READING, PA (April 4, 2018) – The United States Soccer Federation today announced the pairings for the first round of the 2018 edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Reading United will host Baltimore, Maryland based Christos F.C. on Wednesday, May 9th at Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium in opening round action.
Christos F.C. are a powerhouse on the Maryland adult amateur soccer circuit. The Baltimore based club claimed the Maryland State Cup for the eighth time in ten years in 2017. Christos also rose to national prominence with their magical run to the fourth round of last season’s U.S. Open Cup.
Reading United A.C. will participate in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the tenth consecutive season. With a berth in the 105th edition of the U.S. Open Cup, United extend their record for most consecutive appearances in the competition by an amateur club. In total, Reading has qualified for the competition twelve times.
In last season’s Open Cup, Reading United edged the Clarkstown SC Eagles, 1-0, in the first round. The victory was United’s sixth straight win in the opening round of the competition. Reading United stunned the soccer world by defeating the defending North American Soccer League champions, the New York Cosmos, 3-2, in front of of a jubilant hometown crowd in the second round of the Open Cup. Reading were knocked out of the 2017 Open Cup by their in-state rivals, the Harrisburg City Islanders, in the third round.
Reading United Head Coach Alan McCann expects Christos to test United’s 2018 squad saying, “It's going to be another first round battle for us this year, but we enjoy the challenge. It will be an early test for our lads against quality opposition which are the games we enjoy.”
Though Reading United will face Christos in a high stakes match very early in the season, McCann believes his side will rise to the challenge. “We have a lot of returning players from last year and the year before who are very familiar with each other and our identity as a club and style of play, so that helps us gel quicker each time we come back together.”
The Open Cup is the longest running national soccer competition in the country, having been contested every year since 1914. Clubs from every level of the U.S. Soccer pyramid, from the professional clubs in Major League Soccer to amateur sides in the U.S. Adult Soccer Association compete in the annual single elimination tournament. Clubs from Pennsylvania have won the competition a total of 14 times, with the legendary Bethlehem Steel side of the early 20th century claiming a record five titles.