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League Two clubs set to begin Open Cup journey

By Staff, 03/03/23, 2:00PM EST


14 League Two clubs, including two expansion sides, are hoping to advance in the tournament

Based on the final standings of the 2022 regular season, 14 clubs from the USL League Two have been allocated a place in the first round of the U.S Open Cup. Qualifying League Two organizations will join a slew of other open-division teams competing in the opening phase of the tournament.

The magic of the Open Cup begins here. Every team has a chance to lift a trophy at the end - and these clubs are all ready to start the tournament proper in three weeks.

All USL League Two club names are in bold.


Ocean City Nor’easters vs West Chester United SC

Tuesday, March 21 - 7:30 PM ET

League Two Matchup

Two northeast neighbors are set to square off in this year's first match of the Open Cup. The Nor'easters finished top of the Mid-Atlantic division this past season with a commanding 12-point lead. With an undefeated campaign in the books, the club ultimately failed to capitalize on their success with a first-round playoff exit. As a matchup against divisional opponents is on the horizon, Ocean City will look to come out on top, hoping to translate their regular season performances to the Open Cup this upcoming March.

West Chester United - Runners-up to the Nor’easters in 2022, West Chester United capped a solid regular season display with a second-place finish in the Mid-Atlantic division. The League Two side will look to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat against the New Jersey Club,. Recent results between the two would place the Nor’easters as favorites to advance into the next round of the competition, but all is up for grabs when they meet in Pennsylvania next month. The winner will advance to play Maryland Bobcats FC.


Club de Lyon vs Nona FC

Wednesday, March 22 - 5:00 PM ET

Table toppers of the Southeast division in 2022, Nona FC look to kick off their Open Cup campaign with a win against Club de Lyon next month. Off the back of a narrow defeat in the Southern Conference quarterfinals, the Florida side will be determined to avoid successive defeats and progress into the next round. The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship await the winner of this first-round clash.


Appalachian FC vs NC Fusion

Wednesday, March 22 - 7:00 PM ET

Topping the South Atlantic division in 2022, NC Fusion are set to travel to ASU Stadium to take on fellow North Carolina club, Appalachian FC. Fusion made a run all the way to the national semifinal, where they eventually fell to Long Island Rough Riders. The winner of this first-round meeting will advance to face League One side, Charlotte Independence. Date TBD.


FC Motown STA vs Manhattan SC

Wednesday, March 22 - 7:00 PM ET

Slightly beating out the Rough Riders to top spot in the Metropolitan division, Manhattan SC welcomes a fellow divisional club in FC Motown to the Bronx next month. The most recent matchup between the two sides saw Manhattan SC easing to a 2-0 victory in the final game of the 2022 regular season, and they're hoping to put in a similar performance this time around. With an undefeated season seemingly overshadowed by an Eastern Conference quarterfinal exit, the organization will look to kickstart their Open Cup run with a positive result against a direct rival.

Off the back of a bottom-three finish in the Metropolitan division, FC Motown can provide an upset by claiming victory over their divisional counterpart. With an end-of-season three-game winless run and back-to-back losses against their future opponents in recent memory, the odds are against the Morristown team to snatch a result. The winner will advance to face Flower City Union in the second round.


Chicago House AC vs Bavarian United

Wednesday, March 22 - 7:00 PM CT

Bavarian Untied SC -  With their inaugural USL League Two season approaching, one of the oldest pre-professional clubs in the country will look to make waves both in the League and Open Cup this year. The League Two expansion team will head to Elmhurst, Illinois to face Chicago House AC in the first round of the Open Cup. USL League One side Forward Madison awaits the winner in the second round.


Beamann United vs Des Moines Menace

Wednesday, March 22 - 7:00 PM CT

Finishing top of the Deep North division and boasting the most points-per-game (PPG) in the Central Conference, Des Moines Menace can look back at a positive 2022 campaign to spur them on in this year's Open Cup. The Menace’s fine seasonal play was rewarded with a place in the Central Conference final, eventually losing out on penalties to Flint City Bucks. The club will have the ambition to further push their previous Open Cup runs with a win in both the first and second rounds. The winner of the match will advance to face Chattanooga Football Club.


Tulsa Athletic vs Brazos Valley Cavalry FC

Wednesday, March 22 - 7:00 PM CT

One of the Southern Conference’s more in-form teams at the tail end of the season, Cavalry FC finished 2022 seasonal play top of the Lone Star division with a five-game win streak. However, this hot form failed to translate into the playoffs with a 3-0 loss to Asheville City SC in the opening round of the playoffs. The club has never made it past the first round of the Open Cup, but will look to do so when they travel to Tulsa next month. The winner of this match will battle it out against Tulsa Athletic in the second round.


UDA Soccer vs Park City Red Wolves

Wednesday, March 22 - 7:00 PM MT

First place in the Mountain Division in 2022, Park City Red Wolves travel to New Mexico to take on UDA Soccer in this first-round matchup. Going out to the Southern California Seahorses in last year's Western Conference quarterfinals, the Utah club will look to advance for a berth in the Open Cup second round. The winner of this match will progress to face USL Championship's New Mexico United.


Project 51O vs Crossfire Premier

Wednesday, March 22 - 7:00 PM PT

Affiliate of USL Championship club Oakland Roots, Project 51O are set to host Crossfire Premier in this first-round installment of the Open Cup. Narrowly edging out Ventura County Fusion for a first-place finish by goal differential, the 2022 Southwest division leaders went out in the Western Conference quarterfinals against Ballard FC. They look to start their season on the right foot with a win against the Washington club. 2022 Open Cup finalist Sacramento Republic awaits the winner in the second round.


Capo FC vs Ventura County Fusion

Thursday, March 23 - 7:00 PM PT

Announced to be one of the latest clubs joining League Two this upcoming season, Capo FC kick off with an appearance in the U.S Open Cup next month. The expansion club will face tough opposition in defending champions Ventura County Fusion as they are welcomed into the competition.

Off the back of a USL League Two Championship, the Fusion will be a challenging test for all comers. The winner will advance to the second round where USL Championship side Orange County SC awaits.


Cleveland SC vs Lionsbridge FC

Thursday, March 23 - 7:00 PM ET

With an impressive first-place finish in the Chesapeake division as well as leading the Eastern Conference in PPG, Lionsbridge FC square off against Cleveland FC. The Virginia team went undefeated in 2022, providing their qualification into the competition. The club will look to begin their Open Cup berth with a positive performance when traveling to Olmsted, Ohio next month. The winner of this matchup will face the Richmond Kickers in round two of the Open Cup.

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