Forward Madison FC (USL League One) and Orange County FC (NPSL) grabbed headlines on Wednesday night as they completed upsets in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Forward Madison FC took down El Paso Locomotive FC (USL Championship) in a game where the stat line and scoreline did not align.
The Flamingos recorded a mere 27% possession, and roughly a third of the passes completed by the Locomotive, yet two counter-attacking first-half goals on the back of Jiro Barriga Toyama and Christian Díaz was enough to spur the USL newcomers to a victory.
The side from Wisconsin have yet to concede a goal in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, defeating Bavarian 2-0 and the Locomotive 3-0. They will hope to continue their strong defensive run of form on Wednesday as they take on St. Louis FC (USL Championship) at Toyota Park.
Orange County FC also made news on Wednesday night, taking down their regional rivals Orange County SC (USL Championship) in penalties 5-3.
The two teams, who share a stadium (and nearly a name), battled to a 2-2 finish in regulation time thanks to late goals by Darwin Jones (87’) and Rayan Holland (90+2’). It was Cody Shelton of OCFC, however, who clinched the shootout victory for the NPSL side.
In another match where the lower-league side was outmatched in possession and passing, the Lake Forest outfit found ways to compete in what was a very tense game, eventually showing enough fight to finish the job.
Orange County FC will work to keep their dreams alive as they face Las Vegas Lights FC (USL Championship) in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
With one more round to go before teams from Major League Soccer are drawn into the competition, both Forward Madison FC and Orange County FC will hope to continue their run of form both for pride and to secure the $25,000 reward that comes with being the team to advance furthest from their respective leagues.
Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup Results
Hartford Athletic 2 – New York Cosmos B 1
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 3 – Dayton Dutch Lions 0
Charlotte Independence 1 – Florida Soccer Soldiers 1, 2-2 after extra time (4-5 on penalties)
Tampa Bay Rowdies 4 – The Villages SC 1
Nashville SC 3 – South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 2
OKC Energy 3 – NTX Rayados 1
Austin Bold FC 2 – Tulsa Roughnecks FC 0
San Antonio FC 2 – Laredo Heat SC 0
Las Vegas Lights 2 – CAL FC 0
Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup Results
Indy Eleven 1 – Lansing Ignite FC 0
North Carolina FC 4, Richmond Kickers 1
Louisville City FC 3, Reading United AC 0
Memphis 901 FC 3 – New York Red Red Bulls U23 1
Birmingham Legion FC 4 – West Chester Predators 1
Des Moines Menace 1 – Saint Louis FC 1 (1-3 on penalties)
Greenville Triumph SC 1 – Charleston Battery 2
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 1 – FC Denver 0
El Paso Locomotive FC 0 – Forward Madison FC 3
Phoenix Rising FC 1 – New Mexico United 1, 2-2 after extra time (3-4 on penalties)
El Farlolito 0 – Fresno FC 1
Sacramento Republic FC 1 – Reno 1868 FC 0
Orange County SC 2 – Orange County FC 2, (3-5 on penalties)