Wednesday, November 25, 2015

U.S. Open Cup second round draw: Harrisburg City Islanders to face Reading United or Lehigh Valley United Sonic

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced the second round matchups for this year's U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.

U.S. Open Cup second round draw: Harrisburg City Islanders to face Reading United or Lehigh Valley United Sonic


Updated after the first round to reflect the official second-round matchups.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced the second round matchups for this year's U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.

It's the 100th edition of America's signature knockout competition, which is open to amateur and professional teams from across the country. The preliminary round kicks off Tuesday night with two games in California, and the first full round is a week later.

(There was a slight change in the preliminary round schedule, by the way, and you can get the details at the link above.)

You can read more about this year's tournament in the U.S. Open Cup section of my blog, and at

As you'll see below, the second round will feature an all-Eastern Pennsylvania matchup - and it could be a clash between the Philadelphia Union's minor league affiliates.

You may be wondering how that will affect the Union when they join the competition. I managed to get a copy of the U.S. Open Handbook, and found out that the Union can play Harrisburg or Reading if the tournament draw goes that way. There is no rule banning MLS teams from playing USL PRO teams with which they are affiliated, and the Union are allowed to play Reading beacuse they aren't officially part of the same organization.

(At least they aren't in the eyes of the U.S. Soccer Federation. I might argue differently, and I suspect I'm not alone, but that's what the handbook says.)

These are the teams that cannot play each other:

- New York Red Bulls (MLS) and New York Red Bulls Under-23s (NPSL)
- Portland Timbers (MLS) and Portland Timbers Under-23s (PDL)
- Seattle Sounders (MLS) and Seattle Sounders U-23s (PDL)
- Orlando City (USL PRO) and Orlando City U-23s (PDL)

Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if U.S. Soccer tries to keep the Union and Reading away from each other. They have in the past. Avoiding MLS-USL PRO pairings will be a bit more difficult, but let's see how the draw unfolds first.

As a reminder, these are the MLS-USL PRO partnerships that have been established so far:

- Philadelphia Union and Harrisburg City Islanders
- D.C. United and Richmond Kickers
- New England Revolution and Rochester Rhinos
- Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City

Here's the full second round schedule. All games will be played on Tuesday, May 21, and all kickoff times listed are Eastern.

1. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at Reading United AC (PDL): Don Thomas Stadium, Reading, Pa. (7:30 p.m.)

2. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO) at Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL): Carey Stadium, Ocean City, N.J. (7:30 p.m.)

3. GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) at Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO):  Sahlen’s Stadium, Rochester, N.Y. (7:35 p.m.)

4. Icon FC (USASA) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO): Richmond City Stadium, Richmond, Va. (7:00 p.m.)

5. Carolina Dynamo (PDL) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL): WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C. (7:00 p.m. ET)

6. Orlando City (USL PRO) at Ocala Stampede (PDL): Trinity Catholic High School, Ocala, Fla. (7:00 p.m.)

7. Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at VSI Tampa Bay (USL PRO): Plant City Stadium, Plant City, Fla. (7:30 p.m.)

8. Dearborn Stars (USASA) at Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO): Beavercreek High School, Beavercreek, Ohio (7:00 p.m.)

9. Des Moines Menace (PDL) at Minnesota United FC (NASL): National Sports Center, Blaine, Minn. (8:30 p.m.)

10. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO) at Austin Aztex (PDL): House Park, Austin, Texas (8:30 p.m.)

11. FC Tucson (PDL) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL): Toyota Field, San Antonio, Texas (8:30 p.m.)

12. Charleston Battery (USL PRO) at Portland Timbers U-23s (PDL): JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Ore. (10:30 p.m.)

13. Ventura County Fusion (PDL) at L.A. Blues (USL PRO): Titan Stadium, Fullerton, Calif. (9:30 p.m.)

14. Seattle Sounders U-23 (PDL) at Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO): Queens University of Charlotte Sports Complex, Charlotte, N.C. (7:00 p.m.)

15. Laredo Heat (PDL) at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL): Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (7:30 p.m.) 

16. Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Georgia Revolution (NPSL): RYSA Soccerplex, Conyers, Ga. (7:00 p.m.)
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald
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