North Carolina FC vs Florida Soccer Soldiers : Two Cupsets by Forward Madison FC (USL League One) and Orange County FC (NPSL) highlighted the night as Division II (USL Championship) professional teams largely took care of business in the Second Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s national championship.
With the completion of the Second Round, 22 teams (19 from USL Championship, one from USL League One, and two Open Division amateurs) move on to face one another in the Third Round on May 28-29. There they will vie for the right to face Division I (Major League Soccer) competition in the Fourth Round scheduled for June 12. All the Third and Fourth Round games will be available to watch on ESPN+.
After the Third Round concludes, U.S. Soccer will conduct the Fourth Round Draw on Thursday, May 30 to determine the pairings with MLS clubs.
The 22 surviving sides from the first two rounds of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are in action again for the Third Round this Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28-29. And they’re all one win away from booking dates with clubs from Major League Soccer (MLS), the USA’s top professional tier. With a pair of Open Division amateurs still kicking in Florida’s Soccer Soldiers and Orange County FC – and Forward Madison flying the flag for USL’s third-tier, League One – there’s the possibility of a few cupsets still on the cards.
TRIO OF UNDERDOGS
The Florida Soccer Soldiers, out of SoFla, have been the underdog story of the tournament so far. They surprised full pros Miami FC in the First Round with a dramatic late goal from Daniel Meneses and then followed up with a Second Round stunner – Valentin Sabella again scoring late to send the all-amateur Soldiers to a penalty shootout against USL Championship pros Charlotte Independence [WATCH]. And they won that too. It was the biggest upset of the 2019 Open Cup so far, but coach Soccer Soldiers coach Daniel Godoy has no plans to stop there. “
It is a blown-up photo from the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Then known as the Carolina RailHawks of NASL, the club hosted the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 29 that year, in the third round of the tournament — and it should’ve been a comfortable victory for the Galaxy, who were the reigning MLS Cup and Supporter Shield champs, and were on their way to winning another MLS Cup later that season. Instead, the RailHawks pulled off a historic upset, winning 2-1 behind goals from Ty Shipalane and Brian Shriver while Sarachan was an assistant coach on that Galaxy team.
A year later, the RailHawks made a run to the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, again beating the Galaxy and topping now-defunct Chivas USA along the way. In 2014, the RailHawks bested the Galaxy and Chivas again for a second straight appearance in the tournament quarterfinals.
It wouldn’t be a U.S. Open Cup without a team of spirited part-timers punching above their weight and knocking a few big names off their perch. This year, in the 106th installment of American soccer’s oldest tournament, South Florida’s Soccer Soldiers are on the march and showing no fear. They followed up a dramatic First Round win over professional NPSL side and 2017 Open Cup Quarterfinalists Miami FC with a dramatic win over USL Championship side Charlotte Independence in the Second Round.