By Datti Jinkiri
The first round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will get kicked off on Wednesday, when CD Motagua of New Orleans travels up I-55 to face off against Mississippi Brilla FC. Both teams will play for the right to face the Oklahoma City Energy in the second round. Traceway Park in Clinton, Mississippi will be the venue for the winner-take-all match.
Motagua, led by manager Tony Martinez, are appearing in their first ever Open Cup. The cup debutants are two-time Louisiana Premier League champions and will be looking to make an impact. They are led by midfielder Leonardo Ferreira de Barros. De Barros, a Brazilian, tied for the league lead in goals with six this past season. Forward Reece Wilson is another player to watch for, as he accumulated five goals and three assists in seven appearances this past season.
Brilla are managed by Mark McKeever. The club had a fairly successful PDL season last year, winning the Mid South Division and clinching a playoff berth. This is their third appearance in the Open Cup, having lost to the Austin Aztex in their 2009 debut and falling in extra-time to Georgia Revolution in 2012. Lucas Cordeiro, a former Tulsa Roughnecks player, will be key to Brilla’s attack. He scored four goals and added five assists during the previous USL season. Midfielder Oscar Jimenez, his Tulsa teammate, will also be an important player to watch.
The match will kick off at 7:00 PM Wednesday night at Traceway Park. It will be live streamed on US Soccer’s YouTube Channel.