San Antonio FC's victory in the Third Round of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was one of four upsets of MLS opposition by teams from the USL Championship and League One in the Third Round. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
After some landmarks in the USL Championship regular season highlighted the early part of the season, this week it was the turn of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to take the spotlight as USL Championship and League One clubs delivered one of the biggest weeks of top-flight upsets in the tournament’s modern era.
We’re digging into that, plus the USL Summer Showdown matchup between Louisville City FC and Phoenix Rising FC and our weekly look at upcoming potential landmarks for players around the league.
USL CHAMPIONSHIP, LEAGUE ONE CLUBS SHINE IN OPEN CUP
The Third Round of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup delivered drama across both nights of action, and when the dust settled five USL Championship Clubs and four USL League One clubs were left standing to advance to the draw of the Round of 32.
Of those, four teams across the Championship (Detroit City FC and San Antonio FC) and League One (Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC and Union Omaha) earned victories against opposition from Major League Soccer, marking the first time four clubs from the USL had recorded upsets in a single round since the Third Round of the 2009 tournament. On that occasion the four teams to advance were the Charleston Battery (3-1 vs. Chivas USA), the Harrisburg City Islanders (2-1 vs. New England Revolution), Rochester Rhinos (4-4, 5-3 SO vs. Columbus Crew), and Wilmington Hammerheads (1-0 vs. Chicago Fire).
Two threads link the 13-year divide, with the Columbus Crew having been defeated by Detroit City FC and the Chicago Fire by Union Omaha as all four underdogs took their first victories against top-flight opposition overall.
The most victories recorded by USL clubs against Major League Soccer opposition in a single round of the Open Cup came in 2007, when the USL First Division’s Seattle Sounders (3-1 vs. Chivas USA), Charleston Battery (1-0 vs. Houston Dynamo) and Carolina RailHawks (1-0 vs. Chicago Fire) and USL Second Division’s Harrisburg City Islanders (2-0 vs. D.C. United) and Richmond Kickers (1-0 vs. LA Galaxy) all advanced from the Third Round.
USL SUMMER SHOWCASE MATCHES LONGTIME LEAGUE POWERS
Louisville City FC's Niall McCabe and Phoenix Rising FC's Kevon Lambert have each made more than 100 appearances for their respective clubs, who are set to square off at the USL Summer Showcase. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC
The USL Summer Showcase will head to Louisville, Ky. in July for a celebration of American soccer, including community events and partnership activations for fans to participate in while also serving as the venue for the USL Mid-Season Meetings.
For the showcase match between Louisville City FC and Phoenix Rising FC, it’s hard to overstate how remarkable the two clubs have been on the field over the past five seasons. LouCity has the edge in silverware, highlighted by its two USL Championship titles, but Phoenix has the sheer accumulation of numbers in its regular season performances. Here’s how the two teams stack up since the start of the 2017 season to the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.
|Category||Louisville City FC||Phoenix Rising FC|
|USL Championship Titles||2||0|
|Championship Conference Titles||3 (1)||2 (T-2)|
|Regular Season Victories||83 (2)||90 (1)|
|Regular Season Win Percentage||.561 (2)||.612 (1)|
|Regular Season Points||284 (2)||298 (1)|
|Goals Scored||276 (2)||313 (1)|
|Total Shots||2,312 (3)||2,426 (1)|
|Shutouts||47 (T-4)||53 (2)|
|Goal Differential||+117 (2)||+150 (1)|
SATURDAY’S ACTION PUT TEAMS ON THE SPOT
This past Saturday night there were seven penalty kicks awarded across the 11 games across the night’s action, equaling the mark for the fifth-most penalty kicks given on a single day in the USL Championship’s history. It came far short of the most penalty-strewn day in the Championship’s recent history, with a league-high 11 penalty kicks having been awarded on August 17, 2018 across 11 games.
The primary beneficiary that day was Austin Bold FC, which was awarded three penalty kicks – all converted – in a 5-1 victory at home to FC Tulsa, marking only the third time a team had been awarded three penalty kicks in a Championship game. New Mexico United and North Carolina FC also went 1 of 2 from the spot in their contests against the LA Galaxy II and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, respectively, as the league overall went 9 of 11 from the spot for the most goals scored via penalty kicks in a single day in league history.
LOUCITY’S WYNDER, ORANGE COUNTY’S OSUNDINA CALLED INTO U.S. U-19s
Louisville City FC’s Josh Wynder and Orange County SC’s Korede Osundina have each been named in the United States U-19 Men’s National Team squad that will convene in California on Friday for new Head Coach Marko Mitrović’s first camp at the helm.
Wynder has been a consistent starter for LouCity this season, starting in six of seven regular season contests and both the club’s games in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. A 16-year-old LouCity Academy product, Wynder scored the decisive penalty kick in the club’s Open Cup victory against St. Louis CITY 2 on Wednesday night at Lynn Family Stadium.
Osundina is a new arrival for Orange County SC this season, signing professional terms with the club after competing previously at Barca AZ Academy. The 18-year-old has made three league appearances for OCSC so far this campaign while also seeing action in both the club’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup contests.
Overall, the group has made 103 regular season appearances and logged 5,442 minutes of action in the Championship, with current players such as the New York Red Bulls II’s Curtis Ofori and Atlanta United 2’s Noah Cobb also among the selections.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies' Sebastian Dalgaard could make his 150th regular-season appearance in the USL Championship on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls II. | Photo courtesy Matt May / Tampa Bay Rowdies
Approaching 200 regular-season appearances
Aodhan Quinn (PHX) – 198
Approaching 150 regular-season appearances
Sebastian Dalgaard (TBR) – 149
Joe Farrell (PHX) – 148
Joel Johnson (HFD) – 146
Approaching 100 regular-season appearances
Elijah Martin (SD) – 99
Nick Hinds (ELP) – 99
Jesus Enriquez (OAK) – 99
Kyle Adams (SD) – 98
Sean McFarlane (MIA) – 98
Ayoze (IND) – 97
Frank Lopez (RGV) – 97
Justin Dhillon (SA) – 97
Approaching 10,000 regular-season minutes
Christiano Francois (ELP) – 9,985
Santi Moar (PHX) – 9,950
Aaron Guillen (TBR) – 9,936
Christian Volesky (MB) – 9,886
Chris Wehan (NM) – 9,904
Approaching 75 regular-season goals
Cameron Lancaster (LOU) – 71
Approaching 50 regular-season goals
Solomon Asante (IND) – 49
Kyle Murphy (MIA) – 46
Approaching 50 regular-season assists
Kenardo Forbes (PIT) – 47
Approaching 30 regular-season assists
Chris Wehan (NM) – 29
Santi Moar (PHX) – 28
Oscar Jimenez (LOU) – 28
Approaching 200 regular-season saves
Jeff Caldwell (COS) – 197
Sean Lewis (TUL) – 191
Approaching 30 regular-season shutouts
Joe Kuzminsky (CHS) – 29
Matt VanOekel (BHM) – 28
TAMPA, Fla. – The following is the USL Championship’s discipline report for Week 7 of the 2022 USL Championship season:
El Paso Locomotive FC’s Diego Luna has been suspended for one game following a red card after the conclusion of his side’s contest against San Antonio FC on April 16 for abusive language. Luna will be unavailable for El Paso’s contest against Oakland Roots SC on Saturday night.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Head Coach Brendan Burke and assistant coaches Alan McCann and Stephen Hogan have each been suspended following each receiving a red following their side’s contest against Memphis 901 FC on April 16. Burke and McCann have each been suspended for one game for abusive language and will be unavailable for Colorado Springs’ contest against FC Tulsa this Saturday. Hogan has been suspended for two games for physical and aggressive behavior and will be unavailable for Colorado Springs’ contests against FC Tulsa on Saturday and Oakland Roots SC on Saturday, April 30.
San Diego Loyal SC’s Grant Stoneman has been suspended for one game following his red card for denial of a goalscoring opportunity against Louisville City FC on April 16. Stoneman will be unavailable for selection in San Diego’s contest against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday, April 30.
Louisville City FC’s Sean Totsch has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against San Diego Loyal SC on April 16. Totsch will be unavailable for Louisville’s contest against the Charleston Battery this Saturday.
Monterey Bay F.C.’s Hugh Roberts has been suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against the LA Galaxy II on April 16. Roberts will be unavailable for Monterey Bay’s contest against San Antonio FC on Saturday, April 30.
Oakland Roots SC’s Tarek Morad was suspended for one game following his red card for two cautionable offenses against San Diego Loyal SC on April 13. Morad served his suspension during Oakland’s contest against Loudoun United FC on April 16, and will be available for selection against El Paso Locomotive FC on Saturday night.
Tag(s): Features San Antonio FC CO Spring Switchbacks Orange County SC Phoenix Rising FC Rio Grande Valley FC FC Tulsa Charleston Battery Louisville City FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds Tampa Bay Rowdies Birmingham Legion FC El Paso Locomotive FC New Mexico United Hartford Athletic San Diego Loyal SC Miami FC Oakland Roots SC Detroit City FC