Like all knockout competitions, open division qualifying for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is a grind that often has a charming edge to it lost in the later rounds when professional teams enter the fray. But there’s hardly anything romantic about a coach giving his team a halftime talk in a public bathroom or another team finding shelter from the cold in a storage shed only to be kicked out by a groundskeeper.
On a blustery afternoon amid chilling winds and freezing rain in Rochester’s suburb of Pittsford, the River Dogz earned a place in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.
Stegman’s SC made the trip down to Mooseheart, Ill., about an hour west of Chicago, to take on Aurora Borealis SC in the second round of the 2018 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. In the end, after a wet and rainy game, Stegman’s prevailed, 3-2, on the strength of an extra time goal by Tim Hutton to send the Minneapolis-based club into the final round of qualifying.
For the first time, the US Soccer Federation will offer financial assistance to clubs in the open division amateur qualifying tournament who have to make a road trips longer than six hours.