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Pittsburgh Riverhounds

US Open Cup 2023 first round is set; Riverhounds will begin play in second round in early April

The Riverhounds battled FC Cincinnati in US Open Cup third round in 2022. Photo courtesy Ed Thompson

The First Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – U.S. Soccer’s annual national championship – kicks off with 14 First Round games across the country between March 21 and 23.

The 14 contests of the First Round feature nine teams that advanced from the fall’s Qualifying Rounds, 10 teams from United Soccer League (USL)’s League Two, eight more from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and, finally, reigning national amateur champions Bavarian United of Wisconsin.

The full field of non-MLS professional teams — including the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC — enter the competition in the Second Round.  Second round match-ups won’t be set until after the First Round contests are completed, then US Soccer will complete a drawing.

There are 24 teams from the USL Championship (Division II), 12 from USL League One (Division III), one from MLS NEXT Pro (Division III) and nine more from the National Independent Soccer Association (Division III).

All 14 winners from the First Round are guaranteed a professional opponent in the Second Round of the Open Cup.

While the Hounds could play one of those teams or, as they did a year ago, face a side in one of the other leagues. In 2022, they faced NISA side Maryland Bobcats, winning 2-0, at Highmark Stadium, on the strength of two Toby Sims’ goals they could also be drawn against one of the teams from any of the other leagues mentioned above.

They would face FC Cincinnati of Major League Soccer in the third round, falling 2-1, in extra time. 

Eighteen lower-seeded U.S.-based Division I Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs enter in the Third Round, which will be played on April 25-26. The remaining eight MLS sides will join the party in the Round of 32 (May 9-10).

Home teams for each round are determined by random selection among those who apply to host. Clubs whose venue meets minimum tournament standards are given priority.

Here’s the full schedule below for the first round along with lists of all of the teams that will be particpating in the Open Cup.


El Farolito (NPSL) vs. International San Francisco (Calif.)
West Chester United SC (Pa.) vs. Ocean City Nor’easters (USLL2)


Club de Lyon/Open (Fla.) vs. Nona FC (USLL2)
Appalachian FC (NPSL) vs. NC Fusion U23 (USLL2)
Manhattan SC (USLL2) vs. FC Motown (NPSL)
Chicago House AC (Ill.) vs. Bavarian United (Wis.)
Beaman United FC (Tenn.) vs. Des Moines Menace (USLL2)
Tulsa Athletic (NPSL) vs. Brazos Valley Cavalry FC (USLL2)
UDA Soccer (N.M.) vs. Park City Red Wolves (USLL2)
Project 51O (USLL2) vs. Crossfire Premier (NPSL)


Cleveland SC (NPSL) vs. Lionsbridge FC (USLL2)
Jacksonville Armada FC (NPSL) vs. Miami United FC (Fla.)
Hartford City FC (NPSL) vs. Lansdowne Yonkers (N.Y.)
Ventura County Fusion (USLL2) vs. Capo FC (Calif.)


First Round (March 21-23, 2023)
Second Round (April 4-6, 2023)
Third Round (April 25-26)
Round of 32 (May 9-10, 2023)
Round of 16 (May 23-24, 2023)
Quarterfinals (June 6-7, 2023)
Semifinals (August 23, 2023)
Final (September 27, 2023)


Professional Division Teams

Division I – 26 teams – Major League Soccer (8 entering in the Round of 32 and 18 entering in the Third Round):
Atlanta United FC, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, Chicago Fire FC, FC Cincinnati, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo FC, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, Minnesota United FC, Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, St. Louis CITY SC

Division II – 24 teams – USL Championship (entering in the Second Round)
Birmingham Legion FC, Charleston Battery, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, Detroit City FC, El Paso Locomotive FC, Hartford Athletic, Indy Eleven, Las Vegas Lights FC, Loudoun United FC, Louisville City FC, Memphis 901 FC, The Miami FC, Monterey Bay FC, New Mexico United, Oakland Roots, Orange County SC, Phoenix Rising FC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Rio Grande Valley FC, Sacramento Republic FC, San Antonio FC, San Diego Loyal SC, Tampa Bay Rowdies, FC Tulsa

Division III – 1 team – MLS Next Pro (entering in the Second Round)
Rochester New York FC

Division III – 9 teams – NISA (entering in the Second Round)
Albion San Diego, Chattanooga FC, Club de Lyon (D3), Flower City Union, Gold Star FC, Los Angeles Force, Maryland Bobcats FC, Michigan Stars FC, Savannah Clovers

Division III – 12 teams – USL League One (entering in the Second Round)
Central Valley Fuego FC, Charlotte Independence, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC, Lexington SC, North Carolina FC, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC, One Knoxville SC
Richmond Kickers, South Georgia Tormenta FC, Union Omaha

Open Division Teams

U.S. Adult Soccer Association National Amateur Cup (USASA) champion
Bavarian United (Wisc.)

Open Division Local Qualifiers (9 advanced from original field of 107 entrants)
Beaman United FC, Capo FC, Chicago House AC, Club de Lyon FC (open), International San Francisco, Lansdowne Yonkers FC, Miami United FC, UDA Soccer, West Chester United SC

National Premier Soccer (8 teams based on 2022 league competition)
Appalachian FC, Hartford City SC, Cleveland SC, Crossfire Redmond, El Farolito, FC Motown, Jacksonville Armada FC U23, Tulsa Athletic

USL League Two (10 teams based on 2022 league competition)
Brazos Valley Cavalry FC, Des Moines Menace, Lionsbridge FC, Manhattan SC, Nona FC, North Carolina FusionU23, Ocean City Nor’easters, Park City Red Wolves SC, Project 510, Ventura County Fusion


Fun Hounds’ Open Cup Factoids

  • In the Highmark Stadium era (since 2013), the Hounds have posted an 9-8 overall record in the Open Cup.
  • All-time, the Hounds are 14-17 overall in the Open Cup.
  • The club the Hounds have faced the most in Open Cup?  None other than former Old Guard Shield rival Rochester (all losses in 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Other clubs the Hounds have faced more than once in the Open Cup
    • Chicago Fire (2001 & 2014)
    • DC United (2003 & 2015)
    • Michigan Bucks (2006 & 2012)
    • RWB Adria (2013 & 2014)
    • FC Cincinnati (2018 & 2022)
  • In six matches vs MLS opponents, the Hounds have posted a 1-6 record
    • The Hounds’ lone win vs MLS foe came vs Colorado Rapids (2-0) on June 27, 2001, at Bethel Park Stadium
    • Three of their losses came in matches that went to Extra Time (3-2 loss vs Chicago in 2001, 3-1 loss vs DC United in 2015 and 2-1 loss at FC Cincinnati in 2022)
  • Against lower division teams, the Hounds have mixed success with an overall record of 8-7
    • After losing to Fourth Division Chicago FC United in 2017 and amatuers Landsdowne Bhoys in 2016, the Hounds have rebounded in the Bob Lilley era with wins against the Erie Commodores (2019) and Dayton Dutch Lions (2019).
    • In the Bob LIlley era, the Hounds are 3-2 in the Open Cup, with losses coming to FC Cincinnati (in 3rd Round in 2018) and Columbus Crew (in 4th Round in 2019)

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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