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2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup First Round Match Previews - 3.21.2024

By Staff, 03/21/24, 5:45PM EDT


Trio of League One clubs set for 2024 U.S. Open Cup debuts


Venue: Central High School; Harrison, Tenn.
Kickoff: Thursday, March 21; 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, 66°

  • The Red Wolves are one of two current League One clubs (Lexington) that are winless in U.S. Open Cup play. In three previous participations in the tournament, the Red Wolves are 0-3 with a combined -7 goal differential.
  • The Red Wolves have only faced pre-professional opposition once and it didn't go according to plan. Chattanooga lost on the road against USL League Two side South Georgia Tormenta FC 2, 3-0, in the First Round of the 2019 U.S. Open Cup.
  • 100% of ticket proceeds from the match will go towards the Chattanooga Red Wolves Foundation Pass It Forward Initiative, helping scholarship academy players with financial need.

CHA - Ricky Ruiz: In his return to Chattanooga, Ruiz stood out in the Red Wolves' first match of the season. The two-time All-League selection and 2021 Golden Playmaker won seven duels, registered four recoveries, won four fouls and created a pair of chances in a 1-0 loss at Lexington.

BFC - Meny Silva: The New England Revolution Academy product made his professional debut with New England Revolution II in USL League One in 2020. Between 2020 and 2022, the winger made 40 appearances for the Revs' second team across League One and MLS NEXT Pro play before joining Brockton in 2023. Silva was recently named Brockton's Male Player of the Year.


Venue: Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.
Kickoff: Thursday, March 21; 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, 31°

  • Omaha's five U.S. Open Cup wins are tied for the third-most among all current League One clubs. However, Omaha's five U.S. Open Cup wins as a League One club are tied with Richmond for the most as a member of the league.
  • The Pioneers spent the first 12 seasons of their existence as a professional club in the USL Second Division before moving to USL League Two in 2010. In 12 previous U.S. Open Cup participations, the Pioneers have racked up a 7-12 record but have never defeated a professional opponent in the competition.
  • The Owls have faced pre-professional opposition just once - claiming a slim 2-1 victory against USL League Two power Des Moines Menace to kick off its special 2022 U.S. Open Cup campaign. Omaha returns to Massachusetts for the first time since facing New England Revolution II in 2021; the Owls are an undefeated 1-0-1 in the Bay State.

WMP - Tomás Duben: The 25-year-old Argentine forward is returning to Ludlow for the third season and will captain the Pioneers against the Owls. Duben has totaled 19 goal contributions over his past two seasons with the Pioneers after previously spending time with Argentine clubs CA Vélez Sarsfield, CA Chacarita Juniors, CSR Español, CD Morón, CA General Lamadrid, CSD Liniers and CA San Miguel.

OMA - Blake Malone: The former title-winning Owl returned to his native Omaha for a second stint with the Players' Shield holders. Malone scored Omaha's first goal of the season - his first as an Owl - and contributed to Omaha's season-opening victory to earn a spot on the Team of the Week.


Venue: Cairn University; Langhorne, Pa.
Kickoff: Thursday, March 21; 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Clear, 40°

  • Charlotte boasts one of three U.S. Open Cup winners actively playing in League One in 2017 champion Kharlton Belmar who won the tournament with Sporting Kansas City. South Georgia's Conor Doyle (2013, D.C. United) and Spokane's Luis Gil (2018, Houston Dynamo FC) have also won the tournament.
  • Vereinigung Erzgebirge, a German-American social and sports club located an hour outside of Philadelphia, has fielded a soccer team since 1931 but has only qualified for the U.S. Open Cup proper once - back in 2002.
  • The Jacks have historically struggled against pre-professional sides. Charlotte is just 4-3 against lower-division opponents across its decade-long history.

VE - Antoine Hoppenot: The former USL Championship and MLS forward is coming out of retirement to support Vereinigung Erzgebirge on the pitch. Hanging up his boots after spending the 2023 Championship season in Hartford, Hoppenot is tied for the 10th-most goal contributions in USL Championship history (88) and enjoyed a lengthy professional career with the Philadelphia Union, Louisville City FC, Reno 1868 FC, Detroit City FC, Hartford Athletic, Penn FC, FC Cincinnati and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. In three previous matchups against the Jacks, Hoppenot is an undefeated 2-0-1.

CLT - Clay Dimick: In his first match back since Aug. 12, 2023 after dealing with a serious neck injury, Dimick scored the Independence's first goal of the season - the fourth of his career - and was named to the Team of the Week.

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