Wednesday is the big day for five local teams, as they embark on the first round of the United States’ oldest soccer competition, the 2016 edition of the U.S. Open Cup.
One team, PDL side Ventura County Fusion, is well-versed in the Open Cup, with four amateur sides joining them for their first appearances in the competition. Based on the draw, one local side will be guaranteed to advance to the second round, but as many as four could move on if results go their way.
LA Wolves FC, La Maquina, Outbreak FC and San Nicolas FC all made it through local qualifying tournaments last year to reach this stage, and will hope to do the unlikely and follow in PSA Elite’s footsteps, when that club was the amateur club to go the furthest in the 2015 USOC tournament and won $15,000 for that distinction. For an amateur organization, that kind of money can go a long way to funding a team’s budget.
Unfortunately, only one game is local, at the Ventura College Sportsplex in Ventura, but one of the games is supposed to be streamed so if you can’t make it to Ventura you may be able to watch a game online.
Here’s the schedule for Wednesday’s SoCal teams (local team is in bold):
Ventura County Fusion (PDL) vs. LA Wolves FC (UPSL), 7 pm PT, Ventura County Sportsplex, Ventura
FC Tucson (PDL) vs. San Nicolas FC (UPSL), 7:30 pm PT, Kino North Stadium, Tucson, Arizona (stream expected, check @FCTucson for more updates)
Portland Timbers U23s (PDL) vs. La Maquina (UPSL), 7:30 pm PT, Providence Park, Portland, Oregon
Seattle Sounders U23s (PDL) vs. Outbreak FC (SoCal Premier League), 7:30 pm PT, Panther Stadium, Bonney Lake, Washington
If you’re unfamiliar with the format of the U.S. Open Cup, it’s a knockout tournament a la NCAA basketball’s March Madness, so the winner moves on and the loser is out for the year. Subsequent rounds will see the entrance of USL, NASL and MLS teams, respectively, join the fray.
Best of luck to the local teams involved on Wednesday!