U.S. Open Cup: Three intriguing first-round matchups

The pairings have been set for the first round of the U.S. Open Cup. All 26 games will involve amateur teams from the NPSL, PDL or Open Division qualifying. All but one of the matches is scheduled for May 6.

Here are three intriguing matchups ...

Reading United vs. Christos FC.
Venue: Don Thomas Stadium (Exeter Township H.S.); Reading, Pa.
Christos reached the fourth round in 2017, taking $15,000 prize of $15,000 that goes to the last surviving amateur team. It has been a power in the Maryland Major Soccer League for two decades. Reading United will extend its record for most consecutive appearances in the Open Cup by an amateur club to 12. It's one of the top feeders of summer college talent into MLS. It had four players drafted in first two rounds at 2018 SuperDraft.

Detroit City FC vs. Michigan Bucks.
Venue: Keyworth Stadium; Hamtramck, Mich.
The Motor City rivals split 2015 and 2016 meetings.  Le Rouge from the NPSL won on penalty kicks at Oakland University in 2016 on penalty kicks after the PDL Bucks won the year before at Ultimate Soccer Arenas. The difference this year: The game will be played at Keyworth Stadium, and a big crowd will be expected.

Long Island Rough Riders vs. Kingston Stockade.
Venue: John Burns Park; Massapequa Park, N.Y.
USL old guard (now in PDL) vs. ambitious NPSL team. The Rough Riders, then a pro team, made the quarterfinals of the Open Cup in 1997 after being the New England Revolution. The Stockade will be making its Open Cup debut. The first-timers from the Hudson Valley are working on getting a fan bus to get supporters down to Long Island.

Complete schedule ...

Play-in Round
May 5-6 (dates and venues TBD)
The Villages SC (PDL) vs. Jacksonville Armada (NPSL)
FC Miami City (PDL) vs. Miami FC 2 (NPSL)
May 6 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) vs. New York Cosmos B (NPSL)

First Round
May 9 in Ypsilanti, Mich.
AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL) vs. Ocean City Nor'easters (PDL)
May 9 in Ludlow, Mass.
Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) vs. Elm City Express (NPSL)
May 9 in Massapequa Park, N.Y.
Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) vs. Kingston Stockade (NPSL)
May 9 in Madison, N.J.
FC Motown (NPSL) vs. New York Red Bulls U23 (PDL)
May 9 in Reading, Pa.
Reading United (PDL) vs. Christos FC (Md.)
May 9 in Erie, Pa.
Erie Commodores (NPSL) vs. Rochester River Dogz (N.Y.)
May 9 in Amesbury, Mass.
Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) vs. Kendall Wanderers (Mass.)
May 9 in Hamtramck, Mich.
Detroit City FC (NPSL) vs. Michigan Bucks (PDL)
May 9 in New York, N.Y.
New York Cosmos B (NPSL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys (N.Y.)
OR in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys (N.Y.)

May 9 in Montverde, Fla.
SIMA Aguilas (PDL) vs. The Villages SC/Jacksonville Armada winner
May 9 in Matthews, N.C.
Charlotte Eagles (PDL) vs. Inter Nashville FC (NPSL)
May 9 in Little River, S.C.
Myrtle Beach Mutiny (PDL) vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC (PDL)
May 9 in Hialeah, Fla.
Miami United FC (NPSL) vs. FC Kendall (Fla.)
May 9 in New Orleans, La.
New Orleans Jesters (NPSL) vs. Mississippi Brilla (PDL)
May 9 in Miami, Fla.
Red Force FC (Fla.) vs. FC Miami City/Miami FC 2 winner

May 9 in Wichita, Kan.
FC Wichita (NPSL) vs. OKC Energy U23 (PDL)
May 9 in Duluth, Minn.
Duluth FC (NPSL) vs. Dakota Fusion (NPSL)
May 9 in Midland, Texas
Midland-Odessa Sockers (NPSL) vs. Lakeland Tropics (PDL)
May 9 in Dallas, Texas
NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. Fort Worth Vaqueros (NPSL)
May 9 in Thornton, Colo.
FC Denver (Colo.) vs. Azteca FC (Colo.)

May 8 in Salem, Ore.
Portland Timbers U23 (PDL) vs. Kitsap SC (NPSL)
May 9 in Oakland, Calif.
CD Aguiluchos USA (NPSL) vs. San Francisco City FC (PDL)
May 9 in Whittier, Calif.
FC Golden State Force (PDL) vs. L.A. Wolves (Calif.)
May 9 in Irvine, Calif.
Orange County FC (NPSL) vs. Santa Ana Winds (Calif.)
May 9 in Mesa, Ariz.
FC Arizona (NPSL) vs. Sporting AZ (Ariz.)
May 9 in Tucson, Ariz.
FC Tucson (PDL) vs. La Maquina FC (Calif.)

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