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04 / 08

United to Host RWB Adria in First Round of U.S. Open Cup

WRITTEN BY: Jeremy Sampson
PUBLISHED ON: April 08, 2015


Lansing United will host Chicago-based Red White Blue Adria in the first round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, it was announced by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday.

The club will play its first-ever USOC match on Wednesday, May 13 at the East Lansing Soccer Complex. Tickets are available immediately for purchase online and will cost $10 for all ages. Tickets will also be available at the gate for the same cost. U.S. Open Cup games are not included in season ticket packages and scarves will not grant you access. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

“It’s massive,” Lansing United head coach/GM Eric Rudland said. “When you look at the landscape of U.S. soccer, it’s the only event that’s the best of the best, an amateur level all the way up to the pros. For us as a club, it puts us on the map in regards to that landscape.”

If Lansing United defeats RWB Adria, the club would host Louisville City FC of the USL in the second round on Wednesday, May 20. Kickoff for that match is scheduled for 7 p.m at the East Lansing Soccer Complex.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s national club tournament, is an annual competition open to all professional and amateur soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament is in its 102nd year of existence and will be played over the course of the next five months with a few opening play-in matches already having taken place. The tournament will culminate with the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Sept. 29 or 30.

United will be one of 12 participants from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and will host RWB Adria, which will play in the Great Lakes Premier League this summer.

RWB Adria was founded in 1959 by Croatian immigrants on the south side of Chicago. The club has gone on to become one of the most successful soccer clubs in Illinois and is believed to have won the most trophies of any club in Illinois soccer history.

“They’re a club that has a ton of tradition, more so than most NPSL or PDL clubs, to be honest,” Rudland said. “There are some cultural roots there and they got ex-pros that come in and play and guys with a lot of experience with the game.”

RWB Adria has participated in the U.S. Open Cup six times: 1978 (semifinals), 1991 (semifinals), 1996 (first round), 2007 (first round), 2008 (first round) and 2014 (third round).

“It’s a different animal looking at them compared to a PDL team or even a pro team because these guys are with each other year round,” Rudland said. “They have a lot of buy-in from their local community and they have some very supportive owners.”

Last summer, RWB Adria defeated Detroit City FC 2-2 (1-3) on penalty kicks in the first round of the tournament at Livonia Stevenson High School. Adria moved on to face the Michigan Bucks (PDL) in the second round, where the club advanced with a 1-0 overtime victory at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich. Adria traveled to the USL’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds for the third round of the 2014 tournament and fell 3-2 in overtime.

Two other clubs from the NPSL’s Midwest Region will join Lansing in the Open Cup. After facing United in the Midwest Region Final last July, the Fort Pitt Regiment earned a berth in the tournament for the first time in club history. Detroit City FC was the third Midwest Region club to qualify for the 2015 U.S. Open Cup after Minnesota United Reserves declined an invitation. DCFC was awarded the spot as the highest remaining team from the region based on points-per-game (Minnesota, 2.0; Detroit, 1.93).

Eight other NPSL clubs will also complete in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: Brooklyn Italians, Chattanooga FC, FC Tacoma 253, Greater Binghamton Thunder, Miami United, Sonoma County Sol, Tulsa Athletics, Upward Star FC and Virginia Beach City FC.

Two NPSL clubs (Brooklyn Italians and Chattanooga FC) reached the third round in 2014.

This year’s winner will earn $250,000 as well as a berth in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions’ League. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize.

Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won a fourth tournament title after a 3-1 overtime road victory against the Philadelphia Union (MLS) on Sept. 16, 2014.