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Professional Apr 09, 2019

Seven amateur teams qualify for 2019 U.S. Open Cup

CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – After an enthralling final weekend of qualifying the field is finally set for the 106th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s national championship. The seven fourth qualifying round winners complete the field of 84 clubs that will compete in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup, which will begin on May 8 with all matches available to watch on ESPN+.

Of the amateur teams that started qualifying back in September 2018, some clubs are no strangers to the competition. NTX Rayados’ 5-0 victory over FC Maritsa is an indicator that the Dallas-area club is ready to create more shockwaves after advancing to the Fourth Round of last year’s tournament before falling to eventual champions Houston Dynamo.

While Rayados return, another club is making history as the first-ever side to advance to the U.S. Open Cup. Virginia United of new U.S. Soccer member organization Asociacion Nacional Futbol en USA (ANFEEU) out-lasted UPSL’s World Class Premier Elite 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw to cement its place as the ANFEEU’s first club to play in the U.S. Open Cup.

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2019 U.S. OPEN CUP – Fourth Qualifying Round Results

Northeast Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Result Venue
April 6 Safira FC (Mass.) vs. West Chester Predators (Pa.) 0-3 Dilboy Stadium; Somerville, Mass.

Mid-Atlantic Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Result Venue
April 7 Virginia United (Va.) vs. World Class Premier Elite FC (Md.) 1-1 (2-2 AET, 5-4 PKs) Howison Homestead Soccer Complex – Field 3; Woodbridge, Va.

Southeast Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Result Venue
None Florida Soccer Soldiers (Fla.) vs. America Soccer Club (Fla.) 1-0 (Forfeit) None

Central Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Result Venue
April 6 NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. FC Maritsa (Mo.) 5-0 Mercy Street Sports Complex; Dallas, Texas

Mountain Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Result Venue
April 6 Southwest FC (Texas) vs. FC Denver (Colo.) 3-4 AET Conquest Stadium (Del Valle High School); El Paso, Texas

Southern California Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Result Venue
April 7 Santa Ana Winds FC (Calif.) vs. Cal FC (Calif.) 1-4 Lake Forest Sports Park – Field A; Lake Forest, Calif.

West Region

Date Game (home team listed first) Result Venue
April 6 Academica SC (Calif.) vs. IPS/Marathon Taverna (Ore.) 3-3 (3-1 PKs) Academica Fields – East Field; Turlock, Calif.

2019 U.S. OPEN CUP – Fourth Qualifying Round Recaps

Florida Soccer Soldiers (Fla.) 1, America Soccer Club (Fla.) 0 (Forfeit)
America Soccer Club withdrew March 18. As a result, Florida Soccer Soldiers automatically advanced to the 2019 U.S. Open Cup.


Safira FC (Mass.) 0, West Chester United (Pa.) 3
West Chester United capitalized on three set-piece opportunities to advance to the U.S. Open Cup for the second time in club history after a two-year absence. Chad Poarch opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time and Peter Nolan’s second-half brace sealed the deal as the Pennsylvania outfit completed its qualification by winning all four qualifying matches on the road.

NTX Rayados (Texas) 5, FC Maritsa (Mo.) 0
NTX Rayados scored four goals in the space of 20 second-half minutes to romp to a record-extending eighth appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The score-line was perhaps harsh on FC Maritsa who only trailed 1-0 at halftime courtesy of an own goal. The tight and ill-tempered affair (six yellow cards shown) was blown open in the 67th minute by two-goal hero Sergio Lara. Lucio Martinez scored to make it 4-0 just three minutes later, effectively ending the contest. Lara put his stamp on the victory by completing his double in the 83rd. Rayados then finished qualifying by firing off a warning shot to all possible opponents three minutes from time. The Dallas side played a short corner and strung together an intricate combination of passes before Mariano Fazio put the ball in the net to remind future Open Cup opponents that Rayados are not to be taken lightly.

Southwest FC (Texas) 3, FC Denver (Colo.) 4 (AET)
FC Denver erased a three-goal deficit and completed an improbable comeback in extra time through Cesar Castillo’s strike in the 103rd minute to put the Colorado club into the First Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the second year running. A return did not look to be in the cards as FC Denver was blindsided by goals from Isaiah Segoviano and David Lopez in the 28thand 30th minutes. When Southwest FC’s Joshua Morales made it 3-0 for the home side as he swept home a 44th minute penalty, fans could be forgiven for thinking the match was done and dusted. Just moments later, however, FC Denver marched down the field and won a penalty of its own. Peter Jacobson converted from the spot in first-half stoppage time give his side a glimmer of hope. Lashaw Salta and Tyler Chauncey found the back of the net in the space of eight minutes to tie the match midway through the second half before Castillo’s turn and finish at the top of the box completed the stunning comeback in extra time.

Academica SC (Calif.) 3, IPS/Marathon Taverna (Ore.) 3, (3-1 PKs)
In possibly the most drama-filled match of the tournament so far, Academica SC staged late comebacks in regulation and extra-time before being the more clinical side from the spot to advance to its first ever Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

It looked like it would be a stroll for the visitors as International Portland Select Marathon Taverna (IPS) goalkeeper Bernardo Palma Sosa went route one in the 37th minute. Nathaniel Pogue latched onto his goalkeeper’s long-ball and capitalized on the breakaway. Gerson Mejia went upper 90 in the 69th minute and IPS took the 2-0 lead into stoppage time. Yet, Academica sprung to life in the 91st minute with Brennan Canfield scoring off a feed from Edwin Rodriguez. Manuel Villegas then scored with only moments to spare to send the match into extra time.

IPS had its calculations just right eight minutes into the extra period with Borce Atanasov finding the back of the net from an Alcides Thomas pass before Thomas was shown his second yellow and dismissed. Tensions continued to rise on the verge of the extra-time break. First, Academica was also reduced to ten men. IPS then went down to nine as Mejia (already shown a yellow for his goal celebration in the first half) saw a straight red. Academica was unable to take advantage, however, as an injury to one of their players meant they were reduced to nine as well, having already exhausted their substitutions.

The second period of extra-time started nine-on-nine and Academica’s stunning stoppage time comeback looked in vein when Jose Barriga saw his second yellow card of the afternoon, bringing the night’s total to 15 cards shown. The cardiac kids were not to be denied though, as five minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second overtime period meant an opportunity for one last push. In the 124th minute, Academica won a free kick at the top of the box and Gerardo Cazares’ effort got by Sosa to send the match to penalties.

Academica goalkeeper Alonso Lara played the hero with back-to-back saves in rounds three and four after IPS missed its opening attempt. Jorge Carmoa was spot on with his penalty meaning there was no need for a fifth round as Academica qualified in sensational fashion.


Virginia United (Va.) 2, World Class Premier Elite (Md.) 2 (5-4 PKs)
In another match that featured both teams vying for their first appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Virginia United and World Class Premier Elite went the distance before the home side prevailed in a shootout.

World Class Premier Elite was off and running when Olakunle Banjo struck after just five minutes, but Bernardo Majano equalized for Virginia United on the stroke of half-time. The second-half produced no goals, but things heated up again in extra-time with two goals in the space of a minute. Banjo thought he had won it for World Class Premier Elite with just four minutes remaining, but Virginia United came flying forward and won a penalty. Majano’s initial spot kick was saved, but he followed up to tuck in the rebound to ensure more penalties would follow.

There were no more misses from the dot for Virginia United who went a perfect five-for-five on penalties to outlast World Class Premier Elite and become the first team from the newly affiliated ANFEEU to qualify for one of the world soccer’s longest-running cup competitions.

Santa Ana Winds FC (Calif.) 1, Cal FC (Calif.) 4
Cal FC can once again dream of a U.S. Open Cup run similar to 2012 when it advanced to the fourth round by beating the Division I Portland Timbers of MLS, before falling to eventual finalist, Seattle Sounders FC.

Manager Keith Costigan’s side made light work of Santa Ana, jumping out to a 2-0 lead before the Winds were able to pull one back through Jordan Gorman in the 56th minute. All thoughts of a Winds revival were put to bed just ten minutes later with Cal FC striking twice in two minutes to ensure they were heading back to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

German Alfaro had two for Cal FC while Romario Lomeli and Orr Barouch were also on target as Cal FC look to again use the competition to establish itself as one of the most successful amateur clubs in the modern history of the U.S. Open Cup.

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