It’s been a long road for the teams competing for a place in the 2023 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The final week of fixtures finally arrived as nine teams from the Open Division Local Qualifying punched their ticket over the weekend. This ultimate round of the competition was filled with drama. Five of the nine went to extra time with three of those decided by penalty kicks. The winners included teams with previous experience in the Open Cup and a few that surprised many in upsetting the favorite for the final places. These nine teams will join Bavarian SC (2022 USASA Amateur Cup champions) in the 108th edition of the US Open Cup which will begin in March.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17
Brockton FC United (USASA/Bay State Soccer League)
Chicago House AC (USASA/Midwest Premier League)
Chicago qualifies, 8-7 on PKs
Match Broadcast (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
Randolph High School – Randolph, MA
After traveling 1,000 miles, playing to a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes and a penalty tiebreaker in the dark, Chicago House AC secured their first ever berth in the U.S. Open Cup over Brockton FC United
Brockton jumped out ahead in the fifth minute when a House turnover led to Cardorso Elizandro sending a low cross into the penalty area that found the toe to Euclides Mendonca, leading to Mendonca beating Chicago goalkeeper Tony Halterman. After a delay caused by confusion over which ball was to be used, Brockton nearly doubled their lead when Geo Alves narrowly missed a chance on goal.
As the second half began Brockton maintained their pressure but Chicago eventually gained control, leading to an 80th minute equalizer when Anthony Smith Jr. headed home a botched bicycle kick that bounced his way. Chicago nearly found the winner five minutes later when Brockton goalkeeper Fabio Andrade was forced to make a triple save.
@ChicagoHouse_AC last goal in PKs pic.twitter.com/HmwxtLtYqG
— MASS Soccer (@MASS_Soccer) December 18, 2022
Before extra time commenced, it was decided the teams would play two 10 minute halves as it was unclear if a custodian for Randolph High School would be able to show up in time to turn the stadium lights on as darkness was quickly approaching. The twenty minutes of extra time passed with no additional scoring, and it was decided that the penalty tiebreaker would go on despite the dark conditions.
Remarkably Andrade and Halterman were able to stop one shot each in the open five attempts. The following three PK’s in sudden death were successful, and in the ninth round Halterman saved another attempt and Chicago converted its kick to win the tiebreaker 8-7. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Eric Casey
South Carolina United Heat (UPSL)
Club de Lyon (USASA/NISA Nation)
Southeastern Freight Lines Soccer Center – Columbia, SC
A brace from forward Ignacio Ten Lopez was enough to lift visiting Club de Lyon (Fla.) 2-1 A.E.T over host SC United Heat to advance to the 2023 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The first half of the game was all SC United Heat as they enjoyed most of the possession and an advantage on corner kicks. Although the game was scoreless in the first half, in the 70th minute a long ball by the Heat eventually fell to Seth Hanson, who made no mistake slotting the ball into the empty net left vacant by the Lyon keeper caught in no-man’s land. Goalkeeper Jon-Paul Franscini kept the Heat in front with two strong saves in the 78th and 80th minutes. Club de Lyon were awarded a penalty kick right at the end of regulation in the 90th minute and Ignacio Ten Lopez was able to convert to send the match to extra time.
In the 103rd minute, Lopez struck again, slotting in a low cross that was whipped in by winger Gerald Ramirez. The Heat changed formation and made one last push to equalize. Their best opportunity came in the 118th minute as Lyon’s Mateo Borelli deliberately handled the ball. It was his second caution of the match, leaving Lyon with 10 men, but the ensuing free kick was blocked. The visitors killed off the final seconds of the qualifier and the match ended 2-1 in favor of Club de Lyon. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Forrest Wimberly
Azteca FC (USASA/Colorado Super League)
UDA Soccer (UPSL)
UDA Soccer qualifies, 4-1 in PKs
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Field 8) – Commerce City, CO
UDA Soccer outlasted Azteca FC 4-1 on penalty kicks to advance to the U.S. Open Cup proper. Jose Luis Puente Rivas opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he played the ball across the top of the six-yard box and found Alan Mose Gudino for an easy tap-in. Azteca equlized in the 20th minute through a cross from Jovany Herrera, just outside the six-yard box, to Oscar Montoya. Azteca came all the way back as they took the lead in the 36th minute. Jovany Herrera was on the score sheet this time as he finished a ball played by Freddy Fregozo for his fifth 2023 Open Cup qualifying goal. UDA weren’t going to go quietly as Daniel Ruiz Galan tied the game once more just before halftime. His goal came from a Lucas Burch cross ten yards from the goal as the three minutes of added time expired. The half time score was 2-2.
In the second half, Azteca were awarded a penalty kick after UDA’s Mattias Cavallo committed a foul at the edge of the penalty area. Hallam calmly slotted the ball to his right past Castillo for a 3-2 Azteca lead in the 63rd minute. Things went from bad to worse for UDA, as an assistant coach was sent off for protesting the call. Twenty minutes later, their captain Eric Gomez-Silva was shown a second yellow card forcing UDA to play a man down for the rest of the match. UDA fought back and leveled the game in the 82nd minute when Alfredo Villescas got on the end of Alan Mose Gudina’s corner. The full time score was 3-3 and the match went to extra time.
Azteca took the lead again in the 107th minute off a spectacular volley from Anthony Miranda after UDA failed to properly clear a corner kick. It still wasn’t over as Keane Garcia pulled UDA in the 113th minute from inside the six-yard box sending the game to penalty kicks. The decisive kick was taken by Alan Mose Gudina, who calmly put the ball down the middle of the goal to put UDA through to the tournament proper. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Andrew Mosier
BattleBorn FC (USASA/NISA Nation)
Inter San Francisco (USASA/SFSFL)
MATCH BROADCAST (Alternate video)
Douglas High School – Minden, NV
Inter San Francisco FC traveled to Minden, Nevada for a showdown with BattleBorn FC in the fourth qualifying round of the U.S. Open Cup, a.k.a, the “Win and You’re In” round. Inter SF won the contest 5-1.
The weather was cold, but Inter SF had the field hot. Javier Rivera, Matt Fondy and Gamal Compaore all scored in a 21-minute stretch of the first half to put them in a comfortable lead on an uncomfortable day.
Leo Lazaro added a fourth and Matt Fondy a fifth (his second) to ensure the victory for the visitors. BattleBorn’s Jonathan Cuevas did manage a fantastic freekick goal to avoid the shutout. Inter SF will now await the draw for the first round proper in the spring of 2023 for their opponent in their first U.S. Open Cup appearance. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Jim Coppock
Northern Virginia FC (USASA / EPSL)
West Chester United SC (USASA / USL of PA)
Virginia Revolution Sportsplex – Leesburg, VA
In a battle of two heavyweights in Open Division qualifying, West Chester United secured its third straight Open Cup berth, and fourth overall, with a 2-1 victory over hosts Northern Virginia FC.
Both teams started the game as if shot out of a cannon, as each squad created good scoring chances at each end, but it was NoVa that struck first in the 13th minute when Jaimie Quintanilla headed home a well placed corner kick from Kevin Nadeau. West Chester responded with a few dangerous runs but halftime saw NoVa holding the 1-0 lead.
Correction peeps..Jake Gosselin with the PK, & Levi Maruca with the game winner…4 straight away games…thank you USSOCCER! We are " The ROAD WARRIORS" ???????? pic.twitter.com/ETCNT3zIYU
— West Chester United SC (@WCUSCPredators) December 18, 2022
In the second half NoVa began playing more defensive, and West Chester soon capitalized. In the 55th minute West Chester were awarded a penalty kick that Jacob Gosselin put away to even the score. Remarkably, Gosselin found himself with another penalty attempt just four minutes later, but NoVa goalkeeper Tyler Back denied the attempt, keeping the score level.
A few minutes later each team struck the crossback with shots one after another. Finally in the 80th minute West Chester went ahead, as Levi Murcia took advantage of a NoVa miscue and put away a shot from 20 yards out. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Sam Luebke
SC Vistula Garfield (Garden State Soccer League / USASA)
Lansdowne Yonkers FC (USASA/EPSL)
Athenia Steel Recreation Complex; Clifton, NJ
Lansdowne Yonkers FC secured their second consecutive U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 win over SC Vistula Garfield.
Lansdowne Yonkers FC book their ticket to the U.S. @opencup for the 4th time in the last 6 editions, with the help of a Dean Dillon header and a Steven Nolan cross that resulted in an own goal. Match content by @newlogicaltech#WeAreLansdowne pic.twitter.com/U3D5c3OvvC
— Lansdowne Yonkers FC (@Lansdownebhoys) December 18, 2022
Lansdowne nearly grabbed a 1-0 lead in just the second minute as Julio Espinal sent a free kick into the penalty area, and after a few headers Steven Nolan appeared to score on a scissor kick. As Lansdowne celebrated the linesman raised his flag after the referee signaled a goal. After conferring with one another the officials ruled Nolan was offside.
Lansdowne controlled possession for much of the half, as Vistula relied on the counter attack with a few players out due to injury. As Vistula looked to hold the visitors to a 0-0 halftime score, Lansdowne struck in stoppage time. After Vistula cleared a corner kick, Yonkers regained possession and a long pass found former League of Ireland player Dean Dillon headed the ball past Vistula goalkeeper Anthony Caruso.
Just four minutes into the second half Lansdowne saw their lead double on a Vistula miscue, when Nolan sent a cross from the far right side that Vistula defender Patryk Gruca accidentally sent into the goal. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Michael Battista
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18
Beaman United FC (UPSL)
D’Feeters Kicks SC (UPSL)
Richard Siegel Soccer Complex – Murfreesboro, TN
Beaman United survived yet another wild game to book their spot in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup with a 4-3 extra time win over 2022 qualifier D’Feeters Kicks SC.
Beaman had endured over Kalonji Pro Profile in the previous round on penalties after a thrilling 4-4 draw, and needed heroics from goalkeeper Alejanbro Rodriguez on this night. D’Feeters opened the scoring in the 5th minute through Oscar Ocampo and Rodriguez made a big save minutes later to prevent a second goal.Rodriguez came up big once again in the 2oth minute when DKSC were awarded a penalty, and the Beaman GK stopped the spot kick to keep the score 1-0.
Beaman leveled the score in the 50th minute on the Seth Poku goal, but D’Feeters took the lead right back 11 minutes later on a low strike from Paul Gorish. In the 67th minute it was Beaman’s turn from the penalty spot as Seth Poku converted to notch his second goal of the game.
Five minutes into extra time Beaman moved ahead on a Nathaniel Bedai volley from the top of the box and held the lead to the extra time break. In the final fifteen minutes. D’Feeters hit the post in the 107h minute, and then made good on a penalty kick in the 113th minute as Roberto Goinzelez tied the game at 3-3. Beaman grabbed the lead for good four minutes later as Joseph Omondi chested down a cross and slammed it home.
A minute later D’Feeters were awarded another penalty kick, but Ramierez prevented DKSC from making it 4-4 with his second penalty save of the game. Beaman endured four minutes of stoppage time to hold on to another wild qualifying win. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Jed Henderson
Miami United FC (NPSL)
Naples City (NSL)
Milander Park – Hialeah, FL
Miami United sealed its fifth trip to the U.S. Open Cup proper after defeating Naples City 2-1. Both teams understood the importance of the “win and you’re in” match. They came out attacking and looking to create opportunities right from the kick off. It was Miami who would strike first after Shelton Shamar brought the ball forward on the right and opened up space for a left-footed shot from the corner of the 18-yard box. His shot was difficult for the Naples City goalkeeper Brayan Arce Justiniano as he got his hands to the ball but deflected it into his own net. Naples responded almost immediately as Raidel Ramos withstood a Miami defender tugging on his shirt and Miami United goalkeeper Alan coming to collect. Raidel kept his balance and lifted the ball over Alan and into an empty net. It was anyone’s game at the break.
Here is the winner that puts @miamiunitedfc into the @opencup.
Stream by SM Sports. Full match link below. https://t.co/1klbJiZnZy pic.twitter.com/gsw7TPSIMf
— Magic City Soccer (@MagicCitySoccer) December 19, 2022
In the first minutes of the second half, Miami won a free kick near the left side touchline. Robert Insua put the ball into the box and despite many odds his shot found the back of the net. It could have easily been a miss hit cross as but he caught the Naples City goalkeeper Brayan Arce Justiniano flat footed. Much like the first goal, despite getting his hands to the ball, it trickled into the net. Miami had the lead and looked more likely to score the rest of the match. They never looked back and won 2-1. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Dave Einhorn
Orange County FC (UPSL)
Capistrano FC (USASA / NISA Nation)
Capo FC qualifies, 3-2 in PKs
Orange County Great Park (Field 13) – Irvine, CA
Capo FC held the goal scoring juggernaut of Orange County FC to a scoreless draw, and emerged victorious on penalties to gain their debut in the U.S. Open Cup.
Not the result we were hoping to give our fans who braved the cold night supporting us to the end ?. Congratulations to @capistrano_fc for making it into the @opencup#WeAreOCFC pic.twitter.com/jjVECXh0vQ
— Orange County FC (@ocfcsoccer) December 21, 2022
The 2022 UPSL Spring champions, Orange County had scored 17 goals in their previous three qualifying games, but Capo FC kept them off the scoresheet for 120 minutes. OCFC had a good chance to score near the end of the first half, holding possession in front of the Capo goal for three minutes only to be turned back by a pair of saves from Capo’s GK Nathan King. Play became more intense in the second half but neither team could cross the goal line.
OCFC gained an excellent chance to win in extra time when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 115th minute, but it was quickly nullified when the linesmen raised his flag to signal offside, taking away the spot kick.
In the penalty tiebreaker, each team scored on their opening attempt and then saw their third kick saved. On the fourth attempt, Handy Ramos converted for Capo FC, while OCFC missed their remaining attempts to put Capo FC in the US Open Cup for the first time. [+] FULL MATCH RECAP by Kathryne Padilla