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New York City FC II earn $25,000 prize after US Open Cup win

The Baby Blues get the payout after becoming the only Division III team to advance to the Round of 16.

A $25,000 group hug | Courtesy

This New York City FC II squad continue to rewrite US Open Cup history for their club.

Not only did the Baby Blues beat 1-0 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC of the USL Championship to advance to the Round of 16, they are the only Division III team left in the tournament, and will take home a $25,000 cash prize for advancing farther than any other club from that tier of the US Soccer pyramid.

NYCFC II defeated two Division II teams to make it this far. Last month, they beat heavily favored Hartford Athletic of the USLC in extra time on the road. Earlier tonight, they defeated a surprisingly tough Colorado Springs after an early goal from JJ Jiménez gave them a lead they didn't relinquish.

The $25,000 is one of three cash prizes awarded during the tournament to lower-division teams. In the last round, El Farolito SC earned $25,000 after advancing the farthest of any team from the Open Division.

It remains to be determined which team from the USLC will win the final $25,000 prize, which is earmarked for Division II. There are currently nine USLC teams still in the tournament, and another two USLC teams could advance depending on the results of games to be played later tonight.

The winner of the US Open Cup will earn $300,000, and a spot in the 2025 CONCACAF Champions Cup. The runner-up will earn $100,000.

Entering tonight's match, the Baby Blues were the only MLS NEXT Pro team left in the tournament, and just one of four Division III teams to make it to the Round of 32. The others were Charlotte Independence, South Georgia Tormenta FC, and Union Omaha, all of USL League One.

Yesterday, Charlotte lost to Atlanta United of Major League Soccer. Earlier tonight, Tormenta lost to Charlston Battery of the USLC in extra time after former NYCFC II striker MD Myers scored his third goal of the night in the 121st minute. After New York City's game concluded, Union Omaha lost to Sporting Kansas City of MLS in the 120th minute.

That leaves just New York City FC II.

The Baby Blues will next face a lethal USLC side New Mexico United after their commanding 4-2 win over MLS Western Conference-leading Real Salt Lake. New York City will host New Mexico on Tuesday, May 21.