Defending USL League One champs knockout Northern Colorado.
OMAHA, NE – After pulling off a pair of cupsets over MLS clubs in the previous round, Union Omaha and Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC were drawn against each other in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s round of 32. Union Omaha was coming in having had a bye week from USL League One action, while Northern Colorado was beaten on the weekend by Chattanooga Red Wolves.
Jerry Desdunes may have set a U.S. Open Cup record in the first minute of the match for the fastest yellow card. The whistle was blown just nine seconds into the match, setting him to watch his step the rest of the match.
At the 21st minute a cross was sent in by Omaha and headed in to give them the early lead, however, the assistant referee deemed it offside keeping it level. It would stay such through to halftime.
Fresh out of halftime, a bad pass from Leo Folla set Omaha on to the front foot. Despite keeper Thomas Olsen getting a hand on it, the shot from Noe Meza found the back of the net. The first U.S. Open Cup goal conceded by the Hailstorm this year. Just before the hour mark a through ball set Conor Doyle free on goal to double the Owls lead.
Late in the second half substitute Trevor Amann nearly put the Hailstorm on the board with a header that clipped the crossbar before being gathered in by the Union Omaha keeper.
It was a successful cup run that included the first Hailstorm victory and the becoming the first USL League One team to defeat a MLS side in regulation.
“It was something special. Right now it’s bittersweet and disappointing. Extremely disappointing because I thought it was a great chance to get to the last 16. I’m sure however long it takes, a week, two weeks, a month, when I reflect and look back, I’m really proud of the two games,” stated head coach Éamon Zayed. “The Real Salt Lake game will stick in the memory for me, and hopefully the rest of the coaching staff, players, fans, staff and club. There’s a lot of positives, just right now it’s really disappointing.”