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USOC SOCCER: First Round Pairings Announced

By Seth Biddulph | April 15, 2019 | seekandstrikecollective@gmail.com

The qualifiers are done. The pairings have been set. All that’s left is for the clubs to settle their differences on the pitch. 

Maybe it’s not quite that dramatic and there probably isn’t any animosity between the clubs, but it’s going to be fun. We’re still a week away from knowing the possible second round matchups, we won’t let that stop us from speculating though. First things first though, here’s the first-round matchups. 

First Round – May 7 & 8 

Northeast Region 

Date  Game (home team listed first)  Time  Venue 
May 7  FC Baltimore (NPSL) vs. West Chester Predators (Pa.)  7 p.m. ET  Homewood Field (Johns Hopkins Univ.); Baltimore, Md. 
May 7  Richmond Kickers (USLL1) vs. Virginia United (Va.)  7 p.m. ET  City Stadium; Richmond, Va. 
May 7  New York Red Bulls U23 (USLL2) vs. FC Motown (NPSL)  7:30 p.m. ET  New York Red Bulls Training Facility; East Hanover, N.J. 
May 8  Erie Commodores FC (NPSL) vs. Dayton Dutch Lions (USLL2)  7 p.m. ET  McConnell Family Stadium (Gannon University); Erie, Pa. 
May 8  Lansing Ignite FC (USLL1) vs. AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL)  7 p.m. ET  Cooley Law School Stadium; Lansing, Mich. 
May 8  Reading United AC (USLL2) vs. Philadelphia Lone Star FC (NPSL)  7 p.m. ET  Alvernia University Stadium; Reading, Pa. 
May 8  New York Cosmos B (NPSL) vs. Black Rock FC (USLL2)  7:30 p.m. ET  Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium (Columbia Univ.); New York, N.Y. 

Southeast Region 

Date  Game (home team listed first)  Time  Venue 
May 7  Lakeland Tropics (USLL2) vs. The Villages SC (USLL2)  7 p.m. ET  Lake Myrtle Sports Complex; Auburndale, Fla. 
May 7  South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 (USLL2) vs. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (USLL1)  8 p.m. ET  Erk Russell Park (Georgia Southern Univ.); Statesboro, Ga. 
May 8  Greenville Triumph SC (USLL1) vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC (USLL1)  7 p.m. ET  Legacy Early College Field; Greenville, S.C. 
May 8  Miami FC (NPSL) vs. Florida Soccer Soldiers (Fla.)  7 p.m. ET  Buccaneer Field (Barry Univ.); Miami Shores, Fla. 

Central Region 

Date  Game (home team listed first)  Time  Venue 
May 7  Bavarian SC (Wis.) vs. Forward Madison FC (USLL1)  7:30 p.m. CT  Uihlein Soccer Park; Milwaukee, Wis. 
May 7  Laredo Heat SC (NPSL) vs. Brazos Valley Cavalry FC (USLL2)  8:15 p.m. CT  Texas A&M International Univ.; Laredo, Texas 
May 8  Little Rock Rangers (NPSL) vs. NTX Rayados (Texas)  7 p.m. CT  Episcopal Collegiate School; Little Rock, Ark. 
May 8  Des Moines Menace (USLL2) vs. Duluth FC (NPSL)  7:30 p.m. CT  Cownie Soccer Park; Des Moines, Iowa 
May 8  Midland-Odessa Sockers FC (NPSL) vs. FC Denver (Colo.)  7:30 p.m. CT  Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas 

West Region 

Date  Game (home team listed first)  Time  Venue 
May 7  Academica SC (Calif.) vs. El Farolito (NPSL)  7:30 p.m. PT  Academica Field; Turlock, Calif. 
May 7  Cal FC (Calif.) vs. FC Mulhouse Portland (NPSL)  7:30 p.m. PT  Calabasas High School; Calabasas, Calif. 
May 7  Orange County FC (NPSL) vs. FC Golden State Force (USLL2)  7:30 p.m. PT  Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, Calif.   
 

Once the first round is done, 19 clubs will advance and be joined by 25 USL Championship clubs. Three of these matchups will pair off with 2 USL clubs. 

Now, in the USOC they try to set matches between clubs in the same general area. As best they can anyway. Who might that leave as a possible matchup for New Mexico United? If United get paired up against one of the first-round winners, we could most likely see the winner of: 

  • Midland-Odessa vs FC Denver 
  • Little Rock Rangers vs NTX Rayados 
  • Laredo Heat SC vs Brazos Valley Cavalry 
  •  

Less likely scenarios would have United paired up with one of the following: 

  • Academia SC vs El Farolito 
  • Cal FC vs FC Mulhouse Portland 
  • Orange County FC vs. FC Golden State Force 
  •  

I’m sure most folks would prefer to see United against an amateur USL League 1 or 2 club. If this isn’t the case then we could likely see a matchup against El Paso, Phoenix, San Antonio, or Colorado Springs. No matter who United get paired up with, it’s going to be great experience and exposure for the club. 

Seth Biddulph is a beat reporter for Seek and Strike Collective covering the beat on New Mexico United. Follow him on Twitter@SethBiddulph

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