The first round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup began a new era for the tournament, U.S. Soccer’s national championship, with 10 matches being broadcast on ESPN+. A variety of outcomes from blowouts to see-saw penalty-kick shootouts determined the first 10 clubs that will move on to the second round next week on May 14 and 15.
The highlights of the night took place on opposite coasts as two Open Division local qualifiers, West Chester United SC out of southeast Pennsylvania and Cal FC from Ventura County, California punched their tickets to the Second Round. West Chester required penalties to dispatch FC Baltimore Christos, while Cal FC began what the club will hope is the start of another deep Open Cup run by demolishing FC Mulhouse Portland 5-1.
It was also a good night for National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) clubs as three of the league’s teams made it through to the next round: Laredo Heat, Orange County SC and El Farolito.
Similarly, three teams from United Soccer League’s (USL) League Two advanced to the next round. New York Red Bulls II survived a never-give-up effort from FC Motown to prevail on PKs as did The Villages SC against fellow Floridians, Lakeland Tropics, while South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 pulled the first #Cupset of this year’s competition by knocking off the pros from USL League One (Division III) Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, 3-0.
The two other pro sides in action tonight rounded out the winners by easily beating amateur competition; Richmond Kickers defeated Virginia United 6-2, while Forward Madison FC dropped Bavarian SC 2-0.
The first round concludes with nine matches across the United States tomorrow night. All the games will be available to watch on ESPN+ with the first matches of the night kicking off at 7 p.m. ET.
The victorious first round sides will be joined by professional Division II (USL Championship) clubs in the competition’s second round to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. U.S. Soccer will conduct the pairing process for the third round of the Open Cup Thursday, May 16 at Soccer House in Chicago. The third round is scheduled to be played May 28.
Richmond Kickers (USL League One) 6, Virginia United (Va.) 2
Charles Boateng struck for four goals, including three in the second half, to lead the Richmond Kickers over Virginia United, 6-2, at City Stadium in Richmond, Va. The Kickers rolled to a 3-1 halftime advantage behind two goals by Boateng and a single from Elijah Lockaby. Boateng got on the scoresheet in the 17th minute as Lockaby’s right-wing cross found his teammate for Boateng to tally via a point-blank volley. Only six minutes later Boateng was at it again, deflecting Joe Gallardo’s right-wing cross into the net for a two-goal cushion in the 23rd minute. After United’s Elias Martinez pulled one back in the 28th minute past goalkeeper Manuel Medrano, Lockaby restored Richmond to a two-goal lead in the 44th minute on a fine individual run and effort down the right wing. The Kickers continued to attack down that flank and the strategy paid off yet again in the 48th minute as Daniel Jackson volleyed home a cross for a 4-1 margin. Boateng got his hat-trick in the 55th minute, powering home a 25-yard shot to the near post from the right side. The Richmond striker, however, was not quite finished as he finished from atop the penalty area off a fine right-flank run and feed from Luke Pavone for goal No. 4 in the 75th minute. As he shot, Boateng was elbowed in the head by a United defender and subsequently left the match. United’s Bernardo Majano closed out the scoring in the 90th minute. The Kickers will take on North Carolina FC (USL Championship) in the second round at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on Wednesday, May 15 at 7 p.m. ET.
New York Red Bulls U-23 (USL League Two) 4, FC Motown (NPSL) 4, 4-4 AET, 5-3 PKs
In a game that had just about everything, the New York Red Bulls U-23 survived a lengthy rain delay, 120 minutes of non-stop action and a shootout to avenge last year’s elimination from the competition by FC Motown. The Red Bulls’ U-23s won the shootout, 5-3, after playing to a wild 4-4 draw at rain-drenched MSU Soccer Park in Montclair, N.J. Last year the NPSL side defeated the U-23’s by a 2-1 score. Red Bulls goalkeeper Marcelin Gohier saved Markus Hackett’s penalty-kick attempt before Sal Esposito converted his chance to lift the hosts into the Second Round.
Only three minutes after kickoff, FC Motown drew first blood. Overlapping left back Jean Voltaire crossed the ball into the box to Joe Fala, whose point-blank header was saved by Gohier. The rebound, however, went right back to Fala, who slotted the ball home with his left foot for a 1-0 lead for the visitors. J.P. Marin equalized with a header at the near post past keeper David Greczek after a right-wing cross in the 18th minute. Brian Saramongo boosted the Red Bulls into a 2-1 edge in the 25th minute, drilling a 22-yard blast that Greczek got a hand on, but could not stop from entering the net. Omar Sowe, off a Saramongo feed, gave the hosts some breathing from as he scored from nine yards out, putting the ball through Greczek’s legs in the 59th minute. Life looked grim for Motown, but second-half substitute Kene Eze pushed his team back into contention with a goal, scoring from the top of the box in the 70th minute then setting up Cameron Vickers, who knocked the ball into an open net from close range in the 72nd. Neither team could grab a winner in regulation and 30 mins of extra time was added to the clock.
The Red Bulls U-23’s retook the lead on Jeciel Cedeno’s goal in the 110th minute, but with the final whistle of the added period looming, Maximiliano Garcia connected from the top of the box. Former MLS defender RJ Allen sent a pass from the right side that Matt Nigro, the 2018 NPSL MVP dummied, allowing Garcia to score in the 119th minute. The shootout to decide the winner was no less dramatic with misses and saves punctuating the eventual win by the Red Bulls.
The Red Bulls U-23’s will visit Memphis 901 FC (USL Championship) for their Second Round match at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tenn. on Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET.
FC Baltimore Christos (NPSL) 1, West Chester United (Pa.) 1, 1-1 AET, 4-5 PKs
In yet another dramatic shootout, West Chester United got past FC Baltimore Christos, 5-4 in a seven-round penalty-kick tie-breaker after playing to a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes of regulation and extra time at Homewood Field on the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. United grabbed a 17th-minute lead on a goal by Troy Amspacher from an assist by Andreas Bartosinski. But, Jake Dengler pulled the hosts even, scoring off a deflected shot from some 35 yards away in the 56th minute. The scoring dried up from there until the teams headed to spot kicks to decide the winner. After Samuel Phelps had scored to give United a 5-4 lead in penalties, Christos’ Charles Pulliam sent his shot over the crossbar on the final attempt of the night. West Chester goalkeeper Pierre Gardan made one save in the shootout on Nicholas Richardson. West Chester will meet Birmingham Legion FC (USL Championship) in their Second Round encounter at BBVA Compass Field in Birmingham, Ala. on Wednesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET.
Lakeland Tropics (USL League Two) 1, The Villages SC (USL League Two) 1, 1-1 AET, 7-8 PKs
Goalkeeper Jerfesson Rodrigues Santana made three saves during a marathon shootout to push The Villages SC past the Lakeland Tropics in a battle of two USL League Two sides at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale, Fla. The Villages won a 10-round penalty-kick tie-breaker, 8-7, after the rivals played to a 1-1 draw through 90 minutes of regulation and another 30 minutes of extratime. Sukrija Dudic converted the game-winning penalty, placing his shot to the left of ‘keeper Joel Serrano. The teams had played to a 1-1 halftime deadlock. Danilo Seglio scored his first goal for The Villages, beating his defender and firing a shot that was saved. Seglio pounced on the rebound and fired it home for a 1-0 edge in the 16th minute. Raheem Taylor-Parks equalized for Lakeland later in the opening half. The Villages will meet the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. ET.
South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 (USL League Two) 3, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (USL League One) 0
Sometimes you don’t need practice to be perfect. Despite having less than a week of training, Tormenta FC 2 pulled off an upset as the USL League Two side surprised the Chattanooga Red Wolves (USL League One), 3-0, at Erk Russell Park at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. Jake Wigfall gave the hosts all the scoring they needed. In the 25th minute, he earned Tormenta a 1-0 lead off an assist by forward James Meehan. Luca Mayr doubled the margin via an Adrian Billhardt feed in the 58th minute before Billhardt himself closed out the scoring in the 74th minute. “We’ve had some of these guys for three days, some of them for one day,” Tormenta head coach Ian Cameron said. “What helped gel them together was the culture of Tormenta as a whole that was already in place. These guys knew what they had to step into. The group last year gave them this opportunity, so we played for them and killed it.” Tormenta FC 2 will visit Nashville SC (USL Championship) in the Second Round at Dean A. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Tuesday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Bavarian SC (Wis.) 0, Forward Madison FC (USL League One) 2
In what was called the Dairyland Derby in Wisconsin, Forward Madison struck twice in the first half against the reigning U.S. National Amateur Cup champions as the USL League One side racked up a 3-0 victory at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee. Former Philadelphia Union keeper Brian Sylvestre backstopped the shutout for Madison. Brandon Eaton found the net in the ninth minute and Jiro Barriga Toyama gave the visitors some much-needed breathing room off a counterattack in the 36th minute. In his return to his hometown, J.C. Banks set up the second goal with a quick, timely pass. He is the son of the late U.S. international Jimmy Banks, who passed away on April 26. Prior to kickoff, officials had a moment of silence for the elder Banks. Madison will meet El Paso Locomotive FC (USL Championship) in a Second Round encounter at the Southwest University Ballpark in El Paso, Texas on Wednesday, May 15 at 9 p.m. ET.
Laredo Heat SC (NPSL) 1, Brazos Valley Cavalry FC (USL League Two) 0
Ivan Sakou converted a penalty kick on the hour, and the Laredo Heat made that goal stand up en route to a 1-0 victory over the Brazos Valley Cavalry in a battle of Texas teams at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. Both teams finished with 10 men. Brazos’ Ivan Leon was given his marching orders in the 70th minute due to his second yellow card. Six minutes later, the Heat’s Jose Luis Hincapie was awarded a straight red card. Laredo advanced to the Second Round and will play San Antonio FC (USL League Two) at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Academica SC (Calif.) 1, El Farolito (NPSL) 2
El Farolito scored twice in the first half before going down to 10 men and holding off Academica SC for a 2-1 win at Academica Field in Turlock, Calif. The visitors grabbed a 2-0 halftime advantage on a pair of well-taken scores. Edson Cardona flicked home a free kick at the near right post in the 21st minute, and Leonardo Fredes doubled the score with an audacious overhead kick that ultimately resulted in a broken arm in the 34th minute. Walter Mazzolatti, who was sitting on a yellow card, was banished from the game in the 54th minute for a rash challenge, giving Academica a man advantage and some hope. The hosts proceeded to pull one back in the 72nd minute as Jorge Carmoa slipped a shot from a difficult angle past the ‘keeper at the near post but couldn’t muster another in the remaining time. El Farolito will face Fresno FC (USL Championship) in a Second Round match at Boxer Stadium in San Francisco, Calif. on Wednesday, May 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Cal FC (Calif.) 5, FC Mulhouse Portland (NPSL) 1
Former Chicago Fire forward Orr Barouch connected for a first-half hat-trick to pace Cal FC to a 5-1 victory over FC Mulhouse Portland at Orange County Great Park – Field 25 in Irvine, Calif. Barouch began his memorable night by converting a penalty kick before doubling the score. After the hosts made it 3-0, Freddie Braun tallied Mulhouse’s lone goal, a header off a free kick in the 44th minute to narrow Cal FC’s lead to 3-1. Barouch topped off a memorable opening 45 minutes with a nifty header just before the stroke of halftime for a 4-1 advantage. Cal FC will meet a familiar face in the Second Round – its former coach, one-time U.S. international Eric Wynalda, who coaches Las Vegas Lights FC (USL Championship). The teams will meet at Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Nev. on Tuesday, May 14 at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Orange County FC (NPSL) 2, FC Golden State Force (USL League Two) 0
Orange County FC earned a First Round Open Cup victory with a 2-0 triumph over FC Golden State Force at Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, Calif. Orange County grabbed a 1-0 edge in the 27th minute against the run of play as Cody Shelton’s shot nestled into the lower right corner. Aaron Lombardi added an insurance tally in the 68th minute, putting home a 25-yard free kick to the near right post. In what will be local derby, Orange County FC will meet Orange County SC (USL Championship) in a Second Round affair at Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, Calif. on Wednesday, May 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET.