SEVEN NPSL TEAMS ADVANCE IN U.S. OPEN CUP
The NPSL experienced great success in the First Round of the U.S. Open Cup as seven teams advanced to the Second Round, which is scheduled to be played May 20.
West Virginia Chaos (PDL) 1, Fort Pitt Regiment (Pa.; NPSL) 0
In the first-ever U.S. Open Cup match played in the state of West Virginia, and the first competition appearance for both sides, the Chaos saw Daniel Smee pop up with an early fifth minute strike that stood the test of 90 minutes in a 1-0 victory over the NPSL’s Fort Pitt Regiment. West Virginia Chaos moves on to a Second Round matchup at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on May 20.
Greater Binghamton Thunder FC (N.Y.; NPSL) 1, Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) 1 (Greater Binghamtom FC Thunder wins 4-3 on penalty kicks)
The home standing Western Mass Pioneers ran out to a 1-0 lead when Zach Grady picked out Ryan Taylor in the 23rd minute. Just after halftime, Greater Binghamton pulled back the equalizer when Jake Sutherland’s long cross found the head of Zeb Cross in the 54th minute. The match went to extra time and eventually penalty kicks where Greater Binghamton edged Western Mass 4-3. The NPSL side advances to a Second Round date at the Rochester Rhinos on May 20.
Lansing United (NPSL) 0, RWB Adria (Ill.; USASA) 0 (Lansing United wins 4-2 on penalty kicks)
Though Lansing United were outdone over 120 minutes by a 6-1 shots-on-goal ratio, their accuracy in the penalty kick shootout proved quite good. Quinn McAnaney’s stop on Vlad Baciu’s shootout attempt combined with Yves Nzawanga’s penalty kick clincher, sent Lansing United through 4-2 over RWB Adria. Next up, the NPSL side welcomes USL newbies Louisville City FC to East Lansing Soccer Complex on May 20.
Miami United FC (NPSL) 2, SW Florida Adrenaline (PDL) 1
Following a scoreless first half, home standing Miami United FC found the first goal through Colombian Diego Hurtado in the 67th minute. Jorge Chedravi would equalize for SW Florida Adrenaline 11 minutes later, but just as the match looked destined for extra time, Miami’s Manuel Abirached popped up with a dramatic 93rd minute winner. The victory advances Miami United to a Second Round date at Charleston Battery on May 20.
Upward Stars (S.C.; NPSL) 3, Triangle Brigade FC (N.C.; USASA) 3 (Upward Stars win 3-1 on penalty kicks)
Dubbed the “Geometric Derby,” the match played in Spartanburg, S.C. was a seesaw battle. Upward Stars struck first through Andre Carl in the eighth minute, but saw their lead evaporate quickly when Triangle Brigade’s Andy Chivu equalized in the 11th minute. The USASA side then went ahead through Lucas Silva on the hour mark, taking them into halftime up 2-1. Upward Stars would take back the lead when Tom Keen and Marvin Schmiege found the back of the net in the 53rd and 54th minutes respectively, but the match would get it’s extra time blessing via a 62nd minute strike from Triangle’s Josh Toma. With no goals in the additional 30 minutes, Upward Stars converted all three of their penalty kicks while Triangle saw two go begging, booking the NPSL side’s Second Round ticket. They’ll next visit Charlotte Independence on May 20.
Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) 3, AC Connecticut (PDL) 2
Both clubs made their competition debuts in this match and were served with a full dose of drama. Geoffrey Hill’s stunning 30-yard strike in the seventh minute gave Virginia Beach City FC the lead before Raphael Carvalho answered for with a close-range effort in the 34th minute. Connecticut would then go ahead after the break when Zach Zurita pounced on a rebound in the 62nd minute. Virginia Beach would pull level when Tyler Cyrus converted from the penalty spot in the 71st before Pat Thomas pounced for the 88th minute winner to give Virginia Beach City FC its first-ever U.S. Open Cup win. The club advances to the Second Round where it will pay a visit to the Richmond Kickers on May 20.
Michigan Bucks (PDL) 3, Detroit City FC (NPSL) 0
In one of the most anticipated matches of the First Round, perennial U.S. Open Cup power Michigan Bucks grabbed two early goals from Nick Wysong and Peri Marosevic in the seventh and ninth minutes respectively. Threatening throughout the first half, the Bucks found a third goal on the hour mark with Brad Ruhaak’s long distance strike and easily handled their NPSL neighbors in the second half to earn a 3-0 victory. Next up for the Bucks is a Second Round date with Portland Timbers 2, set for May 20 at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Michigan.
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) 1, Ocala Stampede (Fla.; PDL) 1 (Chattanooga FC win 5-3 on penalty kicks)
Playing in front of a raucous Chattanooga FC crowd, Ocala Stampede ran out to the 1-0 lead when Lewis Wilson back-heeled home from close range in the 61st minute. Just as it looked like the Florida side would escape Tennessee with a victory, Chattanooga’s Luke Winter converted Chris Ochieng’s header in the box to send it to extra time. Like so many games on Wednesday night, the match would need to be decided by penalties and it was there that Chattanooga’s Gregory Hartley saved two spot kicks before converting the match-winner to send the NPSL side to a Second Round date at the Wilmington Hammerheads on May 20.
Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) 3, Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) 1
In an all New York matchup, the Long Island Rough Riders got on the score board early as Joe Holland found the back of the net just 48 seconds into the match. Brooklyn would equalize before halftime when Yevener Guerrier buried his spot kick in the 38th minute. Holland would setup the go-ahead goal, threading for Benjamin Wignall in the 68th, before capping a brace of his own in the75th minute to give Long Island a 3-1 victory. Next up, the PDL side hosts USL’s Real Monarchs SLC in a Second Round match on May 20.
Midland/Odessa Sockers (Texas; PDL) 3, Tulsa Athletics (NPSL) 1
Making a first U.S. Open Cup appearance, Midland/Odessa went ahead through Tucker Hume in the 16th minute and then doubled the lead via Andrew Lopez in the 35th minute. The side was comfortable with its lead until Tulsa Athletics pulled a goal back in the 76th minute, but Scott Smith iced the game with four minutes remaining to give the Sockers a 3-1 victory. With the win, Midland/Odessa will host Oklahoma City Energy FC in Second Round play on May 20.
Kitsap Pumas (Wash; PDL) 5, FC Tacoma 253 (NPSL) 2
In the first of many anticipated Cascadia matches in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, tournament veterans Kitsap Pumas ran out to a 5-0 lead thanks to braces from Joe Masumiya (4′, 39′), Carlos Patino (34′, 54′) and a single strike from Jake Bond (48′). FC Tacoma would pull two goals back through Steven Wright (76′) and a 20-yard free kick from Pedro Millan in the 88th minute. With the win, Kitsap moves to 3-4-1 all-time in U.S. Open Cup play and advances to a Second Round match with Seattle Sounders FC 2 on May 20 in Tukwila, Washington.
Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) 2, Burlingame Dragons FC (Calif.; PDL) 1 (AET)
Making a first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearance, PDL side Burlingame Dragons looked to have a victory when Alfonso Verde’s nodded home the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute. Sonoma County pushed the match and found a stoppage time equalizer from Arnoldo Salazar, sending the game to extra time. Seven minutes into the added frame, Angel Acevedo navigated through a number of Burlingame defenders to find the eventual game-winner for Sonoma County. The Sol move on to a Second Round date at Sacramento Republic FC on May 20.