SIX NPSL TEAMS ADVANCE IN OPEN CUP
The first round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was completed on Wednesday night with teams booking places in next week’s second round, which takes place on Wednesday, May 18 and sees the introduction of professional clubs into the tournament field.
Six NPSL sides qualified for the next stage of the competition.
Richmond Strikers (NPSL) 1, Aromas Café FC (Va.) 2 (a.e.t.)
After a scoreless first half, Aromas Café FC’s Douglas Clare opened the scoring for the Open Division qualifier in the 47th minute. Not to be outdone, Richmond earned a penalty kick midway through the second half which saw Will Bates convert to bring things level and eventually send the match to extra time. With penalty kicks looming Aromas’ Jake Van Yahres found the dramatic game winner in extra time, giving the Charlottesville-based club a 2-1 victory in their first-ever Open Cup match. With the win, Aromas Café FC will visit the Richmond Kickers in Second Round play on Wednesday, May 18.
The Villages SC (PDL) 1, Kraze United SC (NPSL) 0
In one of the kickoff matches of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the two Florida sides each had their chances to score over the course of the first 90 minutes. Playing at home, The Villages began to control the match in the second half and found the decisive goal in stoppage time as Pedro Dias finished inside the left post in the 92nd minute to give the PDL side a 1-0 victory. With the win The Villages SC will visit the Charleston Battery in the Second Round on Wednesday, May 18.
West Chester United (Pa.) 1, Fredericksburg FC (NPSL) 1 (West Chester United wins 8-7 on PKs)
West Chester United defeated Fredericksburg FC on penalty kicks, 8-7, following a 1-1 stalemate through 120 minutes of play in its first-ever U.S. Open Cup match. West Chester held a 1-0 lead late in regulation, but Fredricksburg’s Ryan Zinkhan tallied a penalty kick in the 87th minute to force extra time. West Chester moves on to the Second Round to host Harrisburg City Islanders on May 18.
Clarkstown SC Eagles (NPSL) 1, New Jersey Express (PDL) 2
The visiting New Jersey Express used a pair of penalty kicks – one in each half – to edge the Clarkstown SC Eagles in the First Round of the 2016 U.S. Open Cup. Juan Correa converted both spot kicks for the Express, beating Eagles goalkeeper Romario midway through the first half and again in the 55th minute. Although Clarkstown did pull a goal back through Bljedi Bardic in the dying moments of the match, it was not enough to spur a comeback for the NPSL side. New Jersey Express moves on to the Second Round for a second straight year and will next face New York Pancyprian Freedoms on Wednesday, May 18 at Belson Stadium at St. John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y.
Myrtle Beach Mutiny (NPSL) 2, Charlotte Eagles (PDL) 3 (a.e.t.)
Making their 13th appearance in the U.S. Open Cup, the Charlotte Eagles went up 2-0 after halftime thanks to a pair of well-worked goals by Dani Siaj in the 49th and 59th minutes. The two goals only invigorated Myrtle Beach who began their comeback when Ryan Arambula pulled a goal back for the South Carolina side in the 68th minute. Just as it looked like Charlotte would pull out a 2-1 victory, the Mutiny’s Jon Ander Ibarrondo desperation strike in second half stoppage time forced an extra 30 minutes. Playing with 10 men in extra time, the Eagles defied the odds when they earned a penalty kick, which Marco Micaletto buried inside the left post to give the side a 3-2 extra time victory. The win sets up a Queen City clash in the Second Round as the Eagles host the Charlotte Independence on Wednesday, May 18. See our full recap by clicking here.
Miami Fusion FC (NPSL) 4, Boca Raton Football Club (Fla.) 1 (a.e.t.)
After a 40 minute delay, both Boca Raton FC and Miami Fusion FC were unable to gain any momentum to tally in the first halt. But minutes after the beginning of the second half, the Fusion’s David Santamaria notched a goal in the 51st minute. Boca Raton wasn’t calling quits yet, countering in the 63rd minute when sub Gabe Taboada equalized. The match was taken into overtime, where the Fusion took over the game. Alan Faccini secured a brace, while Daniel Marugo and reached tallied a goal, ending the match 4-1 in favor of the Fusion. The Fusion will move on to play Wilmington Hammerheads on May 18 in Round 2.
Reading United AC (PDL) 2, Atlanta Silverbacks (NPSL) 0
Reading United earned a spot in the Second Round of its seventh consecutive U.S. Open Cup appearance with a 2-0 home win against the Atlanta Silverbacks. Reading forward Khori Bennett secured a first-half lead when he tapped home a loose ball following a corner kick in the 31st minute. Forward Frantzdy Pierrot doubled the lead in the 86th minute and knocked Atlanta out of its first Open Cup appearance since joining the NPSL. Reading is scheduled to travel to Chattanooga FC for its Second Round matchup next week.
Indy Eleven NPSL 1, Cincinnati Dutch Lions (PDL) 0
Indy Eleven prevailed 1-0 over the Cincinnati Dutch Lions in a matchup between two first-time participants in the U.S. Open Cup. Indy took a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute as Vincent Mitchell scored with a low shot inside the far post. The game halted for a 1 hour, 58-minute weather delay in the 62nd minute and resumed under the lights. The Eleven will travel to play FC Cincinnati in the Second Round on Wednesday, May 18.
Michigan Bucks (PDL) 0, Detroit City FC (NPSL) 0 (3-4 PKs)
In one of the most anticipated matches of the First Round, Metro Detroit rivals the Michigan Bucks and Detroit City FC needed penalty kicks to after a hard-fought 0-0 deadlock over the course of 120 minutes. In the shootout decider, Detroit City goalkeeper Evan Louro saved two penalty kicks before Brett Nason hit the game-winner to send Detroit City to its first appearance in the tournament’s Second Round. The NPSL side now sets its sights on an away trip to Louisville City FC on Wednesday, May 18.
GPS Portland Phoenix (Maine) 0, AFC Cleveland (NPSL) 1
AFC Cleveland notched its first win in the U.S. Open Cup, 1-0 against GPS Portland Phoenix, thanks to Antonio Manfut’s 24th minute goal. Manfut turned in a loose ball after Cleveland had earned a corner kick midway through the first half. GPS did not give up without a fight however, pinging the post early in the second half and seeing an extra time equalizer from Matt Danilack canceled out due to offside. AFC Cleveland advances to face St. Louis FC at World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo. On May 18.
FC Wichita (NPSL) 1, Des Moines Menace (PDL) 2
Hosting their first-ever U.S. Open Cup match, FC Wichita battled hard with a Des Moines Menace squad well-seasoned in the tournament and found the game’s first goal as Carlos Contreras tapped home from close range in the 46th minute. Undeterred, the Menace equalized in the 56th minute as Heath Preston sliced through the Wichita backline to pull level. In the dying moments of regulation, Leigh Veidman slipped behind the defense to find the game-winner for Des Moines in the 86th minute. With the victory, the Menace will host the Tulsa Roughnecks in Second Round play on Wednesday, May 18.
Sacramento Gold (NPSL) 3, Burlingame Dragons (PDL) 1
Sacramento Gold forward Manolo Piña notched two goals in two minutes and an assist on a late insurance goal en route to a 3-1 victory against the Burlingame Dragons. Burlingame’s Jamael Cox sent a bending free kick over the wall and past the near post for the game’s first goal in the 45th minute. Sacramento countered with three second-half goals in the 56th, 58th and 89th minutes. The Gold travel to Lake Forest, Calif. to take on La Maquina in the Second Round.
San Francisco City FC (Calif.) 0, CD Aguiluchos USA (NPSL) 3
CD Aguiluchos USA rode three second-half scores to a 3-0 road victory against fellow Bay Area residents San Francisco City FC on Wednesday night. Aguiluchos forward Simon Rawsley began the scoring with a second-half tally, followed by late goals by midfielders Miguel Santiago and Ricardo Guerra to secure victory in their first-ever U.S. Open Cup match. Aguiluchos will travel east to take on Sacramento Republic FC at Bonney Field on Wednesday, May 18th. See our full recap by clicking here.
Corinthians FC SA advanced to the second round of the US Open Cup after the USSF announced that their opponents in the first round had been disqualified due to not competing in a sanctioned league. That decision means that Corinthians FC SA will now play San Antonio FC in the second round at Toyota Field next Wednesday.