A shorthanded Rocket City United team will be looking to qualify for the US Open Cup for the first time in club history. Going into this weekend's United States Amateur Soccer Association Region III qualifying tournament in Tuscaloosa, RCU is still awaiting an paperwork to clear for four expected starters in the attacking half of the field.
Central attacking midfielder Alex Munro (South Africa), defensive midfielder Jacob Letsholo (Botswana), forward Andrew Nkurunungi (Uganda), and winger Calvin Mbatha (South Africa) are all awaiting international transfer clearances from their native soccer federations. The players are expected to cleared to play prior to the June 5th league match versus Atlanta FC, but RCU will have to play this weekend's matches with a shortened player roster.
After the withdrawal of South Texas club Justice from the US Open Cup qualifying tournament, RCU and the other teams in Region III will be grouped into 3 groups of 3. The three group winners and the top 2nd place team will move on to the semifinals where the winners will qualify for the US Open Cup knockout stages.
RCU hopes to be one of the teams to qualify out of Region III where they could be matched up against fully professional sides from USL, NASL and MLS. That kind of exposure is a great opportunity for players at the NPSL level looking to rise into the ranks of the professional game.