NYCFC II's U.S. Open Cup run was incredible and inspiring

  • NYCFC II was in the U.S. Open Cup over NYCFC
  • The team was the only third-division team to make the Round of 16
NYCFC II / Mark Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages

On Tuesday, New York City FC II entered the U.S. Open Cup as the only third-division side in the Round of 16. As fans know, most Major League Soccer teams did not participate in this year's tournament, with some MLS Next Pro teams competing instead.

The MLS Next Pro side started their tournament journey by beating FC Motown. They went on to win against the New York Red Bulls II, Hartford Athletic, and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. The team's accomplishment of making it to the Round of 16 is incredible.

Hence, everyone around the club is proud of NYCFC II, and that was regardless of what happened in the Round of 16 against New Mexico United. Unfortunately, the tournament run came to an end after the reserve Pigeons fell 3-0. Notably, they kept the game scoreless in the first half. Yet, New Mexico scored their three goals in the second.

NYCFC II's U.S. Open Cup journey was inspiring

The journey for NYCFC II in the U.S. Open Cup might be over, but the journey in the tournament just shows that a Major League Soccer club's reserve team can have success in the country's oldest tournament. Moreover, since most of the team is young, it shows that a team of young players can be successful.

It helps that NYCFC II has players like Máximo Carrizo, Jonathan Jiménez, Christian McFarlane, and Alex Rando. Some players are signed with the first team while others are signed to the MLS Next Pro team. The talent of some of the players like McFarlane illuminates how the team is used for development as well. The left-back might be on the move to Europe before he can turn himself into a major player with NYCFC.

In addition, some first-team players who normally do not play with NYCFC II were able to play in some of the games. For example, Jovan Mijatović played in the Colorado Springs and New Mexico matches. However, the players that made an impact were MLS Next Pro ones.

More importantly, the young players were inspirational. They showed the country that sometimes lower division teams can do well in a tournament that can see top MLS sides not make the Round of 16. They are also inspirations to the kids in the NYCFC Academy. They showed what is possible with hard work.

The future of the U.S. Open Cup and MLS is unknown. While it was exciting to see the NYCFC II players get their shot, one cannot help but miss NYCFC playing in the tournament. Perhaps there is a way to ensure the MLS teams still play and that reserve team players can contribute as well.