May 21, 2015
LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP
Second round roundup
There were a handful of upsets in the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, as the PDL's Jersey Express and Ventura County Fusion, USASA's PSA Elite and Chula Vista FC and NPSL's Chattanooga FC defeated clubs from higher divisions to join the other professional sides in next week's Third Round, which will take place on May 27.
2015 U.S. Open Cup Second Round Match Recaps
Tuesday, May 19
MICHIGAN BUCKS (PDL) 0, PORTLAND TIMBERS FC 2 (2)
Hosting their second U.S. Open Cup match in a week, the Michigan Bucks looked the better side early on in Tuesday's Second Round kickoff, dominating in attack and possession through most of the first half. In the ninth minute, Bucks forward David Goldsmith bolted into space towards goal before unleashing a powerful blast that skimmed just wide left of Justin Luthy's goal. Bucks midfielder Calvin Rezende came close in the 35th minute, turning his marker at the top of the box before his low left footed blast went inches wide of the left post, taking the teams into halftime scoreless. Timbers 2 hit the reset button at the break and dominated in possession from the start of the second half. Debuting midfielder Seth Casiple picked out Kharlton Belmar at the left post where the forward nodded across goal into the far side netting. Though Timbers 2 dictated play for most of the second half, the Bucks pushed forward late and got a sequence of dangerous opportunities to equalize. In the end, the PDL side got caught up field in transition and Casiple fed Ghananian forward Fatawa Safiu, who put the game on ice in second half stoppage time. Timbers 2 advance to face the winner of Wednesday's Seattle Sounders FC 2 / Kitsap Pumas match on May 27.
Wednesday, May 20
PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS (USL) 3, WEST VIRGINIA CHAOS (PDL) 0
Making its 13th U.S. Open Cup appearance, Pittsburgh ran out to a fast lead when Kevin Kerr came away from a scramble in the box to lay off for Rob Vincent, who calmly slotted his effort in the lower left corner in the 9th minute. It took just seconds to add to the lead, as the ensuing kickoff was played toward goal and South African forward Lebo Moloto pounced in the box to make it 2-0 in the 10th minute. Firmly in the lead, the Riverhounds took the air out of the game before Kerr downed across the box to slot home in the 87th minute, to give the home side a 3-0 victory. With the win, Pittsburgh moves to 8-10-3 all-time in U.S. Open Cup play and will next host NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies in Third Round play on May 27.
WILMINGTON HAMMERHEADS (USL) 1, CHATTANOOGA FC (NPSL) 1 (3-5, PKs)
It was deja vu for Chattanooga FC as they eliminated Wilmington Hammerheads for the second year in a row to set up a rematch with the Atlanta Silverbacks. Chattanooga prevailed in a shootout after 120 minutes left both teams tied 1-1. Wilmington's Nick Zimmerman gave his side the lead in the first half before Chris Ochieng finished a nice move from Chattanooga to level the score. There were no more goals through extra time and Jon Finlay eventually converted the decisive spot kick. Chattanooga will hope for a better time against Atlanta this time around: in 2014 they last 5-1.
RICHMOND KICKERS (USL) 2, VIRGINIA BEACH CITY (NPSL) 0
Richmond Kickers overcame Virginia Beach City FC courtesy of two second-half headers. Neither side landed a hit in the first half but it took the hosts only two minutes after the break to strike the first blow. Nate Shiffman headed home a corner kick to set Richmond on their way. Jason Yeisley added an insurance goal when he slammed home an 89th minute diving header off an assist from Fred Owusu Sekyere. Jacksonville Armada comes to Richmond next week to face the Kickers.
ROCHESTER RHINOS (USL) 1, GREATER BINGHAMTON FC (NPSL) 0
Rochester Rhinos got their 2015 Open Cup off to a rolling start by beating Greater Binghamton FC 1-0. Kenardo Forbes tallied the game's only goal when he converted on a chance in the 39th minute for the hosts. Greater Binghamton had a few chances in the second half, but couldn't muster the tying goal as the Rhinos backline held firm to complete the shutout. Rochester travels to Harrisburg next week to meet the Islanders.
LANSING UNITED (PDL) 0, LOUISVILLE CITY FC (USL) 1
There were first-half fireworks in the Capital City with six shots for Louisville City FC and four for hosts Lansing United but neither team was able to break the deadlock. That changed two minutes into the second half when Charlie Adams blasted a shot into the net off a deflection to give Louisville a lead they would not relinquish. Lansing had a chance in the 88th minute but fired over the Louisville goal and the score would not change before the final whistle. Louisville travels across state lines to Indianapolis next week for a showdown with Indy Eleven.
READING UNITED A.C. (PDL) 0, HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS (USL) 3
The Harrisburg City Islanders dispatched Reading United 3-0 to advance to the Third Round. Danny DiPrima and Cardel Benbow notched first half goals to provide a healthy lead after 45 minutes. Ken Tribbett scored on a header one minute into the second half to put the result out of reach. The only damper on the evening came when Neil Shaffer was red carded on 76 minutes for his second bookable offense. Shaffer will be suspended when Harrisburg hosts Rochester Rhinos on May 27.
CHARLESTON BATTERY (USL) 1, MIAMI UNITED FC (NPSL) 0
It was a scrappy game in Charleston tonight, but there had to be a winner and the hosts prevailed in a tight contest. Heviel Cordoves scored the only goal and followed it up with a red card in the second half. Charleston held on for the final six minutes with 10 men to bring the match to the end. The Black and Yellow play host to Ft. Lauderdale Strikers next Wednesday.
CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE (USL) 4, UPWARD STARS (NPSL) 1
Charlotte Independence ended Upward Stars' tournament with an emphatic 4-1 comeback win. The Stars got things rolling with a surprise goal in the 11th minute in Charlotte but it was not long before the home side collected themselves and got control of the match. Tomasz Zahorski tied the game in the 19th minute and Enzo Martinez' 40th header was the eventual winner. Zahorski went on to tally the first hat trick of the 2015 Open Cup with additional goals in the 44th and 90th minute. Charlotte travels to face the Carolina RailHawks next.
LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS (PDL) 0, REAL MONARCHS SLC (USL) 1
Real Monarchs celebrated a win in their Open Cup debut tonight as they defeated Long Island Rough Riders 1-0 to advance to the Third Round. The match was poised on a knife's edge for most of the night at St. Anthony's High School, with both teams trading chances but meeting strong resistance from Joseph Martin and Eric Osswald in the nets. The deadlock was finally broken in the 77th minute when Ricardo Velazco played a delightful one-two with Max Rauhofer before slotting home the eventual winner past Martin. Osswald and the Monarchs held on for the clean sheet and club history as they can now take their first Open Cup win with them back to Salt Lake.
JERSEY EXPRESS (PDL) 1, NEW YORK RED BULLS II (USL) 0
Jersey Express punched their ticket to Queens next week to meet the New York Cosmos after they bounced New York Red Bulls II from the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night. Chris Karcz got the only goal of the game when he converted on a set piece in the second half. The Red Bulls poured on the pressure for the rest of the match. They couldn't find a breakthrough and the Express held their nerve to pull the upset and live to fight another day.
TULSA ROUGHNECKS (USL) 1, SEACOAST UNITED PHANTOMS (N.H.; PDL) 0
Bond, Chad Bond had a license to goal Wednesday night in the Open Cup as his Tulsa Roughnecks advanced to the Third Round. Bond scored directly from a corner kick - an olimpico - in the 61st minute and that strike was enough to send the Seacoast United Phantoms packing in this year's tournament. Tulsa hosts Oklahoma Energy FC next week in a mouthwatering Sooner State derby.
SAINT LOUIS FC (USL) 2, DES MOINES MENACE (PDL) 1 (a.e.t.)
Saint Louis FC prevailed in an extra time victory against Des Moines Menace in front of more than 3,000 fans at St. Louis Soccer Park. Bryan Gaul opened the scoring by converting a through ball from Parker Maher in the 68th minute. Des Moines went down to 10 men in the 80th minute after a red card to Charlie Bales but managed to scrape an equalizer when Chris Hellman scored from the penalty spot five minutes later. Seven minutes into extra time Jeremie Lynch tallied the winner for St. Louis. The visitors would end up finishing with nine on the field after John Lujano was dismissed.
OKLAHOMA CITY ENERGY FC (USL) AT MIDLAND/ODESSA SOCKERS (TX; PDL)
Coached by 2012 U.S. Open Cup winner Jimmy Nielsen, Energy FC looked the stronger side from the start when forward Casey Townsend hit the woodwork in the 25th minute. Just before the break, Energy FC would go up 1-0 as Kyle Greig buried a feed from Peter Toth in the 42nd minute. Just after the break, Townsend would come good on his post hit, blasting a finish into the top corner, giving Energy FC a 2-0 lead in the 51st. The home side would respond in the 68th minute when Andrew Fox's centering pass was buried by Alberto Sanchez but Energy FC put the game on ice just two minutes later when a flip throw from Michael Harris found Greig's head who nodded home for his second of the match, giving the visitors a 3-1 victory. The win sets up an all-Oklahoma matchup, as Energy FC will visit Tulsa Roughnecks on May 27.
AUSTIN AZTEX (USL) 2, LAREDO HEAT (PDL) 1 - 8 p.m. CT
Austin Aztex defeated Laredo Heat 2-0 behind goals from Andres Cuero and Brian Fekete. Austin got on the board in the first half when Cuero converted a pass from Michael Gunderson in the 29th minute. In the 68th minute Trevin Caesar set up Fekete to put the result out of reach. Next week Austin meets San Antonio Scorpions in a Texas matchup USL vs. NASL.
COLORADO SPRINGS SWITCHBACKS (USL) 2, HARPO'S FC (Colo.; USSSA) 1
The clock struck midnight on Harpo's FC Wednesday, with Colorado Springs Switchbacks ending the club's cinderella run in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The game started poorly for Harpo's with Martin Maybin scoring on the first chance of the game with a first minute header for Switchbacks. Harpo's regained their composure but Maybin doubled the lead in the 35th minute after an assist from Davy Armstrong. After the break Harpo's pulled a goal back through a header and from there threw caution to the wind. They peppered the Switchbacks goal with chance after chance but time ran out on the amateur team from Boulder.
OC BLUES (USL) 1, PSA ELITE (Calif; USASA) 2
PSA Elite are doing their best to match their impressive 2014 Fourth Round run, advancing to the Third Round Wednesday night with a 2-0 victory over USL's OC Blues. The USASA side took a 1-0 lead when Michael Salazar nodded home a cross in the 19th minute. On the other side of halftime, Mats Bjurman scored his second of the tournament, finishing a one-on-one opportunity in the 61st minute. OC Blues began to push and saw a glimmer of hope when PSA Elite's Jamel Wallace was shown red for a foul in the 82nd minute. Playing up a man, the Blues would pull one back through Tyler Feeney in stoppage time, but it wasn't enough as PSA Elite ran out 2-1 winners. The USASA side now moves on to a Third Round date at fellow giant killers Ventura County Fusion on May 27.
ARIZONA UNITED SC (USL) 0, CHULA VISTA FC (USASA) 3
Returning to Arizona for the second straight week, the USASA's Chula Vista FC came out attacking for another upset. The side would find the go-ahead goal in the 37th minute when the ball squeaked through the Arizona United backline where Alberto Diaz ran on to the end, rounded 'keeper Carl Woszczynski and buried into the empty net. Chula Vista would increase their upset bid when Angel Pinal pounced on a ball at the back post and finished from close range in the 50th minute. Diaz would bag his second and finish off the USL side when he curled home an effort from the top of the box in the 72nd minute, giving Chula Vista an emphatic 3-0 victory. With the win, the USASA side advances to a Third Round date at USL's Sacramento Republic on May 27.
LA GALAXY II (USL) 1, VENTURA COUNTY FUSION (PDL) 2
LA Galaxy II may have been the professional side playing at home, but it was Ventura County Fusion that found first blood when Matthew Lagrassa fired a shot from the top of the box over the head of LA 'keeper Nicholas Shackelford in the 30th minute. The Galaxy applied pressure and would respond just before halftime when Adonis Amaya was tripped up by Fusion goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg, forcing the referee to point to the spot. Ariel Lassiter finished the spot kick to equalize before the break. After trading blows in the second half, the match looked like it would head to extra time, but the Fusion found a stoppage time winner from Abu Danladi. The win means the Fusion return home to host fellow giant killers PSA Elite in Third Round play on May 27.
SACRAMENTO REPUBLIC FC (USL) 4, SONOMA COUNTY SOL (NPSL) 2
Sacramento Republic FC and Sonoma County Sol treated a record crowd to an Open Cup thriller in California's capital Wednesday night. 10,386 fans went home happy as Sacramento prevailed 4-2, but not without a serious threat of burn by the Sol. The hosts got the best possible start when Tommy Stewart cleaned up a rebound in the 9th minute off a shot from distance. Gabe Gonzalez doubled the lead three minutes later but Omar Nuno brought the visitors back in the game when he scored a contender for goal of the round, crushing a 20-yard drive into the top corner in the 26th minute. Stewart completed his hat trick with goals in the 43rd the 61st minutes but the sun would not set on the Sol. Nuno notched a 73rd minute goal before a penalty call gave the visitors a gleaming opportunity. But Taylor Varnadore hit the post and from there Republic was able to see out the game. The attendance of 10,386 at Bonney Field was an Open Cup Second Round record, breaking the previous record of 9,339 set by the Columbus Crew in 2001.
KITSAP PUMAS (PDL) 2, SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 2 (USL) 4
With hopes in following in their parent club's Open Cup successes, Sounders FC 2 made their first appearance in the competition Wednesday night, striking first blood in the 26th minute as Qudus Lawal headed for Victor Mansaray who made it 1-0. Sounders FC 2 looked to be cruising to victory as Lawal laid off a pass from Nathaniel Tongovula, allowing Pablo Rossi a wide open finish in the 45th minute. Kitsap wouldn't lay down after the break and pulled a goal back when Mike Ramos smashed an effort of the underside of the cross bar and in to make it 2-1 in the 66th minute. The visitors continued to push for an equalizer and brought the drama when Ramos found the back of the net again in second half stoppage time, pushing the game to extra time. Just three minutes in Sounders FC 2 found their feet again when Pablo Rossi converted a direct free kick from just outside the box and Andy Craven put the game on ice just before the final whistle to finish the scoring at 4-2. The win sets up a Third Round home date with Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers FC 2 on May 27 in Tukwila, Wash.