Six NASL Clubs Begin Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quest On Wednesday
There are 6 North American Soccer League (NASL) clubs left in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup playing tonight — Miami FC and the San Francisco Deltas both get the chance to host their second-round matchups in the 104 edition of the Open Cup.
The remaining 4 other NASL clubs will be on the road as they work towards a spot in the third round of this men’s soccer tournament which captures the spirit of American competition and possibilities. this second-round action features matchups against NPSL, PDL sides as these NASL teams look for the opportunity to match their skills against the MLS pros.
Who will be the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Champion? Last year, FC Dallas beat New England Revolution 4-2 on Sept. 13, 2016 at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Will one of the NASL teams make it into the final stages of the competition?
Here is the scoop on the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup NASL match ups tonight:
Miami FC will face several faces familiar to NASL fans, while the Deltas will play their first ever game in the competition. North Carolina FC and the New York Cosmos, which have had the most Open Cup success among NASL sides in recent years, will look to continue that trend starting on Wednesday.
Continue below for a preview of each second-round clash:
Miami United (NPSL) vs. Jacksonville Armada FC
Miami United welcomes Jacksonville Armada FC to Ted Hendricks Stadium after ousting Boca Raton FC, 2-1, in the first round of the competition. Matias Menza opened the scoring in the seventh minute and after Boca Raton had equalized, Nacho Calcagno scored the game-winning goal in the 87th minute.
Jacksonville has had a strong start to the NASL season, despite its recent 3-1 loss to North Carolina FC. Midfielders J.C. Banks and Zach Steinberger have taken on key roles for the club in 2017 and will look to lead Jacksonville into the third round of the Open Cup.
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) vs. North Carolina FC
A goal in each half for the Carolina Dynamo led the club past Legacy 76, 2-1, to set up its matchup with North Carolina FC. Shane Mecham and Mamadee Nyepon, who previously played with North Carolina FC, then the Carolina RailHawks, provided the goals.
North Carolina FC enters its first contest of the 2017 Open Cup with momentum. The club recently handed Jacksonville Armada FC its first loss of the season, and the club’s attack is blossoming. Lance Laing has played a starring role so far, leading the club with four goals in league play.
Miami FC vs. South Florida Surf (PDL)
Miami FC hosts South Florida Surf on Wednesday as the club looks to continue its scintillating form. Miami currently sits atop the Spring Season Standings, powered by its potent attack led by Kwadwo Poku, Dylan Mares, and Vincenzo Rennella. The club is seeking its first win in the competition after falling in its debut appearance last year.
The Surf defeated Red Force in the opening round with a commanding performance. Former NASL players Manny Gonzalez and Jeff Michaud led the way for the PDL side in its 4-2 win. Gonzalez opened the scoring with a curled free kick in the 10th minute as Michaud added a pair of second-half tallies. Another former NASL player, Darwin Espinal, helped create Michaud’s first goal of the game. Bradley Farias also found the back of the net for the Surf in the opening-round victory. In an interesting twist, Michaud scored within two minutes of coming on as a substitute against Miami FC in last year’s competition.
Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. Indy Eleven
The Michigan Bucks advanced to the second round of the Open Cup after carrying their early lead to the finish line in a 1-0 win. Andre Landell scored the eventual winner in the 12th minute of action.
Indy Eleven heads to Michigan looking to shake off its recent 3-2 loss to Miami FC in league play. The club is still looking for its first win of the year, in any competition, and could potentially use a victory in the Open Cup as a springboard for more success in league play.
Reading United AC (PDL) vs. New York Cosmos
Reading United moved into the second round after defeating the Clarkstown Eagles, 1-0. Frantzdy Pierrot saw his penalty attempt saved, but he followed it up and was able to finish off the rebound with a diving header, setting up the matchup with the New York Cosmos.
New York was minutes away from reaching the quarterfinals of the Open Cup a year ago and will look for redemption in this year’s competition. The Cosmos are fresh off a 4-3 win over Puerto Rico FC in NASL action. The club has made it to the fifth round of the competition in each of the last three editions.
San Francisco Deltas vs. Burlingame Dragons (PDL)
The San Francisco Deltas will enter the fray of the Open Cup for the first time and will get a chance to host the Burlingame Dragons at Stanford University. Coach Marc Dos Santos has the club off to a fast start in league play, as San Francisco currently sits in second place in the Spring Season Standings. Now, the club will look to make a quick impression in the Open Cup as well.
The Dragons are fresh off their first Open Cup victory, doing so in dramatic fashion. After a scoreless 90 minutes and extra time, the club knocked off El Farolito, 6-5, in a penalty-kick shootout.
Source: NASL Press Release 5.17.17