FIRST ROUND OF U.S. OPEN CUP FEATURES EXCITING RESULTS
Atlanta Silverbacks (NPSL) 4, SC United Bantams (PDL) 1
Playing at home, Atlanta took early advantage when Abraham Lansana converted on a brilliant opportunity in the fourth minute. The NPSL side increased its lead when Belize international Deon MacCauley put back a rebound in the 20th, taking the home side into the break with a comfortable 2-0 advantage. MacCauley added his second on the other side of halftime, but SC United Bantams pulled back within two when Leandro Brown converted a 79th minute penalty. The PDL side’s hopes were dashed two minutes later when Thomas Hunter restored the three-goal lead, sending the Silverbacks on to a Second Round home date with the USL’s Charleston Battery.
Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) 2, Boston City FC (NPSL) 2 (4-5 PK)
In a wild come-from-behind win at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass., Boston City FC twice hauled back one-goal deficits to advance 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw against Western Mass Pioneers. The Pioneers took the first lead of the game five minutes into the second half when Mike Goncalves put home an Evan Burokas feed. As time started to become a factor, Boston brought on three attacking players in search of a goal and was rewarded for the gamble when Jhonata Batista equalized with 13 minutes left in regulation. After heading to overtime, Burokas added to his offensive output with what the Pioneers must have thought was the winner just 42 seconds into the extra period, especially after Boston FC saw a red card handed out to Paulo Henrique. Boston was further reduced to eight men on the field due to red cards shown to captain Ronaldo Vieira and Kamali Webson, but not after Webson had clipped home a smart equalizer for the visitors, knotting the match at 2-2. The match headed to penalties but not after a fourth red card was handed out, this time to the Pioneers’ Toto. Boston’s Kevin Herrera stepped up in the final round to net the crucial PK for the Lions and set up a Second Round clash against fellow adult amateur side GPS Omens (Mass.).
Miami United FC (NPSL) 2, Boca Raton FC (Fla.) 1
Miami United jumped ahead early when a ball over the top was flicked on into the path of Matías Menza who launched a first-time rocket from the top of the box that tucked inside the right post in the seventh minute. After going into the break with a 1-0 deficit, Boca Raton FC brought things level when Martini Bontempo expertly timed his near-post run on a free kick to flick home the equalizer in the 57th minute. The tying goal set up a rough-and-tumble end to the match, but Miami United FC’s Nacho Calcagno popped up with a dramatic 87th minute winner to push the home side to a Second Round home date against NASL side Jacksonville Armada FC.
Fredericksburg FC (NPSL) 0, Christos FC (Md.) 3
Maryland-based Christos FC hit the road to open their 2017 U.S. Open Cup campaign and scored a 3-0 win against NPSL side Fredericksburg FC of Virginia thanks to a Peter Caringi hat trick. Christos FC got off to a dream start, taking the lead in the fourth minute, but it wasn’t until the second half that they struck again with Mamadou Kansaye feeding Caringi to double the lead in the 50th. Caringi then capped off his high-flying performance in the 87th minute with the game’s final goal, handing Open Cup debutants Christos FC their first win in the tournament as well as a Second Round date with USL side Richmond Kickers on May 17.
New Jersey Copa FC (NPSL) 1, FC Motown (N.J.) 2 (a.e.t.)
In a Garden State Derby, hosts New Jersey Copa FC took the lead when Ryan Campbell latched onto a missed header at the back and broke through the Motown defense in the 26th minute. Putting on the pressure to close the half, the visitors would tie things up in the 39th minute when a dangerous cross from the left by Rodrigo Santiago careened off the cross bar and fell for Dritan Sela who poked up the rebound. Neither side could find the go-ahead goal before the end of 90 minutes, forcing extra time where Samuel Gehman’s highlight-reel free kick curved into the top left corner, giving the side a 2-1 comeback win and a Second Round date with 1999 U.S. Open Cup winners Rochester Rhinos.
Charlotte Eagles (PDL) 2, Chattanooga FC (NPSL) 0
The Charlotte Eagles used two second-half markers against the visiting 2016 NPSL Southeast Conference champions Chattanooga FC to earn a 2-0 First Round victory. Charlotte broke the stalemate when Kelvin Omondi cleaned up a rebound off the post in the 72nd minute. With Chattanooga pressing for an equalizer, the Eagles’ Joao Costa forced a turnover on the left flank and slotted a low shot past the ‘keeper to cap the scoring in the 89th. The Eagles will host cross-town rivals Charlotte Independence of the USL in the Second Round, just as they did in a 2-0 loss in the first-ever Queen City Derby in last year’s competition.
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) 2, Legacy 76 (NPSL) 1
The Carolina Dynamo secured advancement with a 2-1 win against Legacy 76 on Wednesday night. Dynamo midfielder Shane Mecham gave the home side an early lead when he found the top corner in the 13th minute. Trailing 1-0 at the half, Legacy 76 evened the score on a Max Poelker tally in the 49th minute. Carolina was quick to regain the lead when Mamadee Nyepon found the back of the net from distance eight minutes later. The Dynamo are set to host NASL side North Carolina FC in the next round on Wednesday, May 17.
Jacksonville Armada U -23 (NPSL) 2, The Villages SC (PDL) 1
An all-Florida battle saw The Villages SC earn a great start when Erickson Alves gave the visiting side a 1-0 lead in the first minute. Jacksonville Armada U-23s fought back after halftime, getting the equalizer from Joshua Castellanos in the 58th. Just as the match looked destined for extra time, Ciaran McKenna set up Cameron Grassmyer for the 89th minute winner, sending Jacksonville to a Second Round date away to the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Reading United AC (PDL) 1, Clarkstown SC Eagles (NPSL) 0
Reading United AC topped Clarkstown SC Eagles with a 1-0 home win in the First Round on Wednesday evening. Reading’s Frantzdy Pierrot earned a penalty in the waning minutes of the first half, but saw his initial attempt was saved, but the attacker alertly followed up his shot and nodded past the diving ‘keeper for the game’s only tally. The victors are set to host defending NASL champions New York Cosmos in the Second Round.
Michigan Bucks (PDL) 1, AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL) 0
A first-half goal from Andre Landell sent the Michigan Bucks to the U.S. Open Cup Second Round at the expense of tournament debutants AFC Ann Arbor. Daniel de Oliveira picked off a pass from the Ann Arbor goalkeeper in the 12th minute and fed Landell, who slotted into the net for the game’s lone goal. The Bucks cruised through the second half ans into a Second Round home clash against NASL side Indy Eleven.
Chicago FC United (PDL) vs . Grand Rapids FC (NPSL) – Postponed
Match abandoned in the third minute due to inclement weather.
Dutch Lions FC (NPSL) 3, NTX Rayados (Texas) 1
A choppy, back-and-forth first half between Dutch Lions FC and NTX Rayados morphed into a goal storm in the second 45 as the Dutch Lions took the lead and never looked back en route to punching their ticket to the Second Round. Three of the game’s four goals all came within the opening four minutes of the second half, as the Dutch Lions raced out to a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals by Jose Pablo Covarrubias and Lawal Olayimika only to surrender an own goal, making for a tense remainder of the match. But in the final minute of regulation, Jerry Scholman iced the match with a goal to cement the final 3-1 score line and set up a Second Round showdown against San Antonio FC (USL) on May 17.
FC Wichita (NPSL) 1, Azteca FC (Colo.) 0 (a.e.t.)
FC Wichita battled for 120 minutes, weather delay not included, en route to a 1-0 extra-time win against an undermanned Azteca FC amateur side. Azteca faced an uphill battle when Christian Moran was shown a red card for a tough tackle in the 12th minute, but managed to hang on for nearly 80 minutes to force extra time. FC Wichita’s Travis Pittman registered the lone goal from the right side of the box when a deflected shot fell to his feet in the 104th minute. Wichita’s defense stood tall in the final half of extra time to maintain the shutout and earn a Second Round game against Saint Louis FC in the Second Round.
Des Moines Menace (PDL) 1, AFC Cleveland (NPSL) 3
In a second-half goal fest, AFC Cleveland pulled away from the Des Moines Menace for a 3-1 win, but only after a 75th minute strike gave them the initial advantage. An evenly contested game that saw action at both ends of the pitch draw terrific saves from each team’s goalkeeper looked as though it could head for extra time, but a penalty awarded to Cleveland in the 75th minute opened the door for Admir Suljevic to put AFC ahead from the spot. The Menace would not go quietly, hitting the post before Hayden Partain equalized for the home side with eight minutes remaining. But after another Partain chance narrowly cleared the bar, Cleveland bagged two late goals in the 87th and 91st minutes through Chris Cvecko and Reymar Klochko, respectively, to move on to a Second Round clash with FC Cincinnati (USL) on May 17.
Tulsa Athletic (NPSL) 1 OKC Energy U- 23s (PDL) 1 (2-4 PK)
Just as it looked like the two sides would head into halftime scoreless, a well-worked buildup from OKC would lead to Matthew Puig burying a 44 th minute effort to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break. Tulsa went on the front foot looking for the equalizer and pulled level in the 80th minute when a well-placed cross from picked out Declan Fitzpatrick who nodded home the dramatic leveler. Neither team could find the decisive goal in extra time, leading to the penalty kick decider, where OKC Energy goalkeeper Eric Dick saved Tulsa’s first take to propel the side to a 4-2 shootout win. OKC Energy U-23s move on to a Second Round date with the USL’s Tulsa Roughnecks on May 17.
Sonoma County Sol (NPSL), 1 Anahuac FC (Nev.) 1 (4-5 PK)
It’s as if Sonoma County Sol and Anahuac FC were destined to go to penalties all along. After 100 minutes of back and forth chances, Sonoma County finally broke the stalemate at the century mark when Marco Barragan found the back of the net. Trailing for the first time all game, FC Anahuac netted an equalizer one minute later to bring the teams level. Ultimately, Anahuac proved victorious, topping Sonoma County 5-4 in penalty kicks to advance to the Second Round for a matchup with Sacramento Republic FC.
Albion SC Pros (NPSL) 2, Chula Vista FC (Calif.) 3
Albion were handed an early blow when Luke Staats was shown a 16 th minute red card. The home side held on through a nervy, scoreless match until the flood gates opened when Chula Vista FC’s Alberto Diaz broke the deadlock in the 74th minute. Albion had a chance to equalize just after the goal when David Luquen was chopped down in the box by CVFC defender by Gilberto Lopez, but the striker put his attempt off the bar. Just four minutes later, Chula Vista defender Gilberto Lopez was shown a second yellow card for a foul in the box, leading to his ejection and an Albion penalty kick. Just two minutes later, Lopez was sent packing when he committed a hand ball in the box, resulting in a follow-up penalty kick. The second attempt was coolly converted by Luan Oliveira to bring things level in the 79th minute. Chula Vista then grabbed the go-ahead goal when Jaime Verdin pounced on a rebound in the 89th , before Oscar Hernandez added an insurance strike in the second minute of stoppage time. That goal would end up being needed as Albion pulled one back through Lester Hayes a minute later, but the comeback was too late as Chula Vista outlasted the NPSL side to set up their Second Round clash with LA Wolves FC.
OSA FC (NPSL) 0, Sounders FC U -23 (PDL) 0 (5-3 PK)
With no score to show in 120 minutes of play, OSA FC topped Sounders FC U-23 5-3 in penalty kicks in a battle in Seattle. OSA goalkeeper Joshua Adachi did well to stop one of Seattle’s four attempts, guessing correctly on Macauley King’s lofted effort en route to victory. Besting its cross-town foe, OSA FC advances to the Second Round and will host the USL’s Reno 1868 FC.