Open Cup: Motor City showdown highlights first round

The U.S. Open Cup will kick off its 103rd edition on Wednesday with 23 first-round games. They will involve 18 teams from the PDL, 14 from the NPSL and 14 Open Division local qualifiers. The game to watch: Michigan Bucks-Detroit City FC, two teams from rival amateur leagues whose futures are up in the air following announcement of a well-funded effort to seek an MLS team in the Motor City.

Bucks, winners of two NPSL titles, and the popular NPSL club Detroit City FC also met in 2015 when the Bucks won, 3-0, on goals by David Goldsmith, former MLS player Peri Marosevic and Brad Ruhaak. Goldsmith, who plays at Butler, and Ruhaak, who plays at Akron, are returning for the Bucks, the first amateur team to knock off an MLS team when they beat the New England Revolution in 2000. They don't open up their PDL season -- their 21st year of operation -- until May 21.

Detroit City FC coach Ben Pirmann says his team is better prepared for this year's challenge, having had two weeks of practice.

“We weren’t prepared at the beginning of the season at all,” Pirmann said. “We weren’t ready to play against the Bucks, and that was on me and my staff, but also the players. I think our fitness is better off this year. We’ve got a lot of new guys, and they’re going to play. And we’re not waiting around for anybody to get into their groove. We’re going to play the best guys who are on the field ready to go.”

DCFC opens its NPSL season this week with games against the Michigan Stars and Dayton Dynamo this weekend.

Wednesday's Open Cup game will be played Oakland University because the Bucks' Ultimate Soccer Arenas is unavailable.

U.S. Open Cup Schedule:
FIRST ROUND
May 11 in Glen Allen, Va.
Chesterfield United FC (NPSL) vs. Aromas Café FC (Va.)
May 11 in The Villages, Fla.
The Villages SC (Fla.) (PDL) vs. Kraze United SC (NPSL)
May 11 in Hillburn, N.Y.
Clarkstown FC Eagles (NPSL) vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
May 11 in Charlotte, N.C.
Charlotte Eagles (PDL) vs. Myrtle Beach Mutiny (NPSL)
May 11 in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Miami Fusion FC (NPSL) vs. Boca Raton Football Club (Fla.)
May 11 in West Lawn, Pa.
Reading United (PDL) vs. Atlanta Silverbacks (NPSL)
May 11 in Westfield, Ind.
Indy Eleven NPSL vs. Cincinnati Dutch Lions (PDL)
May 11 in South Huntington, N.Y.
Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.)
May 11 in Jamaica, N.Y.
New York Pancyprian Freedoms (N.Y.) vs. New York Red Bulls U-23 (PDL)
May 11 in Rochester, Mich.
Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. Detroit City FC (NPSL)
May 11 in Revere, Mass.
Southie FC (Mass.) vs. Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL)
May 11 in Portland, Maine
GPS Portland Phoenix (Maine) (PDL) vs. AFC Cleveland (NPSL)
May 11 in Clinton, Miss.
Mississippi Brilla (PDL) vs. CD Motagua of New Orleans (La.)
May 11 in Wichita, Kan.
FC Wichita (NPSL) vs. Des Moines Menace (PDL)
May 11 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Albuquerque Sol FC (PDL) vs. Harpo's FC (Colo.)
May 11 in Dallas, Texas
NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. Corinthians FC of San Antonio (NPSL)
May 11 in Sacramento, Calif.
Sacramento Gold (NPSL) vs. Burlingame Dragons (PDL)
May 11 in Ventura, Calif.
Ventura County Fusion (PDL) vs. LA Wolves FC (Calif.)
May 11 in Tucson, Ariz.
FC Tucson (PDL) vs. San Nicolas FC (Calif.)
May 11 in San Francisco, Calif.
San Francisco City FC (Calif.) vs. CD Aguiluchos USA (NPSL)
May 11 in Portland, Ore.
Portland Timbers U-23s (PDL) vs. La Maquina (Calif.)
May 11 in Bonney Lake, Wash.
Sounders FC U-23s (PDL) vs. Outbreak FC (Calif.)
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