2020 US Open Cup Qualifying Round 2: Game-by-game review

Posted by | October 22, 2019
A giant pumpkin balloon overlooks the field at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. before the 2020 US Open Cup qualifier between Cal FC and Alta California Sol. Photo: Victor Friedman | Cal FC

A giant pumpkin balloon overlooks the field at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. before the 2020 US Open Cup qualifier between Cal FC and Alta California Sol. Photo: Victor Friedman | Cal FC

The Second Round of the Open Division Local Qualifying tournament for the 2020 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is nearly complete. There were 23 games played with just one game (Georgia Revolution Reserves at Soda City FC Sorinex) postponed due to weather.

The winners advance to Round 3 which will take place the weekend of Nov. 23-24.

There are some familiar faces advancing to the Third Round (West Chester United, NTX Rayados, Cal FC, Christos FC), some teams with rich histories (NY Pancyprian Freedoms, Vereinigung Erzegebirge) and some new faces, featuring some former pros including Nashville United and Olympic Club. There were also some surprising exits, including Lansdowne Yonkers FC, the Colorado Rush, and last year’s Cinderella story, the Florida Soccer Soldiers. There was a nine-goal thriller, a PK shootout that has never happened before and much more.

Check out a recap of every game below.

#USOC2020 ESSENTIALS

2020 US Open Cup Qualifying Schedule / Results
2020 US Open Cup Qualifying Round 1 Game-By-Game Review


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19

Brockton FC United pose for a team photo before their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against Safira FC. Photo: Brockton FC United

Brockton FC United pose for a team photo before their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against Safira FC. Photo: Brockton FC United

Safira FC
(USASA / UPSL)
0:2
Brockton FC United
(USASA / Bay State Soccer League)

By Michael Preston

Two late second half goals from Leandro Alves earned Brockton United a 2-0 win over Safira and a place in the US Open Cup third qualifying round at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass.  Alves was his side’s main dangerman throughout and in a first half of few chances rattled the post from 25 yards out on the half-hour mark with a free kick that curled over the home wall.

The deadlock was broken with 14 minutes remaining as Elizandro Cardoso pulled the ball back inside the 18-yard box for an unmarked Alves to pick his spot past keeper Patrick Vilela. With a minute remaining in regulation, Alves capitalized on a poor defensive clearance from deep in the Safira half and finished a simple chance to seal the win.

Safira’s best chance came three minutes after the interval when Gabriel Paganini headed across the face of goal, but the home side were a shadow of the side that scored four goals in the last round with scorers Michael Rincon and Rigoberto Jimenez both missing due to illness and work commitments respectively.

Brockton advances to Round 3 as they attempt to qualify in their first-ever trip to the qualifying tournament.

CD Huateras form a prayer circle following their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against World Class Premier Elite FC. Photo: CD Huateras

CD Huateras form a prayer circle following their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against World Class Premier Elite FC. Photo: CD Huateras

CD Huateras
(ANFEEU / Woodbridge Soccer League)
5:4 (AET)
World Class Premier Elite FC
(USASA / UPSL)

One of the most dramatic comebacks of this year’s tournament didn’t result in a win as World Class Premier Elite FC scored three goals in the final 15 minutes of regulation to force extra time against CD Huateras. However, despite their heroic efforts in regulation, CD Huateras prevailed in extra time, 5-4.

First-time qualifying entry CD Huateras jumped out to an early lead when former D.C. United Academy player Gerson Umana scored the opening goal in the 44th minute. On the other side of halftime, in the 50th minute, Umana would add a second. Then, in a goal that appeared to put the game away, Umana completed his hat trick in the 75th minute. World Class Premier Elite then managed to rattle off three goals in the game’s final 10 minutes, plus stoppage time.

Former Seattle Sounders 2 player Willy Kapawa broke the shutout with a goal from a free kick with about 10 minutes left. Three minutes later, former UConn player Alex Kao scored to make it 3-2.

With two minutes left in the game, Kao scored off a header on an assist from Richard Forka to stun the home team and send the match into extra time.

With all the momentum with WCPE, the home team snatched the lead back in the first half of extra time on a goal by Oliver Funez. Less than five minutes later, World Class equalized again when Daniel Ankrah’s pass to Kay Banjo made it 4-4. However, CD Huateras would steal the game with about five minutes left with a game-winner from Christian Najar, the brother of former MLS Rookie of the Year, Andy Najar.

A player from Chula Vista FC avoids a tackle from an Academica SC defender in their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier. Photo: Chula Vista FC

A player from Chula Vista FC avoids a tackle from an Academica SC defender in their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier. Photo: Chula Vista FC

Chula Vista FC
(USCS / SoCal Premier League)
3:3 (2:1 PKs)
Academica SC
(USCS / LIGA NorCal)

Chula Vista FC came back from a two-goal deficit in the final 11 minutes of regulation then bested Academica SC in penalty kicks 2-1 to advance to the next qualifying round. It was the second qualifier in a row where Chula Vista advanced by a shootout.

Academica SC scored the opening goal in the 21st minute on a curling shot from Churi Hernandez, then quickly added a second eight minutes later as Cody Golbad found the back of the net for the visitors.

Chula Vista drew one back at the start of the second half as Angel Pinal scored in the 52nd minute, but Academica SC quickly reclaimed its’ two-goal advantage in the 57th minute on a strike from Cody Golbad, scoring his second.

With time starting to run out, Angel Pinal scored his second in the 79th minute to again cut the deficit to one. Chula Vista FC continued to push for the equalizer, and in the 90th minute, the hosts found it through former TheCup.us Player of the Round Alberto Diaz to send the match into extra time.

After two scoreless 15 minute sessions, the match went to penalty kicks where Chula Vista FC advanced 2-1. It’s an extremely rare scoreline for a shootout. Chula Vista players missed three attempts, while goalkeeper Cristian García saved four Academica kicks. To put it in perspective, there have been 127 penalty kick shootouts in the Modern Era of the US Open Cup (1995-present), and while this game is not part of the tournament proper, there has never been a goalkeeper that has made four saves in a single shootout.

AJ Bishop and Andreas Bartosinski of West Chester United celebrate after scoring a goal against Lansdowne Yonkers FC in the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: Matt Ralph - BrotherlyGame.com

AJ Bishop and Andreas Bartosinski of West Chester United celebrate after scoring a goal against Lansdowne Yonkers FC in the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: Matt Ralph – BrotherlyGame.com

West Chester United
(USASA / USL of PA)
4:2
Lansdowne Yonkers FC
(USASA / Cosmopolitan Soccer League)

A pair of goals from AJ Bishop and a goal and an assist from former Dartmouth player Matt Greer paced West Chester United to a 4-2 victory over Lansdowne Yonkers FC in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

The hosts opened the scoring the 31st minute as former Villanova Wildcat Andreas Bartosinski found the back of the net on an assist from Matt Greer.

The lead did not last long, however, as Musa Bala Denso scored the equalizer for Lansdowne Yonkers FC in the 37th minute.

West Chester United reclaimed its one-goal advantage in first half stoppage time as AJ Bishop scored to give the hosts a 2-1 lead at the break.

In the second half, AJ Bishop added his second goal of the evening in the 67th evening.

Making one last push, Lansdowne scored in the 89th minute to cut the deficit to one at 3-2, but Matt Greer scored a goal in second half stoppage time for West Chester United as the home side claimed the 4-2 victory.

Mohamed “James” Sesay of NTX Rayados celebrates one of his four goals against Inocentes Futbol Club in the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: NTX Rayados

Mohamed “James” Sesay of NTX Rayados celebrates one of his four goals against Inocentes Futbol Club in the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: NTX Rayados

NTX Rayados
(USASA / North Texas Premier Soccer Association)
7:0
Inocentes Futbol Club
(USASA / UPSL)

NTX Rayados took a step toward qualifying for the US Open Cup for the ninth year in a row with a 7-0 win over fellow Dallas-area club Inocentes Futbol Club. They extended their qualifying unbeaten streak to 13 games as they look to add to their Modern Era record for consecutive trips to the tournament for an Open Division Local team. In the first meeting between the two North Texas clubs, the Rayados were led by a four-goal performance from Mohammed “James” Sesay followed by goals by Reece Wilson, Lucio Martinez and goalkeeper Emmanuel Frias, who converted a late penalty kick. Sesay played his college ball at Richland College where he led the school to a junior college national championship, broke the school scoring record and was named the National Player of the Year. 

 

A beautiful sunset was the backdrop for the 2020 US Open Cup qualifier between Celtic Cowboys Premier and the San Antonio Runners. Photo: Celtic Cowboys Premier

A beautiful sunset was the backdrop for the 2020 US Open Cup qualifier between Celtic Cowboys Premier and the San Antonio Runners. Photo: Celtic Cowboys Premier

San Antonio Runners
(USASA / UPSL)
0:3
Celtic Cowboys Premier
(USSSA / Austin Men’s Soccer Association)

By Michael Battista

In a rematch of a 2019 qualifier, Celtic Cowboys Premier used a first half goal and a dominant second half to beat the San Antonio Runners 3-0. With the win, they advance to the Third Round of the Open Division Local Qualifying for the 2020 US Open Cup. The Runners fall to Celtic for the second straight year after letting in three unanswered goals in the second half of last year’s first round loss.

About 40 people watched at the University of Texas at San Antonio Recreation Field Complex as both teams battled for their first ever appearance in a third US Open Cup qualifier. The Runners came out pushing the ball into the Cowboy’s end but struggled to make meaningful shots. In the 30th minute, a run up the right side by Celtic’s Christopher Wright, the first round’s leading scorer, set-up a cross into the box. Dave O’Brien side shot the ball low, directly at goalkeeper Kyle Miller and it looked as though the teenager secured the chance under his hands. However, momentum pushed the ball through and into the net for the game’s first goal.

Things unwound for the Runners from there as Mostafa Kamal received a yellow not long after and the team could not challenge the Cowboy keeper. The second half fell out of the team’s hands as possession slipped from their grasp. Xavier Scarlett assisted Wright for his fourth goal of qualifying in the 67th before poor defense allowed Hasan Nhew to break past the back-line at midfield and beat Miller one-on-one in the 69th. 

More chances by both teams, including a fantastic save by the Cowboy keeper late in the game to hold the clean sheet, saw the contest out. Cowboys have already outdone their inaugural tournament run last season, when they fell to Motagua New Orleans in the Second Round.

 


Louisiana Krewe FC
(USASA / Gulf Coast Premier League)
3:2
Athletic Katy FC
(USASA / UPSL)

A last minute goal from Henrique Pimpoa sent Louisiana Krewe FC into the next round of qualifying against a scrappy Athletic Katy FC side.

Athletic Katy, based in the Houston area, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Louisiana Krewe responded just before the half as a penalty kick was awarded on a foul that drew a red card, leaving Athletic Katy down to 10 men. Matheus Fullini converted the spot kick for the Krewe, resulting in a 1-1 match at the break.

In the second half, a second yellow card for the Athletic Katy goalkeeper resulted in a second sending off for the visitors and a second penalty kick for Louisiana Krewe, which was again converted.

Despite being down to nine men, Athletic Katy qualized in the 78th minute.

With the personnel advantage, Louisiana Krewe eventually broke down the Athletic Katy defense, finding the winner in the final minute of regulation through Henrique Pimpoa to claim the 3-2 victory and advance to the next round of qualifying in their first trip to the competition.

Nashville United logo
Springfield FC
(USASA / UPSL)
0:8
Nashville United
(USASA / Middle Tennessee Soccer Alliance)

Nashville United traveled north to take on Springfield FC armed with some talented veteran players and that talent led the way in a one-sided 8-0 road win. The game was just 1-0 at the halftime break as the Tampa Bay Rowdies all-time leading scorer Georgi Hristov scored in the 21st minute. The second half was all Nashville as United scored a goal just about every five minutes to break the game open beginning with former MLS player Alen Kozic scoring in the 50th and the 55th minutes. Kozic, 43, played for the now-defunct Miami Fusion before moving overseas to play in Croatia and Germany. In the 61st minute, Christian Gomez made it 4-0 before Hristov added a second goal about six minutes later. Brandon Whitsett, another former pro added a sixth in the 70th minute, followed by goals by Logan Paynter (75th min.) and another by Christian Gomez (85th min.)

Nashville advances to Round 3 as they try to qualify for the US Open Cup for the first time after losing in a “Win & You’re In” game during the 2018 competition to FC Kendall.

Livonia City FC poses for a team photo before their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against Ann Arbor FC in Brighton, Mich. Photo: Livonia City FC

Livonia City FC poses for a team photo before their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against Ann Arbor FC in Brighton, Mich. Photo: Livonia City FC

Ann Arbor FC
(USASA / Ann Arbor Premier League)
2:6
Livonia City FC
(USASA / Michigan Premier Soccer League)

A trio of late goals left little doubt that Livonia City FC moved on to the third round of qualifying for the 2020 US Open Cup on Saturday evening. Seeking its first-ever berth in the national tournament, Livonia City FC defeated Ann Arbor FC 6-2.

In the 19th minute, Ardit Dushkaj opened the scoring for Livonia City FC. Ann Arbor FC responded in the 38th minute as the match headed into the half deadlocked at 1-1.

Back-to-back goals from Livonia City FC saw the home side take a 3-1 lead as Kyle Britemeyer scored in the 48th minute and Matt Versteeg found the back of the net in the 62nd minute.

The Lumberjacks of Ann Arbor FC clawed their way back within striking distance with a converted penalty kick in the 70th minute.

Livonia City FC did not let the visitors complete the comeback however, as Connor Cole scored one goal and Pat Smith added two more in the final ten minutes to put an exclamation point on a 6-2 victory, as LCFC becomes the last Michigan team remaining in the competition.

A giant pumpkin balloon overlooks the field at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. before the 2020 US Open Cup qualifier between Cal FC and Alta California Sol. Photo: Victor Friedman | Cal FC

A giant pumpkin balloon overlooks the field at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. before the 2020 US Open Cup qualifier between Cal FC and Alta California Sol. Photo: Victor Friedman | Cal FC

Cal FC
(USASA / UPSL)
3:1
Alta California Sol
(USASA / UPSL)

A pair of first half goals in a five-minute span was enough for Cal FC to advance to the third round of qualifying as it defeated Alta California Sol, 3-1.

Cal FC drew first blood in the 32nd minute, then added a second through former LA Galaxy academy player Willie Raygoza in the 36th minute.

Alta California Sol pulled one back in the 61st minute but could not find the equalizer in the remaining half hour as Cal FC added an insurance tally by JP Ortiz in second half stoppage time to claim the 3-1 win.

Cal FC, a team known for its upset of the Portland Timbers back in the 2012 US Open Cup, is attempting to qualify for the fifth time and the second year in a row.

Oxnard Guerreros logoOutbreak FC
(USCS / SoCal Premier League)
1:7
Oxnard Guerreros FC
(USASA / UPSL)

Raul Gonzalez scored a hat trick and Brenton Frame added two more goals as Oxnard Guerreros FC picked apart the Outbreak FC defense to the tune of a 7-1 score line on Saturday evening in second round qualifying action.

Victor Estrada scored in the 11th minute while Raul Gonzalez and Brenton Frame also scored first half goals as Oxnard Guerreros FC took a 3-1 lead into halftime.

Frame added a second goal just after the start of the second half, and Carlos Arriola tallied to bring the lead to 5-1 in favor of Oxnard Guerreros FC.

Raul Gonzalez then scored the final two goals of the match to complete his hat trick and complete the scoring at 7-1 as they take one step closer to qualifying for the US Open Cup for the first time.

 

An Olympic Club player kicks the ball in a 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against the Oakland Stompers. Photo: Olympic Club

An Olympic Club player kicks the ball in a 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against the Oakland Stompers. Photo: Olympic Club

Olympic Club
(USASA / San Francisco Soccer Football League)
4:2
Oakland Stompers
(USASA / UPSL)

Four goals by Olympic Club in the first hour of its match against Oakland Stompers was enough to see the San Francisco-based club through to the Third Round of US Open Cup qualifying as it claimed a 4-2 victory in a Bay Area match-up.

Olympic Club scored three first half goals, with former USL and MLS player Matt Fondy and Bryan Burke each scoring. Fondy spent time with a number of USL and MLS teams, while Burke made a number of stops in the USL and NASL, including being named the 2015 USL Defender of the Year while with Louisville City (USL).

Olympic Club added a fourth around the 55th minute to extend its lead before Oakland Stompers began to fight back.

Sohrob Rashid scored the first for the Stompers in the 61st minute, with Nissa Harifie adding a second on a penalty kick in the 70th minute.

Oakland could not find the final two goals to draw level, however, and Olympic Club closed out the remaining 20 minutes without conceding another goal to claim the 4-2 win.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20

Cedar Stars Academy Westchester
(USASA / Cosmopolitan Soccer League)
0:2
New York Pancyprian Freedoms
(USASA / Cosmopolitan Soccer League)

By Michael Battista

New York Pancyprian FreedomsTwo second half goals elevated the New York Pancyprian Freedoms past 10-man Cedar Star Academy (CSA Westchester) at Ramapo College on Sunday afternoon. Pancyprian Freedoms reach the third round of qualifying for the second straight year. The team fell in that round to eventual 2019 tournament qualifier West Chester United.

The pouring rain played as a backdrop to a back and forth match between two of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League’s top Division 1 teams. The Freedoms, three-time champions in the competition (1980, 1982-83), held a majority of the chances throughout the game as Cedar Stars struggled to get meaningful offensive runs.

Things got more difficult for the hosts midway through. Maxi Garcia, one of the wingers with immense speed for the Stars, collided with a New York player at midfield. Neither player went down, but a game of pushing and shoving led to Gracia throwing a punch and receiving a red card in the 27th minute.

The heavy rain picked up in the second half as the Freedoms picked up play. Much less back and forth ball possession and far more attack paid off in the 65th minute when Adam Himeno scored the game winner. Frustration from both players and coaches for CSA became more evident as time wore down. A stoppage-time goal by Nicholas Psarras, who broke past the defense and played around the advancing keeper, sealed the game and advancement with the game’s last kick. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

Vereinigung Erzgebirge logoUnited German Hungarians
(USASA / USL of PA)
2:0 (AET)
Vereinigung Erzgebirge
(USASA / USL of PA)

Two of the oldest clubs in the competition, Vereinigung Erzgebirge (Est. 1969) defeated fellow Philadelphia area club United German Hungarians (Est. 1922), 2-0, after extra time. Goals from Sean Fahy in the 101st and Sean Peckham in the 114th minutes were enough to see VE through to the third qualifying round in November.

VE has back-to-back wins for the first time since the new format began in 2015 and are seeking their first US Open Cup berth since 2002. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT


FC Union Jerez
(USSSA / Colorado Premier League)
2:3 (AET)
Azteca FC
(USSSA / Colorado Premier League)

Azteca FC extended their winning streak in the qualifying phase to seven wins from seven played, beating fellow Colorado Premier League side FC Union Jerez by a 3-2 score, after extra time. With the win, they advance to Round 3 of the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Azteca went into halftime leading 2-0 on goals from Adrian Gutierrez and Juan Simental. Union Jerez equalized it in the 90th minute. Azteca found the winner, in extra time, through Juan Simental’s second goal, to keep their perfect record intact.

Azteca is attempting to qualify for the US Open Cup for the third time in the last four years, but are still seeking their first tournament win.

Orlando FC Wolves
(USASA / Central Florida Soccer League)
1:7
Hurricane FC
(USASA / UPSL)

It was a dominating performance for Hurricane FC as they defeated the Orlando FC Wolves 7-1 at Sylvan Lake Park. This is the first time that Hurricane FC was able to win back-to-back matches in their US Open Cup qualifying campaign.

In the 25th minute, Hurricane FC got a goal from Sergio Sanchez Murano. Three minutes later, Hurricane FC added another when Jesus Castellon buries the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead. It was 2-0 at the half as Orlando FC Wolves looked to regroup for the second half.

In the 57th minute, the Wolves were called for a handball in the box off a corner kick and Hurricane FC was awarded a penalty kick. Castellon converted it to put Hurricane FC ahead 3-0. In the 65th minute, Edmar De Lacerda vollied his shot from 30 yards to put Hurricane FC ahead 4-0. Three minutes later, Orlando FC Wolves were awarded a penalty after Hurricane FC was called for a foul in the box. Nathan Shanko converted to give the Wolves some hope but late in the match Hurricane FC added three goals in three minutes from O’jay Nichol (86th), Marvin Wesselburg (87th), and Ricardo Tapia Najera (88th) to put this one away.

WIth the win, Hurricane FC traveled to Orlando to pick up a shutout win on the road to send them to the Third Round as the club tries to qualify for the first time.

Patrick Slogic from FC Boulder Harpos attempts to head the ball on frame in a 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against the Colorado Rush. Photo: Laemming Wheeler | FCB Harpos

Patrick Slogic from FC Boulder Harpos attempts to head the ball on frame in a 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against the Colorado Rush. Photo: Laemming Wheeler | FCB Harpos

FC Boulder Harpos
(USSSA / Colorado Premier League)
6:0
Colorado Rush
(USASA / Colorado Super League)

FC Boulder Harpos advanced to the third qualifying round by defeating Colorado Rush, 6-0. Harpos had the game in control by halftime with four first half goals, the first by Jack Mayfield in the 3rd minute and two more by former MLS player Freddie Braun (23rd & 37th mins.) and a goal right before the break by Shane Wheeler (45th min.). Daniel Whittle added two goals in the second half to round out the scoring as Harpos earned their second straight shutout and their third straight win over the Rush in the qualifying tournament. It was a disappointing result for the Rush as the team is still mourning the loss of their teammate and former MLS player Colin Clark who recently passed away. 

Florida Soccer Soldiers
(USASA / UPSL)
1:2
Miami United FC U-23s
(USASA / UPSL)

Miami United FC Under-23s scored the game-winning goal on a last-gasp header to eliminate the Florida Soccer Soldiers. The Soccer Soldiers made headlines last year with their run to the Third Round of the US Open Cup, but now it will be Miami United that move one step closer to qualifying for the tournament. United’s senior team, which competes in the NPSL, qualified for the US Open Cup three times (2015, 2017, 2018), but the Under-23 team is seeking their first trip to the tournament proper.

Soccer Soldiers had been on top early on with their midfield, anchored by the experienced Antonioni Gonzalez, controlling possession but failing to make it count. Midway through the first half Matias Solari pounced on a loose ball and struck it home from close range off a corner kick. From then on, it was all United as they managed the game well on both sides of the halftime whistle until an equalizer from Bryan Perea for the Soldiers tied things up with a little over ten minutes to go.

The Soldiers turned the screw and could smell a winning goal after Miami goalkeeper Omar Soto denied them on more than one occasion. But United’s defense held firm and they sprung a quick counter that decided this entertaining fixture at the death. The game appeared to be headed to extra time until United center forward Nico Micoli nodded home a header to give Miami the win with a dramatic game-winner.

Virginia United
(ANFEEU / Woodbridge Soccer League)
2:1
Alianza Futbol Club
(ANFEEU / Woodbridge Soccer League)

In a matchup between two Woodbridge Soccer League rivals, Virginia United edged Alianza Futbol Club, 2-1. Bernardo Majano, a local player who played professionally in El Salvador before returning home, scored a pair of first half goals to send United into the halftime break up 2-0. Alianza FC, who are making their qualifying debut this year, cut the lead in half with a goal from Everton Bailey in the 68th minute. United’s defense held on strong to preserve the 2-1 win as they took another step forward to returning to the tournament. Last year, in the first year that teams from the Asociacon Nacional Futbol en USA (ANFEEU) entered the Open Division Local qualifying tournament, Virginia United upset Christos FC to become the first ANFEEU team to punch their ticket.

Christos FC
(USASA / Maryland Major Soccer League)
7:1
Federal City Wanderers
(USASA / District Sports Premier League)

By Craig Tower

Christos FC 6-star logoOn a day with weather guaranteed to build character in all involved, Christos FC of the Maryland Major League showed why they were given a bye to the second round by destroying the Federal City Wanderers from the nearby District Sports Premier League.

A light rain fell on the Baltimore exurb of Glen Burnie all day but it tapered to a mist as the game started with the temperature a steady 55 degrees. The slick artificial turf made for a fast opening 20 minutes as both teams probed for, and found, weaknesses in their opponents. 

Unfortunately for Federal City, Christos was awarded a penalty in the 10th minute which was buried by easily by midfielder Michael Scott. The Wanderers came out with energy after the setback, but a defensive breakdown allowed Alexander Lee to slip star forward and former Montreal Impact draftee Pete Caringi III in on goal for a cool one-touch turning finish from 8 yards out.

Federal City showed they came to play in the 18th minute when center forward Braxton Koppelman picked up a turnover near midfield and used his abundant speed to outrace the Christos defense, tapping his shot past the keeper to make the score 2-1.

The game slowed down at that point, and the District team pulled back into a defensive stance, depending on Koppelman and Yahia Elboukili to release pressure. Christos attacked in waves, though, and Alexander Lee fired a 37th minute daisycutter from twenty yards out from right to left across the goal. His shot rattled off the helpless keeper’s far post for the Baltimore side’s third goal.

Federal City came out in a more aggressive posture in the second half, and the first fifteen minutes resembled the start of the first half, minus the goals. That changed as Christos iced the game with three goals in five minutes starting in the 62nd, when a Cody Albrecht cross from the left found Caringi in front of goal for a simple deflected header from six yards out. Lee found himself on the end of pass in the 65th from Daniel Baxter, and rifled the shot into the back of the net. Before many fans had even turned their attention back to the field, Caringi dribbled through the Wanderers from near midfield to find the net for the sixth Christos goal. Caringi was instrumental in Christos FC’s run to the Third Round in 2017 and was named TheCup.us Player of the Round in the First Round.  

The Wanderers were bowed but maintained their energy, even after a push in their box led to another penalty for Christos in the 76th minute, netted by Albrecht. With the score at 7-1, some Christos players could be heard discussing the score of the Ravens game as the teams reset. The referee mercifully ended the match with no injury time added.

Christos are attempting to qualify for the US Open Cup for the third time in the last four years.

 

Players from Steel FC (gold) and Tartan Devils Oak Avalon battle ofr the ball in their match in the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: Brad Oskowski

Players from Steel FC (gold) and Tartan Devils Oak Avalon battle ofr the ball in their match in the 2020 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: Brad Oskowski

Steel FC
(USASA / Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League)
3:1 (AET)
Tartan Devils Oak Avalon
(USASA / Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League)

In a rare all-Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League matchup in the Open Cup, Steel FC hosted Tartan Devils at Highmark Stadium. Steel would begin with 10 men as Mohamad Balde was not on the field at kick-off. Rather than use a 1st minute sub, Steel elected to begin shorthanded (He would arrive a couple minutes later).

The contest was fast and physical by both sides throughout the first half, but the match would remain scoreless through 45.

In the second half, Neil Shaffer would see the Tartan Devils into the lead in the 54th minute. The equalizer for Steel came in the 72nd minute from a low cross appearing to deflect off a Tartan Devils player. Steel had the better chances the remainder of regulation, but the game would go to extra time.

Both teams had good opportunities in the first half of extra time, but Steel would take the lead on a goal from Rob Heuler in the 100th minute, off a Balde cut-back. Steel would add an insurance goal by Max Flick three minutes from time to confirm their place in the third qualifying round in their debut run in the competition. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT (with photos)

Colorado Rovers
(USSSA / Colorado Premier League)
2:1
San Juan FC
(USASA / UPSL)

By Jim Coppock

Colorado Rovers defeated Utah’s San Juan FC 2-1 at one of the secondary fields at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.

The biggest player on the day was a relentless wind which kept the game played near the ground for the first 20 minutes.

San Juan started the game a little more cautiously, but both sides had decent chances on goal throughout the first half. The second half saw the tempo of play rise significantly.

Cristian Molina Escobar would open the scoring in the 48th minute for the visitors. Rovers’ Ryan Pakieser got both hands behind the ball on Escobar’s right-footed shot, but the resulting deflection drifted over his head and into the side netting.

The Rovers immediately stepped up the pressure and an equalizer was found via Joshua Seger in the 65th minute. Both teams found yet one more gear as the race for the winner was on. From Jared Herselman’s 81st minute corner, Jacob Hanlin’s header found the goal to seal the victory.

With the victory, Rovers move on to a third qualifying round for the first time in their history.

The SC Trojans FC, the club soccer team at USC, poses for a team photo before their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against the LA Monsters FC. Photo: Maya Cheung | SC Trojans FC

The SC Trojans FC, the club soccer team at USC, poses for a team photo before their 2020 US Open Cup qualifier against the LA Monsters FC. Photo: Maya Cheung | SC Trojans FC

SC Trojans FC
(USCS / SoCal Premier League)
1:4
LA Monsters FC
(USCS / SoCal Premier League)

The newly-renamed LA Monsters FC (previously South Bay Monsters FC, San Pedro Monsters FC), earned a 4-1 win over

LA Monsters FC logo

 the SC Trojans FC to advance to the Third Round for the second time in three years. The Monsters jumped out in front early with two goals in the first eight minutes. The first coming from Andy Nunez in the 3rd minute, followed by a penalty kick that was converted by Luis Rojas-Garcia five minutes later.

Niko Romer pulled one back for the Trojans, a rare college club team that is making their second straight appearance in this competition. Romer scored his goal in the 30th minute. Just before halftime, Edward Delgado gave the Monsters a two-goal lead in the 42nd minute. Brandon Cando would add a fourth goal in the 79th minute to put the game away as the Monsters advance to Round 3 in their attempt to qualify for the Open Cup for the first time in club history.

Soda City Sorinex FC
(USASA / Central League)
vs.
Georgia Revolution FC Reserves
(USASA / Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League)

Heavy rain in Columbia, S.C. postponed this match from its original date to Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Saluda Shoals Soccer Park in Columbia, S.C. Once the game finally kicked off it was Soda City FC Sorinex who jumped out to a 3-0 halftime lead with goals by Seth Hansen, Leo Mukofsky and Davis Bryan. The Revolution bounced back in the second half with back-to-back goals by Ryan Pogh and Elisa Madichieick. Late in the game, Akeel Crooks ran on to a big punt by his goalkeeper, beat the opposing goalkeeper one-on-one to put the game away to send them to the Third Round for the second year in a row. Soda City are attempting to become the first Open Division Local team from South Carolina to qualify for the US Open Cup in the Modern Era (1995-present)  [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

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