The 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first round pairings have been announced and FC Wichita drew a home match against an I-35 competitor, Oklahoma City Energy FC U23.
The Energy are currently a member of the Premier Developmental League, which is sponsored by the United States Soccer League. They’re the developmental club of the USL’s OKC Energy FC. The Energy have made the USL playoffs the last three seasons.
This will be FC Wichita’s third straight appearance in the U.S. Open Cup. Last season, FC Wichita beat Azteca FC (Colo.) 1-0 in extra time. The match was marred by torrential downpour, which led to a long lightning delay. Travis Pittman put the boys in red up in the 104th minute to secure the victory.
FC Wichita was eliminated by Saint Louis FC (USL) in the second round. FC Wichita led throughout the match, but 7 minutes of added gave way for Saint Louis to notch the equalizer, and go on to win in extra time.
The Energy FC U23 is no real strangers to the Cup. Last season, they went up to Tulsa, beat the Athletic on penalty kicks. Then, they fell to USL’s Tulsa Roughnecks FC 5-3.
FC Wichita is one of 19 NPSL clubs to qualify for the US Open Cup. Clubs that might sound familiar are Midland-Odessa FC (Texas) and the Fort Worth Vaqueros (Texas). MOFC stunned FC Wichita in the NPSL playoffs last year. Fort Worth used to be an annual opponent when FC Wichita was a member of the South Central Conference.
FC Wichita’s first round match will kick off on Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, April 9.