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USOC Round 2 Rewind: Tough time for D2

Breaking down the U.S. Open Cup’s biggest second round stories

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Another week, another round of the U.S. Open Cup. This is American club soccer at its most fun, and this week’s round didn’t disappoint. Let’s take a look at the biggest storylines of the second round.

Silverbacks take first half sucker punch

The Atlanta Silverbacks (NPSL) welcomed the Charleston Batter (USL) to the state of Georgia for their second round match-up. The Silverbacks, whom are formerly of the NASL, were looking to go far in this season’s cup, as they are one of the few NPSL sides to use only professional players.

They received a rude awakening Wednesday.

Charleston’s early pressure led to a goal in the 20th minute, when Forrest Lasso headed home a cross from Ryan Arambula. The Battery doubled their lead in the 44th minute when Ricky Garbanzo crossed to Jeffery Otoo, who won the ball inside the 18-yard-box and smashed home fist first goal for Charleston.

However, the Silverbacks did not go down without a fight. They got a goal back in the 73rd minute when Alex Harlley converted a penalty in the 73rd minute. It was too little too late, though, as the NPSL side failed to find an equalizer.

Charleston will face the Jacksonville Armada in the Third Round.

Kickers fall to amateur side

The Richmond Kickers (USL) were outmatched on Wednesday when amateur side Christos FC knocked them out of the US Open Cup, with the part-timers putting in a solid performance against the professional side.

Richmond started on the front foot, but Christos held on and went to half time with the scoreline at 0-0. The Kickers thought that they had stolen the game when their strike hit the crossbar in the 74th minute, and again when they had an effort cleared off the line.

Christos wouldn’t go away, though, and in the 80th minute the amateur side found themselves on a three-against-two breakaway after forcing a turnover at midfield. Brian Graham from the Baltimore team played in Geaton Caltabiano, who beat Richmond’s keeper Marcel DeBellis with a low shot.

Christos will face PDL side Chicago FC United in the next round.

Cosmos crash out

Reading United AC (PDL) hosted the New York Cosmos (NASL) for their second round match-up, and the visitors got it going early. The Cosmos took the lead in just the 11th minute when Kalif Alhassan finished smartly off the inside of the right post.

Reading United bounced back with a three-goal flurry before halftime, though. In the 38th minute Paul Marie slotted past Cosmos’ keeper Jimmy Maurer. Marco Micaletto doubled the lead in the 41st minute, and finally, high press from Frantzdt Pierrot forced a turnover at the back and allowed the PDL side a clear path to goal to make it 3-1 in the 44th minute.

The Cosmos got back on the front foot in the second half, when Alhassan crossed to Danny Szetela, whose diving header found the back of the net in the 63rd minute. New York failed to equalize, though, and saw an early exit from the competition.

Reading United will face Harrisburg City Islanders in the Third Round.

Michigan Bucks shock Indy Eleven

Perennial U.S. Open Cup power Michigan Bucks (PDL) defeated Indy Eleven (NASL) 1-0 from the indoor combines of Ultimate Soccer Arenas on Wednesday.

Things were dicey for the PDL side in the early stages of the match, though. The Indy Eleven’s David Goldsmith smacked the crossbar with an effort, and Justin Braun had his follow-up effort saved by Bucks’ keeper Drew Shepherd.

And the Michigan-based side got the game’s only goal in the 31st minute when Jordan Snell played Francis Atuahene into the right side of the 18-yard-box, where the Ghanaian beat the Indy keeper Keith Cardona at the near post. The Bucks took a 1-0 lead into the break,

The Ghanaian nearly doubled his side’s advantage early in the second half, but has his effort saved. Indy failed to produce an equalizer, and the Bucks reached the Third Round for the sixth time in club history.

They will face the Fire’s former USL affiliate Saint Louis FC, and the winner of the two will play the Fire in the Fourth Round.

Chicago FC United continue impressive run

Chicago FC United (PDL) continued their impressive run in the U.S. Open Cup when they defeated Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL) 3-1.

Chicago went up early when Mark Segbres struck in the 18th minute. The ‘Hounds equalized in the 60th minute, though, before the Chicago team went on to grab two more goals.

In the 73rd minute, Tom Barlow finished off another goal, and just before full time, the PDL team got their third goal.

Chicago FC United will face Christos FC in the Third Round, setting themselves up nicely to face MLS competition.