s Mississippi Brilla, coming off an assist from Christian Kirchoff. However, this was as close as the game would get. Robin Shroot put the game to rest in the 90th minute with a goal assisted by Ropapa Mensah.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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Super sub Christian Okeke, the reigning TheCup.us Player of the Round, scored his third game-winner of this year’s tournament to lead NTX Rayados to the Fourth Round of the competition with a 3-2 win over FC Wichita. With the win, Rayados becomes the 15th open division team (13th amateur team) and just the 7th non-PDL / non-NPSL team to reach the Fourth Round.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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San Antonio FC advanced to the Fourth Round on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw with USL rival Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. San Antonio got on the board in the 8th minute on a Rafael Castillo penalty kick awarded for a handball in the box but the Switchbacks leveled the score when Tobenna Uzo powered home a Josh Suggs corner in the 26th minute. Scoreless the rest of the way, San Antonio converted all five of their penalties to win the shootout 5-3 and advance to the next round.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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USL newcomers Las Vegas Lights FC had their first US Open Cup campaign cut short by PDL club FC GoldenState Force, which won 2-1 on a 90th minute penalty kick from Allisson Faramilio. Faramilio put the Force up a goal from open play on a 75th minute strike assisted by Matthew Powell, but Joel Huiqui found an equalizer six minutes later off a corner kick from Christian Torres. The Force become just the 13th amateur team (15th open division team) in the Modern Era to reach the Fourth Round.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
Ryan Flood put Sporting AZ FC, an amateur team from the United Premier Soccer League, in the lead in the 66th minute with a strike from distance but Fresno FC found an equalizer on a long distance blast of their own from Danny Barrera in the 75th minute. Needing overtime, Renato Bustamente scored the game-winner in the 99th minute off an assist from Juan Pablo Caffa. Sporting AZ made it interesting deep into overtime, but were unable to convert a couple of dangerous free kick chances.
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LIVE VIDEO (USSoccer.com)
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USL rivals Sacramento Republic FC and Reno 1860 FC played a tight game that was settled in the 69th minute with a stunning goal by Keven Alemen who helped the Republic advance to Round 4 for the fourth time in the last five years.

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