As many professional leagues in the United States enter playoff time another knockout tournament is underway. The 108th edition of the US Open Cup and its second qualifying round continued last weekend. It featured amateur competition for multiple leagues and associations from the Open Division of the United States Soccer Pyramid.
The 7th edition of the US Open Cup Qualifying Tournament saw 36 matches played across the country. For 37 teams this was their first match in the competition this year after receiving a bye last round. While many returning names moved, including an astounding nine teams from last year’s tournament proper, a few notable ones crashed out in upset losses. Teams such as FC Denver and Christos FC, which have made their names in previous tournaments, were eliminated this round.
The winners from this round move on to next month’s third qualifying games. Those will take place between November 19-20,
SATURDAY October 15
Oyster Bay United FC (UPSL)
Queensboro FC II (UPSL)
Queens College Varsity Soccer Field; Flushing, NY
By Dave Einhorn
Oyster Bay United cruised past Queensboro II FC into Round 3 of the 2023 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Oyster Bay United defeated Queensboro II FC at Queens College by a score of 4-1 on Saturday morning. The tie was a rematch of the United Premier Soccer League American Division Final played this past spring, where it was Queensboro II who took the spoils. Like that match, Queensboro jumped out front within ten minutes, taking an early 1-0 lead from an own goal.
Queensboro looked to settle the game with their lead but could not contain Oyster Bay United. Mathew Carriel scored a brilliant equalizer from the left-side edge of the box in the 14th minute. Duga Dambelly gave Oyster Bay the lead in the 32nd minute after he slotted home a through ball from midfield past the keeper. The 2-1 score at halftime suggested it was anyone’s game.
After the second-half whistle, Oyster Bay talisman Junior Rosero scored his team’s third goal, putting more pressure on Queensboro II FC to respond. Both teams traded fouls, free kicks, and corner-kick opportunities. Oyster Bay cemented their victory with a fourth goal from Sebastian Ruiz in the 61st minute. The full-time score: Oyster Bay United 4 and Queensboro II FC 1.
There were different emotions at the end of the game. Queensboro II FC coach Diego Gomez talked about mental strength in his team: “We need to keep believing and keep playing and try to hardship. In the second half, we were not able to play at our level. Meanwhile,
Oyster Bay United coach Josue Esqueche looks towards the next round: “We’re not where we want to be yet, but we’re on the right track. If we continue like this, we will accomplish the same goal we had last season, the main rounds .
South Carolina United Heat (UPSL)
Paul Thigpen Chevrolet; Vidalia, GA
By Forrest Wimbley
On a sunny day in Vidalia, Georgia, the South Carolina Heat steamrolled TCSA in the second qualifying round by a 4-0 score.
The visitors from South Carolina began the scoring in the 7th minute with a skillful chip over the TCSA keeper by Alejo Binaghi. The Heat turned up the temperature when Mitch Backer scored a second goal from a long cross in the 31st made, making it 2-0. The visitors continued their domination in the 43rd minute, with Rodane McKenzie cleaning up a second ball from a free kick. SC United was in cruise control with a 3-0 halftime lead. An 82nd minute goal from McKenzie put the game to bed once and for all.
The Heat are attempting to qualify for the US Open Cup for the first time. Last year, they advanced to the final round only to forfeit the “Win & You’re In” match.
Kalonji Pro-Profile (UPSL)
FC Birmingham (UPSL)
Pleasant Grove Soccer Complex; Pleasant Grove, AL
By Kaylor Hodges
On a sunny 85-degree Saturday in Pleasant Grove, Ala., Kalonji Pro-Profile made the 190-mile drive from Lawrenceville, Ga. Kalonji Pro-Profile came out in their traditional 4-2-3-1 and bagged their goal early from former professional Junior Sandoval in the 5th minute. FC Birmingham, playing the 3-3-3-1, looked a step behind from the bounce.
In the 17th minute, a controversial moment as Kalonji Pro-Profile scored after not one, but two goal line clearances off of the crossbar, Frantz Rooby Dalusma doubled the visitors’ lead, despite the pleading of offsides from the home fans.
Midway through the first half, an impromptu hydration break was called as all the balls were lost in the woods surrounding the pitch. At least ten minutes were lost as players entered the thicket to attempt to find at least one game ball. Immediately on the restart, Finn Dowdey gets a yellow card brandished for studs to the shin. Five minutes later, another yellow card was given out to FC Birmingham. As the first half moved on, Kalonji-Pro Profile moved to an extremely aggressive 3-4-2-1 that looked more like a 3-2-5 in attack. In the dying minutes of the half, Dalumsa gets his first half brace on a rocket from 25 yards out, despite FC Birmingham’s keeper Cosmas Uzoaru getting a solid paw on the ball.
To start the second half, Cosmas Uzoaru gets three massive saves to keep his Falcons Squad in the match and raise his save total to 8 through the 50th minute. In the 55th minute, Anthony Sumo Jr. got on the end of a pass at the top of the box to beat the Frenchman in net to put Kalonji Pro-Profile up 4-0. In the 77the minute, FC Birmingham grabbed a goal back thanks to Finn Dowdey on their first shot on goal in the match. In the 84th, Kalonji Pro-Profile’s Kofi Twumasi put the boys in red up 5-1 after a rebound goal. This would be the final goal of the game as the victors move on to their next round of the US Open Cup.
Metro Louisville FC (UPSL)
Valhalla FC (Ohio Valley Premier League / USCS)
Charity J. Lucas Multi-Purpose Athletic Complex; Milford, OH
By Brandon Gee
Metro Louisville traveled to Milford, Ohio, with only 11 players, to take on Valhalla FC and finished victorious, 1-0.
The lone goal was scored by Alejandro Trejo in the 28th minute after an errant clearance by Valhalla goalkeeper, Ian McNamara. McNamara’s kick landed right at the feet of the approaching Trejo who chested it down, took one step and chipped a left-footed ball over McNamara’s head into the upper 90.
No subs, no problem. https://t.co/jyOpQFXj3A
— Metro Louisville FC (@MetroLouFC) October 15, 2022
Metro Louisville, who are attempting to qualify for the first time in club history, now awaits word of their opponent in the third qualifying round to be held Nov. 19-20.
FC Denver (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Azteca FC (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, CO
By Matt Pollard
Azteca FC won a heated rivalry match with FC Denver on Saturday afternoon to advance to the third round of US Open Cup Qualifying.
Azteca came out the better side, with Denver’s defense bending but not breaking. However, Cesar Castillo found Juan Torres on a run in behind in the 20th minute. Torres went bottom far corner to give Denver the 1-0 lead.
Nine minutes later, Azteca equalized. Off a throw in, Denver goalkeeper Drew Johnson bobbled the ball. Brice Colcombe pounced on it and buried it with his first touch.
Denver was better to start the second half. They were sharper on the ball and had good sequences in transition. The game turned against them however in the 53rd minute. Azteca got on a break with Jovany Herrera taken down from behind by Carlos Castro in the box. A penalty was called and Castro was given a straight red. Herrera converted the penalty easily, making it 2-1
Castillo found center back Brian Roddy set pieces but could not convert as Denver tried to battle back. There were shouts for a penalty in the 64th when Liam Creedon was taken down by
Azteca defender Jose Bencomo, but the cross was out of reach
The game was put away in stoppage time. Saul Garcia scored on a breakaway in the 88th minute. Azteca won a second penalty minutes later with Bencomo converting. The match ended 4-1
“We came out flat. The red card was harsh. slows down, has no choice but to run into his back. That changed the game. From there, failed to execute down a man. We gave them too much space in midfield. It’s execution and composure. We didn’t have that,” FC Denver Head Coach Andy Goellner told thecup.us post game.
“It’s the highlight of the year. Everyone of us is competing to play with the big boys. You’re playing the best teams. It’s always fun,” Goellner added sentimentally when asked about the significance of the competition.
Boston Street FC (UPSL)
Brockton FC United (Bay State Soccer League / USASA)
Rocky Marciano Stadium; Brockton, MA
By Liz McQuikin (Recap used with permission from Mass-Soccer.org)
Brockton FC hosted Boston Street FC in the second round of US Soccer’s Lamar Hunt Open Cup Qualifying Round. The drama in this game started before kickoff when Boston Street Soccer questioned whether the Marciano Stadium turf met the Open Cup’s minimum standard of 65 yards in width. After several measurements by field officials, it was determined that the field was one yard too narrow.
Before declaring a Brockton forfeit, USSF gave Brockton FC until 7 p.m. for their field to meet the minimum standards. Brockton supporters were able to obtain field chalk from a local hardware store and the team and fans banded together to re-line the field. Finishing at 6:59pm, with just a minute before the deadline, the game was saved and the fans would get to see their teams play. This round would have a winner determined on the pitch after all!
Boston Street came out strong. They demonstrated good speed, quick passes, and pressure in their attacking third. Early on, they forced a few mistakes from the Brockton defensive line and created some opportunities off corners. Brockton adjusted to the tenacious Boston Street pressure and began to create counter opportunities.
In the twenty fourth minute, Brockton was awarded a PK on a foul in the box. Boston Street goalie and captain, PJ Mundis, made a fantastic save as seen here: PK Save
The game remained scoreless through halftime. In the sixty-fourth minute, Brockton was able to convert a set piece served by #8 “Geo” Alves and finished by #21 Antonio Correira as seen here: Brockton Goal
After Brockton’s goal, there were a few more opportunities by Brockton including this cross by #20 Elizandro Cardosa to an attempted bicycle kick by #11 Nilton Texixeira Andrade: Brockton Late Game Opportunity. The game remained 1-0 to the final whistle and the Brockton keeper, Benvindo Barros, turned in a clean sheet.
Fans and supporters were glad this game was played because both teams turned in solid performances and represented their clubs well.
Brockton FC will move on to the third qualifying round of the Open Cup.
Houston FC (National Soccer League / USSSA)
D10 Lions FC (National Soccer League / USSSA)
Matias Almeyda Training Center; Houston, TX
By John Raycroft
D10 Lions FC won a heated matchup against Houston FC 3-2 to advance to the next round of qualifying. The D10 Lions got a goal in the 10th Minute from David Perez, to get out to an early lead. The Lions had control of the midfield from the start and dominated possession early on. They continued to pressure Houston FC for the first quarter hour until the second goal from Perez in the 26th Minute.
Houston FC seemed to calm down after the second goal and started to push back against the Lions leading to a goal in the 36th Minute from Michel Anthony Luster. Some late first half attacks and free kicks poised no threat to either side as the half ended 2-to-1 with the D10 Lions in the lead.
The second half opened with fireworks as the D10 Lions goalie got called for a handball and tackle outside of the box which led to a red card and a free kick for Houston FC. The Lions had to replace their goalie as a result, and Houston FC capitalized on the opportunity to level it with a goal from Mahmoud Adawin. The intensity rose as the second half continued including multiple yellow cards for D10 coaches.
A red card for violent play for the Lions’ Axel Cabrin, led to Houston FC having a two man advantage for an extended period. The game would get more and more physical as play continued resulting in a red card for Houston’s Jesus Herrera Vargas. As the sun was dropping low in the sky and visibility decreasing by the minute, contingency plans were made to ensure lighting would be available in case the game went to extra time. The D10 Lions managed to grab a late goal to take a 3-2 lead that they would hold onto until the end of the game. The game ended up with more than 10 minutes of stoppage time due to red cards, goals, and injuries throughout the second half. D10 Lions escaped a very physical, back and forth game while down multiple players at one point to secure their advancement.
Santa Cruz FC (UPSL)
Unations FC (UPSL)
Fore Kicks II; Marlborough, MA
Santa Cruz were forced to forfeit this contest due to player unavailability, which means Unations advance to the third qualifying round which is scheduled for Nov. 19-20. Unations’ previous tournament resume includes being one-and-done in both 2018 and 2022 qualifying. This will be the farthest they’ve ever reached, all while never playing a single game.
Gainesville City FC (UPSL)
Florida Premier FC (UPSL)
GSports Clubhouse Field; Trinity, FL
Florida Premier FC hosted fellow United Premier Soccer League side Gainesville City FC on a clear and mild night of US Open Cup qualifying action. The home side came out in control and drew first blood in the 10th minute off a lovely curling shot to the upper right corner. Heading into the latter end of the first half, Gainesville began to generate chances, mainly through their striker Dorian Jackson. Though Premier controlled the majority of possession, the visiting side would make occasional forays into FPFC’s third, including a penalty shout when a Gainesville City player was taken down just inside the box
As passions flared on both sides, and especially the visiting bench, Florida Premier was able to take advantage of the chaos to add a second goal in first half stoppage time. Left back Stewart Vigh found himself alone in the middle of City’s 18 and one-timed a shot toward the bottom left of the goal. Gainesville’s goalkeeper got a palm on the ball, but not enough to keep it out.
The second half began much the same as the first, with Florida Premier maintaining control of the tempo and Gainesville City’s manager’s protestations eventually earning him a yellow card in the 56th minute. Both teams began making substitutions around the hour mark, and play opened up on both ends. The Gainesville keeper was able to smother a barrage of shots from Premier and was once bailed out by a heroic goal line clearance from one of his defenders.
With less than ten minutes left in the match, the visitors were able to turn up the pace. The hard work of Dorian Jackson paid off in the 88th as he controlled a cross with his chest and turned to volley in a laser of a shot, giving a spark of hope to the orange-clad away side. The late goal turned out to be too little too late as Premier steadied themselves and saw out the remaining short stoppage time period to claim a well-earned victory and move on in qualification.
Club de Lyon (NISA Nation / USASA)
Orlando FC Wolves (Central Florida Soccer League / USASA)
Econ Soccer Complex; Orlando, FL
Patrick Sandidge scored in the 5th minute to open the scoring for Orlando FC Wolves, who made their US Open Cup debut last year. But the game would turn around with Club de Lyon scoring three unanswered goals to advance to Round 3.
Germantown City FC (UPSL)
Nova FC (Eastern Premier Soccer League)
Virginia Revolution Sportsplex; Leesburg, VA
By Liam Wolfe
Northern Virginia Football Club (NoVa FC) was able to comfortably take down Germantown City 6-0 on a crisp fall night off the back of a KJ Nadeau hat-trick.
It did not take long for the defending EPSL champions and Amateur Cup runners up to get on the scoreboard as in the 13th minute it would be Vagner Marques who’d get on the end of a Alton “POP” West cross and get the home side an early lead.
Germantown City struggled all night with giveaways in the middle of the pitch and NoVa would capitalize on one of those mistakes in the 30th minute after Marques would make a fantastic run past three Germantown defenders before laying it off to Nadeau who had a simple finish to the bottom left of the net.
NoVa’s third and Nadeau’s second would come right on the edge of halftime as Jhonny De Souza would take a free kick quickly and was able to find the head of Nadeau who directed it over the Germantown keeper Aboubacarr Sinera to add to their lead.
NoVa would make it 4-0 in the 50th minute after substitute JP Ayolmbong would perfectly slip in his pass to beat the offside trap and into the path of Marques would dribble around the goalie and get his third goal contribution of the day.
Nadeau was able to finish off his hat trick and it might’ve been the easiest goal of his career after Pierre Richard would send a looping cross to the back post and it appeared the keeper misread the passes trajectory as he would run beyond the ball and leaving Nadeau with a free header into a empty net in the 64th minute,
NoVa really did leave the best of last as their sixth goal of the night was simply jaw-dropping. After it appeared that NoVa’s Will Zarco was in on goal it’d be a last ditch challenge only a few inches outside the box. Up stepped the center back Frankie DiOrio for the free-kick, the defender would fire off an absolute rocket of the shot into the very top left corner and stamp of a very impressive NoVa FC win.
D’Feeters Kicks Soccer Club (UPSL)
Alamo City Soccer Club (UPSL)
Alamo Sportsplex; San Antonio, TX
Sebastian Mendez was the difference, scoring a hat trick to lead D’Feeters Kicks SC to a 3-2 road win over Alamo City SC. Mendez scored two goals in the first half and each time he scored, Alamo would answer with a goal of their own. Mendez would complete his hat trick in the second half to send the Kicks into Round 3.
D’Feeters are seeking to qualify for the US Open Cup for the second year in a row after punching their ticket in their first-ever attempt last season.
Beaman United FC (UPSL)
Bowling Green FC (UPSL)
The Pit (Bowling Green Junior High); Bowling Green, KY
By Federico Pravettoni
On a chilly Saturday night at The Pit, the Golden Lions fell short to Beaman United FC from Nashville by a score of 3-1.
From the first minutes of the match, Beaman started strong and took control of the game with great spells of possession while the home side struggled to play their game.
After a few chances in the first 15 minutes, Beaman found the lead with a goal by Alphonso Gooden in the 22nd minute. The forward, assisted from the right flank, readied himself inside the box and finished with a great touch in the top right corner.
Beaman continued to dominate and came close to doubling the advantage with a header by midfielder and captain Kwadwo Poku.
Later, in the 30th minute, the captain found the back of the net in a 1v1 with Golden Lion goalkeeper Chas Cross, giving Beaman a 2-0 advantage.
The visitors continued to push as they maintained hold of the ball and looked to find their third of the night with Seth Poku, but stopped by an impressive cross to keep BGFC afloat.
In the second 45 minutes, the home side came out with a completely different approach and with just three minutes into the half, shortened the advantage with a goal by Jacob Liddy – who won the challenge with Beaman’s defender and finished with a shot on the ground in the bottom left corner beating BUFC goalkeeper Alex Rodriguez.
The Golden Lions made themselves dangerous again and came close to finding the equalizer.
In the 78th minute, however, Beaman found the third of the night off a devastating counterattack ended with a tap-in goal by forward Hayden Black, sealing the game to crush Bowling Green’s hopes for a comeback.
“We’re proud of our guys, it’s our first experience doing this,” said BGFC head coach Evan Sutherland. “They stayed together and gave it a fight tonight.”
Despite the loss, Sutherland believes this is a valuable experience for the team’s growth moving forward.
“It’s really about growing and getting this experience, these experiences, this is so valuable for these guys because like I said, we got a lot of guys that are 19, 20 years old,” he said. “We’re going to grow, we’re going to keep getting better and you know, see if we come back here next year and move forward.”
Beaman captain Kwadwo Poku has an interesting US Open Cup resume from his earlier playing days. In addition to his nine career tournament goals, he is one of two players to score a goal in three consecutive tournaments for three different teams at three different levels. Poku scored for the Georgia Revolution (NPSL) in 2013, Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL, Div. 2 pro) in 2014 and then for New York City FC (MLS, Div. 1) in 2015. He shared his thoughts on the game and the final result.
“It’s really important, it’s our first you know, I think for Beaman, it’s our first Open Cup game and obviously, everybody wants to be in the US Open Cup regardless of what level, so you know, the guys were determined to win,” he said.
With the win, Beaman advances to the third qualifying round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, to be played Nov. 19-20.
“It’s going to get harder and harder and harder,” said Poku. “You got to take it one at a time, you got to work day in day out because it’s not going to get easy, so, again, you know, we will train and we will do our best to get to where we want to get to.”
Inter San Francisco (San Francisco Soccer Football League / USASA)
Real San Jose (National Soccer League / USSSA)
PAL Stadium; San Jose, CA
By Abel Anguiano
Inter San Francisco took down Real San Jose by a score of 4-0 at PAL Stadium in San Jose on Saturday in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup qualifying tournament. It was a rematch of last year’s opening round qualifying game, which Inter won by a score of 4-2.
What began as a decently even match eventually turned into San Francisco domination. Half an hour into the match, Inter would net their first after a Dylan Autran shot found its way past the goalkeeper to put the visitors up by one. At the death of the first half, Inter struck twice more with Dylan Autran netting his second and assisting Gamal Compaore to make it 3-0 at the break.
The second half was a much more tame game of football, but Real San Jose still found themselves overwhelmed by the attacking presence of Autran and former pro Matthew Fondy. The latter would find the back of the net after a corner kick play, putting the game to bed. The rest of the game lacked drive from the home side while San Francisco played as if they were playing a practice scrimmage. The match ended 4-0 with Real San Jose finding themselves out of the competition for the fourth year in a row, while Inter San Francisco advanced to the next round.
Davis Legacy SC (UPSL)
Elk Grove Blues (UPSL)
11 p.m. Bartholomew Sports Park; Elk Grove, CA
By Marco Lopez
Davis Legacy SC defeated Elk Grove Blues by a final score of 2-1 at the Bartholomew Sports Park in the 2nd round of the 2023 US Open Cup qualifying tournament.
After a close 4-3 win against UC Davis Club Soccer in the 1st round on Sept. 17, Davis Legacy SC again took the victory over Elk Grove Blues in a very intense matchup highlighted by physical defense. The first half was an all-out dogfight with several opportunities being just short of a goal, whether it was a 1 on 1 or a long ball. And for the beginning of the second half, it seemed like the scoring drought would continue for both teams. That is until Gabriel Moreno scored in the 81st minute to put Elk Grove Blues up 1-0.
This, however, gave Davis new life and motivation as they would go on to score two goals within four minutes of each other to seal the game. James Togbah would score in the 84th minute while Lesia Simon Thetsane would land the finishing blow in the 88th minute. With that being said, both soccer clubs played a very gutsy match with each giving maximum effort. But the offensive pressure that Davis’s front line exerted in the second half was too much Elk Grove in the end.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16
Coronado Athletic Club (UPSL)
UDA Soccer (UPSL)
Field of Dreams Soccer Complex; Las Cruces, NM
By Edward Camp
UDA Soccer took on the visiting Coronado Athletic Club of Cochise County, Arizona in Las Cruces, New Mexico. From the opening kick, UDA dominated every aspect of the game. Mattias Cavallo scored the opener in the 15th minute for UDA, who kept up pressure on Coronado throughout the rest of the first half.
Coronado would take their only shot on goal early in the second half before Eric Gomez-Silva scored a brace in the 59th minute and the 61st minute to put UDA up 3-0.
Marco Millan put up their fourth in the 75th minute to close out the scoresheet. By then, Coronado had seemingly accepted their fate, playing with little urgency as UDA dropped back to defend their win.
IASC Boom (Rochester District Soccer League / USASA)
Sahara Gunners FC (UPSL)
Dobson Field (D’Youville University); Buffalo, NY
By Jonathan Molik
On a stereotypical gloomy Sunday in Buffalo, NY we saw the Sahara Gunners host the IASC Boom. Witman Hernandez opened the scoring early for Boom with a goal on the counterattack in the fourth minute. It only took them twelve minutes to notch a second goal. This time Witman was providing the setup for Ali Shawish to slot it home between the legs of the keeper. In the twenty second minute we see the Gunners grab one back. Off a corner kick, Kovan connects with a powerful header and slams it into the back of the net. Keeping with how things were going, it only took Boom sixty seconds to regain their two goal lead thanks to another great finish from Witman Hernandez.
The technically gifted Gunners were unable to keep up with the quality of possession and teamwork on display from Boom. The Gunners lacked the last pass in the final third of the field and because of this failed to create scoring opportunities. The game finished 3-1 in favor of Boom.
Lancaster Elite (UPSL)
Vereinigung Erzgebirge (United Soccer League of Pennsylvania / USASA)
Vereinigung Erzgebirge Clubhouse; Warminster, PA
By Greg Oldfield
Derek Antonini scored early and added an assist to lead Vereinigung Erzgebirge past Lancaster
Elite 2-0 in the Second Round of qualifying for the 2023 US Open Cup. The hosts and current leaders in the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania jumped on the board 11 minutes in when Angelo Dambalas played a diagonal ball to Antonini that beat the Lancaster back line. Antonini took a few touches before beating reserve keeper Andrea Disomma.
VE Goals (video courtesy of Scott Reiber)
Chris Baker doubled the VE lead four minutes into the second half after Dambalas forced a turnover and sprung Antonini free again down the right side. Antonini beat the Lancaster back, and Baker smashed home the cross from inside the six. In the 78th minute, Alec Neumann played Antonini in over the top, but the VE forward’s shot hit the crossbar. Minutes from the end, VE’s Greg Shertzer jumped on an Evan Vare long ball with only Disomma to beat, but his unselfish layoff to Antonini forced an incredible sprawling save by the Lancaster keeper. Lancaster nearly pulled one back in the 90th minute when reserve forward Troy Mead’s shot hit the outside post.
Despite the loss, Lancaster coach Gino Disomma was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We’re on the younger side,” he said. “I think the inexperience showed a little bit.”
Lancaster won the first round 3-2 over USLPA side Lancaster City FC in extra time. The UPSL team is currently eighth in the Northeast Division. “We’re happy to have been in the second round,” Disomma said. “We’re a new team coming together, so just the experience of getting this, and as we grow, I think it’s going to be better for us as well.”
VE will await their opponent for the third round of qualifying, which will take place the weekend of November 18 th -20 th . Last year, VE was knocked out in the third round by Philadelphia Lone Star FC. VE defeated Lone Star 2-1 in the first round in September. Antonini is excited about advancing, and when asked about what his team needs to do to prepare for the next opponent, he said:
“Just keep guys healthy and get all our guys here. We were missing some good players, Mike Reese, Sean Peckham, and Steve Neumann. If we can get those guys and we’re healthy, we can compete with anybody.”
West Chester United SC (United Soccer League of Pennsylvania / USASA)
United German Hungarians (United Soccer League of Pennsylvania / USASA)
Temple University Ambler Campus; Ambler, PA
By Matt Ralph (BrotherlyGame.com)
Finn Reese had a pair of goals and an assist in a four-goal second half to lead West Chester United to a win over his former team on Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first half with chances falling to both teams – Chas Wilson hit the crossbar in the best chance of the half – Reese found the breakthrough in the 57th minute. It came from a pass into the box from Thomas King that Reese was able to collect and fire with his right foot across his body to beat UGH keeper James Brett.
Playing with the 1-0 lead, West Chester was able to find more space moving forward in the thick grass and doubled their advantage 12 minutes later when Reese played a long lofted ball right into the path of substitute Levi Maruca, who still had some work to do to beat two defenders and Brett but showed his technical skill to do so.
UGH still had some life left – West Chester captain Luca Mellor put out several fires on dangerous counters from Jason Pixley and Sixtus Akinlosuto – but didn’t have an answer to match West Chester’s fresh legs coming off the bench. Reese reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a rabbit when he was able to touch a ball from King around his defender, collect it off the back spin and poke it home to make it 3-0 in the 70th minute. Whether he intended it or not, it was a lovely goal reminiscent of Dutch great Dennis Bergkamp.
Substitute Clay Moyer fired home the fourth of the day after finding space at the top of the box and placing it into the bottom corner with a kiss off the left post. The goal was assisted by substitute Mason Miller and substitute Jake Gosselin was inches away from adding a fifth minutes later off a well played through ball from Moyer. In the end, the game was closer than the 4-0 score line but the class of Reese and the depth of the Predators’ bench proved the difference.
Man of the Match: Finn Reese. He had two great goals and a lovely assist but could’ve had more with two perfectly placed passes into the box. He was also a force defensively and defending set pieces. Luca Mellor and Thomas King also deserve a mention for their standout play on the day too.
1927 SC (Ohio Valley Premier League / USCS)
Chicago House AC (Midwest Premier League / USASA)
Hales Franciscan High School ; Chicago, IL
Chicago House AC advance 4-3 in penalty kicks
By Joe Chatz
Chicago House Athletic Club utilized a 91st minute equalizer to advance to the third round of Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualifying Sunday after defeating 1927 Fort Wayne Sporting Club 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw at Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago.
Less than eight minutes into the match, Chicago found themselves down a goal. Fort Wayne’s Uriel Macias was taken down in the penalty area, earning his side a penalty that Breno Boccoli de Oliviera slotted home to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.
Fort Wayne maintained the lead until the first minute of second half stoppage time when Chicago was awarded a penalty kick after Seo-in Kim was taken down in the penalty area. Kim netted the subsequent penalty kick and sent the match into extra time.
Neither side generated much of an attack in either of the extra time periods save for Chicago’s Adam Mann being sent off in the 120nd minute after receiving his second yellow card, sending the match to spot kicks.
Fort Wayne’s Boccoli de Oliviera went first and gave his side the 1-0 lead at the spot. Chicago’s Shannon Seymour then skied his attempt over the crossbar, keeping his side down a goal.
After both teams scored in the second and third rounds, Chicago’s keeper Anthony Halterman took center stage. Halterman saved both the fourth and fifth penalty kicks from Fort Wayne before stepping to the spot himself, needing to score to win the match. Halterman’s shot beat the keeper to his right and sent Chicago into the third round of qualifying
Boulder United FC (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Athletic Club of Sloan’s Lake (Colorado Super League / USASA)
Wheat Ridge High School; Wheat Ridge, CO
By Andrew Mosier
Athletic Club of Sloan’s Lake scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the match to advance past Boulder United FC 2-1 in the second round of 2023 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup qualifying. Jacob Love put the hosts ahead in the 94th minute after JD Michael put the match on level terms with four minutes to play in regulation. Arnuflo Becerra Garcia opened the scoring in the fourth minute to put the visitors up 1-0 before either team had a chance to settle into the match. After an even first half and start of the second, the game grew frantic and foul-riddled with six cautions and an ejection in the final half-hour of the match as Sloan’s Lake pushed for an equalizer.
Michael netted his first goal of the qualifying cycle from his center back position, carefully pushing the ball to the near post after Boulder could only partially clear the ball after a Sloan’s Lake set piece. With time waning, it looked like both teams were content to go to extra time when Jack O’ Brian found Love with a little space in the middle of the field with pin-point service. With more time than he had enjoyed all game, Love had little trouble scoring his second goal this qualifying cycle.
Mint Hill FC (UPSL)
Tobacco Road FC (Triangle Adult Soccer League / USASA)
Durham County Memorial Stadium; Durham, NC
By Michael Battista
Tobacco Road FC pulled away in the second half against Mint Hill FC and finished the match with 3-1 winning scoreline. Jordan Snell and Orlin Roque both got goals in the second half for the home side. Joaquin Del Rosario opened up the scoring in the first half.
Tobacco’s first open cup qualifying win came after a seemingly quiet first half. Del Rosario’s goal in the 25th minute, assisted by Cameron Steele, was the culmination of a more experienced team taking control. Steele headed the ball across the box towards Rosario who tapped in the go-ahead goal. Of note, Steele last played in the US Open Cup in a 2018 North Carolina FC (USL Championship) win over Lansdowne Bhoys FC in the Second Round. That type of experience benefited Tobacco against Mint City, which only completed its inaugural UPSL campaign earlier this summer.
After the break, Tobacco doubled their lead quickly when Roque found Snell to make it 2-0 off a breakaway. However, the visiting UPSL side responded. Erick “Junior” Rivas assisted Edin Velagic on a goal less than sixty second after TBFC to make it 2-1. Mint couldn’t break the bank on a tying goal however. In the 65th minute, Snell paid Roque back and assisted on his game sealing score to make it 3-1. The quick cut-in from the right wing and left strike into the upper corner of the net from 30 yards out had little chance of being saved.
Mint City’s inaugural Open Cup campaign ends after one game while Tobacco looks ahead to the next round. Road came close to qualifying for the tournament earlier this summer when they competed in the National Amateur Cup. In the USASA Region III tournament, they reached the semifinal where the team fell to eventual (disqualified) champion Beaman United FC.
Naples United FC (National Soccer League / USSSA)
Naples City FC (UPSL)
Paradise Coast Sports Complex; Naples, FL
Match was ended in the 65th min. due to weather
In a match between a pair of clubs from Naples, Fla., it was Naples City who cruised to a 4-0 win over Naples United FC. City jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime with goals from Raidel Ramos, Alejandro Martinez and Mateo Rolon, they would add a fourth in the second half but the match was halted in the 65th minute due to severe weather.
Lansdowne Yonkers FC 3 (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
New York Greek American SC 0 (Eastern Premier Soccer League / USASA)
Fleming Park; Yonkers, NY
By Dave Einhorn
Landsdowne Yonkers FC moved into the third round of US Open Cup qualifying after moving past the New York Greek Americans, 3-0. Yonkers started the game on the front foot as they took an early lead within five minutes. Shamir Mullings got on the end of a ball launched upfield and skillfully guided it past the goalkeeper. Each side had to substitute a player for injuries sustained in the first half. Neither side was happy with the referee’s decisions on fouls. NY Greek Americans grew into the game but could not find a first-half equalizer. The score was 1-0 at half-time.
Lansdowne did waste any time in the second half. Bala Danso volleyed home a cross in the 47th minute to double the lead. NY Greek Americans pushed on, having a goal ruled out for offside, but could not otherwise find an answer. Tensions mounted in the 65th minute when Chris Katona took a throw-in that hit a Lansdowne player in the head. Katona was sent off, and NY Greek Americans were down to ten men. Lansdowne added one more goal from Daryl Kavanagh in the 83rd minute.
After the game, Lansdowne Yonkers head Coach Sean Kelly said, “our gameplan went well from the very start. We worked hard for each other, and overall I think that set the momentum for the game.” Meanwhile, Jack Nuttall of NY Greek Americans said, “We have to give credit to Lansdowne; they’re a great team. For us, I think we need to make sure we’re set to go from the . here is to start the game properly.”
Christos FC (Maryland Super Soccer League / USASA)
DCFC (DC Premier League / USASA)
Jelleff Recreation Center; Washington, D.C.
DCFC advances 5-4 on penalty kicks
By Sam Luebke
In US Open Cup play, DC Premier League side DCFC beat Maryland Super Soccer League side Christos FC on penalty kicks. Christos FC controlled the play throughout the match, holding a clear edge in possession. Christos FC players Morgan Lussi, with the ball at his feet, and Cody Albrecht, knocking balls from the back, led the Christos FC attack. Christos FC was rewarded with a deserved Lussi goal off a goalmouth scramble in the 32’. Christos FC carried the lead into halftime.
However, Christos FC were not able to generate clear goal scoring opportunities and put the game away. Throughout the match, DCFC defended confidently and competently and always looked dangerous on the counter attack. DCFC’s penalty kick goal, at 67’, converted by Harrison Engoren, was against the run of play but well deserved given their energy and poise.
The score remained 1-1 through 90’ and through both periods of extra time. In the penalties, DCFC was perfect, converting all five. Christos FC miss on the first PK was the difference between these two clubs tonight. DCFC’s Jonathon Horlyck converted the fifth PK, giving DCFC the victory.
Outbreak FC (Southwest Premier League / USASA)
Escondido FC (UPSL)
San Pasqual High School; Escondido, CA
By Mathias Medel
The second round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifiers continued in San Diego, Calif., as Escondido FC (UPSL) emerged victorious over opponents Outbreak FC (SWPL) with a score of 1-0.
Both teams came into the match having won their last qualifier in penalties, however none were needed on a night where neither team could develop clear chances on goal. It took only three minutes for the home side to get on the scoresheet through a corner header by midfielder Omar Rodriguez Corral, who also scored the winning penalty in his team’s round one win.
For the next 87 minutes, however, Escondido FC struggled to maintain possession, with Outbreak FC also lacking any promising opportunities on goal.
With their win, Escondido FC looks to their round three matchup on the weekend of Nov. 19.
SC Vistula Garfield (Garden State Soccer League / USASA)
Jackson Lions FC (Garden State Soccer League / USASA)
Donovan Catholic High School; Toms River, NJ
By Michael Battista
In a battle of Garden State Soccer League rivals, SC Vistula Garfield knocked off Jackson Lions FC, 2-1, to advance into the Third Round of qualifying.
Jackson, a qualifying tournament regular, held a majority of possession early in the first half and kept most of the action in Vistula’s end. However, they failed to capitalize on any chances while Vistula waited patiently for chances to counter. In the 20th minute, Garfield’s Paul Kondratowicz found himself with the ball just outside the penalty area. The NJIT senior shot from the right side, over Lions’ keeper Jhan Paul Mayorga, and into the opposite side netting to make it 1-0. As the game evened out each team fell into a highly defensive front. It was something Jackson excelled at last season in the GSSL, only allowing eight goals all season. However on Sunday it was a defensive error that cost them when a foul in the box sent Garfield’s Nicholas Kozdron to the spot. He converted his subsequent game-winning penalty kick in the 60th minute to make it 2-0.
The Lions offense tried to bounce back but were missing captain David Nigro. The former Monmouth University star left the game at halftime with an apparent injury. While other players like Rutgers alumni and Danish professional Vincenzo Pugliese and former NPSL Golden Boot winner Matt Nigro, brother to David, the team couldn’t find enough consistency in time. Dan Pizzimenti converted a penalty kick of his own with five minutes to play but it was too little, too late. Jackson’s roster depth couldn’t overcome Vistula, who only had one player available on the bench for a sub.
The Lions loss is their second straight in qualifying after winning their opening match. The team has yet to make an appearance in the tournament proper. Garfield meanwhile is continuing to thrive in 2022. Currently celebrating its 70th anniversary, the club has seen much success on the field this past year. It finished runner-up in the GSSL Super Division this past season, won a game in the Amateur Cup regionals, and defeated a former US Open Cup champion last round in qualifying. Garfield, the oldest polish soccer club in the country, is making its first appearance in tournament qualifying (since USSF took control in 2015).
City Soccer FC (National Soccer League / USSSA)
Hurricane FC (National Soccer League / USSSA)
Seacrest Soccer Complex; Delray Beach, FL
By Austin Robillard
In what was a rather chippy game at the Seacrest Soccer Complex between Hurricane FC and City Soccer FC, the control that City had over the course of the match was enough to go through by way of a 2-0 scoreline.
Both sides were physical early on, resulting in a couple of early yellow cards throughout the first half. City dominated possession through the first forty-five minutes, but the apparent “bend, don’t break” attitude in defending from Hurricane was working quite well. It wasn’t until the last play of the half that City finally broke through.
A line-breaking pass in behind the Hurricane defense and a one-on-one chance with their keeper with only seconds to play in the half put City up 1-0. Their #16 rounded the young Hurricane goalie and finished simply into an empty net.
Six minutes into the second half, after Hurricane had made some substitutions, City were able to double their lead. Hurricane couldn’t withstand the barrage of attacks that City was putting forth, and the second and final goal of the game, coming in the fifty-first minute, was enough to put Hurricane down and out for the count.
The game had opened up a bit for both sides and remained very physical, but Hurricane wasn’t able to find a goal to put them back in the match. Their best chance came with about five minutes left in the game, and the striker, unfortunately, bottled a one-on-one chance with the City keeper. With space everywhere, he found his shot going right at the goalie for a simple save.
The game ended 2-0, and City Soccer FC will be on their way to the third round of qualifying thanks to their possession dominance and getting clinical at crucial moments. They’re looking to make the tournament for the second straight year. Hurricane FC, however, will plan for next year’s cup run and focus on its UPSL season in 2022.
Juventus Academy (UPSL)
Miami Soccer Academy (National Soccer League / USSSA)
Monsignor Edward Pace High School; Miami Gardens, FL
It’s been a bad October for teams named Juventus. First Juventus F.C. was upset by Israel side Maccabi Haifa F.C. in the Champions League group stage. Now last weekend, Juventus Academy fell, 3-1, in extra time to Miami Soccer Academy. Which is the bigger loss? You be the judge.
Miami controlled the match possession wise and lead in shots on goal (18 to 2). But that didn’t mean they controlled the game entirely. Juventus took the lead with the last play of the first half and went into the break ahead. After halftime, MSA responded with a tying goal from Jeff Mesidor in the 48th minute. Neither side could find the back of the net for the rest of the half. In extra time, Miami once again started quickly and scored in the 93rd minute thanks to Kemar Jordan. A clinching goal in the final minute of the first ET half (115th) from Jhojan Leyton made it 3-1. The scoreline remained and MSA moved on to next month’s third round.
Miami United FC (National Soccer League / USSSA)
International Soccer Association (UPSL)
UPSL Stadium (Broward College-South Campus); Pembroke Pines, FL
By Michael Battista
Miami United FC had little trouble downing the International Soccer Association (ISA) on Sunday night. The team won, 5-0, to move on in the qualifying tournament.
Two players with overseas professional experience scored goals in the first half. Andrea Pastore (formerly of Serie B & Serie C in Italy) scored the team’s second goal in the 31st minute. Not long after Robertino Insúa made it 3-0 in the 38th minute. The former Club Atlético San Lorenzo San Lorenzo (Argentina) player is returning after scoring a goal in last year’s First Round with Miami. Manuel Conte opened the scoring in the 20th minute.
United kept the pressure in the second half and saw additional goals from Miguel Benito (71’) and Shamar Shelton (83’).
Miami United has been fairly active in the Open Cup since its founding in 2012. The main team, which competes in the National Premier Soccer League, has qualified for the tournament via the national league track four times. Its most recent qualification came last year where United defeated local qualifier City Soccer FC in the First Round before falling to USL Championship side (The) Miami FC. United’s U-23 team, as members of the UPSL, qualified for the canceled 2020 tournament (aka why the first team declined its earned bid that year – since half the roster was cup-tied).
United confirmed to TheCup.us that the team taking part in qualifying is its first team squad.
BattleBorn FC (NISA Nation / USASA)
Modesto City Football Club (Southwest Premier League / USASA)
Central Catholic High School; Modesto, CA
By Michael Battista
BattleBorn FC took a commanding four goal lead and survived an attempted comeback by Modesto City FC to advance, 4-2, to the third qualifying round.
The lone Nevada team in this year’s tournament only needed 30 seconds to get on the board. Junior Mahi, who also plays for USL League Two side San Francisco Glens SC, finished off a 30 yard diagonal pass from Jonathan Cuevas to go up, 1-0. Cuevas wasn’t done helping as the next goal started with a throw-in by him to forward Joaquin Garcia Broggi. He drilled past defenders and beat the Modesto keeper for a tap into the corner to make it 2-0.
The defending NISA Nation Pacific Region champions weren’t done before halftime. Cuevas once again found Broggi, this time off a chip pass, on-side and past the back line. The forward faked out the keeper and walked in his second goal of the game. Not wanting to leave matters to chance, Broggi cemented the hat-trick in the second half. On a run, winger Mahi took the ball up to the end line and played a pass into the box near the penalty spot. Broggi taped the ball into the left corner.
Modesto City scored two goals in the second half but ran out of time. Ramon Alcazar recovered the ball from high pressing the opposition and then took down field. He smashed it the net around the 63rd minute. The second came off a corner kick where captain Diego Medina headed a ball down towards Raul Cortez. He subsequently used his head to redirect the ball into the net. Medina saw a second yellow card in the 79th minute but Modesto nearly scored down a man in the 85th minute, keeping the pressure until the very end.
Temecula FC (SWPL / USASA)
Orange County FC (UPSL)
Orange County Great Park (Field 12); Irvine, CA
By Brian Harrington
A cool Sunday evening at Field 12 of the Great Park Sports Park in Irvine, CA was the location for OCFC vs Temecula FC 2nd round US Open Cup qualifying action. OCFC controlled the ball for the majority of the first 30 minutes and were up 4-0 quickly. The last 15 minutes of the first half Temecula did better pushing into midfield and their fan base should be noted for showing up in numbers with drums and chants and sticking with their team through the tough start.
Minute 48 of the second half Temecula came out with more energy and brought the score to 4-1. The energy faded into more balanced possession for the remainder of the game ending with a final of 7-1 in favor of OCFC.
Legend Football Gold (Federal Way Men’s Open Sunday / USASA)
Bellevue Athletic FC (UPSL)
Bellevue College Soccer Field; Bellevue, WA
In a game played at Bellevue College just outside of Seattle, the visitors Legend Football Gold came away with a 1-0 win over Bellevue Athletic FC. In a game short on offense, the lone goal came early when Karsimi Konneh of Legend Football Gold received a ball over the top of the Bellevue defense. He ran onto it and found himself 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper and he slotted it into the lower corner to open the scoring in the 19th minute. That would be one of the few shots on goal for the road team. Most of the game would be filled with long ball attempts by Legend FG but few chances. The Legend defense would hold Bellevue to even fewer chances as they were unable to break the shutout.
Valley FC Raiders (NISA Nation / USASA)
Olympians FC (UPSL)
Pioneer Park; Peoria, AZ
By Jim Coppock
Olympians FC hosted Valley FC Raiders at Pioneer Park on a gorgeous Sunday evening and came out 2-0 victors in front of about 100 supporters. This was the Olympians’ first game in their first attempt at qualification and Valley’s second game in their first attempt.
All 90 minutes were played at a high tempo and there was no clear winner until second half stoppage time. Both halves were an end-to-end grudge match.
Olympians would open up their goal account early; the 6th minute from Josias Ortizwith a blast from about 28 yards out.
In the 56th minute, Valley’s #17, Lorenzo Davalos was sent off after a clumsy challenge from behind on Eduaro Jasso. In spite of being short handed, Valley continued attacking pressure.
Valley Raiders would go a second man down through injury in the 90th minute, Hector Canton would need to be helped off the field; he would not return. Three minutes later, a build up from Olympians resulted in a close range blast by #14, Roberto De Lima. This would be deflected and fall to the foot of #7, Agustin Orozco, who slotted home to put the game away, finally.
Olympians’ Paolo Cardozo would establish himself as the engine of the team, playing both sides of midfield and under the forward line. Most attacks went through him, if not started outright by him. On the other side, Valley’s #8, Victor Rolph, had the same role for his team. Both teams had many good attacking efforts and both goalkeepers had fantastic saves to keep the score close.
The win advances Olympians to the third qualifying round, to be held November 19-20, with an opponent to be determined later.
Desert FC (UPSL)
LA Monsters FC (Southwest Premier League / USASA)
Orange County Great Park (Field 8); Irvine, CA
In their Open Cup qualifying debut, Desert FC cruised to a 6-1 win over the LA Monsters FC at Orange County Great Park. The UPSL newcomers eliminated the Monsters, handing them their second straight one-and-done qualifying run. LA’s lone goal came from Nahoul Gonzales in the 65th minute via a converted penalty kick.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19
Capo FC (NISA Nation / USASA)
Laguna United FC (UPSL)
La Paz Sports Park; Laguna Niguel, CA
By Michael Battista
Capo FC needed to a few extra days but waisted no time in their match against Laguna United FC. Capo, short for Capistrano Football Club, won Wednesday’s game 4-1. The original match on Sunday night was initially delayed due to lightning in the area before both team’s ran up against a venue curfew. The groups instead met once again at La Paz Sports Park 72 hours later.
Daniel Segal scored in the 4th minute for Capo to get the ball rolling before Fatmir Becovic doubled up the score in the 15th minute. Hevany Mota added two goals of his own as well, closing out the first half in the 39th minute. He then opened the second with another quick score in the 47th minute. It wasn’t smooth sailing for Capo to close out the match. Sergio Montes saw two yellow card in quick succession in the 71st & 77th minutes, forcing his team to play down a man for the rest of the match. Laguna capitalized with a goal from Alex Fafilek in the 83rd but that was it.
Capo is taking part in it’s second straight Open Cup qualifying tournament. Last year, the team reached the final round before falling to San Fernando Valley FC, 2-1.