U.S. Open Cup: Former champions begin this weekend in 2019 qualifying route

Two of the great names of the U.S. Open Cup -- the New York Pancyprian Freedoms and Ukrainian Nationals -- begin play this weekend in the first qualifying round for the 2019 competition.

The three-time champion New York Pancyprian Freedoms travel to Yonkers on Saturday to face the Lansdowne Bhoys in a battle of Cosmopolitan League teams.

The Queens-based Pancyprian Freedoms were founded in 1975 by Greek refugees from Cyprus after the Turkish invasion of the island. They won Open Cup titles in 1980, 1982 and 1983 and were one of the rare American entrants in the Concacaf Champions Cup in the 1980s, advancing to the semifinals in 1984.

The Pancyprian Freedoms are led by 38-year-old Jeff Matteo, who played two seasons in MLS,  former U.S. U-17 Andreas Chronis, who moved to Greece out of high school, Jordan Shankle, who finished up last year at St. John's and Gerassimos Magoulas, who played at Division II Dowling. Also on the roster is Alecko Eskandarian, who won MLS Cup 2004 with D.C. United and now works in the MLS league office.

The Ukrainian Nationals host Eastern Pennsylvania rival United German Hungarians on Sunday at the Tryzub Ukrainian American Sports Center in North Wales.

The Ukes were formed in 1950 by Ukrainian immigrants and dominated the U.S. soccer scene in the early 1960s, winning four consecutive ASL titles (1961-64) and capturing Open Cup titles in 1960, 1961, 1963 and 1966. They featured Brazilian-born U.S. international Alex Ely and Walter Chyzowych.

They moved to the German-American League and now compete in the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania against the United German Hungarians, Vereinigung Erzgebirge and other institutions of the Eastern Pennsylvania soccer scene.

The Ukrainian Nationals survive in part because they have a flourishing youth program.

Northeast Region
First Round:
Sept. 22 in Roxbury, Mass.

Southie FC (Mass.) vs. GPS Omens (Mass.)
Sept. 22 in Cambridge, Mass.
Kendall Wanderers (Mass.) vs. Boston Siege (Mass.)
Sept. 22 in Somerville, Mass.
Safira FC (Mass.) vs. Mass United FC (Mass.)
Sept. 22 in Jackson, N.J.
Jackson Lions (N.J.) vs. Newtown Pride (Conn.)
Sept. 22 in Yonkers, N.Y.
Lansdowne Bhoys (N.Y.) vs. New York Pancyprian Freedoms (N.Y.)
Sept. 23 in North Wales, Pa.
Ukrainian Nationals (Pa.) vs. United German Hungarians (Pa.)
Sept. 23 in Warminster, Pa.
Vereinigung Erzgebirge (Pa.) vs. West Chester Predators (Pa.)
Sept. 23 in Malden, Mass.
Boston City FC II (Mass.) vs. Juve-Pro Soccer (Mass.)

Mid-Atlantic Region
First Round:
Sept. 22 in Charlottesville, Va.

Tigres FC (Va.) vs. Cville Alliance FC - Reserves (Va.)
Sept. 22 in Columbia, Md.
Izee Auto (Md.) vs. World Class Premier Elite (Md.)
Sept. 23 in Windsor Mill, Md.
Steel Pulse FC (Md.) vs. Aegean Hawks (Md.)
Sept. 23 in Elkridge, Md.
Christos FC (Md.) vs. Rockville SC (Md.)
Sept. 23 in Washington, D.C.
DC Cheddar (D.C.) vs. Super Delegates (Md.)
Sept. 23 in Manassas, Va.
Centro America FC (Va.) vs. Virginia United (Va.)
First Round Bye: Rochester River Dogz (N.Y.), Tartan Devils Oak Avalon (Pa.)

Second Round:
Oct. 21 in Webster, N.Y.

Rochester River Dogz (N.Y.) vs. Tartan Devils Oak Avalon (Pa.)

Southeast Region
First Round:
Sept. 22 in Winter Garden, Fla.

America SC (Fla.) vs. Orlando FC Wolves (Fla.)
Sept. 22 in Miami, Fla.
Miami Sun (Fla.) vs. Florida Soccer Soldiers (Fla.)
Sept. 23 in Kissimmee; Fla.
Deportivo Lake Mary (Fla.) vs. Sporting Orlando SC (Fla.)
Sept. 23 in Columbia, S.C.
Soda City FC Sorinex (S.C.) vs. FC Cardinals (N.C.)
Sept. 23 in Miami, Fla.
Red Force FC (Fla.) vs. FC Kendall (Fla.)
First Round Bye: Central Florida FC Spartans (Fla.), Hurricane FC (Fla.), Shahin Atlanta FC (Ga.)

Central Region
Sept. 22 in Austin, Texas
Celtic Cowboys Premier (Texas) vs. San Antonio Runners (Texas)
Sept. 22 in New Orleans, La.
Motagua New Orleans (La.) vs. Port City FC (Miss.)
Sept. 22 in Plano, Texas
Dallas Elite FC (Texas) vs. NTX Rayados (Texas)
Sept. 23 in Saline, Mich.
Ann Arbor FC (Mich.) vs. Livonia City FC (Mich.)
Sept. 23 in Houston, Texas
Bay Area Oilers (Texas) vs. Leon FC (Texas)
First Round Bye: Aurora Borealis Soccer Club (Ill.), FC Maritsa (Mo.), FC Minnesota (Minn.)

Mountain Region
First Round:
Sept. 23 in Denver, Colo.

Indios Denver (Colo.) vs. FC Denver (Colo.)
Sept. 23 in Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Colorado Rush (Colo.) vs. Harpos FC (Colo.)
Sept. 23 in Commerce City, Colo.
Gam United FC (Colo.) vs. Northern Colorado FC (Colo.)
Sept. 23 in Broomfield, Colo.
Colorado Rovers (Colo.) vs. Club El Azul (Colo.)
First Round Bye: Boise Cutthroats FC (Idaho), San Juan FC (Utah), Southwest FC (Texas), Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.)

Second Round:
Oct. 21 in Boise, Idaho
Boise Cutthroats FC (Idaho) vs. San Juan FC (Utah)
Oct. 21 in Mesa, Ariz.
Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) vs. Southwest FC (Texas)

Southern California Region
First Round:
Sept. 22 in Lake Forest, Calif.
L.A. Wolves (Calif.) vs. Santa Ana Winds (Calif.)
Sept. 22 in Calabasas, Calif.
Cal FC (Calif.) vs. San Nicolas FC (Calif.)
Sept. 22 in Lake Forest, Calif.
Lionside FC (Calif.) vs. SC Trojans (Calif.)
Sept. 23 in La Palma, Calif.
Buena Park FC (Calif.) vs. Valley United SC (Calif.)
Sept. 23 in Bellflower, Calif.
Real Sociedad Royals (Calif.) vs. Quickening (Calif.)
Sept. 23 in Lake Forest, Calif.
CaliGators FC (Calif.) vs. California United FC II (Calif.)
Sept. 23 in Long Beach, Calif.
Outbreak FC (Calif.) vs. L.A. South Bay Monsters (Calif.)
First Round Bye: Chula Vista FC (Calif.)

West Region
First Round:
Sept. 22 in Turlock, Calif.

Academica SC (Calif.) vs. Davis Legacy SC (Calif.)
Sept. 22 in Oakland, Calif.
Oakland FC Leopards (Calif.) vs. Oakland Stompers (Calif.)
Sept. 22 in San Ramon, Calif.
San Ramon Dynamos (Calif.) vs. JASA RWC (Calif.)
First Round Bye: Contra Costa FC (Calif.), IPS/Marathon Taverna (Ore.), Napa Sporting (Calif.), Nevada Coyotes (Nev.), Real San Jose (Calif.)

Second Round:
Oct. 21 in Portland, Ore.
IPS/Marathon Taverna (Ore.) vs. Nevada Coyotes FC (Nev.)
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