UPDATE: The team has confirmed that this game will take place on June 12 at St. John’s University in Queens.
Original story: The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has been a source of misery for New York City FC in past seasons. In their inaugural 2015 campaign, the Blues fell to the NASL’s New York Cosmos (remember them?) on penalties after squandering a 2-0 lead late in the second half. NYCFC would once again be beaten by the Cosmos the following year 1-0.
In both 2017 and 2018, NYCFC would draw the more familiar New York Red Bulls and lost both 1-0 and 4-0 respectively. Which means that, to date, the club has failed to advance past their first round of eligibility in the USOC in each of their four seasons.
In 2019, however, NYCFC will not play the Red Bulls or the Cosmos. Instead, the team will face a new challenge in the USL Championship’s North Carolina FC.
And we’re off! First up is the Northeast pool:— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) May 30, 2019
New York Red Bulls (MLS) @NewYorkRedBulls will host New England Revolution (MLS) @NERevolution
New York City FC (MLS) @NYCFC will host North Carolina FC (USLC) @NorthCarolinaFC #USOC2019
This will be the team’s first ever cup match under the tutelage of manager Domé Torrent and I’m curious as to how he will approach it. Will the Catalan manager try to field a team with a significant number of perennial starters much like we saw Patrick Vieira do in both 2017 and 2018? Or will he use the USOC as a way to get players who don’t typically see too many minutes — Keaton Parks, Juan Pablo Torres, Daniel Bedoya, etc. — some game time?
It’s worth mentioning that North Carolina has been having an impressive campaign to this point in the USL Championship. As of right now, the team formerly known as the Carolina Railhawks sits 4th place in the Championship’s Eastern Conference. So it’d probably be best for NYCFC to not sleep on them should they wish to avoid a fifth straight opening round disappointment in the USOC.
Details such as the venue and exact date are still to be determined . So stay tuned!