CHICAGO – The third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open offered up one last minute Cupset as Premier Development League club FC Golden State Force knocked off professionals Las Vegas Lights (United Soccer League) to advance alongside two other amateur teams, Miami United FC (National Premier Soccer League) and NTX Rayados (Texas) to the fourth round of the competition, scheduled for Wednesday, June 6.

Additionally, nine professional USL clubs took care of business to also earn berths in the next round where Division I opposition from MLS awaits. All twelve Third Round winners will be paired with MLS opponents in the Fourth Round Draw, which will be broadcast on ussoccer.com and Facebook Live from Soccer House in Chicago at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 24.

The third round began on Tuesday night when North Carolina FC (USL) ensured they would not be among upset professional sides by pounding their PDL opponents Ocean City Nor’easters 4-1. Wednesday’s remaining 11 matches were much closer affairs with only FC Cincinnati (USL), Nashville SC (USL) and Miami United (NPSL) achieving more than a one-goal margin of victory.

As the remaining amateur teams in the competition, FC Golden State, Miami United FC and NTX Rayados are all still in the running to claim the $25,000 prize awarded to the amateur team to advance the farthest in the tournament.


Tuesday, May 22
North Carolina FC (USL) 4, Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) 1
North Carolina FC were no mood for an upset in their 2018 U.S. Open Cup Third Round contest at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., scoring a comprehensive 4-1 win, that saw off a spirited challenge from amateur hopefuls, Ocean City Nor’easters. In the eighth minute, 30-year-old veteran Austin Da Luz controlled brilliantly on the left side and sent an inch-perfect cross through the penalty area to Marios Lomis, who poked home with the studs of his left boot. The visitors drew level ten minutes later after Matteo Bernatti sent the ball arcing up into the air over the penalty area, and Uros Ilic struck a volley from 12 yards that bobbled past NCFC goalkeeper Austin Guerrero after taking a deflection. But after 26 minutes, Da Luz grabbed the home side’s second goal when he rose in the area to head home a cross from Berhard Luxbacher. Still down late in the second half, the young visitors pushed forward in search of a goal, which left them exposed at the back, and the home side got insurance goals from Dre Fortune and Donovan Ewolo to book passage to the Fourth Round.

Wednesday, May 23
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) 1, FC Cincinnati (USL) 3 

FC Cincinnati broke open a close game with two goals in as many minutes midway through the second half in a U.S. Open Cup Third Round matchup between USL sides. Jamaican international Lance Laing gave the visitors some breathing room and a 2-0 advantage in the 61st minute before Daniel Haber added one in the 63rd. Jimmy McLaughlin, off an Emery Welshman assist, had given Cincinnati a 1-0 edge in the 39th minute. Jamaican and second-half sub Dennis Chin pulled one back for Pittsburgh in the 88th minute, but it will be the men from south Ohio, who move on to a Fourth Round date on June 6.

Richmond Kickers (USL) 3, Penn FC (USL) 2
Heviel Cordoves volleyed home a left-wing cross from point-blank range in the 82nd minute to lift the Kickers, who had squandered a two-goal lead to a 3-2 win vs. Penn FC in the Third Round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup. The first hour was a battle of the braces. After only 22 minutes, Richmond grabbed a 2-0 advantage on Luiz Fernando’s two goals. Conor Shanosky assisted the first score in the 13th minute, and Yudai Imura did likewise nine minutes later. The hosts, however, could not hold onto the lead as Penn FC equalized on either side of halftime. Jorge Rivera sliced the lead in half in the 36th minute before knotting things up on the hour for Penn FC, but Cordoves’ late heroics sent Richmond into the Fourth Round on June 6.

Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) 0, Miami United FC (NPSL) 2
The Miami United FC stunned their NPSL compatriots, Jacksonville Armada, with a pair of goals within a five-minute span in the opening half to win the teams’ U.S. Open Cup Third Round matchup at Southern Oak Stadium in Jacksonville. Tomas Granitto lifted Miami into the lead in the 21st minute, powering a brilliant 25-yard effort into the upper right corner. Shortly thereafter, the visitors doubled their lead as Nicolas Gorbosov converted a corner kick. Shamar Shelton, who replaced Granitto in the 79th minute, saved a goal by heading a Jacksonville shot off the crossbar in the 89 th, and goalkeeper Occenat Peterson recorded the clean sheet after eight minutes of stoppage time to help send Miami through to the Fourth Round.

Charleston Battery (USL) 1, Elm City Express (NPSL) 0
Eleven minutes after he replaced Patrick Okonkwo, Ataulla Guerra set up Gordon Wild for the game-winner in the 83rd minute as Charleston Battery escaped with a 1-0 win vs. Elm City Express at MUSC Health Stadium. Wild penetrated deep into the penalty area, barely beat a defender and then goalkeeper Matthew Jones at the near post for the lone goal of the contest. Charleston ‘keeper and Cuban international Odisnel Cooper registered the shutout as the Battery now head into a Fourth Round showdown against an MLS side on June 6.

Louisville City FC (USL) 1, Saint Louis FC (USL) 0
Louisville City’s Sean Totsch crushed a 25-yard drive into the upper left corner and out of the reach of Saint Louis goalkeeper Tomas Gomez for the lone goal of the match in a 1-0 Louisville win at Lynn Stadium in Kentucky. Goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski secured the shutout for the victors who will hope to do the same against MLS opposition in the Fourth Round on June 6.

Nashville SC (USL) 3, Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) 1
Brandon Allen and London Woodberry scored first-half goals as Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first-timers Nashville SC of the United Soccer League topped Mississippi Brilla FC at Vanderbilt Soccer Complex in Nashville. Allen scored easily in the 20th minute and had a chance to add a second on a penalty kick four minutes later, but Brilla FC goalkeeper Jordan Bell made a one-handed diving stop to keep the game close until Woodberry slotted a bouncing free kick into the back of the net less than 10 minutes later. Napo Matsoso’s headed goal in the 59th minute gave Mississippi Brilla FC life, but Robin Schroot added an insurance goal in stoppage time to send Nashville SC on to the Fourth Round.

NTX Rayados (Tex.) 3, FC Wichita (NPSL) 2
Christian Okeke scored his third game-winning goal of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as amateurs NTX Rayados of the North Texas Premier Soccer League nipped FC Wichita at Richland Community College in Dallas. Adrian Ramos and Christopher Escalera gave Rayados a 2-0 lead in the first half, but Wichita stormed back with two second-half goals, first from Nelson Landaverde in the 60th minute and then Andres Ochoa on a corner kick from Matt Claire for the equalizer in the 65th. FC Wichita forward Franck Tayou had a slew of late opportunities but Okeke, who came on as a substitute, slotted the finisher in the 86th minute to advance NTX Rayados to a Fourth Round game for the first time in club history.

San Antonio FC (USL) 1, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL) 1 (5-3 PKs)
Sixteen-year-old U.S. Youth National Team midfielder Ethan Bryant made his Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup debut and drew a penalty kick as San Antonio FC of the United Soccer League played Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC to a draw before winning in a shootout at San Antonio’s Toyota Field. Rafa Castillo scored from the spot to give San Antonio FC the lead in the eighth minute, but Tobenna Uzo pulled Switchbacks FC even with a headed goal off a corner kick from Joshua Suggs in the 26th. Neither team could find a breakthrough until the shootout when Switchbacks FC failed on their fourth attempt and the home team converted on all five spot kick tries to advance to the Fourth Round.

Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) 1, Fresno FC 2 a.e.t.
Renato Bustamante scored on a header in the first period of overtime as Fresno FC of the United Soccer League had to come from behind to defeat amateur side Sporting AZ FC at Mesa, Arizona’s Jon Riggs Stadium. Ryan Flood gave Sporting AZ FC a 1-0 lead in the 66th minute with a rocket from distance, but Fresno FC’s Danny Barrera returned the favor less than 10 minutes later to tie the game. Sporting AZ goalkeeper Andrew Weber, who came up with several game-saving stops in the Second Round, stood on his head again and finished with 12 saves, but Bustamante’s goal in the 99 th minute sealed the win for Fresno FC, a USL expansion club advancing to the Fourth Round for the first time.

FC Golden State Force (PDL) 2, Las Vegas Lights FC (USL) 1
Allison Faramilio scored his third and fourth goals of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup as FC Golden State Force of the Premier Development League kept its tournament run going with a late victory over Las Vegas Lights FC at Downey, California’s Allen Layne Stadium. Faramilio sent a drive past Lights FC goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino for a 1-0 lead in the 75th minute, but Las Vegas captain Joel Huiqui equalized with a flying header in the 81st. The match looked headed to overtime before FC Golden State Force earned a penalty on the stroke of 90 minutes. Faramilio fired the spot kick into the top left corner for the game-winner, sending FC Golden State Force on to the Fourth Round and a clash with an MLS opponent.

Sacramento Republic FC (USL) 1, Reno 1868 FC (USL) 0
Canadian Men’s National Team member Keven Aleman scored his second goal in as many 2018 U.S. Open Cup matches to spur Sacramento Republic FC of the United Soccer League on to a road defeat of league rivals Reno 1868 FC at Greater Nevada Field. Recently-signed Reno 1868 FC goalkeeper Kyle Ihn made a number of tough saves to keep his team alive, but Aleman sent a left-footed free kick screaming into the top right corner to tally the game’s lone goal in the 69th minute for Republic FC, which survived eight minutes of added time to advance to the tournament’s Fourth Round for the fourth time in five years.

Third Round Results

Date Game (home team listed first) Result Venue
May 22 North Carolina FC (USL) vs. Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) 4-1 Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
May 23 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USL) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL) 1-3 Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.
May 23 Richmond Kickers (USL) vs. Penn FC (USL) 3-2 City Stadium; Richmond, Va.
May 23 Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) vs. Miami United FC (NPSL) 0-2 Southern Oak Stadium (Jacksonville University), Jacksonville, Fla.
May 23 Charleston Battery (USL) vs. Elm City Express (NPSL) 1-0 MUSC Health Stadium; Charleston, S.C.
May 23 Louisville City FC (USL) vs. Saint Louis FC (USL) 1-0 Lynn Stadium (Univ. of Louisville); Louisville, Ky.
May 23 Nashville SC (USL) vs. Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) 3-1 Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex; Nashville, Tenn.
May 23 NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. FC Wichita (NPSL) 3-2 Richland Community College (Field 10); Dallas, Texas
May 23 San Antonio FC (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL) 1-1 (5-3 PKs) Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas
May 23 Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) vs. Fresno FC (USL) 1-2 a.e.t. John Riggs Stadium; Mesa, Ariz.
May 23 FC Golden State Force (PDL) vs. Las Vegas Lights FC (USL) 2-1 Allen Layne Stadium (Downey High School); Downey, Calif.
May 23 Reno 1868 FC (USL) vs. Sacramento Republic FC (USL) 0-1 Greater Nevada Field; Reno, Nev.

2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Geographic Grouping of Teams Prior to Fourth Round Draw

Louisville City FC (USL)
New England Revolution (MLS)
New York City FC (MLS)
New York Red Bulls (MLS)

D.C. United (MLS)
North Carolina FC (USL)
Philadelphia Union (MLS)
Richmond Kickers (USL)

Atlanta United FC (MLS)
Charleston Battery (USL)
Miami United FC (NPSL)
Orlando City SC (MLS)

North Central
Chicago Fire Soccer Club (MLS)
Columbus Crew SC (MLS)
FC Cincinnati (USL)
Minnesota United FC (MLS)

Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Nashville SC (USL)
Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Sporting Kansas City (MLS)

FC Dallas (MLS)
Houston Dynamo (MLS)
NTX Rayados (Texas)
San Antonio FC (USL)

Southern California
FC Golden State Force (PDL)
Fresno FC (USL)
LA Galaxy (MLS)
Los Angeles FC (MLS)

Portland Timbers (MLS)
Sacramento Republic FC (USL)
San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)

Note: By regulation and to provide as much balance as possible, four groups are required to have two MLS teams and two Third Round winners, while the remaining four groups are required to have three MLS teams and one Third Round winner. Not having a logical geographic fit, a coin flip was conducted to determine the groups that Louisville City FC and Nashville SC were placed in.