Winthrop will host the Charlotte Independence for the second time this season, when the USL soccer team hosts Upward Stars at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night in the U.S. Open Cup.
Eagle Field served as the Independence’s home pitch when it faced the Richmond Kickers May 8, a 3-0 win for the Charlotte side. It will again be that way against Upward Stars. The club is based in Spartanburg, and plays in the NPSL, the same league as Rock Hill-based semipro team F.C. Carolina Discoveries.
The game will be the second in as many weeks in Rock Hill for former Northwestern soccer standouts Enzo and Alex Martinez. Enzo has scored and assisted a goal each in seven appearances, with two starts, while Alex has started six contests, with no points yet.
The Independence play in USL competition and the Open Cup simultaneously. The U.S. Open Cup began in 1914 and is the country’s oldest soccer competition. The winner of the Independence-Upward Stars match advances to face Cary, N.C.-based NASL side Carolina RailHawks in the third round, on May 27.
Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders are the reigning Open Cup champs, after winning their fourth in six years in 2014. Tickets to Wednesday’s game at Winthrop will be available in advance at http://www.charlotteindependence.com/tickets/ or at the Eagle Field gate.