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Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup roundup: Pitch storming in Michigan, road winners

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If you’re not down with the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, what’s your problem?

The 106th edition of the United States’ best soccer tournament kicked off Thursday around the country, and we had some serious drama to go with good rivalry.

In some cases, both; Detroit City FC and Michigan Bucks tangled at Oakland University, going 0-0 through 120 minutes before Brett Nason scored the decisive penalty in a shootout. Cue a field storming from the DCFC faithful.

[ MORE: MLS Midweek sees some pretty goals (video) ]

We had plenty of road winners, as CD Aguiluchos USA, La Maquina FC, Des Moines Menace, Harpo’s, Lansdowne Bhoys FC, Jersey Express, West Chester United and Aromas Cafe FC (love the names at this stage of the Open Cup) all won.

And did Ventura County Fusion break a rule that will invalidate its win over LA Wolves FC?

Over in Maine, AFC Cleveland struck early then held on through a bit of controversy as Portland Phoenix scored in stoppage time only to see the offside flag in the air.

Full scoreboard
San Francisco City FC 0-3 CD Aguiluchos USA
Seattle Sounders U-23 3-1 Outbreak FC
FC Tucson 3-0 San Nicolas FC
Ventura County Fusion 2-1 LA Wolves FC
Sacramento Gold 3-1 Burlingame Dragons FC
Portland Timbers U-23 0-2 La Maquina FC
Corinthians FC of San Antonio def. NTX Rayados
Albuquerque Sol FC 0-2 Harpo’s
FC Wichita 1-2 Des Moines Menace
Mississippi Brilla 2-0 Motagua New Orleans
AFC Cleveland 1-0 GPS Portland Phoenix
Southie FC 2-0 Seacoast United Phantoms
Michigan Bucks 0-0 (PKs, 3-4) Detroit City FC
Long Island Rough Riders 1-2 Lansdowne Bhoys FC
Indiana Fire 1-0 Cincinnati Dutch Lions
Reading United 2-0 Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves
Miami Fusion FC 4-1 Boca Raton Football Club
Charlotte Eagles 3-2 Myrtle Beach Mutiny
Clarkstown SC Eagles 1-2 Jersey Express
New York Pancyprian-Freedoms 2-1 New York Red Bulls U-23
Fredericksburg FC 1-1 (PKs, 7-8) West Chester United
The Villages SC 1-0 Kraze United
Richmond Strikers 1-2 Aromas Cafe FC

Garber, Gilbert discuss Major League Soccer in Detroit, stadium site

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Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and MLS commissioner Don Garber were among the dignitaries on hand Wednesday to discuss the potential for Major League Soccer in Detroit.

The passion to bring a franchise to Detroit isn’t new, but Gilbert and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores are working to make it happen now. Garber said the earliest a team would join is 2020.

[ MORE: Pochettino says PSG “part of my dreams” ]

Detroit has seen steady growth from its fourth-tier side, Detroit City FC, gaining a reputable supporter base that started with 1000 fans per game in Year One and has grown to capacity, selling out matches at 3500+ last season. That helped the club privately fund the renovation of a bigger venue in Hamtramck’s Keyworth Stadium through a pledged $740,000 from supporters and investors.

Garber knows this. He was on hand and sure to compliment both DCFC and the nearby Michigan Bucks, the Pontiac-based side which has achieved good on-field success in the fourth-tier.

Garber spoke about the possibility of a team in the league, but said a stadium plan must come before a team (See: problems for NYCFC and Miami Beckham United).

A stadium inside of a massive downtown development was raised, but speculation on that site being used for soccer has already been met with opposition by Wayne County authorities. The site is currently an unfinished jail, one whose proponents say is direly needed in the area.

That last comment from Gilbert could be a loaded one as we move forward. Surely megawatt billionaires like Gilbert have experience in running gigantic sporting enterprises, but what clubs like Detroit City have done to engender passion for a club deserves to be nurtured. Whether they like it or not, a fervent soccer base already exists in the Motor City, one that has been vocally critical of MLS.

[ MORE: 2.Bundesliga side turned down ‘too old’ Vardy ]

Not involving DCFC at some level is a shot at that culture, and uses an arrogance to say, “Get in line or forget about it”. There has to be a spirit of community from the supporters as well — not “We know best and only doing it exactly how we say might make me interested” — but failing to acknowledge and involve the current supported team would be a massive error in judgment from MLS and the Gilbert/Gores group.

Garber has made the mistake in the past of picking on markets or established supporters groups, like his thinly-veiled shot at Chattanooga FC — an NPSL side that drew 18,000+ to its championship game — during BlazerCon in New York City this Fall.

The astute commish has learned from that, but how much involvement, if any, is asked of Detroit’s lower league builders will be worth following with great interest by many markets around the country.

Although, admittedly, his choice to use the 3500 figure in the following comment — a number close to DCFC’s average attendance — does have a bit of defiant swagger to it, does it not?

The press conference was supposed to be streamed, so thanks to Detroit Free Press executive editor, a confessed soccer nut, for doing yeoman’s work for those of us outside of Detroit. Also, killer Twitter handle.

US Open Cup first round preview: Detroit City vs. Michigan highlights close-proximity matches

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There are plenty of big-time matches on the “minnows” docket for tonight’s U.S. Open Cup first round.

The tournament is especially interesting at this time of year because the NPSL and PDL sides have to contend not only with each other but with USASA and USSSA sides that have played together much longer as opposed to talented college kids getting to know each other outside of the NCAA window.

This round also tends to keep close proximity at the forefront. It doesn’t make sense for the competition to send Lansing United down to face the Laredo Heat, as it could crush the team’s budget.

[ MORE: Detroit City gets 3,000 for NPSL match ]

So we get juicy match-ups like the PDL’s Michigan Bucks against the NPSL’s Detroit City FC. One club a newer power with a fervent-if-profane fan base against a well-established Open Cup contender trying to lay claim to Detroit as its home and as a future pro side. Sign us up.

DCFC fans hate that Bucks claim fan supremacy despite the Cass Tech crowds dictating otherwise. The Bucks prod at DCFC’s fans by calling them newboys. It’s going to be a dynamite night, and the winner gets to host Timbers 2 of USL, which would be a huge boon to either club.

Then there’s Cal FC, the darlings of the 2012 tournament. The then-Eric Wynalda-coached club surprised Wilmington Hammerheads and Portland Timbers in the tournament. The USASA entry has to get past strong PDL side Ventura County Fusion to get a shot at LA Galaxy II.

There’s plenty more. Monitor the intrigue tonight, as the path to the 102nd USOC title is trod.

Fort Pitt Regiment (NPSL) at West Virginia Chaos (PDL) – 7:00 pm ET
GBFC Thunder (NPSL) at Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) – 7:00 pm ET
RWB Adria (USASA) at Lansing United (NPSL) – 7:00 pm ET
Triangle Brigade (USASA) at Upward Stars (NPSL) – 7:00 pm ET
SW Florida Adrenaline (PDL) at Miami United (NPSL) – 7:00 pm ET
Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) at AC Connecticut (PDL) – 7:00 pm ET
Maryland Bays (USASA) at Reading United – 7:00 pm ET
Ocala Stampede (PDL) at Chattanooga Football Club (NPSL) – 7:30 pm ET
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) at Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) – 7:30 pm ET
Detroit City FC (NPSL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL) – 7:30 pm ET
NY Greek American SC (USASA) at Jersey Express (PDL) – 8:00 pm ET
Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) at GPS Mass (USASA) – 8:00 pm ET
Madison Fire Soccer Club (USASA) at Des Moines Menace (PDL) – 8:30 pm ET
Tulsa Athletics (NPSL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers (PDL) – 8:30 pm ET
NTX Rayados Academy (USASA) at Laredo Heat (PDL) – 9:15 pm ET
Harpo’s FC (USASA) at BYU Cougars men’s soccer (PDL) – 9:30 pm ET
Kitsap Pumas SC (PDL) at FC Tacoma 253 (NPSL) – 10:00 pm ET
Cal FC (USASA) at Ventura County Fusion (PDL) – 10:00 pm ET
Burlingame Dragons (PDL) at Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) – 10:00 pm ET
Golden State Misioneros (PDL) at PSA Elite (USASA) – 10:00 pm ET
Chula Vista Futbol Club (USASA) at FC Tucson (PDL) – 10:30 pm ET

Michigan Bucks top Kitsap Pumas in PDL championship match

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Tom Owens’ 59th minute goal led the Michigan Bucks to the Premier Developmental League title with a 1-0 win over Kitsap Pumas on Sunday afternoon in Michigan.

It was the first goal of the season for Owens (Notre Dame College) and it propelled the Bucks to their second PDL title, their first since 2006.

[ RELATED: Red Bulls U-23 side beats Chattanooga, takes NPSL crown ]

Michigan beat the Jersey Express in Saturday’s semifinal, while Kitsap topped Ocala in their semi.

The Bucks posted a 9W-2L-3T record in the regular season to win the Great Lakes Division, while Kitsap won the Northwest with a 9W-1L-4T mark.