Four U.S. Open Cup upsets highlight second round

The U.S. Open Cup produced its first four upsets in 2023.

That's down from 2022 when 10 lower-level teams beat higher-level teams in the second round, but six other second-round games went to overtime, including a wild 5-4 match involving 2022 runner-up Sac Republic FC.

The four upsets ...

• South Georgia Tormenta FC (USL League One) 2 Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (USL Championship) 1. The 2022 USL League One winner got goals from John Murphy Jr. and Kingsford Adjei, but the key play came in the 69th minute when Pablo Jara saved a penalty kick with the home team holding on to a 1-0 lead. Tormenta FC is now 3-0 against USL Championship teams, having also won away games against the Charleston Battery and Birmingham Legion in 2022.

Union Omaha (USL League One) 2 El Paso Locomotive (USL Championship) 0. Second-half goals by Junior Palacios and Steevan Dos Santos moved the Owls back into the third round, where they beat the Chicago Fire in 2022.  Omaha was first third-division team since 2013 and first USL League One team to ever make the quarterfinals, winning on the road against the Fire and a second MLS team, Minnesota United.

• Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL Championship) 1 Northern Colorado Hailstorm (USL League One) 3. For the second year in a row, Hailstorm FC made the drive down I-25 and beat the Switchbacks in overtime in the second round of the Open Cup. It fell behind in the 82nd minute, but Trevor Amann, who hit the post shortly after Drew Skundrich's goal for the Switchbacks, equalized in the 88th minute. Overtime goals by Donald Benamna and Marky Hernandez moved the Hailstorm into the third round. In 2022, the 1-0 win in Colorado Springs marked the Hailstorm's first ever game. It went on to beat MLS's Real Salt Lake and reach the round of 32, where it fell to Union Omaha in a matchup of USL League One teams.

• Tulsa Athletic (NPSL) 1 FC Tulsa (USL Championship) 0. Tulsa Athletic is the lone amateur entrant that won its second-round game, getting revenge for its 2-1 loss to FC Tulsa in the 2022 Tulsa derby. Tulsa Athletic, one of eight NPSL entrants, is playing in the Open Cup for the fifth time. Its first win came in 2022 when it beat Azteca FC, 3-0. It survived two missed penalty kicks to beat Brazos Valley Cavalry FC, 1-0, in this year's first round. To celebrate its 2023 appearance in the tournament, Tulsa Athletic released a pink jersey featuring photos of past U.S. Open Cup participants (including 1962 champion New York Hungaria) and saying “Pro Rel for USA.”

Close calls in overtime ...

• Republic FC needed to come back from 2-0 down after 13 minutes and 3-2 in overtime to beat the NPSL's Crossfire Redmond 5-4, on first-year defender Johhny Fenwick's goal in the 113th minute.

• Memphis 901 (USL Championship) edged first-year One Knoxville FC (USL League One), 2-1, on Jeremy Kelly's goal in the 121st minute to claim the battle of Tennessee teams.

• Maryland Bobcats (NISA) got their winner in the 3-2 win against the Ocean City Nor'easters (USL League Two) courtesy of Phillip Brown's goal in the 123rd minute. (The Bobcats' equalizer came in the 92nd minute.)

• Monterey Bay (USL Championship) 3-1 over Central Valley Fuego (USL League One) 2-1 before 3,057 fans at Fresno State.

• Indy Eleven (USL Championship) 3-1 over Michigan Stars (NISA) with assists by Solomon Asante on all three goals.

• Loudoun United (USL Championship) 2-1 over North Carolina FC (USL League One) on Wesley Leggett's goal in the 116th minute.

Second Round

Tuesday, April 4
Miami FC 3 Jacksonville Armada 1. (Goals: Telfer 34, Repetto 84 pen., 89; Eloudnou 32.)
Hartford Athletic 3 Lansdowne Yonkers FC 0. (Goals: Amoh 27, 73 pen. 82.)
One Knoxville SC 1 Memphis 901 2. (Goals: Ilic 57 pen.; Borczak 38, Kelly 120+4.)
Detroit City FC 1 Gold Star Detroit 0. (Goal: Matthews 43.)

Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 Nona FC 0. (Goals: Williams 25, Mkosana 32.)
Flower City Union 3 Manhattan SC 1. (Goals: Elias 36, 42, Diakhate 82; Karamoko 71.)
Charleston Battery 4 Savannah Clovers 1. (Goals: Crawford 36, Williams 50, Trager 62, Markanich 76; Sanchez 75.)
San Antonio FC 2 Club de Lyon FC 1. (Goal: Agustin 79, Holt pen. 98; Hernandez 61.)
New Mexico United 6 UDA Soccer 0. (Goals: Sosa 2, Portillo 40 pen., Dopling 30, 61 pen., 73, Bruce 64.)
Oakland Roots 3 El Farolito 1. (Goals: Rodriguez 11, Prentice 16, 24; Delgado pen. 45.)

Wednesday, April 5
Charlotte Independence 2 Appalachian FC 0. (Goals: Bennett 25 pen., Dimick 66.)
Indy Eleven 2 Michigan Stars 1. (Goals: Robledo 59, Guenzatti 92, Tejada 106; Popovic 45+2 pen.)
Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Rochester New York FC
(Pittsburgh Riverhounds win on forfeit)
Louisville City 1 Lexington SC 0. (Goal: Totsch 69.)
Loudoun United 2 North Carolina FC 1. (Goals: Ryan 7, Leggett 116; Servania 67.)
Maryland Bobcats 3 Ocean City Nor'easters 2. (Goals: Espinal 67 pen., 82, Brown 120+3; Jackson 22, Labutis 90+2.)
Chattanooga Red Wolves 1 Birmingham Legion 4. (Goals: Lombardi 79; Agudelo 45+1, 63, Smith 47, Nwegbo 87.)
South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 Rio Grande Valley FC Toros 1. (Goals: Murphy 39, Adjei 82; Ruiz 90+1.)
Des Moines Menace 1 Chattanooga FC 4. (Goals: Garcia 69; Naglestad 23, Rodriguez 35, McGrath 72, Louis 85.)
Union Omaha 2 El Paso Locomotive 0. (Goals: Palacios 58, Dos Santos 75.)
Tulsa Athletic 1 FC Tulsa 0. (Goal: Harris 63.)
Colorado Springs Switchbacks 1 Northern Colorado Hailstorm 3. (Goals: Skundrich 82; Amann 88, Benamna 95, Hernandez 107.)
Orange County SC 5 Capo FC 0. (Goals: Nielsen 33, Jamison 45+1, Iloski 69, 90+3 pen., Amang 87.)
Sac Republic FC 5 Crossfire Redmond 4. (Goals: Lewis 81, 105, Cicerone 85, 97, Fenwick 113; Aman 7, 111, Stewart 13, Hussein 93.)
San Diego Loyal 2 Albion San Diego 0. (Goals: Adams 25 pen., Conway 62.)
Central Valley Fuego 1 Monterey Bay 3. (Goals: Vazquez 116; Volesky 95, Dixon 110, Gleadle 120+1.)
Las Vegas Lights 4 LA Force 0. (Goals: Gonzalez 16, 23, Ingram 37, Torres 64.)
Phoenix Rising 1 Greenville Triumph 0. (Goal: Harvey 21).

Thursday, April 6
Richmond Kickers vs. Cleveland SC 7 pm. ET (B/R)

Tuesday, April 11
Forward Madison FC vs. Chicago House AC 7 pm. ET (YouTube)

2 comments about "Four U.S. Open Cup upsets highlight second round".
  1. Wallace Wade, April 6, 2023 at 7:58 a.m.

    Who would ever know? No way to view any matches. I vote to rename this weakened version of a once great tournament, The Stu Holden Invitational 

  2. humble 1 replied, April 6, 2023 at 12:53 p.m.

    Kinda old fashioned but maybe look up your local game and but a ticket.  This is normal for early stages and lower divisions - go in person.  I know I know - runs against the current - they have so many Americans watching Liga MX and Premier League.  The video and streaming tech is there for semi-pro/amateur games - but not well formed - and brittle - you need tech savy people from your club or volunteers to run it - and - you will be subject to the vagaries of the local cellular network.

    Go back 5 short years to 2018 - and - it was NASL that was D2.  USL was just starting in D2 and the D3 USL One did not exist.  These sorts of upsets were not likely.

    It was also DA only for Boys Academies in 2018 and Girls DA was just starting.  Today boys have MLS Next, MLS Next Pro, ECNL, and USL Academy.

    Lotta folks working hard out there - building up and infrastructure.  I watch a lot of soccer in person in all the levels.  Was just at Rowdies - Birmingham game - nice little waterfront stadium - nat grass - downtown St. Pete.  Very nice.

    Keep it going!


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