It was another wild night of soccer in the Southeast Region in the second round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Here’s the recap
The largest upsets of the night saw three USL teams slip and fall to teams from the PDL and NPSL. The Mississippi Brilla, Jacksonville Armada, and region-visiting Ocean City Nor’easters all advance to the next round of the Cup at the expense of the Indy Eleven, Tampa Bay Rowdies, and Charlotte Independence.
Ocean City provided the largest “Cupset” of the night defeating Charlotte 3-1. The Nor’easters jumped out to a 2-0 lead after just seven minutes and tacked on another just before the half to stun the Independence. Charlotte managed a goal in the 58th but it was not enough to spark an epic US Open Cup comeback.
The two longest-running professional soccer franchises in the country also were on upset alert Wednesday night as their PDL opposition was ready for the moment. The USL’s Charleston Battery endured a tough challenge from South Georgia Tormenta to edge past the PDL team 1-0 into the next round while another USL side the Richmond Kickers needed PKs to break a 1-1 deadlock at PDL side Reading United ultimately winning 4-3 in kicks from the mark.
Other games went as expected with North Carolina FC and Nashville FC moving on to round two of the US Open Cup.
Some interesting match ups now await in the US Open Cup Third Round to be played on May 22 and 23. The Round Two winners will be drawn against each other with both sides looking to advance into Round Four where MLS opponents join the tournament in early June.
And if rounds one and two are any indication…it’s going to be some great soccer action May 22 and 23. Let’s recap:
Charleston Battery (USL) 1-0 South Georgia Tormenta FC (PDL)
MUSC Health Stadium; Charleston, S.C.
The Battery rotated the squad for this one and won a scrappy 1-0 affair as Patrick Okonkwo finished a cross for the game’s lone goal. Tormenta made a late push but was unable to level the score allowing the Battery’s first-half goal to decide it. The reigning NPSL champs Elm City are up next for the Battery.
Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) 1-0 Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL)
Southern Oak Stadium (Jacksonville University), Jacksonville, Fla.
There was a weather delay in Jacksonville but the hosts made a 58th minute goal from J. C. Banks be the difference. The former NASL franchise now moves forward hosting Miami United FC in the next round.
Miami FC 2 (NPSL) 1-3 Miami United FC (NPSL)
FIU Soccer Stadium; Miami, Fla.
The all-NPSL clash went 3-1 to Miami United. David Ochoa scored two quick second-half goals in the 49th and 52nd minutes to erase the Miami FC opener as United stormed back to win the night. United travels to Jacksonville for Round Three.
Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) 1-0 Indy Eleven (USL)
Clinton High School; Clinton, Miss.
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Brilla stood up to the Indy Eleven pressure the entire match and found their break-through moment in the 82nd minute when a ball whipped into the crowded Eleven PK box was one-touched off the boot of Koray Easterling into the far post for the game-winner. Brilla plays Nashville SC in Round Three.
Nashville SC (USL) 2-0 Inter Nashville FC (NPSL)
Vanderbilt Soccer/Lacrosse Complex; Nashville, Tenn.
No surprises here as the USL side dominated the match and took a 2-0 win thanks to a Tucker Hume brace. Nashville will see Mississippi Brilla in the next round.
North Carolina FC (USL) 3-0 Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.)
Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park; Cry, N.C.
Another no-surprises result here as the USL team downed the reigning U.S. amateur side 3-0. Connor Tobin put the hosts up 1-0 after just two minutes and strikes in the 44th and 74th sealed the victory. The upstart Ocean City Nor’Easters are next for NCFC in Round Three.
Reading United AC (PDL) 1-1 (3-4 PKs) Richmond Kickers (USL)
Alvernia University Stadium; Reading, Pa.
Little could separate the two sides over 120 minutes as they traded goals with the Kickers scoring in the 8th minute and United knotting things at 1-1 in the 70th minute. Kicker’s goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg came up huge in PKs making two saves to propel the team to the win. Richmond hosts Penn FC in the next round.
Charlotte Independence (USL) 1-3 Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL)
Mecklenburg County Sportsplex; Matthews, N.C.
The big upset of the night had to be the collapse of Charlotte at home to the Nor’easters. Ocean City blasted out to a 3-0 halftime advantage and never looked back. Kyle Gurrieri netted two goals in the first seven minutes to stun the hosts and set the tone for the match. The Nor’easters will make another trip to North Carolina for Round Three to face North Carolina FC.