Sonic get first-ever win in US Open Cup play
FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic came away with a historic win last week in the first round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, knocking off GPS Portland Phoenix 1-0 in double overtime to register their first victory ever in the tournament.
Shastri Spencer gave the Sonic the goal they coveted in the 115th minute, taking a pass from George Tsirukis down the left flank, cutting inside of the box and chipping the goalkeeper for the game-winner.
It was a historic moment for the Sonic, winning their first ever contest in the oldest soccer tournament in the country.
"It's a huge win for this organization and helps us continue our goal of giving soccer a higher profile in the Lehigh Valley," said head coach Dave Weitzman. "Our name is starting to get some national attention and wins like this help us even more."
The Sonic left the Lehigh Valley last Tuesday night and arrived in Portland, ME at 2:15 a.m. They then played Wednesday night and returned back home immediately after the contest. Playing up north with without their full roster was supposed to equal hardship in the opener, but the Sonic have parlayed that into hosting their second round matchup Wednesday night at Whitehall High School for a 7:05 p.m. kickoff against the Harrisburg City Islanders.
The Islanders are a USL Pro team, who play in the second highest division of professional soccer in the United States behind Major League Soccer (MLS).
The Islanders are an affiliate of the Philadelphia Union and Weitzman knows that there are at least four players on the Islanders roster that are on loan from the MLS franchise playing in Wednesday's matchup at Whitehall.
"This is going to be the first professional team playing in the area since the early 80s," Weitzman said. "This is going to be the best team we've ever faced. Fortunately, we're going to have more of our Division-I players for this contest and we're ready for the challenge."
A victory over the Islanders would set up a third-round match at Whitehall on May 28. The last amateur team standing in the Open Cup receives $15,000, but Weitzman isn't ready to look ahead that far.
"We have to focus on one game at a time," he said. "The Islanders are a very good team."