It was a cold windy night in Leesburg, Va. as Northern Virginia FC hosted rivals Christos FC in the fourth and final Open Division Local qualifying round for the 2024 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Christos FC will return to the US Open Cup in 2020 thanks to a pair of goals from their talismanic goalscorer and a deflected cross which added up to a 3-2 victory over qualifying debutantes Steel FC.
After going down a goal early against Christos FC in their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup First Round match, Reading United AC buckled down and went to work. Thanks to a second half goal and five successful penalty kick strikes, Reading ousted last season’s Cinderella 5-4 in PKs.
Long a mainstay on the Maryland-DC soccer scene, Christos FC, the Cinderella team of the 2017 US Open Cup, has grown deeper roots in the Baltimore area but hasn’t changed its approach because of, or in spite of, their recent success.
Christos FC wore down their open division qualifying visitors Phoenix SC on a sunny but windy day in Arnold, MD, taking the game 5-1 in front of approximately 50 fans. The hosts move on to the full Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the second year in a row, while Phoenix SC will try again next year to qualify, having qualified last in 2011.
The amateurs from Baltimore put a good scare into D.C. United on Tuesday night, taking an early 1-0 lead and remaining tied through the 80th minute, but were unable to match Dallas Roma FC (2006) and Cal FC (2012) as true amateur clubs knocking off an MLS side in US Open Cup play. Lloyd Sam and Julian Buescher combined for three goals as United rallied to win 4-1.
By the end of the night, Christos FC was the last amatuer team still standing in the tournament, which earns them a $15,000 cash prize. The win also makes them the 13th amateur team in the Modern Era to reach the Fourth Round, where they will play D.C. United of Major League Soccer on June 14.
Saunders was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round for his performance against the USL’s Richmond Kickers, where he made seven saves and notched a shutout to carry his side to a 1-0 victory and a trip to the next round.
Amateur side Christos FC and the USL’s Richmond Kickers played a stress-heavy game on both sides Wednesday night, as both teams had many opportunities to find the net in a scoreless stalemate for much of the game. But it was Greaton Caltabiano who provided the late drama, scoring the winner in the 79th minute to lift Christos to a 1-0 win in the Second Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Wednesday at City Stadium in Richmond.
After pulling off a surprising upset in the Second Round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Christos FC, an amateur club from Baltimore, are heading to Round 3. Now, they are asking for help to get there.