USL League Two rivals West Chester United and Ocean City Nor’easters will square off in the first round of the 2023 U.S. Open Cup in March.
West Chester United, which earned a berth into the tournament through local qualifying, will host the Nor’easters at YSC Sports on March 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Both teams were in the competition last year for its return after a two-year hiatus. West Chester was knocked out in the first round last year by FC Motown in a replay after their earlier win was vacated by an illegal substitution.
Ocean City fell on penalties at home after a 1-1 draw with Lansdowne Yonkers FC in the first round last year.
West Chester United will have the advantage since they have a year-round team that competes in the USL of Pennsylvania and state cups. Ocean City is primarily a summer team that uses a lot of active college players. Last year they fielded a team of alumni for their Open Cup game.
The match-up guarantees a local team in the second round of the competition, which is when USL Championship teams enter the field. Eighteen MLS teams will enter the field in the third round while the Philadelphia Union and seven other seeded MLS teams based on last year’s record will enter in the Round of 32 in May.