After a letdown to start their NPSL campaign over the weekend at Atlantic City FC, the West Chester United Predators will look to keep their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup journey going tonight in Birmingham, Alabama.
While it’s technically just the second round of the tournament, West Chester played four games to qualify through the local qualifying format just to get to the first round, where they advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw with FC Baltimore Christos last Tuesday. All four games were played on the road, but none were as far away from home or against a tougher team than their opponents in USL Championship side Birmingham Legion.
The game will be the first in the competition for the first-year club, but head coach Tommy Soehn has won the competition — which dates back to 1914 — three times as a player (1997, 1998 and 2000) and once before as a coach (2008).
“I think the whole process of that tournament, when amateur teams come and compete, there’s just not too many tournaments like that in the world when an amateur team can go up against a pro team, and then the lower leagues go up against the higher teams,” Soehn said in a match preview on the team’s website. “It’s a pretty unique feel, and… I’ve won it quite a few times and been lucky to do it with different teams, so it’s pretty special to me.”
This will be West Chester’s second appearance in the second round after they lost 2-0 to the Harrisburg City Islanders at home in 2016. Bobby Warshaw scored the game-winner that night in the 14th minute.
Forward Chas Wilson is the lone player from that Predators team still with the squad three years later.
The @WCUSCPredators are back on the #USOC2019 hunt & taking aim at big game in pros @bhmlegion of @USLChampionship. #UpForTheCup— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) May 14, 2019
» https://t.co/hneJ9hNuqG pic.twitter.com/lqJ6A7SQN2
How to Watch
Where: BBVA Compass Field, Birmingham, Ala.
When: 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday, May 15, 2019
*Brotherly Game has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Brotherly Game and SB Nation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our guiding principles.