|Jacks, Stumptown renew Charlotte Derby at the Open Cup|
|Cross-county rivals square off April 7|
|Published Monday, February 3, 2020 4:36 pm|
|PHOTO | ASHLEY MAHONEY|
|Stumptown Athletic takes on the Charlotte Independence in the second round of the Open Cup April 7 at Sportsplex at Matthews.|
It’s never too early to start thinking about the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
National Independent Soccer Association side Stumptown Athletic make their Open Cup debut on April 7 in the second round against the Charlotte Independence (USL Championship) at Sportsplex at Matthews. Kickoff is 7 p.m., and the match is free.
Independence and Stumptown head coaches Mike Jeffries and Mark Steffens have faced each other previously since the former’s inaugural USL season in 2015. Steffens, a 2007 USL Hall of Fame inductee, was the longtime head coach of the Charlotte Eagles, whom the Independence acquired the USL rights to following the 2014 season. The Eagles self-relegated to a lower division. The Independence hired Jeffries, and Steffens left for fellow USL side Pittsburgh.
“Mark is an excellent coach and a quality person,” Jeffries said. “I’m sure he’ll have his group prepared and well organized and pumped up and ready to play. I would expect no less. We only crossed paths during the one season in the USL, but I have a lot of respect for the job he did here [with the Eagles] and in Pittsburgh.”
Stumptown named Steffens head coach in July ahead of their fall showcase. Their spring NISA campaign begins on Feb. 29 against 1904 FC at the OrthoCarolina Sportsplex.
The Jacks kick off their season on March 8 at Sporting Kansas City II. They host Pittsburgh on March 14 for their home opener at the Sportsplex at Matthews.
Notes on previous Charlotte derbies:
All have taken place in the Open Cup. The first occurred in 2016 between the Charlotte Eagles and the Independence. The Jacks are 2-0 in Charlotte derbies, beating the Eagles 2-0 in 2016 and 3-2 in 2017.
The Independence advanced to the fourth round of the Open Cup their inaugural season, facing two Major League Soccer sides. They beat the New England Revolution 1-0 before falling to the Chicago Fire 3-1.
“Open Cup is something that is always important,” Jeffries said. “We’ll come into it and try to be as prepared as possible.”
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