The first cupsets of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup were delivered by amateurs North Carolina Fusion U23 (USL L2), Open Cup regulars and Californians Central Valley Fuego FC (USL League One) and tournament debutants St. Louis CITY2 (MLS Next PRO). In all, 11 teams advanced on the first match day of the Second Round, which continues on Wednesday with 13 games before concluding on Thursday with seven more contests – all on ESPN+.
The cupsets began early in the evening when USL League Two outfit NC Fusion U23 ousted Div. III pros Charlotte Independence (USL League One) 4-2. Shortly thereafter, Div. III side STL CITY2 traveled four hours up I-70 to bounce Div. II pros Indy Eleven (USL Championship) from proceedings. The evening ended with an impressive display from Central Valley Fuego which brushed aside Div. II El Paso Locomotive (USL Championship) 4-1 to advance.
The eight remaining Div. II (USL Championship) clubs rolled to victory on the night and were joined by Div. III Union Omaha (USL League One), which needed a late own goal to slip past the upset-minded Des Moines Menace (USL League Two), 2-1.
The day after the Second Round concludes, U.S. Soccer will conduct the Third Round Draw as 31 clubs that advance from the Second Round welcome 17 lower-seeded Division I clubs (MLS) to the competition. Teams in the Third Round will be pooled geographically into groups of either four or six (depending on geographic distribution), with the Div. I clubs distributed as evenly as possible among the groups. All Div. I sides will be drawn to face a Second Round winner and not another Division I club. Watch the Third Round Draw on Friday, April 8 at noon ET/11 a.m. CT. on Twitter (@opencup) and YouTube to see all the exciting match-ups as they’re drawn!
SECOND ROUND RECAPS:
Charlotte Independence (USL League One) 2, North Carolina Fusion U-23 (USL League Two) 4
North Carolina Fusion Under-23 scored two late goals to snap a 2-2 tie and stun 10-man Charlotte Independence in a North Carolina derby at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte. The visitors took advantage of the extra player after Charlotte lost Tresor Mbuyu to a 73rd-minute red card for violent conduct. Tom Marriott scored the game-winner after goalkeeper Keegan Meyer could not handle Alexandre Horvenos shot in the 88th minute. North Carolina added an insurance tally five minutes into stoppage time thanks to William Lorentz. Charlotte had sandwiched goals around a Fusion tally to grab a 2-1 halftime lead as Ayrton Perez’s long free kick set up Shalom Duley’s close-range header in the 14th minute. North Carolina, however, equalized in the 38th minute as Luis Pinheiro Neto tucked home a rebound. Perez gave the hosts the lead in the 42nd minute, putting in Ivan Luquetta’s right-wing feed from six yards. Six minutes into the second half, the visitors knotted things up again as Gomiero DaSilva fired home a deflected shot for a 2-2 deadlock as the Fusion score three unanswered goals to emerge victorious.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL Championship) 2, Maryland Bobcats (NISA) 0
Toby Sims, the 2021 USL League Two defender of the year, demonstrated his attacking abilities, bagging a brace as he scored on either side of halftime at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa. Finishing off a delayed run on the left side in the 37th minute, Sims slipped in Luis Argudo’s right-wing feed past goalkeeper Christian Caulker. He doubled the lead in the 56th minute as he curled in a 12-yard shot from the left side into the right corner. Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley rested five regulars, giving several younger players an opportunity to play and receive some much-needed experience. Pittsburgh keeper Jahmali Waite recorded the clean sheet.
Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL Championship) 6, The Villages SC (USL League Two) 0
Clinical goal scoring gave Tampa Bay Rowdies an early advantage that they rode on to a six-goal blow out against a game Villages SC club that had its chances to hang around but couldn’t conjure the same level of finishing. Open Cup specialist Lucky Mkosana potted a hat trick for the hosts who were in firm control with a 2-0 lead after the journeyman striker crafted two quality goals in the opening 20 minutes. Soon after Jordan Scarlett sent a powerful header into the net making it 3-0 in the 36th minute, The Villages found their form and created a handful of opportunities in the closing 10 minutes of the half but a string of top notch saves from Raiko Arozarena kept the amateurs off the board. In the second half, the pros pulled away as Mkosana nabbed his third 10 minutes into the stanza before Jake La Cava (63rd) and Laurence Wyke (72nd) closed out the scoring.
Detroit City FC (USL Championship) 3, Michigan Stars FC (NISA) 0
Center-back Matt Lewis took center stage by scoring on both sides of halftime in the first Open Cup match between these two former National Independent Soccer Association rivals at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, Mich. A pair of headed goals off corner kicks late in the opening half turned the contest on its head. Connor Ruiz scored in the 45th minute for Detroit before Lewis duplicated his feat with another header two minutes into first-half stoppage time. Lewis left no doubt for the hosts, connecting off an eight-yard volley in the 63rd minute. Michigan lost goalkeeper and captain Tatenda Mkuruva to an injury in the 29th minute as Paul Lewis replaced him. The teams, only a few miles apart, had one of the more intriguing NISA rivalries before Detroit City joined the USL Championship for the 2022 season.
Indy Eleven (USL Championship) 0, St. Louis CITY2 (MLS Next PRO) 2
Ezra Armstrong put his family’s name back on the list of U.S. Open Cup goal scorers. The son of U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer Desmond Armstrong, Ezra scored St. Louis CITY2’s first tournament ever goal in its first tournament win at Michael A. Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis, IN. Armstrong scored a left-footed screamer in the 18th minute to give the visitors the lead, controlling a ball inside the box from captain Josh Yaro before blasting it past Indy Eleven goalkeeper Timothy Trik. Wan Kuzain earned a yellow card in the 70th minute before scoring an insurance goal two minutes later for CITY2. Celio Pompeu Martins, who had the club’s first-ever goal back in February, came on in the second half and had the assist. CITY2 now moves on to the Third Round, scheduled for April 19-21.
Union Omaha (USL League One) 2, Des Moines Menace (USL League Two) 1
In the end the Menace proved to be the enemy within. Des Moines defender Allen Bertini’s own goal in the 81st minute proved decisive as Union Omaha came from behind to win its first U.S. Open Cup match at Creighton University’s Morrison Stadium in Omaha, NE. Corey Hertzog poached an opening goal for Menace in the first half, but Union equalized just four minutes later off a corner kick when John Paul Scearce headed in a ball at the near post from Joseph Brito. Despite Omaha holding a 25-6 shots advantage and 60 percent possession, Des Moines defended ably until a slicing ball from Union’s Conor Doyle forced Bertini to misplay his clearance into the goal.
FC Tulsa (USL Championship) 2, Tulsa Athletic (NPSL) 0
Despite dominating the opening 60 minutes, FC Tulsa was made to sweat by the National Premier Soccer League team in the Tulsa derby at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Okla. Brian Brown lifted the hosts into a fifth-minute lead as Brian Brown slid in front of the net to turn a left-wing feed into a goal. Ronald Rodriguez increased the advantage to 2-0, heading home a corner kick from six yards in the 14th minute. Tulsa Athletic’s Billy Nzojyibwami wowed the crowd with some brilliance in the 75th minute. During a counterattack, he cut back against his marker on the right side of the penalty area and sent a left-footed shot into the far corner. The visitors pushed forward for the equalizer but could not find the range.
San Antonio FC (USL Championship) 3, D’Feeters Kicks Soccer Club (Texas) 1
San Antonio FC broke open a scoreless tie by striking three times within a four-minute span early in the second half against the ten-man D’Feeters at Toyota Field in San Antonio, Texas. Seventeen-year-old Henrik Sakshaug scored the first of his two goals in the 53rd minute after a teammate’s shot hit the right post. A little more than a minute later, halftime substitute Connor Maloney made his presence felt –finding the lower left corner past goalkeeper Anthony Rodriguez. Sakshaug secured his brace in the 57th minute, converting Shannon Gomez’s left-wing cross from the top of the box. San Antonio needed it. Shortly after he was denied by goalkeeper Matthew Cardone’s two-handed save, Sebastian Mendez sliced the lead to 3-1, connecting from point-blank range in the 61st minute, as he scored in his second straight Open Cup match. The D’Feeters played the final seven minutes a man down after Juan Ramirez was handed his second yellow card in the 83rd minute for a hard tackle.
New Mexico United (USL Championship) 5, Las Vegas Legends FC (NPSL) 0
Jerome Kiesewetter both created and eliminated Legends in his U.S. Open Cup debut. The one-time U.S. Men’s National Team forward scored twice for New Mexico United in a dominant victory at University of Mexico Soccer Complex in Albuquerque, NM. Chris Wehan scored an early penalty, and Kiesewetter cleaned up a loose ball in the box for a second goal to open the flood gates for United, which produced 14 shots on target and had a 3-0 lead at halftime. Carl Sainte had a clean hit from the top of the box for a fourth goal for United early in the second half, and Kiesewetter was tripped by Legends goalkeeper Hector Casillas to earn a penalty he converted late on. New Mexico United heads to the Third Round, scheduled for April 19-21, and will play an opponent to be determined.
Central Valley Fuego FC (USL League One) 3, El Paso Locomotive FC (USL Championship) 0
The Fuego were on fire in front of a record home crowd. Villyan Bijev scored two world-class goals as Central Valley Fuego FC earned an upset victory in front of nearly 5,000 supporters at Lamonica Stadium in Clovis, CA. Bijev chipped El Paso Locomotive FC goalkeeper Philipp Beigl for 1-0 lead in the 4th minute, and scored again in the 42nd minute, driving at a defender and fainting twice to his right before unleashing a shot into the top corner. Nathan Smith and Christian Chaney added goals for Fuego, which is making its debut in USL League One this season. Eric Calvillo scored in the 90th minute to prevent the shutout but El Paso Locomotive FC lost its fourth consecutive game across all competitions to start the 2022 campaign. Central Valley Fuego FC steps in to the Third Round, scheduled for April 19-21, and will play an opponent to be determined.
Orange County SC (USL Championship) 5, Los Angeles Force (NISA) 2
The Big Orange got out to a big early lead and squeezed out a victory. Orange County Soccer Club scored three times in a 10-minute span in the first half as the reigning USL champions won convincingly at Orange County Great Park Championship Stadium in Irvine, CA. Daniel Pederson scored off a deflection when his right-footed volley found the bottom corner for 1-0 in the 24th minute. Milan Iloski took advantage of an error by L.A. Force goalkeeper Brandon Gomez for a second goal in the 32nd minute, before Sean Okoli tapped in a third goal in the 33rd minute for OCSC. Samuel Goni Villava had a first-half goal, and Clayton Torr scored his first for Los Angeles Force. Mikko Kuningas executed a smooth finish for goal No. 4 for OCSC, and Kobi Henry provided a moment of magic with a left-footed volley in the 69th minute for goal No. 5.
SECOND ROUND SCHEDULE & RESULTS
TUESDAY, APRIL 5
|Result||Game (home team listed first)||Venue|
|2-4||Charlotte Independence (USLL1) vs. North Carolina Fusion U23 (USLL2)||American Legion Memorial Stadium; Charlotte, N.C.|
|2-0||Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (USLC) vs. Maryland Bobcats FC (NISA)||Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.|
|6-0||Tampa Bay Rowdies (USLC) vs. The Villages SC (USLL2)||Al Lang Stadium; St. Petersburg, Fla.|
|3-0||Detroit City FC (USLC) vs. Michigan Stars FC (NISA)||Keyworth Stadium; Hamtramck, Mich.|
|0-2||Indy Eleven (USLC) vs. St. Louis CITY 2 (MLSNP)||Michael A. Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium (IUPUI); Indianapolis, Ind.|
|2-1||Union Omaha (USLL1) vs. Des Moines Menace (USLL2)||Morrison Stadium (Creighton Univ.); Omaha, Neb.|
|2-1||FC Tulsa (USLC) vs. Tulsa Athletic (NPSL)||ONEOK Field; Tulsa, Okla.|
|3-1||San Antonio FC (USLC) vs. D’Feeters Kicks Soccer Club (Texas)||Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas|
|5-0||New Mexico United (USLC) vs. Las Vegas Legends FC (NPSL)||Univ. of New Mexico Soccer Complex; Albuquerque, N.M.|
|4-1||Central Valley Fuego FC (USLL1) vs. El Paso Locomotive FC (USLC)||Lamonica Stadium (Clovis H.S.); Clovis, Calif.|
|5-2||Orange County SC (USLC) vs. Los Angeles Force (NISA)||Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, Calif.|
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6
|Time||Game (home team listed first)||Venue|
|7 p.m. ET||FC Motown (NPSL) vs. AC Syracuse Pulse (NISA)||Montclair State University Soccer Park; Montclair, N.J.|
|7 p.m. ET||North Carolina FC (USLL1) vs. Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (USLC)||WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.|
|7 p.m. ET||Charleston Battery (USLC) vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC (USLL1)||Patriot’s Point Soccer Stadium; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.|
|7 p.m. ET||Miami FC (USLC) vs. Miami United FC (NPSL)||Fla. International Univ. Soccer Stadium; Miami, Fla.|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Western Mass Pioneers (USLL2) vs. Flower City Union (NISA)||Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.|
|7:30 p.m. ET||Louisville City FC (USLC) vs. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (USLL1)||Lynn Family Stadium; Louisville, Ky.|
|8 p.m. ET||Nova FC (Va.) vs. Richmond Kickers (USLL1)||Virginia Revolution Sportsplex; Leesburg, Va.|
|7 p.m. CT||Forward Madison FC (USLL1) vs. Cleveland SC (NPSL)||Breese Stevens Field; Madison, Wis.|
|7 p.m. MT||Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USLC) vs. Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (USLL1)||Weidner Field; Colorado Springs, Colo.|
|7:30 p.m. MST||FC Tucson (USLL1) vs. Las Vegas Lights FC (USLC)||Kino North Stadium; Tucson, Ariz.|
|7:30 p.m. MST||Phoenix Rising FC (USLC) vs. Valley United FC (NISA)||Phoenix Rising Stadium at Wild Horse Pass; Chandler, Ariz.|
|7:30 p.m. PT||Bay Cities FC (NISA) vs. Monterey Bay F.C. (USLC)||PayPal Park; San Jose, Calif.|
|7:30 p.m. PT||ALBION San Diego (NISA) vs. San Diego Loyal SC (USLC)||Canyon Crest Academy; San Diego, Calif.|
THURSDAY, APRIL 7
|Time||Game (home team listed first)||Venue|
|7 p.m. ET||Hartford Athletic (USLC) vs. Oyster Bay United FC (N.Y.)||Dillon Stadium; Hartford, Conn.|
|4 p.m. ET||Rochester New York FC (MLSNP) vs. Lansdowne Yonkers FC (N.Y.)||Monroe Community College; Rochester, N.Y.|
|7 p.m. ET||Chattanooga FC (NISA) vs. Memphis 901 FC (USLC)||Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.|
|7 p.m. ET||Greenville Triumph SC (USLL1) vs. Oakland Roots (USLC)||Triumph Stadium at Legacy Early College; Greenville, S.C.|
|7 p.m. CT||Birmingham Legion FC (USLC) vs. Southern States SC Stars (NPSL)||Protective Stadium; Birmingham, Ala.|
|7:30 p.m. PT||Sacramento Republic FC (USLC) vs. Portland Timbers U23 (USLL2)||Heart Health Park; Sacramento, Calif.|
|7:30 p.m. PT||California United Strikers FC (NISA) vs. San Fernando Valley FC (Calif.)||Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, Calif.|