2019 US Open Cup Round 2 Day 1 preview: USL Championship enters with 9 matches tonight; 13 games on Wednesday

Posted by | May 14, 2019

In the opening round, USL League One teams joined all of the Open Division teams to kick off the 106th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. A few Open Division teams got to take on professional teams from USL League One, but in Round 2, it gets a little more difficult. Every U.S.-based team from the USL Championship (Div. 2 pro) joins the competition so every game features a team from the second division pro league in the United States.

There are nine games on the schedule for Tuesday (May 14), and 13 more on Wednesday and every game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

Since 2003, fans who wanted to follow the opening round of the second-oldest, continually-operating soccer tournament in the world, would have to rely on updates from this site, or, in later years, the occasional live audio or video stream. Now, fans who are unable to attend a match in person, can watch every game from the comfort of their home, or through their favorite mobile device.

The draw for the Third Round of the competition is expected to take place today as teams will learn who they will face next if they are able to survive Round 2.

Below is a preview of all nine of Tuesday’s Second Round games (a preview of Wednesday’s 13 matchups will be posted on Wednesday morning)

#USOC2019 ESSENTIALS
2019 US Open Cup schedule/results (links to every match report)
2019 US Open Cup statistical leaders
2019 US Open Cup Round 1: Game-by-game review

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Things you should know about the Second Round of the US Open Cup (Modern Era)
NPSL Mid-Atlantic Conference currently ineligible for 2020 US Open Cup
Every US Open Cup game to stream on ESPN+ in multi-year media rights deal

THECUP.US PLAYER OF THE ROUND
Round 1: Charles Boateng – Richmond Kickers

#USOC2019 QUALIFYING
2019 US Open Cup qualifying schedule/results
2019 US Open Cup Qualifying Round 1 game-by-game review
2019 US Open Cup Qualifying Round 2 game-by-game review
2019 US Open Cup Qualifying Round 3 game-by-game review
2019 US Open Cup Qualifying Final Round game-by-game review
Florida Soccer Soldiers qualify for first time after America SC withdraws
More pros, less amateurs, an extra sub in 2019 US Open Cup format
Chattanooga FC qualifies for 2019 US Open Cup, but opts out
Bavarian SC qualify for 2019 US Open Cup by winning Amateur Cup title

MEET THE UNDERDOGS SERIES
Milwaukee’s Bavarian Soccer Club, proudly amateur since 1929
West Chester United battle tested from long journey back to US Open Cup
NTX Rayados grooming “new generation” to keep qualifying streak going
Academica SC earns first US Open Cup berth after more than 40 years as a club
FC Denver using US Open Cup to build to “higher level”
First year Florida Soccer Soldiers winning with “respect, pride and commitment”

 

Dayton Dutch Lions (USL-2) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL-C)
Highmark Stadium – Pittsburgh, PA
Kickoff: May 14 – 7 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+
 
By Craig Tower

The Dayton Dutch Lions celebrate the 2018 Great Lakes Division championship after defeating the Cincinnati Dutch Lions 4-0 on July 13, 2018. Photo: Dayton Dutch Lions

The Dayton Dutch Lions celebrate the 2018 Great Lakes Division championship after defeating the Cincinnati Dutch Lions 4-0 on July 13, 2018. Photo: Dayton Dutch Lions

The Dayton Dutch Lions enter the Second Round having defeated the Erie Commodores 2-1 on the road in a windy First Round match. The winning goal in that match was scored by 2018 USL PDL All–League Best XI midfielder Tate Robertson, who will look to lead the Lions to victory against their USL Pro opponents on Tuesday night. Robertson’s success is no exception, as the Dutch Lions have graduated two goalkeepers (Chris Froschauer and Stephen Cleveland) and a forward (JJ Williams) to Major League Soccer. Founded in 2010, the Lions played for several seasons in the pro ranks of USL, with their biggest moment coming in the 2012 US Open Cup run when they upset the Columbus Crew of MLS. Their 2018 season was a success and saw them emerge as Great Lakes Division and Central Conference Champions 2018 on an 8-4-3 record. They don’t play their first USL League Two (formerly PDL) game until May 18 against their sister club Cincinnati Dutch Lions and will look to team leaders like Robertson in facing their former USL Pro foes from Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in the cup.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds reached the Third Round last year where they lost to FC Cincinnati by a 3-1 scoreline. In addition, they come into the Open Cup match unbeaten in their last seven league games, but they have only recorded two victories in that stretch. The Pennsylvania side will look to midfielder Kevin Kerr for leadership on the field and, as their leading goalscorer in 2019, a tally or two. Fellow midfielder and recent Team of the Week player Kenardo Forbes will seek to spark the offense, having tied the team lead with three assists on the year. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a lot of success in the tournament over the years.

In the club’s history that dates back to 1999, the Riverhounds have only won a Second Round game four times (2001, 2014, 2015, 2018). Their most memorable run, by far was in 2001 when they upset the Colorado Rapids (MLS) at home, defeated the El Paso Patriots, a fellow A-League (Div. 2 pro) club, on the road before losing a heartbreaking match in the Quarterfinals to the defending champion Chicago Fire (MLS) on a golden goal in extra time. The Riverhounds also have the unfortunate distinction of being the pro club that has been upset the most (six times) by an Open Division team in the Modern Era. Obviously, Pittsburgh will try to put their history behind them as they look to knock off the Dutch Lions in front of their home fans.

It will be the first meeting between the Dutch Lions and the Riverhounds since the Dutch Lions left USL Pro after the 2014 season. The teams have met a total of nine times, with the Dutch Lions holding a 4-3-2 edge against their Pittsburgh foes. In addition to winning the last game against the ‘Hounds, the Dutch Lions also have never lost in the Riverhounds current home, Highmark Stadium.

Dayton Dutch Lions (USL-2)
6th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 7-5-0
Away: 5-5-0
vs. Div. 2 pro: 0-2-0
Best finish: 2012 Quarterfinals (Lost 3-0 at Sporting Kansas City of MLS)

Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL-C)
17th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 10-14-3 (1-2 PK)
Home: 7-5-1 (1-0 PK)
Open Division: 7-5-2 (1-1 PK)
Best finish: 2001 Quarterfinals (Lost 3-2 ASDET at Chicago Fire of MLS)

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New York Cosmos B (NPSL) at Hartford Athletic (USL-C)
Al-Marzook Field – Hartford, CT
Kickoff: May 14 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+

By Michael Battista

Aaron Dennis celebrates his goal for the New York Cosmos against Black Rock FC in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Matthew Levine | New York Cosmos

Aaron Dennis celebrates his goal for the New York Cosmos against Black Rock FC in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Matthew Levine | New York Cosmos

A great weight was lifted off the New York Cosmos B’s shoulders last week when they won their first tournament game last week. The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) team has multiple league wins and a solid defense behind it heading into its next game. On the other side, Hartford Athletic of the USL Championship has a lot riding on a good result against a lower league side. Struggles on and off the field in its’ first year may be turned around with a win in the knockout tournament against a side they’ve never faced before.

The New York Cosmos B enter the Second Round with their organization’s first Open Cup win since the club’s senior team in the NASL reached the Fifth Round in 2016. They are riding a four game win streak across all competitions, and with a high profile friendly against 2. Bundesliga side FC St. Pauli happening later this month. The team controlled the majority of its game against USL League Two side Black Rock FC but needed a stoppage time header by Bledi Bardic to advance through. In the team’s most recent NPSL win over Boston City FC, Salvadoran midfielder Junior Burgos made his debut and scored two goals in the squad’s 5-0 win. He joins Charlie Ledula and Aaron Dennis, who opened scoring against Black Rock, as the only players with multiple goals this season – and he did it in only one start. With another league matchup happening in New England this weekend against Greater Lowell United FC, the Cosmos will have a lot on their plate heading into Tuesday.

On the other end, Hartford Athletic enters the competition as the first Connecticut-based professional team to take part in the tournament since the Connecticut Wolves (A-League, Div. 2 pro) in 2001. In its inaugural season, the team has been winless in 10 straight games to start the year with the only bright spot being a 1-1 draw against the Charlotte Independence in the team’s home opener on May 4. Hartford won’t be playing in the stadium it traditionally calls home since the game is being played at Al-Marzook Field on the University of Hartford’s campus. Seven players are tied for scoring the most goals this season with one each and the team’s main goalkeeper, Jacob Lissek, has allowed 14 goals over seven appearances. The team will hit the road following the early week game and head for D.C. as they face fellow expansion side Loudoun United FC on Sunday, May 19.

US OPEN CUP HISTORY

New York Cosmos B (NPSL)
2nd US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 1-1-0
Away: 0-1-0
vs. Div. 2 pro: N/A
Best finish: 2018 Play-In Round

Hartford Athletic (USL Championship)
1st US Open Cup appearance
Overall: N/A
Home: N/A
Open Division: N/A
Best finish: N/A

Florida Soccer Soldiers (USASA / UPSL) at Charlotte Independence (USL-C)
Mecklenburg County Sportsplex – Matthews, NC
Kickoff: May 14 – 7 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+

By Lee Ifans

Players from Florida Soccer Soldiers and Miami FC battle for the ball in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Orovio Photography

Players from Florida Soccer Soldiers and Miami FC battle for the ball in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Orovio Photography

Few had picked Florida Soccer Soldiers as capable of providing an upset in the first round. It was a formality for NPSL champions Miami FC in the eyes of many. Having been 1-0 down at halftime the UPSL’s Soccer Soldiers turned in a second 45 full of heart and fight and got their just reward with a 2-1 upset. A second round trip to the Charlotte Independence likely won’t daunt the Miami-based Florida Soccer Soldiers who have experience of playing an important game away from home after their impressive showing in the UPSL national playoffs last year.

The Charlotte Independence had a great cup run in their inaugural season back in 2015. They swept their way past the NASL’s Carolina Railhawks and New England Revolution of MLS before an eventual Fifth Round exit to the Chicago Fire. That year, they made it farther than any other USL side and were rewarded with $15,000 in prize money. But since that run it’s mostly been a competition to forget for Charlotte. They played identical schedules in 2016 and 2017, winning road games against USL League Two’s Charlotte Eagles, before falling on the road to North Carolina FC. Last year they were dumped out in the opening round by the Ocean City Nor’easters of USL League Two (PDL).

But right now a cup tie might come as a welcome distraction for the North Carolinians. They stand 16th out of 18 teams in the USL Championship Eastern Conference with just one win in ten games. In addition to the defeat of Miami FC, Soccer Soldiers have not lost a game in 2019. In fact, they haven’t even dropped a point, winning every game they have played. The Independence will need to be wary of the Soldiers. This should be another closely-fought game.

MORE >> MEET THE UNDERDOGS: First year Florida Soccer Soldiers winning with “respect, pride and commitment”

US OPEN CUP HISTORY

Florida Soccer Soldiers (USASA / UPSL)
1st US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 1-0-0
Away: 1-0-0
vs. Div. 2 pro: N/A
Best finish: N/A

Charlotte Independence (USL-C)
5th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 5-4-0
Home: 1-1-0
vs. Open Division: 3-1-0
Best finish: 2015 Fifth Round (Lost 3-1 at Chicago Fire of MLS)

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The Villages SC (USL-2) at Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL-C)
Al Lang Stadium – St. Petersburg, FL
Kickoff: May 14 – 7 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+

By Joshua Taylor

Players from The Villages SC (left) and Lakeland Tropics battle for the ball in a 2019 US Open Cup First Round match. Photo: Christopher Arnold

Players from The Villages SC (left) and Lakeland Tropics battle for the ball in a 2019 US Open Cup First Round match. Photo: Christopher Arnold

The Villages SC are coming off an 8-7 win on penalty kicks in the opening round against the Lakeland Tropics. The Villages SC haven’t started their USL League Two campaign yet but will be looking to get past the second round of the competition for the first time in three previous tries. Surviving the Lakeland Tropics was a welcomed result for fans of The Villages SC as they had suffered unfortunate results in the last three outings. In 2016, the club thought they had pulled off their first win over a pro team in the Open Cup when they defeated the Charleston Battery on the road, but it was ruled that they had used an ineligible player  and were disqualified. The last two years, they were one-and-done, losing both games to the Jacksonville Armada of the NPSL. The Villages will be seeking their first trip to the Third Round in another in-state battle in St. Pete.

The Tampa Bay Rowdies are coming into this match riding a six-game unbeaten streak (3-0-3) in league play. They are currently in second place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference with a 5-0-5 record (20 points). Their last game was last Wednesday when they earned a 1-0 road win against Nashville SC with a goal from Juan Tejada. Sebastian Guenzatti is the team’s leading goalscorer with five while the Rowdies top assist man is veteran Leo Fernandes. Defense has also been key to their success led by goalkeeper John McCarthy, who spent years as the backup with the Philadelphia Union (MLS) has been a tremendous offseason signing. McCarthy currently leads the league in clean sheets with six. McCarthy brings MLS experience to the roster, but also US Open Cup experience, as the Philadelphia native carried the Union to the US Open Cup Final in 2015 and was a finalist for TheCup.us Player of the Tournament that year.

This will be the first meeting between these two teams as the Tampa Bay Rowdies will be looking to stay undefeated at Al Lang Stadium this season. The Rowdies are still aiming for a signature cup run in their team’s history that dates back to 2010. The Rowdies have only won multiple games in a single tournament once and that came in 2013 when they played spoiler. That year, in front of their home fans at Al Lang Stadium, they defeated the Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) 1-0 to put an end to an historic run by the MLS side. It ended the Sounders’ Modern Era record 22-game unbeaten streak in the tournament and denied the three-time defending champs a shot at becoming the first team to ever win four straight US Open Cup titles.

Last year, the Rowdies were defeated 1-0 by the Jacksonville Armada, a pro team from the NPSL.

The Villages SC (USL-2)
7th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 2-5-2 (1-1 PK)
Away: 1-3-2 (1-1 PK)
vs. Div. 2 pro: N/A
Best finish: Second Round (2013, 2016)

Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL-C)
9th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 6-8-0
Home: 3-1-0
vs. Open Division: 3-0-0
Best finish: 2013 Fourth Round (Lost 2-0 at Portland Timbers of MLS)

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South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 (USL-2) at Nashville SC (USL-C)
Dean A Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium – Murfreesboro, TN
Kickoff: May 14 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+

By Craig Tower

Players from South Georgia Tormenta 2 celebrate in a First Round game against the Chattanooga Red Wolves in the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Raphael Pantin

Players from South Georgia Tormenta 2 celebrate in a First Round game against the Chattanooga Red Wolves in the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Raphael Pantin

South Georgia Tormenta 2 is coming off an impressive 3-0 win against USL League One side Chattanooga Red Wolves SC despite the Red Wolves dominating the possession. Tormenta 2 did play a USL League Two opener this past weekend earning a 4-0 win against Peachtree City MOBA at Erk Russell Park. Jarvian Wigfall and Adrian Bilhardt, who both scored a goal in their last Open Cup match last week, contributed a goal each to pick up their first league win and will seek their first pro team upset on the road in Nashville.

Nashville SC is coming into the Second Round of the US Open Cup in fourth place in the USL Championship Eastern Conference with a 5-3-2 record (17 points). Nashville SC dominated Swope Park Rangers 5-1 this past weekend at home. Forward Daniel Rios is the team’s top goalscorer getting two goals in their last game to bring his season total to seven. With the win, the team also broke the franchise record for goals in a single game and has improved their goalscoring throughout the season. Nashville SC hopes their offensive form will help them go on another deep run in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Last year Nashville SC reached the Fifth Round in their inaugural Open Cup run, highlighted by a 2-0 upset of the Colorado Rapids of MLS.

South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 (USL-2)
2nd US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 2-1-0
Away: 1-1-0
vs. Div. 2 pro: 0-1-0
Best finish: 2018 Second Round (Lost 1-0 at Charleston Battery of USL)

Nashville SC (USL-C)
2nd US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 3-1-0
Home: 3-0-0
vs. Open Division: 2-0-0
Best finish: 2018 Fifth Round (Lost 2-1 at Louisville City of USL)

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NTX Rayados (USASA / North Texas Premier Soccer Assoc.) at OKC Energy (USL-C)
John Crain Field – Norman, OK
Kickoff: May 14 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+

By Michael Battista

NTX Rayados logoLast year, in the Second Round, NTX Rayados dominated OKC Energy in extra time by scoring three goals en route to a 5-2 win. For the Rayados, after six previous trips to the tournament, it was their first win over a pro team. However, on the other side, it was their first one-and-done performance in the club’s history that dates back to 2014. The Rayados went on to the best cup run in team history, reaching the Fourth Round where they took on the Houston Dynamo on the road where they would fall 5-0 to the eventual champions. North Texas were the last Open Division team standing, and earned $25,000 in prize money as a result. After 363 days, the OKC Energy and the NTX Rayados will meet again but this time the USL Championship side will have home field advantage.

For NTX Rayados, the road to the US Open Cup and the tournament itself have been filled with two things; clean sheet wins or penalty kick shootouts. Last week in Round One, Mariano Fazio played hero for his team scoring the tying goal deep into stoppage time against NPSL side Little Rock Rangers and also scored the deciding penalty kick in his team’s shootout win. In the four games the team needed to win during qualifying, two went to penalties including a brutal ten-round affair, while the other two were won with a combined scoreline of 7-0.

OKC Energy is coming off one of its most disappointing seasons since the team launched in 2013. The club failed to make the playoffs, tied its worst-ever table finish in league play and failed to win a US Open Cup game thanks to that amateur team from North Texas. This year, the team has been already been different with the squad currently sitting in eighth place after ten games while also picking up established talent like defender Mike da Fonte. The Energy will be looking to get back to their old ways in the tournament that included reaching the Fourth Round in three consecutive years (2015-2017).

MORE >> MEET THE UNDERDOGS: NTX Rayados grooming “new generation” to keep qualifying streak going

US OPEN CUP HISTORY

NTX Rayados (USASA / North Texas Premier Soccer Assoc.)
7th US Open Cup appearance* (Disqualified in 2016)
Overall: 3-6-3 (2-1 PK)
Away: 0-5-3 (2-1 PK)
vs. Div. 2 pro: 1-1-0
Best finish: 2014 Fourth Round (Lost 5-0 at Houston Dynamo of MLS)

OKC Energy (USL Championship)
6th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 6-4-2 (1-1 PK)
Home: 1-0-0
vs. Open Division: 3-1-1 (1-0 PK)
Best finish: Fourth Round (2015, 2016, 2017)

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Tulsa Roughnecks (USL-C) at Austin Bold (USL-C)
Bold Stadium – Del Valle, TX
Kickoff: May 14 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+

By Matt Clark

The Tulsa Roughnecks will hope to bounce back from a “one-and-done” performance last year when they travel to Del Valle, Texas to take on the Austin Bold.

Fabian Cerda of the Tulsa Roughnecks (yellow) gets a hug from a teammate prior to the team's penalty kick shootout against San Antonio FC in the Third Round of the 2017 US Open Cup. Credit: Lori Scholl

Fabian Cerda of the Tulsa Roughnecks (yellow) gets a hug from a teammate prior to the team’s penalty kick shootout against San Antonio FC in the Third Round of the 2017 US Open Cup. Credit: Lori Scholl

Last season, the Roughnecks were knocked out of the Second Round of the US Open Cup after a 4-3 home loss to Wichita FC — marking just the second time in Cup history that an NPSL squad upset a Division 2 pro team side.

If standings account for anything (and they typically don’t in Cup play), this should be a very evenly-matched contest and just a point separates Tulsa from Austin in the Western Conference of the USL Championship table.

However, the biggest difference between the two clubs is goals. So far this season, Austin has managed a paltry eight goals in nine matches, despite racking up 14 points in league play. Tulsa, on the other hand, thanks to Luca Lobo’s seven goals, have 21 on the season. While 21 goals seems impressive, the reason for Tulsa still hanging out in fifth in the Western Conference is the fact that their defense have given up 17 goals.

Kleber leads Austin with three goals on the season while Tulsa has four players with at least that many goals in the Championship.

While Austin is an expansion team making its tournament debut, Tulsa is participating in the competition for the fifth time. Their previous trips to the Open Cup have been a mixed bag. A pair of upset losses to amateur teams (2015 at Des Moines Menace; 2018 at FC Wichita), they won their inaugural game against the Seacoast United Phantoms (USL League Two), only to fall to the OKC Energy FC in the next round. Their best run came in 2017 when they defeated the Energy U-23s, and won a dramatic penalty kick shootout with fellow USL side San Antonio FC before losing a heartbreaking game to FC Dallas of MLS thanks to an own goal in Round 4.

US OPEN CUP HISTORY

Tulsa Roughnecks (USL-C)
5th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 2-4-1 (1-0 PK)
Away: 0-3-0
vs. Div. 2 pro: 0-0-1 (1-0 PK)
Best finish: 2017 Fourth Round (Lost 2-1 at FC Dallas of MLS)

Austin Bold FC (USL Championship)
1st US Open Cup appearance
Overall: N/A
Home: N/A
vs. Div. 2 pro: 0-0-0
Best finish: First year in competition

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Laredo Heat SC (NPSL) at San Antonio FC (USL-C)
Toyota Field – San Antonio, TX
Kickoff: May 14 – 8:30 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+

By Jake Sillick

Players from the Laredo Heat and Brazos Valley Cavalry battle for the ball in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Laredo Heat

Players from the Laredo Heat and Brazos Valley Cavalry battle for the ball in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Laredo Heat

The Laredo Heat were able to squeak by Brazos Valley Cavalry in the First Round of a second half penalty kick, 1-0. They will be without the services of their midfielder, Luis Hincapie, who was sent off in the match vs. Brazos Valley. They still haven’t started NPSL Lone Star Conference competition yet, and have had a full week to rest and prepare for the match against professional side San Antonio FC. This is the first time Laredo will play a San Antonio-based professional team and are seeking their second win over a pro team. Their first came during their best cup run in team history back in 2014 when they were a member of USL League Two (PDL). That year they upset the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers on the road to earn a date with the Houston Dynamo (MLS) in Round 4. The Dynamo would score a first half goal and hold on to a 1-0 win. The Heat were the Open Division team that advanced the farthest in the tournament that year, and took home $15,000 in prize money.

In three previous trips to the US Open Cup, San Antonio FC is undefeated in the second round of US Open Cup. The club has reached the Fourth Round two out of the three years and has earned two dates with MLS teams (2016 at Houston Dynamo; 2018 vs. FC Dallas). Last year, they defeated the Midland-Odessa Sockers FC 4-0 on the road before eliminating USL foe Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in penalty kicks to earn a home game with FC Dallas. This season hasn’t gone well for San Antonio FC so far, as they sit 16th out of the 18 teams in the USL Championship Western Conference. They have earned 11 points out of 10 matches and a 3-5-2 record. Brian Gomez has been a bright spot for San Antonio so far this season, netting two goals and three assists so far this season.

US OPEN CUP HISTORY

Laredo Heat SC (NPSL)
6th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 5-3-3 (1-2 PK)
Away: 1-3-1 (0-1 PK)
vs. Div. 2 pro: 1-1-1 (0-1 PK)
Best finish: 2014 Fourth Round (Lost 1-0 at Houston Dynamo of MLS)

San Antonio FC (USL-C)
4th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 4-2-2 (1-1 PK)
Home: 1-1-1 (1-0 PK)
vs. Open Division: 4-0-0
Best finish: Fourth Round (2016, 2018)

Cal FC (USASA / UPSL) at Las Vegas Lights (USL-C)
Cashman Field – Las Vegas, NV
Kickoff: May 14 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Round 3 scenarios: TBA
BROADCAST: ESPN+

By Michael Battista

The only game in the western region for Tuesday night will be pitting two teams with substantially different Open Cup histories and one common factor. After a two-year hiatus, Cal FC is making its fourth US Open Cup appearance, and of course is best known for its giant-killing ways from the club’s 2012 US Open Cup run. The Las Vegas Lights are back for their second US Open Cup appearance led by the man who was the head coach of that 2012 Cal FC team: Eric Wynalda.

Orr Barouch of Cal FC dribbles past defenders from FC Mulhouse Portland in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Victor Friedman

Orr Barouch of Cal FC dribbles past defenders from FC Mulhouse Portland in the First Round of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Victor Friedman

Local qualifier Cal FC advanced to the Second Round after brushing past 2018 NPSL national semifinalist FC Mulhouse Portland, 5-1, thanks in part to a hat trick performance by former Chicago Fire midfielder Orr Barouch. The team, which is currently slated to go fully pro later this year in the upcoming NPSL Founders Cup tournament and subsequent professional league, will be going up against their former coach for the first time on Tuesday night. The last time Wynalda and Cal FC were on a field was in 2012 when the Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based club made their historic run in the Open Cup by defeating Major League Soccer side Portland Timbers in 2012, becoming the first Open Division team to do so without needing penalty kicks.

Las Vegas will be looking to advance to the Third Round for the second straight year after making its US Open Cup debut last season with a win over FC Tucson of USL League Two (PDL). The tournament run would come to an end on the road with a 2-1 upset loss to FC Golden State Force (USL League Two). The team’s regular season performance that year saw it finish in the bottom three of the western conference with the second-most goals allowed for any team in the west. Now, nearly one third into 2019 and the squad sits in sixth place with a 4-4-2 record. There are six players on the Las Vegas who are not available due to being cup tied to other teams who competed in US Open Cup Open Division Local qualifying, including three players who suited up for Cal FC: Cristhian Hernandez, Eric Gonzalez, and Irvin Raul Parra.

US OPEN CUP HISTORY

Cal FC (USASA / UPSL)
4th US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 5-2-1 (0-1 PK)
Away: 4-2-1 (0-1 PK)
vs. Div. 2 pro: N/A
Best finish: 2012 Fourth Round (Lost 5-0 at Seattle Sounders FC of MLS)

Las Vegas Lights (USL-C)
2nd US Open Cup appearance
Overall: 1-1-0
Home: 1-0-0
vs. Open Division: 1-1-0
Best finish: 2018 Third Round (Lost 2-1 at FC Golden State Force of USL League Two)

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