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PDL clubs provide surprises in second round of U.S. Open Cup

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Against the odds, four Premier Development League (PDL) sides came through victorious in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup, defeating professional opposition on Tuesday evening.

FC Tucson outlasted the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions on the road on penalty kicks, winning 4-3 after the score was level at 2-2 following regulation and extra time. The Des Moines Menace took down Minnesota United of the NASL on the road, 1-0, thanks to a goal from Brandon Fricke in the 86th minute, while the Ocean City Nor’easters defeated the USL-Pro Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 1-0, at home.

Finally, Reading United defeated nearby rivals Harrisburg City Islanders of USL-Pro by a score of 1-0.

Dreams for amateur sides Icon FC (4-1 defeat to USL-Pro Richmond Kickers), Dearborn Stars (4-1 defeat after extra time to USL-Pro Dayton Dutch Lions), and the Georgia Revolution (3-2 defeat to NASL Atlanta Silverbacks) were put to an end with losses on Tuesday.

The four PDL sides who advanced will face Major League Soccer opposition in the third round of the competition next week. FC Tucson will visit the Houston Dynamo, the Des Moines Menace will face Sporting Kansas City, the Ocean City Nor’easters will take on the Philadelphia Union, and Reading United will play the New York Red Bulls.

Here’s a closer look at all the action from the second round of the U.S. Open Cup:

(USL-Pro) Richmond Kickers 4, (USASA) Icon FC 1 (REPORT)

(USL-Pro) Dayton Dutch Lions 4, (USASA) Dearborn Stars 1 (AET) (REPORT)

(PDL) Ocala Stampede 1, (USL-Pro) Orlando City SC 3 (REPORT)

(USL-Pro) Charlotte Eagles 3, (PDL) Seattle Sounders U23’s 0 (REPORT)

(USASA) Georgia Revolution 2, (NASL) Atlanta Silverbacks 3 (REPORT)

(NASL) Carolina RailHawks 3, (PDL) Carolina Dynamo 1 (REPORT)

(PDL) Reading United 1, (USL-Pro) Harrisburg City Islanders 0 (REPORT)

(USL-Pro) VSI Tampa Bay FC 1, (NASL) Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 (REPORT)

(PDL) Ocean City Nor’easters 1, (USL-PRO) Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0 (REPORT)

(NASL) Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1, (PDL) Laredo Head 1 (7-6 on PK’s) (REPORT)

(USL-Pro) Rochester Rhinos 1, (PDL) Portland Phoenix 0 (REPORT)

(NASL) Minnesota United FC 0, (PDL) Des Moines Menace 1 (REPORT)

(NASL) San Antonio Scorpions 2, (PDL) FC Tucson 2 (3-4 on PK’s) (REPORT)

(PDL) Austin Aztex 0, (USL-Pro) Wilmington Hammerheads 2 (REPORT)

(USL-Pro) Los Angeles Blues 5, (PDL) Ventura County Fusion 1 (REPORT)

(PDL) Portland Timbers U23’s 0, (USL-Pro) Charleston Battery 1 (REPORT)


  1. Reading this after this last round of play. Many great upset predictions that came true! Well done and congratulations to the teams and their supporters for moving on! Special love to Tampa Bay and Charleston for their upsets of Seattle and LA. We welcome our Rowdies friends in Portland. If you intend on making the journey to PDX, hit me up on twitter @PDXToddDiskin especially if you need accommodations help. We are hopeful to get you back for 1975. 🙂

  2. I wonder if the LA Blues will sell out Titan stadium. Would Chivas crack under the pressure of playing front of 10,000?

  3. Tampa Rowdies to take care of business v. Seattle Sounders next Wednesday.

    The Bulgarian, Georgi Hristov, has been the player to watch for the Rowdies, scoring 2 more goals last night.


  4. 2 of these 5 upsets will happen:

    LA Blues over Chivas USA
    Fort Lauderdale over Dallas
    Orlando over Colorado
    Charleston over SJ
    Atlanta over RSL


  5. Rochester vs. New England, Philly vs. Ocean City, Richmond vs. DC and Chivas vs. LA; all MLS teams vs. their minor league buddies.. could be good games; a lot of motivation for those players.

  6. Prediction: The Charleston Battery will defeat the SJ Earthquakes. They are a good team, with a great stadium and fan base and it’s too bad there is no such thing as relegation/promotion in this country, otherwise, they would be a good choice to join MLS slotting into the spot likely to be occupied soon by Chivas USA.

  7. How do the TImbers and Sounders U23’s work? Both teams appear to be a college all-star team (akron all-starts for the timbers of course) but are these players under contract with the clubs? I don’t see how they could be paid as I’m sure that would violate some stupid NCAA rule.

    • As far as I am aware, PDL teams are not allowed to pay their players a salary, outside of stipends for food/gear/what not. Apparently there are some sides that have started to pay players (PDL-Pro) but NCAA athletes are not allowed to play for those teams. It is permissible for an NCAA athlete to face a professional team, but not play alongside them.

    • PDL teams generally aren’t paid and most PDL teams are made up of current and recent HS players. The players are not under contract to the MLS teams.

    • This will be the second year in a row that the Galaxy have had to travel to NC to play the Carolina Railhawks. It’s a great opportunity for Railhawks fans to see one of the big MLS clubs. (Of course, last year the Galaxy brought a B-team and got beat!)

  8. Fort Lauderdale Strikers game was a lot of fun last night…Strikers GK came up huge to put the game away with 2 PK saves in a row. The faithful spectators that went the distance through an extra 30 minutes and PK’s were rewarded for their loyalty!

    Bring on FC Dallas!…DEFEND THE FORT!

  9. The San Antonio – FC Tucson match was carried live via streaming by! I

    think FC Tucson benefited greatly from the pre-season Cactus Cup where FC Tucson played against several MLS teams (and winning once too). On the other hand they are no surprises to other MLS teams too.

    GO FC-Tucson!!!


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