Today’s the day for the third round matches in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. (Well, except for Rochester and Reading, who played last night to a 2-1 extra time win for the Rhinos.) This year, Round 3 is when NASL teams join in on the fun, so we’ll see all eight US-based teams in action tonight.
Last year, the NASL teams entered in the second round; four teams won and two lost. So there’s no guarantee that the higher league teams will win. Teams are competing for the right to move on to Round 4, which is when MLS teams enter the tournament. So we’ll see who gets to bid for an upset.
Just a reminder: USOC matchups are settled in a single match — no home-and-home — and if tied after regulation, they’ll go to extra time (two 15-minute periods, no “golden goal”) followed by a penalty shootout if necessary.
Indy Eleven vs Dayton Dutch Lions
Indy have their first USOC match tonight at Carroll Stadium against the Dayton Dutch Lions of USL Pro. Dayton have an affiliate relationship with both FC Twente of the Eredivisie and the Columbus Crew of MLS, so they’re well supplied with prospective talent.
I don’t have much to add to the preview beyond what I’ve said before and what 11th Heaven posted last night. The Dutch Lions haven’t had a great season so far. They’re currently 11th in the table (out of 14 teams) and are now 2-2-5 with a -10 goal differential; they haven’t won since April 19 and are 0-1-4 in their last 5 games. Most recently they lost 2-1 to Sacramento in California. But they’ll be encouraged by Indy’s form, and the Eleven can take nothing for granted if they want a win.
The winner will travel to Columbus to take on the Crew in the fourth round. Will Indy get a first home win and get to visit the MLS side? We’ll find out tonight! Season ticket holders have a ticket to this game, as the previously-unassigned “Game 15” of our package. It’s also the US Soccer “Game of the Round”, so the match will be streamed live on ussoccer.com. But wouldn’t you rather see it live? With a Wednesday evening match, it’s likely that the stadium will have a few more empty seats than normal. Come on out to The Mike and see the first modern Indiana team take its place in the US Open Cup!
Other NASL Teams In Action
Seven other NASL teams will take the field in the cup, with three on the road. Check out the full previews on TheCup.us. (I understand why US Soccer is so focused on the World Cup, but it’s a shame that they can’t do a better job of supporting and promoting their own tournament. Their Schedule and Results page is still stuck in 2013. C’mon, guys!)
- New York Cosmos vs Brooklyn Italians (NPSL)
(winner faces New York Red Bulls)
- Des Moines Menace (USASA) vs Minnesota United FC
(winner visits Sporting KC)
- Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs Laredo Heat (PDL)
(winner visits Houston Dynamo)
- San Antonio Scorpions vs North Texas Rayados (USASA)
(winner visits FC Dallas)
- Carolina RailHawks vs Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro)
(winner hosts Chivas USA)
- Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs Atlanta Silverbacks
(winner hosts Real Salt Lake)
- Orlando City (USL Pro) vs Tampa Bay Rowdies
(winner visits Colorado Rapids)
The matches against USL Pro teams take on a special edge with the recent competitiveness between the two leagues. Orlando vs Tampa Bay is a particular example with Orlando recently receiving a MLS expansion bid, while Carolina-Charlotte is a tasty North Carolina derby. Minnesota vs Des Moines is the third USOC matchup in a row between the two teams, and Des Moines upset United last year, so plenty of history in that matchup.
Other USOC 3rd-Round Matches
Here are the seven other games we’ll see tonight (16 total games, with Rochester winning last night):
- Baltimore Bohemians (PDL) vs Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro)
- Richmond Kickers (USL Pro) vs NY Greek American Atlas (USASA)
- Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL Pro) vs RWB Adria (USASA)
- Charleston Battery (USL Pro) vs Orlando City U23s (PDL)
- Arizona United SC (USL Pro) vs Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL Pro)
- Sacramento Republic (USL Pro) vs Fresno Fuego (PDL)
- LA Galaxy II (USL Pro) vs PSA Elite (USASA)