2020 US Open Cup Qualifying: Win & You’re In weekend review

Posted by | December 2, 2019

Graphic by Harrison Huntley | @hhuntley17

The day before the Third Round of the Open Division Local Qualifying tournament for the 2020 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup was set to kick off, the 24 teams scheduled to take part were given some additional motivation. The United States Soccer Federation announced that the Fourth Round would be eliminated and the Third Round would be the final round.

It turned into a “Win & You’re In” weekend for the 107th edition of the US Open Cup.

When the dust settled this weekend, 12 teams qualified in addition to the already qualified Newtown Pride FC (2019 U.S. Amateur Cup Champions). Among the winners, some familiar names from past tournaments like Christos FC, Chula Vista FC, Cal FC, New York Pancyprian Freedoms, NTX Rayados, and FC Boulder Harpos. Four of the teams are first-time entries: Miami United FC Under-23s (although their senior team has qualified before), Nashville United, Louisiana Krewe FC, and Olympic Club.

The dates and format for the 2020 US Open Cup is expected to be announced in January.

Read below for a brief recap of every game, with links to the full match report (added as they are published).

#USOC2020 ESSENTIALS

Newtown Pride FC win first Amateur Cup title, qualify for 2020 US Open Cup
2020 US Open Cup Qualifying Schedule / Results
2020 US Open Cup Qualifying Round 1 Game-By-Game Review

2020 US Open Cup Qualifying Round 2 Game-By-Game Review
2020 US Open Cup Qualifying Goalscoring Leaders

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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23

L.A. Monsters FC
(USCS / SoCal Premier League)
2:2 (4:5 PKs)
Chula Vista FC
(USCS / SoCal Premier League)
Terra Nova Park – Chula Vista, CA

For the first time since the current Open Division Local qualifying tournament was launched in 2015, a team has qualified on the strength of three straight penalty kick shootout wins. On Saturday night, Chula Vista FC punched their ticket to the 2020 US Open Cup with a 5-4 PK shootout win after a 2-2 draw with L.A. Monsters FC. With the shootout win, CVFC, who compete in the SoCal Premier League, qualifies for the tournament for the third time in club history (2015, 2017) and will be the lone representative from a US Club Soccer league. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

Hurricane FC
(USASA / UPSL)
0:4
Miami United FC Under-23s
(USASA / UPSL)
Kendall Soccer Park – Miami, FL

The Miami United FC senior team has qualified for the US Open Cup three times in club history (2015, 2017, 2018), but the Under-23s got in for the first time with a 4-0 win over fellow Florida-based UPSL club Hurricane FC. Bautista Dominguez opened up the scoring in the 7th minute on a free kick and United didn’t look back. Darryl Gordon, Nicolas Micoli and William Stamatis added a goal each before halftime as the United defense pitched a shutout to earn the win. This was their third straight win over a UPSL team, with a dominant 7-3 win over Atletico Miami CF, followed by a 2-1 win over last year’s Cinderella story, Florida Soccer Soldiers. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

*Additionally: The Miami United FC senior team is currently ranked 22nd in our NPSL rankings for the 2020 US Open Cup berths.

Nashville United
(USASA / Middle Tennessee Soccer Alliance)
4:0
Soda City FC Sorinex
(USASA / Central League)
Ben Lippen High School – Columbia, SC

Nashville United became the first Tennessee-based Open Division Local team to qualify for the US Open Cup in the Modern Era (1995-present) with a convincing 4-0 road win over Soda City FC Sorinex. Georgi Hristov, who retired from professional soccer as the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ all-time leading scorer, scored a goal in each half, while Lipscomb University’s all-time leading scorer Logan Paynter did the same. The well-traveled team from Nashville earned their second shutout road win of the competition to earn their first trip to the US Open Cup while Soda City falls one game short for the second year in-a-row. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

Livonia City FC
(USASA / Michigan Premier Soccer League)
0:1
Louisiana Krewe FC
(USASA / Gulf Coast Premier League)
St. Thomas More Catholic HS – Lafayette, LA

A penalty kick goal in the 68th minute by Matheus Fulini was the difference between two well-matched teams as Louisiana Krewe FC edged the visiting Livonia City FC, 1-0. It was a history-making win for the Krewe as they qualified for the US Open Cup for the first time and became the second Louisiana-based Open Division Local club to qualify in the Modern Era (1995-present). The Gulf Coast Premier League side punched their ticket in their first attempt at qualifying, winning their previous games over Northshore United (Covington, LA) and Athletic Katy FC (Houston, TX). [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

Celtic Cowboys Premier
(USSSA / Austin Men’s Soccer Association)
0:3
NTX Rayados
(USASA / North Texas Premier Soccer Association)
Premier Park (Field 1) – Balch Springs, TX

NTX Rayados are headed back to the US Open Cup for a record ninth straight year with a 3-0 home win over Celtic Cowboys Premier. They extended their Modern Era-record to nine consecutive tournaments on the strength of a hat trick by the qualifying tournament’s leading goalscorer, Mohamed Sesay, who scored all three goals to bring his total to nine. No Open Division Local team has more consecutive trips to the US Open Cup, and the only Open Division National team with more is Reading United AC (USL League Two) who are expected to make their 11th straight trip for the 107th edition of the competition next spring. This marked the Rayados’ third straight win over Cowboys in qualifying play, outscoring them 14-1 in those games. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

Olympic Club
(USASA / San Francisco Soccer Football League)
3:1
Azteca FC
(USSSA / Colorado Premier League)
Ridgeview High School – Aurora, CO

Olympic Club, one of the oldest clubs in the qualifying tournament, punched their ticket to the US Open Cup in their first attempt at qualifying after a 3-1 road win over Azteca FC. After Olympic made the trek from Northern California to Aurora, Colo., only to find that the hosts were unable to turn the lights on at the field, forcing them into a venue change less than an hour before kickoff. After moving to a nearby high school, play began and it was the visitors who got on the board first with former MLS and USL player Matt Fondy opening the scoring in the first half. A few minutes into the second half, Azteca FC equalized with a penalty kick, only to have another former pro, Bryan Burke, regain the lead in the 63rd minute with his second goal of the competition. Burke, a former USL Defender of the Year with Louisville City of the USL Championship, spent time with multiple USL and NASL clubs in his career. Another former pro and current assistant men’s soccer coach at the University of San Francisco, Javier Ayala-Hil, put the game out of reach in the 86th minute. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

Cal FC
(USASA / UPSL)
2:1
Oxnard Guerreros
(USASA / UPSL)
Del Sol Stadium – Oxnard, CA

Cal FC, the team best known for their upset of the Portland Timbers (2012), is back in the US Open Cup after a 2-1 win over fellow Southern California UPSL side Oxnard Guerreros. This will be Cal FC’s fifth trip to the tournament, and their second appearance in a row. It didn’t take long to take the lead as William Raygoza scored for Cal FC in the 2nd minute. It was the sixth goal of the competition for the former L.A. Galaxy academy player, the second-most of the qualifying tournament. German Alfaro added a second goal in first half stoppage time, his second of the competition. In the 72nd minute, Raul Gonzalez of the Guerreros delivered a ball to Carlos Arriola who scored to cut the lead in half. But the Cal FC defense held strong for the remaining 20 minutes to advance to the tournament proper. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24

New York Pancyprian Freedoms
(USASA / Cosmopolitan Soccer League)
1:0 (56’)
Brockton FC United
(USASA / Bay State Soccer League)
Everett Memorial Stadium – Everett, MA

A goal minutes into the game by Charlie Ledula and heavy rain punched the New York Pancyprian Freedoms’ ticket into the 2020 US Open Cup over Brockton FC United.

The weather in Everett, Mass. called for rain and wind throughout the game. In the early going, while the rain was still considered light, the Freedoms controlled a majority of ball possession. Outside of the Ledula goal, the three-time Open Cup champions (1980, 1982, 1983) gave Brockton very little time to mount a counter. As the half progressed, the home side offense picked up but so did the rain. By halftime, large puddles began to form on the field and ball movement became erratic.

After the intermission, the wind and rain reached a breaking point. Visibility dropped and match officials realized the playing surface was a danger to both sides. They converged and in the 58th minute and made the decision to call the game off. Since play had begun in the second half, the Freedoms are awarded the win and reach the tournament for a fifth time in the Modern Era (1995-present) as a local qualifier. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

West Chester United SC
(USASA / United Soccer League of Pennsylvania)
1:2
Vereinigung Erzebirge
(USASA / United Soccer League of Pennsylvania
Vereinigung Erzebirge Clubhouse (Field 1) – Warminster, PA

Another one of the oldest clubs in the US Open Cup qualifying field ended a qualifying drought on Sunday afternoon as Vereinigung Erzebirge (commonly known as “VE”) earned a spot in the tournament for the first time since 2002. They did that by holding off fellow United Soccer League of Pennsylvania rivals West Chester United SC by the score of 2-1. VE scored the first goal on an assist from Adam Bastisas in the 36th minute. It remained a 1-0 game until WCU added a second goal through Alec Neumann (Assist: Derek Antoniuni) in the 80th minute. West Chester, who was attempting to qualify for the US Open Cup for the third time (2016, 2019) and the second year in a row, made a big push in the final minutes. They got on the board in the 83rd minute when Matt Greer crossed a ball in from the right wing and Andrew Gonzalez volleyed it past the diving goalkeeper.

VE, a club that dates back to 1931, and has been playing soccer since 1959, will attempt to win their first tournament game of the Modern Era (1995-present). In their only Modern Era appearance in 2002, VE lost to the South Jersey Barons of the D-3 Pro League (now the Ocean City Noreasters of USL League Two) in the opening round. VE’s best finish has been the Round of 16 (1984, 1991). [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

*Additionally: The West Chester United senior team is currently ranked 18th/24th in our NPSL rankings for the 2020 US Open Cup berths.

Colorado Rovers
(USSSA / Colorado Premier League)
0:4
FC Boulder Harpos
(USSSA / Colorado Premier League)
Fairview HS – Boulder, CO

After recently merging with FC Boulder, Harpos FC is back in the US Open Cup for the third time with a 4-0 win over the Colorado Rovers. Former pro Freddie Braun and veteran Shane Wheeler each scored a pair of goals to lead Harpos back to the tournament for the first time since qualifying in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016. It was the third time the Rovers and Harpos had met in the current US Open Cup qualifying tournament with Harpos winning both games in the 2016 and 2017 competition. The Rovers, who were the first team from the United States Sports Specialty Association (USSSA) to qualify back in 2013 and 2014, were playing in their first “Win & You’re In” match since the current qualifying tournament was launched for the 2016 US Open Cup. By defeating the Rovers, Harpos will be the lone USSSA representative in the 2020 US Open Cup. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

Virginia United
(ANFEEU / Woodbridge Soccer League)
3:1
CD Huateras
(ANFEEU / Woodbridge Soccer League)
Howison Homestead Soccer Complex (Field TBD) – Woodbridge, VA

CD Huateras and Virginia United squared off in a “Win & You’re In” match for the 2020 US Open Cup. With this match-up of two members of the Woodbridge Soccer League (Va.), it assured that the three-year-old Asociacon Nacional Futbol en USA (ANFEEU) would have a representative in the 107th edition of the tournament. After giving up an early goal to CD Huateras, Virginia United stormed back on the strength of a hat trick from Christian Osorio (20’, 63’, 90’+) to win the game 3-1 and clinch a second straight US Open Cup berth. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

Steel FC
(USASA / Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League)
AT
Christos FC
(USASA / Maryland Major Soccer League)
North County HS – Glen Burnie, MD

Christos FC will return to the US Open Cup in 2020 thanks to a pair of goals from a talismanic goalscorer and a deflected cross which added up to a 3-2 victory over Steel FC, the qualifying debutantes from Pittsburgh. Pete Caringi, a local standout who went to school at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, scored a pair of goals to lead Christos FC to the US Open Cup for the third time in club history. Christos FC, named after a nearby liquor store, made a name for themselves in 2017 when they won three road games, including an upset over the USL’s Richmond Kickers. Their run ended with another road game, this time against D.C. United (MLS) where Christos scored first, only to see the MLS giants score four unanswered goals to put an end to their Cinderella run. After being eliminated in penalty kicks in the opening round in 2018 by Reading United AC (USL League Two), and not qualifying in 2019, Christos will look to bounce back in 2020. [+] FULL MATCH REPORT

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