Two weeks ago Orlando City SC lifted the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup by defeating Sacramento Republic FC, 3-0. The finish of the 2022 edition has little room to breath as the new cycle has already kicked off. Last weekend saw the first qualifying round of the 2023 tournament begin around the country featuring Open Division teams. In total, 34 matches took place across eleven states and the nation’s capital.
The 108th edition of the Open Cup started off better than last year. While 2022’s qualifying round was filled with forfeits, only one game was this year. And even still, a game was played despite the ruling. The biggest story of the first qualifying round is how many familiar faces went down in their first match. Two former champions failed to escape the first weekend while two 2022 competitors were pushed to the brink.
Due to the size of the qualifying field, a grand total of 37 teams were granted byes through the first round. They’ll join the field of victors from last weekend in October’s second qualifying round. All teams will play in the fourth round this year with the final games taking place December 17-18.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2022
Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals (USL of Pennsylvania / USASA)
West Chester United (USL of Pennsylvania / USASA)
Ukrainian American Sports Center; North Wales, PA
By Chuck Nolan Jr.
Kicking off the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Qualifying campaign were rivals from the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania, West Chester United and the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals. West Chester has previously qualified as a USASA team in 2016 & 2019, and their USL League Two club made the cut for the 2022 tournament.
On the opposite side, the Ukrainian Nationals are 4-time Open Cup champions (1960, 1961, 1963 & 1966), however they have yet to qualify for the Open Cup in the “Modern Era” (since 1995).
The Ukrainians jumped out to an early lead on a 12th minute goal from Jacob Gier, who played with Lehigh Valley United of USL League Two this past season. Equalizing in the 38th minute for West Chester was Finn Reese on an assist from Mike Gonzalez. Just as extra time seemed certain, West Chester were awarded a penalty in second half stoppage time, and Derek Remierez, who played this past summer with WCU’s USL League Two squad, converted the spot kick to send his team to the next round of qualifying.
Houston FC (National Soccer Leagues / USSSA)
Galveston Pelicans FC (National Soccer Leagues / USSSA)
San Jacito College South; Houston, TX
Houston FC took one step closer to the 2023 US Open Cup with a comprehensive 10-1 victory over the Galveston Pelicans at San Jacito College South. Led by a hat trick by Quinton Bridges and a double by Mahmoud Adwani, Houston raced into the break with 5-0 lead. The second half saw five more Houston goals and Galveston’s goose egg was broken up by a goal from Ronaldo Garcia.
This marks just the fourth time since this new qualifying tournament began in 2015 that a team has reached double digit goals.
With the win, Houston advances to the Second Qualifying round to be held October 15-16 with their opponent to be determined.
Houston FC goalscorers: Quinton Bridges (3), Mahmoud Adwani (2), Sergio Calvillo, Otney Crawford, Chukwuemeka Nwachukwu, Alejandro Vigil, Michael Luster. Galveston Pelicans: Ronaldo Garcia.
MOST LOPSIDED GAMES (Modern Qualifying Tournament, 2015-present)
1. Union Dubuque F.C. (MWPL) 14:0 Spartan FC (WPASL) – 2021 USASA Region II Amateur Cup Round 1
2. Newcastle United (UPSL) 13:0 Del Rey City SC (UPSL) – 2018 Qualifying Rd. 1
3. Strikers FC South Coast (UPSL) 11:0 AC Brea Steaua (SoCal Premier Lg.) – 2017 Qualifying Rd 1
3. FC Kendall (APSL) 11:0 Leu Blacks FC (UPSL) – 2018 Qualifying Rd. 1
3. Kalonji Pro-Profile (APSL) 1:12 SCU-Heat (UPSL) – 2021 USASA Region III Amateur Cup Group Stage
6. HOUSTON FC (NSL) 10:1 GALVESTON PELICANS FC (NSL) – 2022 Qualifying Rd. 1
City Soccer FC (National Soccer Leagues / USSSA)
Florida Soccer Soldiers (UPSL)
Broward College-South Campus; Pembroke Pines, FL
In a rematch of last year’s “Win & You’re In” match, City Soccer FC and Florida Soccer Soldiers met again in US Open Cup Qualifying. This time it was the opening round. But it was a similar result as City Soccer came out on top by the score of 3-2.
City Soccer are seeking their second straight USOC berth, while Florida Soccer Soldiers will have to wait until next year to try to recapture the magic of their 2019 run that saw them knock off the Charlotte Independence (USL Championship) to reach the Third Round.
Club de Lyon (NISA Nation / USSSA)
Deportivo Lake Mary FC (NISA Nation / USSSA)
Showalter Field; Winter Park, FL
In a battle of two Orlando-area clubs, Club de Lyon shutout Deportivo Lake Mary FC, 3-0. This is Club de Lyon’s first entry into US Open Cup qualifying, while DLM was attempting to qualify for the second time in as many years (they lost to Orlando FC Wolves, 4-0 in the opening round).
Victor Rojas opened the scoring in the first 20 minutes with a penalty kick. It remained a one-goal game until the final 10 minutes when Damian Duda doubled the lead and then an own goal (off a shot from Rojas) in stoppage time put the game away.
Club de Lyon are a new club competing in NISA Nation. They have already gotten off to a positive start having won the first edition of NISA Nation’s Florida Region.
Oyster Bay United FC (UPSL)
New Jersey Alliance FC (UPSL)
Darcy Field; Rockville Centre, NY
Oyster Bay United took a step toward returning to the US Open Cup with a 2-1 extra time win over New Jersey Alliance FC. Mike Bello put the visitors on top in the 4th minute. New Jersey, who attempted to qualify for the first time last year (lost in the second round to West Chester United), held that 1-0 lead until the very end.
However, United’s Said Giorgini equalized deep in second half stoppage time to send the match into extra time. Leonel Zelaya, a standout at Queens College (NCAA D-2) would score what would prove to be the game-winner in the 101st minute to send Oyster Bay into the next round.
Juventus Academy (UPSL)
Doral SC (UPSL)
Broward College-South Campus; Pembroke Pines, FL
A pair of South Florida-based first-time qualifying entries squared off in Pembroke Pines, Fla. on Saturday. Juventus took control of the game early with three straight goals by Lucas Coro, Matias Paredes and Jacopo Camilli. Doral pulled one back before halftime as a shot was mishandled by the Juventus goalkeeper. A header right in front of goal took a bounce in front of goal and the keeper tried to make the stop but was unable to get enough of his hands to it as it ended up over his head and into the back of the net.
In the second half, Doral put the pressure on, earning a penalty kick. However, the goalkeeper dove to his left to get a piece of the low driving shot as it deflected off the post, deflected off his body before he could gather it. But Doral’s pressure would pay off as they cut the lead to 3-2. However, the comeback hopes were dashed with a cross from the right wing that was tapped in by Juve’s Edu Ramirez. Doral would add a late goal but it wasn’t enough as Juventus advanced to Round 2.
Germantown City FC (UPSL)
Aegean Hawks FC (American Premier League / USASA)
River Hill High School Stadium; Clarksville, MD
Three-time Open Cup qualifiers Aegean Hawks of the American Premier League got off on the right foot against Germantown City FC (UPSL). They scored in the opening 10 minutes, only to see the lead disappear about 15 minutes later. Christian Okomo equalized for the home team with a shot from just outside the 18-yard box on the left side around the 25th minute. In the second half, Stephane Mankemi scored what would prove to be the game-winner in the 65th minute. Franklin Reyes was out on the left wing and delivered a cross which found Mankemi for the tap-in. With the win, Germantown City picks up a win in their Open Cup qualifying debut.
FC Fort Worth (UPSL)
D’Feeters Kicks Soccer Club (UPSL)
Southwest High School; Fort Worth, TX
After earning their first ever Open Cup qualification in 2022, D’Feeters Kicks SC began their 2023 qualifying campaign with a decisive 5-1 victory over UPSL rivals FC Fort Worth at Southwest High School in Fort Worth, Texas. The two sides were already quite familiar with each other after a Spring 2022 UPSL league campaign that ended with DKSC finishing first and Fort Worth finishing second with just a single point separating the two sides in the final standings; though D’Feeters did finish with a resounding goal difference of +56.
All five of the visitors’ goals came from different goalscorers, but it was Oscar Ocampo and Sebastian Mendez who led the way with each tallying both a goal and an assist. The home side were right there in it at halftime, but three second half goals from DKSC, including two in the final 10 minutes, left no doubt about the final result.
LA Monsters FC (Southwest Premier League / USASA)
Irvine FC (UPSL)
Wilmington Athletic Complex; Wilmington, CA
The LA Monsters have been regulars in the US Open Cup qualifying tournament since the modern format began in 2016 but have fallen painfully close to punching their ticket. After losing three times in “Win & You’re In” matches (2016, 2018, 2020), the Monsters are determined to take that next step. They got off to a positive start with a 3-0 home win over UPSL side Irvine FC, who were making their qualifying debut. A first half brace by 22-year-old Colombian Steven Ramirez (15th min., 30th min.) gave them a two-goal advantage at halftime. Oswaldo Rodriguez put the game out of reach in the 75th minute. Player/coach Larry Sanchez, the son of the team’s head coach Leo Sanchez, earned the clean sheet for the Monsters.
SC Vistula Garfield (Garden State Soccer League / USASA)
New York Pancyprian Freedoms (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
Athenia Steel Recreation Complex; Clifton, NJ
By Michael Battista
SC Vistula Garfield knocked off three time Open Cup champion New York Pancyprian Freedoms, 1-0, thanks to a late game stunner.
The Freedoms controlled possession for most of the match. However the New York soccer institution was stopped by Garfield’s keeper Anthony Caruso. The former New Jersey Institute of Technology keeper earned the clean sheet in trial by fire, coming up huge on multiple Freedom chances. The winning moment came in the 89th minute as Garfield threw the ball long near the box. A quick flick to the far post saw Christopher Karcz (40 years old) dive for the header, sending the ball into the back of the net.
Vistula Garfield have entered the Open Cup in the past, but this is their first attempt since Open Division qualifying was revamped in 2016. The team, celebrating its 70th anniversary is having a tremendous year on the field. The team reached the semifinals of the USASA Region I Amateur Cup, knocking off FC Motown in the state final and Fall River FC in the regionals. A result of the team continuing to build on it’s long time heritage.
The Freedoms have entered Open Cup qualifying each of the last six years, qualifying for the 2016 tournament and the canceled 2020 edition. The Freedoms have also won three Open Cup Championship in 1980,.1982 and 1983. The team has also either qualified or attempted to qualify for every Open Cup tournament since it’s inception in the 1970s.
Nova FC (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
Steel Pulse FC (Maryland Super Soccer League / USASA)
Nova FC advance on penalties, 3-1
VA Revolution Sportsplex; Leesburg, VA
By Chuck Nolan Jr.
2022 Open Cup qualifier Nova FC of the Eastern Premier Soccer League hosted Steel Pulse FC of the Maryland Super Soccer League.
Steel Pulse were reduced to 10 men after losing a player to a red card after 10 minutes. Pulse wound up going another 110 minutes down a man as the teams battled to a scoreless draw, leading tio a penalty shootout.
In the shootout Steel Pulse missed on two of their first three attempts, while Nova converted all three. Nova then missed on their fourth attempt, but Steel Pulse failed to convert their fourth shot, giving Novas the shootout win and advancing them to the Second Round of qualifying on October 15-16
Steel Pulse were making their third attempt at qualifying since 2019, while Nova advanced to the Second Round of the 2022 US Open Cup.
Lansdowne Yonkers FC (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
Manhattan Kickers FC (Cosmopolitan Soccer League / USASA)
Tibbetts Brooke Park; Yonkers, NY
By Michael Battista
Lansdowne Yonkers FC dominated their former league-mates Manhattan Kickers FC, 5-0, just north of New York City proper. The former Bhoys’ hunt for a fourth Open Cup berth will continue into next month’s round. The Kickers’ inaugural qualification run ended in disappointment as the team looks ahead to the 2022-23 Division 1 season in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League.
Yonkers’ newcomer Shawn Genus made his presence known, scoring three of his team’s five goals, including two in the first half (14’, 42’). Julio Espinal knocked in a shot in the 17th minute while Joseph DeVivo scored in the 44th. The Kickers looked out of their depth against Lansdowne. A final goal in the 81st minute via a penalty kick by Genus to complete his hat trick saw the team to the final whistle.
FC Denver (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Harpos FC (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Northfield High School; Denver, CO
Long time local rivals FC Denver and Harpos FC squared off for the third time in USOC qualifying, at Northfield High School in Denver. The two sides met last June in the Colorado Super League final, with Harpos coming out on top.
FC Denver is attempting to qualify for the first time since 2019, while Harpos FC are attempting to qualify for the first time since the canceled tournament of 2020 (prior to that 2016). A crowd of about 75 saw FC Denver come out 2-1 winners.
FC Denver would start the scoring in the 19th minute when Alex Stephan’s through ball found Leo Castillo for a shot. The shot was deflected into the path of Ismail Garcia who slotted home to take the 1-0 lead. Castillo took a free kick in the 43rd minute which deflected in front of goal and found the back of the net to give FC Denver a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
Both sides started the second half brightly, but Harpos would soon begin to wear down the Denver defense. After several good chances in the middle third of the half, Harpos would win a PK and convert it in the 90th minute. Not enough to save Harpos aspirations, FC Denver wins 2-1.
With the win, FC Denver advances to the Second Qualifying round to be held October 15-16 with their opponent to be determined.
FC Arizona (UPSL)
Valley FC Raiders (NISA Nation / USASA)
Bell Bank Park; Mesa, AZ
In an all-debutantes’ affair, FC Arizona and Valley FC Raiders met in USOC qualifying. Valley FC Raiders came out the winners 5-1. This is the first meeting between the two teams in any competition and the first qualifying game in the first attempt for both teams.
The first half started fast. Both sides had good possession and chances. Valley would draw first blood when Kevin Olivarez would score his first of the evening in the 23rd minute. Ruben Phiri scored from a long-range blast in the 30th minute. FC Arizona keeper, Adrian Thomas, brought down an attacker outside his penalty area and was sent off in the 44th minute. Field player Yuki Enomoto would step into goal to deal with the resulting free kick, which was put away by Olivarez for his second of the night. The half ended 3-0 to the NISA Nation side.
The second half began with FC Arizona looking for a goal. They would dominate the games for several stretches, but to little joy. Valley’s Eduardo Lazaro would score in the 80 to make the lead 4-0. Just a few minutes later, Jesus Ruiz would get a great cross from Jordi Figueroa to break the shut out, making it 4-1. The momentum shifted quickly and in the 88th minute, Bwaleso Igulu would put the game to bed once and for all pushing the lead to 5-1.
With the win, Valley FC Raiders advances to the Second Qualifying round to be held October 15-16 with their opponent to be determined.
Laguna United FC (UPSL)
Olympiacos CA (Southwest Premier League / USASA)
La Paz Sports Park; Laguna Niguel, CA
A pair of first-time entries from Southern California met in Laguna Niguel, Calif. with Laguna United FC defeating Olympiacos CA, 3-0. Yousef Farah opened the scoring with a penalty kick just before halftime. He would add a second goal from the run of play around the 70th minute, followed by a third goal from the team’s backup goalkeeper Jeremy Caringella who subbed on as a striker. United goalkeeper Ivan Hernandez earned the clean sheet for the home team.
UC Davis Club Soccer (West Coast Soccer Association / USASA)
Davis Legacy SC (UPSL)
Dairy Outdoor Recreation Complex (UC Davis); Davis, CA
The Davis Legacy have been regulars in US Open Cup qualifying since 2016 (with the exception of 2020), but have yet to qualify for the US Open Cup proper. After two straight one-and-dones (2019, 2022), the Legacy picked up a 4-3 win over UC Davis Club Soccer.
UC Davis fall short in their Open Cup qualifying debut, joining a relatively small list of college club teams that have tried and failed to join the tournament.
UC Davis didn’t waste any time in taking the lead, scoring goals in the 7th and 12th minute of the match. Davis Legacy’s tandem of Junior Kazeem and JJ Rigo were each able to score and tie the match before halftime. The duo took charge in the second half as well, adding two more goals and creating an insurmountable lead.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2022
Ruggles Pro FC (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
Boston Street FC (UPSL)
Boston Street advances 13-12 in penalty kicks
Fore Kicks II; Marlborough, MA
A pair of Massachusetts-based US Open Cup qualifying debutants met in Marlborough, Mass. on Sunday afternoon. While the match went 120 minutes without a goal, the two teams made up for it in the penalty kick shootout.
In the end, Boston Street FC advanced to the next round in the longest PK shootout in the tournament’s modern qualifying format (which began in 2015). Boston Street defeated Ruggles Pro FC 13-12 in a shootout that lasted 16 rounds.
The first five rounds of the shootout ended in a 3-3 tie and rounds 3 through 11 resulted in mirrored results. Boston Street’s Eddie Yepes was able to bury his shot, which placed all of the tournament hopes and pressure on his teammate, goalkeeper PJ Mundis. When Ruggles’ Michelle Lorran took his penalty kick, Mundis dove to his right, but was able to kick-save the ball away from the goal line. The tournament dreams of Boston Street FC were kept alive with that kick save. While the club redirects their focus back on the UPSL season, they can rest assured that they aren’t finished in their hopes to qualify for next year’s edition of the US Open Cup.
Vereinigung Erzgebirge (USL of Pennsylvania / USASA)
Philadelphia Lone Star FC (UPSL)
Vereinigung Erzgebirge Clubhouse; Warminster, PA
Vereinigung Erzgebirge advanced to the second round of qualifying for the 2023 US Open Cup tournament after a 2-1 win against Philadelphia Lone Star FC. There were no goals in the first half but the second half was where all the action began. Kevin Smolyn scored the first goal in the match for VE in the 50th minute to put them ahead 1-0. Lone Star would respond in the 64th minute with a goal from Alvin Dahn. The score remained level until stoppage time when Johnny Ciarlante scored the game-winning goal to seal the win for Vereinigung Erzgebirge and avenge their loss (by the same score) to Lone Star in the qualifying rounds last year. VE advances in the opening round for the third tournament in a row in hopes of qualifying for the first time since 2002. (NOTE: VE qualified in 2020, but the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
Lancaster City FC (United Soccer League of Pennsylvania / USASA)
Lancaster Elite (UPSL)
Lancaster Catholic High School Stadium; Lancaster, PA
We got the Lancaster, Pa. derby as both Lancaster Elite and Lancaster City made their debuts in the qualifying rounds for the 2023 US Open Cup. Lancaster Elite led City 2-1 at the half but City scored a dramatic equalizer in second half stoppage time. Jack Weaver would score for Lancaster Elite to give them the lead 3-2 in added extra time in the 110th minute, which was enough to send them through to the next round.
Team Tevez (DC Premier League / USASA)
DCFC (DC Premier League / USASA)
Fields at RFK; Washington, D.C.
We got a rivalry match in the nation’s capital as DCFC edged out Team Tevez 4-2 after added extra time to advance to the next round of qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup. It was a battle of the DC Premier League’s 2021 fall champions (DCFC) and the 2022 spring champions (Team Tevez) with both teams making their qualifying debut. In the first half, DCFC scored a pair of goals from Harry Engoren in the 41st and Charles Touche in the 43rd minute to put DCFC 2-0 going into halftime. However in the second half Team Tevez would respond quickly. They got a goal in the 48th minute from Colin Patch to cut the lead in half. Then, about 10 minutes later, Alex Firth scored the equalizer for Team Tevez. After 90 minutes, the game would go into extra time and DCFC would score two goals to get the win. Harry Engoren scored his second goal of the match and Ryan Mahoney added the insurance goal for DCFC to move on to the second round of qualifying.
Athletic Club of Sloan’s Lake (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Peak Eleven Football Club (Mountain Premier League / USASA)
Wheat Ridge High School; Wheat Ridge, CO
AC Sloan’s Lake advanced to the second round of qualifying with their first tournament win, 3-0 over local rivals Peak Eleven FC.
All the scoring came in the second half, sparked by a goal from each of the team’s starting forwards. Former AC Carpi (Italian Serie B) player Jacob Love connected in the 48th minute, while Jack O’Brian, who won a national title with Stanford in 2017, doubled the lead in the 52nd. Miguel Camerolinga put the game out of reach in the 64th minute.
For Peak Eleven, it was a one-and-done tournament after advancing last year in a dramatic PK shootout over FC Denver in their debut. They missed their first two attempts and managed to come back and win 4-3.
For Sloan’s Lake, they advance to Round 2 of the tournament which will be held Oct. 15-16 with their opponent to be determined.
Clearwater Chargers SC (UPSL)
Florida Premier FC (UPSL)
Glenn Oaks Park; Clearwater, FL
Florida Premier FC put on a dominating performance at Glenn Oaks Park as they shutout the Clearwater Chargers SC 4-0 to advance to the second round of qualifying. Both teams had some solid chances in the first half. Florida Premier had missed their penalty kick in the 10th minute, while Clearwater had a chance to score in the 21st minute but their shot hit the crossbar.
Florida would finally break through in the 42nd minute. Daht Faal won the ball at the top of the box, dribbled around the goalkeeper and put the ball into the back of the net before the defense could close him down.
Three minutes into the second half, Oliver Drost stole the ball from a Clearwater defender and played the ball across to Stewart Vigh at the opposite post to make it 2-0. In the 56th minute, Drost played provider again, beating two defenders and sending a ball across to Vigh who added his second of the night.
The game appeared to be out of reach when Alejandro Quintero Stewart played a through ball in behind the defense to Nico Colacci who beat the keeper to the ball and made it 4-0.
Colorado Rovers (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Azteca FC (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Victoria Sports Park; Golden, CO
In a rematch from last year’s qualifying tournament, Azteca FC beat fellow Colorado Super League side Colorado Rovers, 3-1. It was the fourth time in as many tournament entries that they have won their opening game. Out of those four attempts, they have qualified three times (2017, 2018, 2022). Azteca dominated in the first half scoring three goals. Saul Garcia scored in the 6th minute from outside the box to put Azteca FC ahead 1-0. Jovany Herrera scored from a free kick to extend the lead to 2-0. Freddy Fragozo scored from another free kick chance to put Azteca up by three before halftime. The Rovers would add a goal late in the 83rd minute from Micah Herrmann but Azteca FC held on for the 3-1 victory.
Kensington Soccer Club (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
United German Hungarians (USL of Pennsylvania / USASA)
Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School; Philadelphia, PA
The United German Hungarians, one of the oldest active clubs in the country, defeated Kensington SC 3-0 to advance to the second round. Gabe Dwyer scored the first goal for UGH off a header to give them a 1-0 lead in the first half. In the 54th minute, Mike Liska doubled UGH’s lead followed by Jason Rocha who would add one more goal to put UGH ahead 3-0 and seal the win.
For UGH, a team that was an Open Cup runner-up in 1977 and 1993, it was their first qualifying win since the 2018 competition when they beat Vereinigung Erzgebirge, 2-1 in extra time. The club has not qualified for the tournament since that runner-up finish in 1993.
Miami United FC (National Soccer Leagues / USSSA)
Florida Brothers (National Soccer Leagues / USSSA)
Ted Hendricks Stadium (Milander Park); Hialeah, FL
Miami United FC cruised into the second round of the qualifying tournament with a 3-1 win over fellow National Soccer League side Florida Brothers. They scored off a corner kick in the 11th minute. Nine minutes later, a free kick from about 35 yards out took a bounce in front of the Florida Brothers goalkeeper who was already going to the ground and it went over his outstretched arms. In the 62nd minute, a crowded box saw a pass sent out to the top of the box and it was drilled into the upper 90 to make it 3-0 United. Florida would break up the shutout late but Miami would move on to Round 2.
Real Central NJ Soccer (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
Jackson Lions FC (Garden State Soccer League / USASA)
MCCC Soccer Stadium; West Windsor, NJ
Jackson Lions defeated Real Central NJ Soccer 4-2 to move on to the second round of qualifying for the first time. The Lions scored first in the 28th minute from Christopher Thorsheim. Jackson Lions would get another goal early in the second half to go up 2-0. The Lions scored another goal in the 59th minute to go up 3-0. Real Central NJ Soccer would get one back in the 61st minute to cut the score to 3-1. The Lions would add another goal later in the second half to go up 4-1. RCNJ would add one more late goal in the 88th minute but it was not enough as the Lions advance.
Scots-American Athletic Club (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
Queensboro FC II (UPSL)
Kearny High School Stadium; Kearny, NJ
By Michael Battista
Queensboro FC II cruised past Scots-American Athletic Club, 5-0, in what might be the largest age gap ever between two Open Cup teams. Former LA Galaxy academy product Jonathan Santillan scored four of his team’s goals in a continuation of his performance last season in the UPSL.
He got to work quickly, taking advantage of a stunned Kearny Scots squad and scoring the opening goal in the 2nd minute. The pace of the game was simple from there; QBFC would attack and Kearny would clear the ball before repeating. In the 29th minute, one of these attacks forced a Scots foul on the last QBFC player on a break in the box. Santillan pulled a panelka calmly to make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute. Six minutes later, the former USYNT U-15 player struck from distance on the right side of the field, sending Scots’ keeper Arturo Botero diving in vain.
In the second half Kearny gained possession more but the game still fell into QBFC’s control. In total, possession favored the visiots somewhere around 70 percent. Joshua Saavedra scored in the 65th minute for Queensboro II to make it 4-0. The final nail came in stoppage time, with Queensboro down to 10 men due to an injury, where Jona finished off an excellent low cross from the right side as the game’s final play.
Kearny Scots exit the competition after making their first appearance of the Modern Era. The team first appeared in the second ever National Challenge Cup (1914-15) and dates officially back to the 1800s. TheCup.us’ *incomplete* records have their last USOC match back in 1948.
Queensboro meanwhile advanced to the second round to continue their stellar 2022. The academy/reserve team to the yet-to-launch USL Championship reached the UPSL national semifinals in their inaugural season this past Spring/Summer.
Inter San Francisco (San Francisco Soccer Football League / USASA)
Marin County Union SC (National Soccer Leagues / USSSA)
Beach Chalet Soccer Field; San Francisco, CA
By Michael Koenig
Inter SF cruised to a 5-0 victory over Marin County Union SC in a match played in windy and rainy conditions at the Beach Chalet. Last year, Inter made it to the third round of qualifying in its Open Cup debut, beating Real San Jose in a driving rainstorm at the Beach Chalet before losing 3-1 to Sporting ID11 in Lake Forest, California. This match marked Marin County Union’s Open Cup debut.
Inter added several players with professional experience for its Open Cup run, including former MLS and USL veteran Matt Fondy. After wrapping up his professional career with the Oakland Roots, Fondy helped Olympic Club of San Francisco qualify for the Open Cup in 2019 and led SF Metro to the final qualifying round in 2021 before losing in a shootout.
Inter dominated the match from the opening whistle, thanks to a goal from Fondy in the 11th minute and another from Gerardo Burgos in the 38th minute. The second half was more of the same, with Fondy adding another in the 51st minute. Two other former Roots players also got onto the scoresheet later in the second half, with Dylan Autran scoring a few minutes later and Nikolai Littleton converting a penalty kick opportunity in the 80th minute to enable Inter to move on to the second round and a possible rematch with Real San Jose.
Miami Soccer Academy (National Soccer Leagues / USSSA)
O’Shea’s FC (UPSL)
Monsignor Edward Pace High School; Miami Gardens, FL
Miami Soccer Academy held on to defeat O’Shea’s FC 2-1 to move on to the second round of qualifying. Miami Soccer Academy scored in the 11th minute with a goal from Christopher Torres and they held on to that lead into halftime. In the 60th minute O’Shea’s FC would get an equalizer from RC to tie the match 1-1. Five minutes later, Miami Soccer Academy would get their second goal and held on for the win.
New York Greek American SC (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
Newtown Pride FC (Connecticut Soccer League / USASA)
New York advances 11-10 in penalty kicks
Hofstra University Soccer Stadium; Hempstead, NY
It was a dramatic matchup on Long Island as NY Greek American SC advance on penalty kicks 11-10 against Newtown Pride FC to advance to the second round. After Newtown opened the scoring, Kurt Cameron equalized in the 32nd minute for the 4-time US Open Cup champs. Newtown re-took the lead in the 74th minute only to see Cameron tie the game back up seven minutes later. The match went into extra time and this time it was Cameron giving New York the lead in the 97th minute. The Greeks appeared to be escaping with a win only to see Newtown equalize in the 120th minute.
In the shootout, the first 10 rounds of penalty kicks produced 10 goals on each side. In Round 11, the Greeks’ goalkeeper made a save, followed by the 11th straight goal by New York to send them into the next round.
Outbreak FC (Southwest Premier League / USASA)
AS Los Angeles (UPSL)
Outbreak advances 4-2 in penalty kicks
Orange County Great Park; Irvine, CA
Outbreak FC, a US Open Cup qualifying regular, needed penalty kicks to get past qualifying debutants AS Los Angeles. After a scoreless 120 minutes, Outbreak relied on their former MLS goalkeeper Brian Rowe and won the shootout 4-2. Rowe, who spent most of his pro career with the LA Galaxy, made two saves, and guessed correctly on two others but couldn’t keep them out. After Trent Bryson missed the opening attempt for Outbreak, the team converted the next four (William Sanchez, Edgar Ortiz, James Turner, Matthew Murphy) to advance to Round 2. Outbreak is seeking to return to the tournament for the first time since their back-to-back appearances in 2016 and 2017.
Rebels SC (UPSL)
Escondido FC (UPSL)
Escondido FC advances 3-1 on penalty kicks
Mount Miguel High School; Spring Valley, CA
By Mathias Medel
Round one of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualification schedule continued in San
Diego as a battle between two UPSL sides saw the visitors, Escondido FC, defeat Rebels SC 3-1 in a penalty kick shootout after a 2-2 draw.
The game began at a slow pace, with the referee handing out several yellow cars for players from both sides. Just three minutes before halftime, the home side’s Rafael Lua Rojo scored a tap-in to send the Rebels into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Coming back from halftime, Escondido FC looked like the better side, and equalized in the 69th minute off of a brilliant solo run from Marcos Rodrigo Celestino. With regulation time not being enough to find a winner, the game headed into extra time, where Escondido FC found the back of the net off of Christian Bahena’s curling shot into the right side net in the 98th minute.
Rebels SC responded with a well-timed volley by Edwing Zambrano off of a corner kick in the 107th minute, eventually sending the game into a penalty shootout. After both teams missed their first penalty, it was Rebels SC who couldn’t recover, with two of their shots hitting the crossbar. Escondido FC capped off the night with a win after Omar Rodriguez Corral converted from the spot, and ending the shootout in a 3-1 win.
International Soccer Association (UPSL)
West Palm Beach Academy CF (National Soccer Leagues / USSSA)
Broward College-South Campus; Pembroke Pines, FL
For the second straight qualifying tournament, the International Soccer Association (ISA) began with a win over a Palm Beach team. Last year, they blanked the Palm Beach Breakers, 4-0 to kick off their qualifying run. This year, they defeated West Palm Beach Academy CF, 5-3.
OC Kings FC (UPSL)
Capo FC (NISA Nation / USASA)
Capo FC advances after OC Kings FC forfeited due to lack of player availability
Lake Forest Sports Park; Lake Forest, CA
OC Kings FC only had 14 eligible players entering their Open Cup qualifying debut over the weekend. Certainly not an ideal number of players, but enough to play. Unfortunately, three of those players were goalkeepers and two of them were injured. So without a full roster, OC Kings FC forfeited. However, the two teams still played a friendly on Sunday anyway.
Trojans FC (UPSL)
Orange County FC (UPSL)
Duarte High School; Duarte, CA
Despite an equalizer in the first half, Orange County FC was able to prevail over fellow UPSL club Trojans FC with a final score of 3-1. Orange County FC opened the scoring, broke the deadlock with a penalty kick, and then added a third goal shortly before halftime. Trojans FC were unable to affect the scoreline in the second half, failing to qualify for the tournament in their fifth attempt.