A pair of former UNCW men’s soccer players played a major role in the U.S. Open Cup this week as Colin Bonner and Brad Knighton helped their teams advance to the Round of 16.
Bonner, who was drafted by FC Dallas in the third round of the 2016 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, scored the game-winning penalty kick in a shootout against OKC Energy FC after the teams battled to a 2-2 draw.
After the two sides stayed knotted at two goals each through 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime, Bonner stepped in and calmly slotted home the game winner to give FC Dallas a 6-5 final advantage to advance to the next round.
Meanwhile, Knighton posted the first U.S. Open Cup shutout of his career with a five-save effort as the New England Revolution outlasted the Carolina Railhawks, 1-0, in Cary, N.C.
Now in his ninth MLS season and 10th professional season overall, Knighton returned to New England in 2016 as a veteran keeper to strengthen and add competition to the Revs’ goalkeeping corps.
Primarily serving as a backup, Knighton has yet to see any action in MLS play.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest and largest open single-elimination tournament in the United States. MLS clubs joined the tournament this week as fourth round action got underway across the country. The Round of 16 will begin later this month. Wilmington Hammerheads FC was ousted from the event in a setback against MLS side Real Salt Lake on Tuesday.