All six U.S.-based North American Soccer League clubs enter the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at the Second Round stage tonight.
Winning the illustrious trophy during its centennial year is a priority this season for the NASL coaches.
“These cup games are very special as it could be one game and you’re out if you lose,” said Tampa Bay Rowdies coach Ricky Hill, whose team travels the short distance to VSI Tampa Bay tonight. “The win on Saturday really gave our squad an extra push forward looking ahead the match. It will be our first Tuesday night match of the season and at this morning’s practice I emphasized how we need to concentrate on playing the ball in a smart manner. We plan to make a great run in the U.S. Open Cup and this is our first step to reach that goal.”
“It means a lot to be able to play U.S. Open Cup matches in front of our home crowd,” said Carolina RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke on his team’s visit to Carolina Dynamo. “This tournament means a lot to me, the team, and to the entire organization. The team will need to be at our best to get a result. The Dynamo will be ready to play and we can’t take anything for granted.”
Strikers head coach Daryl Shore, whose team plays at home at Lockhart Stadium against FC Laredo, ‘said: “Laredo is a team with a lot of success in the PDL and the Open Cup, so I don’t think they are going to come in afraid of who we are. We’re not expecting to walk away with this game. They are a dangerous team and we need to come in prepared and ready to play if we want the opportunity to host FC Dallas next week.”