The second round of 2017 U.S. Open Cup qualifying was slated to get underway in Southern California this past weekend, but an unusual wrinkle prevented the entire slate of games from taking place.
Two matches were postponed due to weather, of all things, as lightning threats made playing those games too dangerous. As anyone who lives in the area knows, few soccer games are postponed, but lightning strikes are not something to play around with.
So the two games, La Maquina vs. Santa Ana Winds and Inland Empire FC vs. LA Wolves FC, still need to be played. They are the only qualifying games of the round yet to have happened, and U.S. Soccer is promising updated schedules on those games soon.
Meanwhile, in the games that did take place, three Southern California teams advanced from the second round of qualifying over the weekend.
2015 USOC Cinderella side Chula Vista FC defeated FC Hasental 4-1 on Saturday. Alberto Diaz and Jaime Verdin were among the scorers for the victors, who will aim to make their way back into the Open Cup proper.
Moreno Valley FC smashed Ozzy’s Laguna FC to the tune of 6-0 on Saturday in Moreno Valley. Alex Anderson and Ruben Rodriguez were among the scorers for the hosts, and the local UPSL is once again guaranteed representation in the next round.
And 2016 U.S. Open Cup participants Outbreak FC are still alive, after a 2-1 win over SFV Scorpions FC on Sunday in Santa Clarita. Spencer Dole and Juan Meza scored the goals for Outbreak.
The other SoCal team that played this weekend, Strikers FC South Coast, lost to a Northern California side, USOC veterans El Farolito, 2-1 in Lake Forest on Sunday. As a result, they are out of contention for the 2017 edition of the Open Cup.
So that leaves three Southern California teams still alive, with two more teams to advance after the postponed games take place. There is currently speculation about whether a third qualifying round will be necessary this year, or if the teams still alive will qualify directly to the big dance, which is what happened last year. At any rate, we’ll keep an eye on what U.S. Soccer decides and keep you posted.