June 1, 2016
LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP
Kitsap Pumas pull off upset, 7 NASL clubs advance
The Third Round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was highlighted by a surprising "Cupset" as the PDL's Kitsap Pumas earned a 3-1 away win at the USL's Sacramento Republic on Wednesday night. Javier Castro's brace and Mike Ramos' tally were enough to push the PDL side past the perennial USL power and into a Fourth Round date with Seattle Sounders FC (MLS).
Elsewhere, in a near reversal of fortune from the Third Round in 2015, seven NASL clubs - Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos and Tampa Bay Rowdies - advanced past USL sides to Fourth Round dates against MLS clubs on June 15.
On the flip side, the USL's Wilmington Hammerheads and OKC Energy FC defeated NASL sides Miami FC and Rayo OKC, respectively.
In the only all-amateur match-up of the Third Round, La Maquina (Calif.) knocked off L.A. Wolves FC 2-0 and join Kitsap Pumas as the final two Open Division teams still remaining in the tournament, keeping alive their hopes for the $15,000 prize money awarded for the furthest advancing Open Division team in the competition.
Sixteen match-ups will make up the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round on June 14 and 15. Following the Fourth Round, the Round of 16 Bracket will be set, providing a clear path for all remaining teams to the 2016 U.S. Open Cup Final.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) 1, Richmond Kickers (USL) 1 (2-0 PKs)
It didn't take the Fort Lauderdale Strikers long to find the game's first goal. After being awarded a free kick just outside the 18-yard box, Manny Gonzalez drilled the ball past Kickers' goalkeeper Charlie Horton to grab the early 1-0 lead. After a quick water break, Kickers' Yudai Imura pulled one back on a perfect through ball from Anthony Grant to equalize in the 28th minute. Even play in the second half was halted by a lightning storm in the 76th minute. Following a 30-minute delay, the game resumed, but neither team could break the tie. Thirty minutes of extra time couldn't break the deadlock and the match moved to penalty kicks. In the shootout decider, Strikers' goalkeeper Diego Restrepo was the hero, saving three of four Richmond attempts, while Fort Lauderdale converted two of their own to secure the victory. Fort Lauderdale will visit D.C. United in Fourth Round play on June 15.
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) 2, Charleston Battery (USL) 1 (a.e.t)
Welcoming the Charleston Battery to Southern Oak Stadium, Jacksonville Armada found the game's first goal when a quick free kick caught the visitors off guard and after some maneuvering, saw Patrick Otte chip home in the 11th minute. Undeterred, Charleston responded against the run of play as Romario Williams' lob picked out Chris Tsonis, who chested down at the top of the area before burying his effort inside the left post in the 22nd minute. After a scoreless second half, the match pushed into extra time where Alex Dixon's back heel to Alhassane Keita provided the Armada with a 108th minute goal as well as the club's first-ever U.S. Open Cup victory. With the 2-1 win, Jacksonville moves on to host Orlando City SC in Fourth Round play on June 15.
Rochester Rhinos (USL) 2, Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.) 0
After an uneventful first half, the Rochester Rhinos would come out with vengeance and took the lead in the 60th minute as Andre Fortune II tallied off a free kick from 22 yards out. Just 10 minutes later, the Rhinos put the game away as Christian Volesky sent a rocket into the back of the net in the 70 th minute, bringing to end the dreams of Open Division qualifier Lansdownes Bhoys. The Rochester Rhinos will host MLS side New York Red Bulls in the Fourth Round on June 15.
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) 1, Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) 2
One of the tournament's last remaining amateur sides, Chattanooga FC had the appetite for a 'Cupset' in its Third Round U.S. Open Cup match against Division III opponent Harrisburg City Islanders, but couldn't maintain its initial lead gained just before the break. Despite Soren Yuhaschek giving the hosts the 1-0 lead, Harrisburg responded in the second half through Craig Foster's volley in the 71st minute. Foster was involved again nine minutes later as he collected the flick-on from a long goal kick and fed Paul Wilson for the game winning strike. Harrisburg moves on to a Fourth Round match-up with the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on June 15.
New York Cosmos (NASL) 2, Jersey Express (PDL) 0
New York Cosmos got the ball rolling in the 35th minute after Ayoze Garcia Perez scored off a 20-yard free kick. In the second half, the Cosmos upped its lead after Hunter Freeman crossed a perfect ball for Yohandry Orozco to put away in the 72nd minute as the NASL side eased to a 2-0 victory. The Cosmos will visit New York City FC at Fordham University in the Fourth Round on June 15.
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) 5, Charlotte Independence (USL) 0 (a.e.t.)
Disaster struck for the Independence right before the half-hour mark as a red card was shown to Jun Davidson for a dangerous play involving RailHawks captain Nazmi Albadawi, forcing Charlotte to 10 men for the remainder of the match. Despite an hour-long man advantage, the RailHawks couldn't capitalize and the match headed to extra time. Just two minutes into the extra period, the floodgates broke open as Billy Schuler found the back of the net in the 92nd minute. Goals from Albadawi, Brian Shriver and Jonathan Orlando followed, before Schuler capped the scoring in the 115th minute. Carolina's five extra time goals set a Modern Era (1995-present) record for most extra time goals by one team. With the win, Carolina will host the New England Revolution in Fourth Round play on June 15.
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) 1, FC Cincinnati (USL) 0
It didn't take long for the Tampa Bay Rowdies to energize its home crowd as Neill Collins sent a perfectly weighted ball toward a sprinting Georgi Hristov. Hristov controlled the ball, using his skill to get around a couple FC Cincinnati defenders to slam it past goalkeeper Mitchell Hildebrandt in the 11th minute. Cincinnati looked for the equalizer for the remainder of the game, but the home side's defense stood tall to hold on for the 1-0 win. The Rowdies will travel north to face Columbus Crew SC in Fourth Round U.S. Open Cup action on June 15.
Louisville City FC (USL) 1, Indy Eleven (NASL) 2
Upset-minded Louisville City FC took an early lead against host Indy Eleven but couldn't make Chandler Hoffman's 20th minute opener stand in the second half. Indy Eleven got back on level terms in the 58th minute thanks to Omar Gordon collecting a poor clearance and pounding a shot in for the equalizer. Ten minutes later, Indy put together a neat passing sequence that was finished off by Eamon Zayed to secure the 2-1 win and passage to the Fourth Round where the Chicago Fire await at Toyota Park on June 15.
Saint Louis FC (USL) 0, Minnesota United FC (NASL) 2
After an uneventful first half, Minnesota United took the lead in the 69th minute as Kevin Venegas was able to thread the ball through the legs of Saint Louis FC goalkeeper Mark Pais. Minnesota furthered its lead in second half stoppage time when Jack Blake easily slotted a ball past Pais to ice the 2-0 victory. Minnesota United will host Sporting Kansas City in the Fourth Round on June 15.
Wilmington Hammerheads (USL) 2 at Miami FC (NASL) 1
It might have been Miami FC's first-ever U.S. Open Cup match, but the Wilmington Hammerheads could have cared less. Visiting FIU Stadium, it took the USL side just two minutes to find the back of the net when Jeff Michaud tucked his shot from outside the box inside the left post. Wilmington kept the hammer down early when Justin Moose was played into the box on the right before firing his shot inside the far post. Miami FC struck back when Jaime Chavez got on the end of a ball over the top and slotted his effort past Eric Ati. Miami had the chance to equalize when they earned a penalty kick in the 81st minute, but Dario Cvitanich was thwarted by Ati as he dived to his right to secure the 2-1 win. With the victory, Wilmington moves on to a Fourth Round date at Real Salt Lake on June 14.
OKC Energy FC (USL) 2 at Rayo OKC (NASL) 1 (a.e.t.)
In yet another comeback win in the Third Round of the 2016 U.S. Open Cup, OKC Energy FC trumped cross-town rival Rayo OKC's opening strike to claim victory in the first Oklahoma City Derby. The scoresheet lit up just before the break when Billy Forbes opened the scoring for Rayo OKC in the 42nd minute, but saw his strike quickly cancelled out by Sebastian Dalgaard's equalizer on the stroke of halftime. In the second 45, Rayo squandered numerous chances to seize the lead and once the teams entered overtime, Energy FC struck the fatal blow in the 107th minute when Kyle Hyland headed home the winning goal to send the Greens into a Fourth Round match-up at FC Dallas on June 15.
Des Moines Menace (PDL) 1, San Antonio FC (USL) 2
San Antonio FC went on the road in the Third Round and are heading back from Iowa with a dramatic victory under their belts. The visitors came from behind against Des Moines Menace in the second half, with goals from Sam McBride and Jacques Francois earning the win for San Antonio. The Menace were out in front through Christian Flath's free kick but couldn't hold the lead. McBride banged home a free kick of his own before Francoise sealed the match. Next up for San Antonio: A Lone Star State derby with Houston Dynamo in the Fourth Round on June 15.
La Maquina (Calif.) 2, L.A. Wolves FC (Calif.) 0
In a Third Round match between two Open Division teams, La Maquina found the early goal via a head from Edwin Barboa in the 17th minute. The home side continued to press into the second half when Barboa tallied his second of the match from a direct free kick in the 68th minute, giving the side a 2-0 win. With the victory La Maquina advances to the Fourth Round where they'll pay a visit to the LA Galaxy on June 15.
Arizona United SC (USL) 0, Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL) 3
In the only all-USL match-up of the Third Round, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC knocked off Arizona United SC to the tune of 3-0. Seth Vercollone was the hero for the visitors as his brace ('39, '83) bookended a 59th minute Aaron King strike. Switchbacks FC returns to the Rocky Mountain State to face the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on June 15.
Sacramento Republic (USL) 1, Kitsap Pumas (PDL) 3
Kitsap Pumas executed a perfect smash and grab victory on the road at Sacramento Republic FC in the Open Cup's Third Round nightcap Wednesday evening. After a first half with nothing separating the sides, Pumas turned in three goals in five minutes to run away with a win 3-1 at Bonney Field. Javier Castro grabbed two goals for Pumas, netting in the 60th and 65th minutes, either side of a Mike Ramos strike in the 63rd. In the flurry of goals Sacramento managed to grab an equalizer through Cameron Iwasa in the 61st, but that would last just 90 seconds before Pumas landed the knockout blows. With the victory, Kitsap advances to a Fourth Round date with Seattle Sounders FC on June 15.