With the winner of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup crowned this week (if you missed it, FC Dallas won the title for the first time in 19 years), attention here in Southern California turns to the 2017 edition of the tournament. And believe it or not, but the road to next year’s tournament began last week on the east coast, and will come to California this weekend. Time is a flat circle, as they say.
A total of 21 teams, from all around Southern California, will square off this weekend for the chance to advance to the next round of qualifying. With so many teams involved in qualifying, there are several steps ahead in the campaign to get to the tournament proper next year, as successful teams will play between three and five games to get to the big dance, according to U.S. Soccer.
There are several teams involved with recent history in the Open Cup, including La Maquina, who lost to the LA Galaxy in this year’s tournament in controversial fashion, as well as their local and USOC foes LA Wolves FC. 2014 Cinderella side Chula Vista FC are also involved once again, looking to reach the tournament and make another run.
The full slate for Southern California teams this weekend in 2017 USOC qualifying:
HD Rush FC vs. Moreno Valley Futbol Club, Saturday, 3 pm PT, University Preparatory School, Victorville
FC Hasental vs. Del Rey City Soccer Club, Saturday, 7 pm PT, Chaminade College Preparatory, Canoga Park
La Maquina FC vs. Orange County FC, Saturday, 7 pm PT, Westminster High School, Westminster
Inland Empire FC vs. Avalanche USA FC, Saturday, 7:30 pm PT, Rancho Jurupa Regional Sports Park, Jurupa Valley
Ozzy’s Laguna FC vs. OC Crew Soccer Club, Saturday, 8 pm PT, Santa Ana Stadium, Santa Ana
Buena Park FC vs. Outbreak FC, Sunday, 11 am PT, John F. Kennedy High School, La Palma
Real Sociedad Royals vs. LA Wolves FC, Sunday, 4:30 pm PT, St. John Bosco Football Stadium, Bellflower
SFV Scorpions SC vs. Valley United SC, Sunday, 5 pm PT, Alemony High School, Mission Hills
Strikers FC South Coast vs. AC Brea Steaua, Sunday, 6:30 pm PT, Lake Forest Sports Park, Lake Forest
Santa Ana Winds FC vs. La Habra City FC, Sunday, 7:30 pm PT, Lake Forest Sports Park, Lake Forest
One team, San Diego County’s Chula Vista FC, has to leave the state for its qualifier, as they will take on Arizona’s Frontera United on Sunday just over the border at Desert Sun Stadium in Yuma.
If you’re interested in local soccer and the United States’ oldest soccer competition, check out the game nearest you and maybe you’ll see the Cinderella of next year this weekend.