Real Monarchs’ USOC path revealed further + Observations from Round 1

May 14th, 2015 | by Sean Walker

OpenCupBYU Soccer’s first foray into the U.S. Open Cup since 2007 is over with a penalty-kick shootout loss to Harpo’s FC on Wednesday night in South Field.

But Wednesday morning, U.S. Soccer was back at work finalizing potential third-round matchups for the tournament, including the host site configuration for Real Salt Lake’s USL affiliate Real Monarchs.

The Monarchs will travel to New York for a second-round matchup with the Long Island Rough Riders, who will host the match at CY Donnelly Stadium in South Huntington, N.Y., at 7:20 p.m. May 20 after knocking off the NPSL’s Brooklyn Italians on Wednesday night, 3-1. Joe Holland figured into all three goals for the Rough Riders with two goals and an assists, and Long Island will face a Monarchs side that is likely (though we don’t know for sure) to lack RSL’s on-loan contingency, as playing in the match would Cup-tie the group to the Monarchs.

If the Monarchs can win on the road, they will return home for the third round to host the winner of Harpo’s and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. After hosting a play-in match at Dick’s Sporting Good Park’s practice fields, the amateur pub team traveled to Provo for a first-round date and will get a noticeably shorter road trip to Colorado Springs for its May 20 second-round appearance.

Of note is that several Switchbacks play and train with Harpo’s indoor soccer affiliate, Avery Brewing FC, in the Premier Arena Soccer League during the offseason — that is, these two teams know each other well, Harpo’s goalkeeper Zac Gibbens told me following his team’s win at BYU.

The Monarchs are one of seven USL teams that will play on the road against lower-division opponents in this year’s Open Cup second round. Louisville City FC, the Harrisburg City Islanders, Portland Timbers 2, Red Bulls 2, Oklahoma City Energy, and the Orange County Blues will also travel to the home sites of their May 20 opponents, mostly from the PDL. The Blues will play at U.S. Amateur Sports Association club PSA Elite, one of three amateur clubs remaining in the competition.

The first round of the 2015 Open Cup saw one of the most even playing fields in the history of the 102-year-old tournament, setting a record for the most penalty shootouts in one round, according to Josh Hakala at thecup.us. Seven matches went to a shootout, where the NPSL went 4-0 under such circumstances. Sixteen games were decided by one goal or less, and nine games went to extra time.

Of the three amateur clubs prevailed over PDL or NPSL semiprofessional sides, only Harpo’s FC is has a 2-0 record in the competition (fellow play-in match winner Cal FC lost on penalty kicks, 6-5 after a 3-3 stalemate with the PDL’s Ventura County Fusion). USASA side PSA Elite thrashed the PDL’s Golden State Misioneros 7-1 in a late match on the West Coast, and Angel Pinal scored a goal in the extra session as Chula Vista FC of the USASA stunned PDL club FC Tucson 2-1.

Perhaps one of the most telling matches of the round was Michigan Bucks’ 3-0 shutout of Detroit City FC. Detroit City, an NPSL side, was among the league’s trendy picks for advancement in the tournament. But the Bucks’ Nick Wysong and Peri Marosevic would score in the first 10 minutes for the PDL club, and would roll from there. The PDL team will host Portland Timbers 2 on May 20.

We’ll be following the Open Cup as it pertains to Utah teams in the U.S. Soccer-run competition, namely Real Salt Lake and Real Monarchs. For complete coverage of the tournament, check out Hakala’s site thecup.us, or follow him and his website on Twitter, as well as U.S. Soccer’s official Open Cup account.

Sean Walker

Sean Walker

Salt City FC editor-in-chief Sean Walker has been covering soccer at all levels since 2007. He began his career in Las Vegas, and has since written for publications from the Intermountain West to Central New York, where he attended graduate school in 2012. Currently, Sean covers Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer for KSL.com. A struggling Evertonian by birth, Sean follows European soccer through the blue lens of the Toffees, and has strong feelings toward the UEFA Europa League.

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