The six North American Soccer League teams participating in the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will all face opposition from Major League Soccer if they are able to navigate through their second round games.
NASL teams first face opposition from USL Pro, PDL and NPSL teams on May 21 and a tie against a MLS rival the following Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29 is the prize on offer.
Current NASL league leaders the Carolina RailHawks will again take on the reigning MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy at WakeMed Soccer Park if they first overcome PDL side Carolina Dynamo.
Last season the RailHawks shocked the Galaxy with a 2-1 victory at home. Pat Noonan had put the Galaxy ahead in the first half, but the dogged RailHawks pulled level after 75 minutes through Ty Shipalane. Brian Shriver, the current NASL top scorer who finished as the US Open Cup’s leading scorer with five goals in three games in 2012, won it two minutes from time.
“It’s our equivalent to the FA Cup back in my home of England,” said RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke. “It’s our chance to play against the big boys and see what we can do.”
A clash away to defending Open Cup champion Kansas City will be the reward for Minnesota United FC if they can get past either Des Moines Menace or Madison 56ers on May 21. Last season Minnesota went on the road and shocked Real Salt Lake 3-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kevin Venegas stole the lead after only three minutes and after the hosts had leveled, Neil Hlavaty scored from the penalty spot and substitute Simone Bracalello made the game safe before the hour mark.
Real Salt Lake this time lies potentially in wait for the Atlanta Silverbacks, who will first travel to face the NPSL side Georgia Revolution. The Silverbacks will be looking to improve on a 5-0 defeat suffered at the hands of the Seattle Sounders last year if they progress.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies will face the Sounders at Al Lang Stadium if they overcome VSI Tampa Bay next week. Last season the Rowdies fell at the same stage, 3-1 to the Colorado Rapids.
Stressing that his side must first address their Second Round game, Rowdies coach Ricky Hill said: “We are looking forward to meeting VSI on Tuesday night. There is a prize for getting a win in the second round and that is facing the Seattle Sounders. We know we first have to beat VSI before we can think of a potential Round Three match against the Sounders.”
There are also possible home draws for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and San Antonio Scorpions. If the Strikers eliminate Laredo Heat of the PDL next week, they earn a home tie with FC Dallas. Last season Fort Lauderdale went out in the third round 2-1 to San Jose.
The Scorpions, who must also overcome a PDL team eyeing an upset when they take on FC Tucson, hope to rekindle their all-Texas rivalry by earning a home clash with the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Field. When the teams met at the same stage in 2012, asecond half Hans Denissen penalty crashed in off the underside of the cross bar and saw San Antonio shock the Dynamo in a famous victory.
Third Round Schedule Featuring NASL Teams
* NASL Teams must first overcome Second Round opposition on May 21
FC Dallas (MLS) at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Tuesday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota United FC (NASL)/Des Moines Menace (PDL)/Madison 56ers (NPSL) winner at Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. CT
Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)/Georgia Revolution (NPSL) winner at Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Tuesday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. MT
LA Galaxy (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
Wednesday, May 29, at 7:15 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo (MLS) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)
Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas
Wednesday, May 29, at 7:30 p.m. CT
Seattle Sounders (MLS) at Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)
Al Lang Stadium; St. Petersburg, Fla.
Wednesday, May 29, at 7:30 p.m. ET
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|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|