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First Round Rundown: League Two Teams in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup

By Staff, 03/22/22, 5:29PM EDT


A look ahead to this week's Open Cup action, featuring 11 USL League Two teams in the first round, with at least two guaranteed to move on.

South Carolina FC and North Carolina Fusion U-23 compete in the 2021 USL League Two playoffs

On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, 11 USL League Two squads will be trying to advance into the next round of the Lamar Hunt Open Cup, to claim a spot among the best soccer clubs in the country. The first round is populated with League Two and other pre-professional teams, for the chance to eventually play teams higher on the US soccer pyramid.

Here are the details on the upcoming matchups, and how you can watch them.

Tuesday, March 22

7 p.m. ET – West Chester United SC v. FC Motown (NPSL) – streaming on ESPN+

The first-round action kicks off with League Two’s own West Chester United facing NPSL’s FC Motown. The defending Mid-Atlantic Division Champions will be looking to get their 2022 play started in style as they play at MSU Soccer Park in Montclair, New Jersey.

Final (AET): West Chester United SC 3 - 2 FC Motown

7:15 p.m. ET – Chicago FC United v. Cleveland SC (NPSL) – streaming on USSF’s YouTube channel

Final (AET): Chicago FC United 1 - 2 Cleveland SC

7:30 p.m. ET – The Villages SC v. Orlando Wolves SC (CFSL) – streaming on USSF’s YouTube channel

In this Central Florida matchup, the Villages play host to Orlando Wolves of the Central Florida Soccer League. They’ll square off for the chance to play the USL Championship’s Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg. The Villages dominated the Southeast division last season, before falling to South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 in the playoffs. They’re looking to start this campaign with a strong Open Cup showing.

Final: The Villages SC 6 - 0 Orlando Wolves SC

Wednesday, March 23

7 p.m. ET – Ocean City Nor’easters v. Lansdowne Yonkers FC (CSL) – streaming on ESPN+

7 p.m. ET – South Carolina United FC v. NC Fusion U23 – streaming on USSF’s YouTube channel

No matter what, a USL League Two team will be advancing to the next round out of this game. They’ll be playing for the opportunity to take on League One’s Charlotte Independence in the next round. This game will be a rematch of the 2021 Southern Conference playoff semifinal game, where these two teams last faced each other. A 96th-minute goal by North Carolina Fusion U-23's Henrique Santos was all the difference between the teams last time out in a game that featured 15 combined saves by its keepers. South Carolina will look to get revenge on their northern neighbor in the Open Cup before the League Two season.

7:30 p.m. ET – Western Mass Pioneers v. Brockton FC United (UPSL) - streaming on USSF’s YouTube channel

8 p.m. ET – Des Moines Menace v. Minneapolis City SC – streaming on ESPN+

Another match between two USL League Two sides that will guarantee another League Two presence in the second round. Des Moines are the defending League Two champions, and Minneapolis City are one of League Two’s newest expansion teams. They’re hoping to set a tone by defeating League Two’s best, while the Menace are hoping to assert their dominance against the new side. The winner will go on to play USL League One’s Union Omaha in the second round.

10 p.m. ET – Portland Timbers U-23 v. Contra Costa FC (Calif.) – streaming on USSF’s YouTube channel

10:30 p.m. ET – Park City Red Wolves v. Las Vegas Legends FC – streaming on ESPN+

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