After the excitement of Tuesday nights Open Cup matches which saw USL Pro sides Orlando City & Charleston Battery join FC Dallas as three from five Region III sides progressing to the next round, Wednesday sees the opportunity for another five of our sides to reach the final 16 taking place on June 12th.
It was day one of a two day run on matches over 28th & 29th May 2013 that would eventually decide the remaining 16 sides to duke it out for the silverware that Sporting Kansas City won last year and with five sides participating in day one, chances of a good showing were high but expectations of our division 2 sides overcoming MLS teams had remained dulled down knowing that it would take a superhuman effort to overcome their more prestigious opponents.
On loan striker Dom Dwyer helped his Orlando side to a 3-1 victory over Colorado Rapids with a double but it was Bryan Burke that had opened the Florida sides account on the night. The Lions cause was helped by a red card for the Rapids keeper for a last man challenge that all but ended the visiting sides chances at hauling anything back from this match.
Over 4100 supporters turned out to view this spectacle, however the fans will need to travel if they are to turn out in numbers for the next round as the clubs MLS affiliate Sporting KC are the hosts for the next round on June 12th.
Charleston Battery also joined Orlando in the giant killing action with a hard fought but worthy 1-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes.
In front of almost 2000 fans, Colin Falvey scored with a header on 74 minutes that was enough to see the Blackbaud Stadium side emerge victorious over the MLS side and into the final 16 of the prestigious cup tournament to face Real Salt Lake who were to later win through against a battling Atlanta Silverbacks sides.
Atlanta were perhaps a shade unlucky in their game against RSL, with the MLS side requiring extra time to eventually defeat the NASL side by the score of 3-2.
After losing a goal just minutes after kickoff, Atlanta could have been excused for suffering a demoralising blow to morale but they stuck at it and eventually scored with just three minutes remaining through Kellen Gulley to take the match to extra time.
The MLS side took the game after scoring two more in this 30 minutes overtime before the Silverbacks added one close to the end to give the remaining time an added edge but the NASL side just couldn’t add another to tie the game.
RSL now host Charleston Battery in the next round on June 12th.
The final match was always going to result in a region III side progressing as NASL side Fort Lauderdale Strikers hosted MLS table toppers FC Dallas.
This match seemed a complete mis-match going on recent form as the Strikers languishged at the wrong end of the NASL league with only the two victories in league play this season, meanwhile FC Dallas have been firing on all cylinders in the MLS, topping their conference and looking like title contenders.
The Strikers dug in deep right from the opening kick off and looked the more likely of the two sides to open the scoring but it was the Texas side that eventually opened the scoring accounts through Blas Perez and Matt Hedges in the second half that ended a tremendous fight from the NASL side who were clearly punching above their weight.
Dallas now move on to play the winner of Houston Dynamo & FC Tucson and will host the game on June 12th.
Final scores May 28th 2013
Orlando City 3 Colorado Rapids 1
Charleston Battery 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0
Atlanta Silverbacks 2 Real Salt Lake 3
FC Dallas 2 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0
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