NASL Goes 4 for 6 in U.S. Open Cup

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By JAKE NUTTING

Open Cup logoThe unpredictably of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup claimed two victims from the North American Soccer League on Wednesday night as the league entered the competition in the second round.

The New York Cosmos and Indy Eleven, the league’s two finalists last year, were ousted by amateur teams from the Premier Development League, while four other NASL clubs advanced to the third round, scheduled to be played on May 31. There are a couple of tantalizing matchups in the next round: Miami FC will host the NASL defectors Tampa Bay Rowdies and San Francisco will visit Didier Drogba, Shaun Wright-Phillips, who may or not play for Phoenix Rising.

Reading United 3, New York Cosmos 2

The New York Cosmos have been one of the NASL’s most consistent performers in the Open Cup over the last several years. That came to an end in Pennsylvania, though, as the Cosmos fell to the PDL’s Reading United. Winger Kalif Alhassan helped the Cosmos jump out to an early lead with a strike in the 12th minute, but a disastrous six-minute stretch at the end of the first half sunk the Cosmos. Paul MaireMarco Micaletto and Frantzdy Pierrot all tallied a goal to put the amateur side ahead. Danny Szetela then notched a goal in the second half, but the Cosmos could not close the gap and lost to an amateur side for the first time in the Open Cup.

The Cosmos now head to the Middle East for a exhibition match in Saudi Arabia.

Jacksonville Armada 2, Miami United FC 1

The Armada needed to wipe away a goal by Miami’s Jacopo Camilli in the 32nd minute and did so through Aaron Pitchkolan and Jack Blake. Blake recorded the winner by converting a penalty he drew as the first half came to a close. Jacksonville advances to host the Charleston Battery, the United Soccer League’s current Eastern Conference leader, on May 31.

North Carolina FC 6, Carolina Dynamo 1

North Carolina grabbed a lead over the Carolina Dynamo in the 24th minute through forward Brian Shriver and never looked back. Coach Colin Clarke‘s team poured five more goals on the PDL side as Matt Fondy, Tiyi Shipalane, Billy Schuler and Jonathon Orlando all score. The Dynamo managed one tally from, Justen Shear, in the final 15 minutes. North Carolina will host the USL’s Charlotte Independence on May 31.

Miami FC 3, South Florida Surf 2

The South Florida Surf made Miami work for the result, but the current leader in the NASL was able to come out on top. Honduras youth international Darwin Espinal put the Surf ahead in the first half only to see Miami surge with two tallies, from Poku and an own goal in the second half. Jeff Michaud pulled one back for the Surf to make things interesting, but Miami secured the win through a finish by Jaime Chávez. Miami’s next Open Cup opponent will be the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Riccardo Silva Stadium on May 31.

Michigan Bucks 1, Indy Eleven 0

Indy was the second NASL side to bow out of the Open Cup against a PDL opponent. The defending Spring Season champions were also the only NASL team to be shutout on Wednesday, as Jordan Snell‘s first half goal was all the Michigan Bucks needed to claim victory. The match was played indoors at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich.

San Francisco Deltas 2, Burlingame Dragons 1

The San Francisco Deltas were in a hole 30 minutes into the match when Jamael Cox scored for the visiting Burlingame Dragons. The Deltas climbed back and eventually advance to the next round through finishes by Reiner Ferreira and Tommy Heineman. San Francisco was originally slated to host its third round match, but Kezar Stadium is unavailable and the game was shifted to Arizona for the match against the USL’s Phoenix Rising on May 31.

US Soccer’s recap of all second round games is here.

Potential Fourth-Round Pairings

US Soccer wasted no time in setting the potential matchups for lower-division teams that advance past the third round and the Major League Soccer teams that have yet to enter the competition. Pairings and hosting information for each possible match were determined by coin toss on Thursday. Dates for the fourth round are still to be decided.

Highlights of the fourth round pairings include MLS rivalry clashes between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timber, and the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. Cincinnati will be eager to best Louisville in the third round to host MLS’ Columbus Crew at Nippert Stadium. Additionally, the Rowdies and Miami FC are battling for the right to take a shot at the top dog in Florida, Orlando City.

  • New England Revolution hosts Rochester Rhinos/GPS Omens winner
  • New York Red Bulls host New York City FC
  • Philadelphia Union hosts Reading United/Harrisburg City Islanders winner
  • DC United hosts Christos FC/Chicago FC United winner
  • FC Cincinnati/Louisville City winner hosts Columbus Crew
  • Atlanta United hosts Jacksonville Armada/Charleston Battery winner
  • Orlando City hosts Miami FC/Tampa Bay Rowdies winner
  • Michigan Bucks/Saint Louis FC winner hosts Chicago Fire
  • North Carolina FC/Charlotte Independence winner hosts Houston Dynamo
  • San Antonio FC hosts FC Dallas OR FC Dallas hosts Tulsa Roughnecks
  • Sporting Kansas City hosts Minnesota United
  • Colorado Rapids host Colorado Spring Switchbacks/OKC Energy winner
  • Reno 1868/Sacramento Republic winner hosts Real Salt Lake
  • Los Angeles Galaxy host LA Wolves/Orange County SC winner
  • San Jose Earthquakes host San Francisco Deltas/Phoenix Rising winner
  • Seattle Sounders host Portland Timbers