# USOC2019 Preview first round: the dream begins

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American Open Cup
by Jonah Fontela on 6 May 2019

The long road to the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup begins on Tuesday and Wednesday 7-8 May with the first round of the 106-year-old tournament, the national championship of the American Football Association. A total of 38 teams will play 19 games in a straight-ahead, single elimination format. All but six of the teams in action this week will be amateur, coming from the upper reaches of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), USL's League Two (formerly the Premier Development League or PDL) and the various local qualifiers from the many countries men's competitions. The six professional sides come from USL League One (Division III), the lowest pro level in the country.

It is the simplest of comparisons: win and go on or lose and go home.

Animals in the northeast
The first kick-off on Wednesday, May 7, is former champions, the Richmond Kickers, who take on the hungry amateur debutants Virginia United at home in their Stadium Stadium [WATCH]. The Kickers, who have gone from the highest level of USL & # 39; s professional ranks to the third division (now known as USL & # 39; s League One), were crowned champions in 1995 in the first year of the modern age of the Open Cup. "More recently, however, the Kickers have been at the wrong end of a large Cupset – and have fallen in love with the Christos FC club at their old venerable house in the 2017 edition of the Cup. Led by new coach and 2011 Open Cup top scorer David Bulow, who led the Kickers to fourth place in that year's tournament, will make the Richmond side wildly popular in their first round match.


(Virginia United had to win four qualifiers to get a date with 1995 Open Cup champions, Richmond Kickers)

Virginia United, founded in 2008 as Salvador Woodbridge, plays in their first Open Cup. As an amateur when they come, the Virginian plays in the local Virginia Adult Soccer League and had to win four qualifiers to reach this stage, including eliminating heavy favorites and 2017 Cinderellas Christos FC. "My boys love the game but didn't get the chance to go to the next level," said United-coach Jonahan Romero ussoccer.com. "These are nine to five boys and they are ready to show what they have."

Elsewhere in the northeast, NPSL-side Baltimore Christos FC (loosely connected to the aforementioned Christos FC) faces West Chester United SC (Predators), amateur football specialists who finished second in last year's National Amateur Cup and are no strangers to the Open Cup, reaching the Second Round in 2016 [WATCH]. West Chester won four tough qualifiers, all on the road, to reach this first round. "I would say that we are deeper from top to bottom [than the team that went to the Cup in 2016]but that team had great role models, leaders, "said coach Blaise Santangelo who compares his current team with the 2016 team." This team is young, average age 23. Someone reminded me of the Spartans – they didn't want to train that much, they just wanted to go to war. And that's kind of how these guys are. "

The New York Red Bulls Academy Team (U-23) goes to Montclair, New Jersey to meet FC Motown of the NPSL for a second year in a row in this Open Cup first round. "They are not a team that should be taken lightly and they will try to avenge last year's loss," said Chris Katona, ace-striker of Motown, a veteran of the cup last year about the young Red Bulls. [WATCH].

Philadelphia Lone Star (who played under the name Junior Lone Star in the 2017 Open Cup) is back for more. A club set up for and by West African refugees in the mean streets of Southwest Philly, Lone Star, have a tough test on the road against Reading United, playing in the League Two of USL and consistently among the top three development teams of the country. Lone Star will have to collect all their grit and determination if they want to have a chance on this one. "We do what we have to do. We don't cry because we're from the southwest and don't have everything," said head coach and former player Fatoma Turay. "We are handling it. We can compete with everyone because we are good and we know where we come from." [WATCH]


(Philadelphia Lone Star made their Open Cup debut in 2017)

The action of the Northeast region is completed and Erie Commodores (NPSL) meets USL League Two Dutch Lions from Dayton [WATCH]. Lansing Ignite takes on an international-looking AFC Ann Arbor in an all-Michigan affair [WATCH]. The New York Cosmos B (NPSL), eliminated last year in the Play-In round by the Brooklyn Italians, stands behind the experience and ability of captain and former US National Team player Danny Szetela. With one of the most famous names in American football history, the Cosmos Open Cup debutants play Black Rock FC, full of youngsters with roots in New England prep schools [WATCH].

Florida leads Southeast; All-Wisconsin Clash Central
Four of the eight teams from the Southeast region in action in the first round of the 2019 Open Cup are from the Sunshine State. Lakeland Tropics (USL League Two) is back for their second backward tilt in the Open Cup against local and competition rivals, the Villages [WATCH]. "It's a one-off, play-off style of football and we like that," said Captain Ricardo Diegues, hoping to lead his party to a first victory – and perhaps a first goal – in the cup. "I love things like this; I love the excitement of games that you win or go out. It suits me, and it fits us as a team."

The other all-Florida affair pits Florida Soccer Soldiers, from the local UPSL Florida Dade / Broward County division, against Miami FC, now from NPSL and recently an Open Cup quarter-finalist [WATCH]. In 2017, Miami played in the now-defunct North American football competition (NASL) and was coached by former world cup winner Alessandro Nesta. Miami FC roared through the Open Cup Last Eight and defeated Orlando City and Atlanta United (both from MLS), ultimately losing to FC Cincinnati. It is a different team and a different atmosphere now, but that is a great recent history to record.


(Tormenta FC has two teams in the 2019 Open Cup)

The other two matches in the Southeast region include both teams from the Tormenta FC club from South Georgia. An ambitious outfit with a development team in USL League Two and a pro-side in USL League One, Tormenta & # 39; s who want to recruit football fans among their base of supporters as they are, in the shadow of Georgia Southern University. Tormenta (League Two) faces League One pro Chattanooga Red Wolves SC [WATCH], while senior Tormenta (League One pro & # 39; s) meet their own professional races Greenville Triumph SC in what forms the basis for a competitive affair [WATCH]. "If you think the New York Red Bulls are the only other two-team tournament in the tournament, it's pretty exciting," said Tormenta President Darin Van Tassel. "We are a single franchise – we play together, learn together and grow together."

Bavarian SC (also known as the Milwaukee Bavarians) and Forward Madison had fun on social media in the run-up to their first-ever Wisconsin First-Rounder [WATCH]. The Bavaria celebrate their 90thth jubilee as a club, one of the most successful in the history of American Soccer, while the USL League are a pro & # 39; s from Madison in their inaugural campaign. It has everything from a classic at Uihlein Soccer Park, where the Bavarians – 1994 Open Cup second-hand points – were crowned national amateur champions for the seventh time in their history last year.

NTX Rayados, away from Dallas, are back for their eighth consecutive Open Cup. The amateurs, many of them local school teachers, set the tournament on fire last year with victories over pros OKC Energy FC and FC Wichita who saw that they won a date with the final champions Houston Dynamo or Major League Soccer (MLS). The Rayados lost by five to the final tournament champions, but captured the imagination of the tournament along the way. In the first round of this year, they must travel to Arkansas to face Little Rock Rangers, the NPSL outfit [WATCH].

Des Moines Threat, the Iowans who went to the fourth round in 2005, are back in the mix again this year. They open their account against Duluth FC of NPSL – a club founded by a priest who, despite his humble intentions, has become a local football association in Minnesota. [WATCH]


(Duluth FC & their founder – Father Tim Sas)

Laredo Heat SC (NPSL) v Brazos Valley Cavalry FC (USL League Two) completes the action in the central region in an all-Texas affair [WATCH]. Midland-Odessa Sockers (NPSL) hosts FC Denver, the club – famously founded via a craigslist – back for their third consecutive Open Cup and for a long road trip to get things going. [WATCH]

Kalf FC at Best of the West
The California teams are always in the early stages of an Open US Cup – and 2019 is no exception.

Cal FC, a name that sounds everywhere among fans of Open Cup and fans of underdogs, is back. The side that ran fast in a run in 2012, defeated the tasters of Wilmington Hammerheads and then defeated Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer. They are now being coached by TV Soccer analyst Keith Costigan and have Richard Menjivar – a 2012 veteran and a full El Salvador international – back in the line-up for their first round match against FC Mulhouse, who must make all journeys away from Portland , Oregon to the line in Calabasas. [WATCH]

"Hopefully we can make some noise like we did a few years ago," said Kal FC talisman, Menjivar. "The goal of the club is to have a great run like we did last time and I think it is certainly possible.


(Cal FC is back in the Open Cup and out for more scalps)

Academica SC makes its Open Cup debut in the First Round of 2019, despite being a club for 40 years. They will also have a hard time, against El Farolito of NPSL who, like CD Mexico in 1993, lifted the Open Cup after beating of the United German Hungarian in the Final [WATCH]. Orange County FC, led by technical director and coach Paul Caligiuri – a former American national team hero – against FC Golden State Force, who had money to invest back in the club after last year's run to the Open Fourth round of Cup, in which they played LA Galaxy – the deep run was the best among all amateur teams and earned $ 25,000 in prize money [WATCH].

ussoccer.com is the official website of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with extensive video and written coverage during the tournament. You can follow the US Open Cup on Twitter and Instagram @ OpenCup and Facebook @ Office OpenCup.

2019 Lamar Hunt American Open Cup First Round – 7 & 8 May

Northeast region

Date

Game (first home group listed)

Time

Place

May 7

Richmond Kickers (USLL1) v Virginia United (Va.)

7 p.m. ET

City stadium; Richmond, Va.

May 7 ^

New York Red Bulls U23 (USLL2) vs. FC Motown (NPSL)

7 p.m. ET

Montclair State University; Montclair, N.J.

May 7 ^

FC Baltimore Christos (NPSL) vs. West Chester Predators (Pa.)

7:45 PM ET

Homewood Field (Johns Hopkins Univ.); Baltimore, Md.

May 8th

Erie Commodores FC (NPSL) v Dayton Dutch Lions (USLL2)

7 p.m. ET

McConnell Family Stadium (Gannon Univ.); Erie, Dad.

May 8th

Lansing Ignite FC (USLL1) vs. AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL)

7 p.m. ET

Cooley Law School Stadium; Lansing, Mich.

May 8th

Reading United AC (USLL2) vs. Philadelphia Lone Star FC (NPSL)

7 p.m. ET

Alvernia University Stadium; Reading, Pa.

May 8th *

New York Cosmos B (NPSL) against Black Rock FC (USLL2)

7.30 p.m. ET

Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium (Columbia Univ.); New York, N.Y.

* Date changed 4/11
^ Time changed 4/16

Southeast region

Date

Game (first home group listed)

Time

Place

May 7

Lakeland Tropics (USLL2) vs. The Villages SC (USLL2)

7 p.m. ET

Lake Myrtle Sports Complex; Auburndale, Fla.

May 7

South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 (USLL2) v Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (USLL1)

8 p.m. ET

Erk Russell Park (Georgia Southern Univ.); Statesboro, Ga.

May 8th

Greenville Triumph SC (USLL1) v South Georgia Tormenta FC (USLL1)

7 p.m. ET

Legacy Early College Field; Greenville, S.C.

May 8th

Miami FC (NPSL) vs. Florida Soccer Soldiers (Fla.)

7 p.m. ET

Buccaneer Field (Barry Univ.); Miami Shores, Fla.

Central region

Date

Game (first home group listed)

Time

Place

May 7

Bavarian SC (Delete.) Vs. Forward Madison FC (USLL1)

7.30 p.m.

Uihlein football park; Milwaukee, Delete.

May 7 *

Laredo Heat SC (NPSL) v Brazos Valley Cavalry FC (USLL2)

8:15 pm CT

Texas A & M International Univ.; Laredo, Texas

May 8th

Little Rock Rangers (NPSL) v NTX Rayados (Texas)

7 p.m. CT

Episcopal Collegiate School; Little Rock, Ark.

May 8th

Des Moines Menace (USLL2) vs. Duluth FC (NPSL)

7.30 p.m.

Des Moines Christian Lions Field; Urbandale, Iowa

May 8th

Midland-Odessa Sockers FC (NPSL) v FC Denver (Colo.)

7.30 p.m.

Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas

* Date changed 4/11

West Region

Date

Game (first home group listed)

Time

Place

May 7

Academica SC (Calif.) Against El Farolito (NPSL)

7.30 p.m.

Academica Field; Turlock, Calif.

May 7 *

Cal FC (California) vs. FC Mulhouse Portland (NPSL)

7.30 p.m.

Orange County Great Park – Field 25; Irvine, California.

May 7

Orange County FC (NPSL) v FC Golden State Force (USLL2)

7.30 p.m.

Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, California.

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