For the unfamiliar the US Open Cup is the oldest soccer competition in the United States with 2012 serving as the 99th iteration of the American cousin to the legendary English FA Cup. Buffalo is an NPSL town so for this season we’ll be keeping an eye on fellow NPSL clubs competing against a varied field containing truly amateur USASA teams all the way up to MLS sides like Seattle Sounders & DC United.
FC Buffalo failed to qualify for the Open Cup proper this season, dropping a play-in match away to Brooklyn Italians SC.
Jacksonville United FC: 2 Orlando City FC U-23: 1
Two successive goals in the final 8 minutes of regulation, including a dramatic 89th minute winner put the Northern Floridians through to Round 2 with a USL scalp to their name. A U-23 USL scalp, but a USL scalp just the same. The NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies await in the next phase of the bracket. It’s extremely unlikely Tampa will play a youth squad so it’s more than likely United’s dream run will end on the Gulf Coast.
Brooklyn Italians: 3 Portland Phoenix: 2
Brooklyn nipped the Maine PDL side by a goal, going up by 3 within the first 78 minutes but nearly allowing a frentic Portland side to equalize in the dying moments of the game. The two time Open Cup champions (1979 & 1991) come to Western New York in Round 2 for a date with the Rochester Rhinos (1999 Open Cup Champions).
FC Sonic: 0 Long Island Rough Riders: 2
The fast food inclined FC Sonic’s (yes, the burger joint) USOC hopes were done and dusted within 25 minutes as the Long Islanders struck twice to move on to face Harrisburg in the next round.
Milwaukee Bavarians: 1 Des Moines Menace: 3
Milwaukee was cruelly knocked out in injury time with two goals in the 102nd & 108th minutes. A bizarre match, the start of the game was delayed by lighting for 45 minutes with an additional 8 minutes of delay coming just before extra time as the field sprinklers automatically turned on.
Georgia Revolution: 1 Mississippi Brilla: 0
Another NPSL/PDL clash was decided in extra time but this time, the decision went to the NPSL side. Georgia broke the scoreless deadlock in the 105th minute with a headed goal. Georgia is rewarded with an intra-state derby against the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL in the second round
Fullerton Rangers: 2 Ventura County Fusion Soccer Club: 6
Fullerton were roundly thrashed by their PDL opponents when the final whistle blew.
But not in the way one would suspect looking at a 2-6 score line. Believe it or not, this one was decided in extra time as well as Ventura County throttled Rangers for a record 4 goals in the mini-game.
So there we have it: The first round is in the books and only three NPSL sides remain standing. Check back with us for more US Open Cup news & coverage as Round 2 kicks off on May 22nd. Much hangs in the balance and the odds are slim but a shock upset would mean a David v. Goliath scenario as MLS clubs await in Round 3…
Special thanks to www.thecup.us for match report details, scores and all around USOC mastery.