While FC Tucson looks to impress once again in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, South Georgia Tormenta FC will participate in the prestigious tournament for the first time in team history as the First Round of the competition kicks off on Tuesday.
Tormenta FC will travel to play the Myrtle Beach Mutiny at 7:10 p.m. ET from North Myrtle Beach Sports Park in Little River, South Carolina, on Wednesday, while FC Tucson will compete in the U.S. Open Cup for a fifth time in its history when it hosts La Máquina FC at 7:30 p.m. PDT from Kino North Stadium the same day.
For both clubs the opportunity the Open Cup provides is an exciting proposition, sitting one win away from facing USL opposition in the tournament’s second round. Tormenta FC would visit the Charleston Battery with a win, while Tucson would visit Las Vegas Lights FC should it advance, with the potential that a deeper run could bring the chance to face MLS opposition in the fourth round.
“The U.S. Open Cup is a terrific competition,” FC Tucson Head Coach David Cosgrove told USLD3.com. “It allows the opportunity or dream of an amateur team to win and move on and play against professional players. The idea that any team can win a national championship is awesome.”
“If you are able to advance, you then have the opportunity to draw a USL or MLS team,” echoed Tormenta FC Head Coach John Miglarese. “A lot of PDL teams are able to play a friendly with a USL team during the summer, which is useful; however, playing a USL or MLS team in a game that matters is a completely different story. I really want that opportunity for our players this summer.”
Led by Majority Owners Darin and Netra Van Tassell, Tormenta FC was the first team to be made a founding member of USL Division III in January. Ahead of its professional debut, Tormenta FC has filed plans to construct a state-of-the-art 5,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Statesboro, Georgia. For the 2018 Premier Development League season, the team will compete on the campus of Georgia Southern University at Erk Russell Park. Tormenta FC will kick off its third PDL campaign on the road against Peachtree City MOBA at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Acquired by the USL’s Phoenix Rising FC in 2017, FC Tucson competes at Kino North Stadium and anchors the USL Division III’s western expansion. Four-time PDL divisional winners, the team is prepared to begin its seventh PDL when it faces off against Albuquerque Sol F.C. at 7:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday.