Cal FC Defeats San Francisco City FC 2-1
Cal FC took its first step in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, using two second half penalty kicks from Chris Cummings and Jonathan Bravo to down San Francisco City FC Saturday afternoon at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, California.
Playing in front of a “Play-In” Round record-crowd of 1,519 at Kezar Stadium, the visitors - famous for their 2012 U.S. Open Cup run where they upset Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers - dominated most of the possession in the first half, but saw the home side with the better of the early chances.
Taking the ball in stride in the 12th minute, forward Reed Williams spun past Cal FC left back Edgar Espinoza, before slotting the ball for Chris Cummings whose low cross was well cut out by Cal FC goalkeeper Brian Hill.
Eleven minutes later, Williams got by Espinoza again, and squared his pass at the top of the area for Austin Diaz De Leon, but the former University of San Francisco midfielder saw his first-time effort go wide of goal.
Cal FC would find its first dangerous opportunity in the 30th minute when Jose Altamirano strolled up the right before cutting a pass back for Johnny Bravo, but the former LA Galaxy reservist fired his first-time shot well over goal.
The final chance of the half would be the best one as Cal FC’s Alberto Anguiano lobbed a ball for Cummings into the left corner. Cummings took his space and whipped a driven cross back to the near post where Anguiano’s header was saved with a diving effort from City FC goalkeeper Austin Harms.
The first goal of the match would come just after the break when Anguiano was played through alone on goal. The Cal FC forward jumped to push the ball past the goalkeeper and Harms took him down inside the area forcing the referee to point to the penalty spot. On the ensuing kick, Cummings stepped up and calmly slotted the ball past Harms to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 47th minute.
“That threw the whole game into a whole other speed,” said Cal FC head coach Ross Greaney. “They began attacking with a lot of numbers. That sent a wave of energy into San Francisco and they came at us.”
City FC began to take back possession and came close to the equalizer in the 70th minute when left winger George Plakorus’s cross in from the left picked out Eric Anderson whose diving header was saved by Hill.
In the 75th minute, City FC’s Jack Momeyer played a quick one-two combo with Diaz De Leon, getting into the box and firing his effort off the top of the cross bar.
The hosts would finally equalize a minute later when Plakorus put in another low, whipping cross that saw Cal FC defender Randy Mendoza misdirect his clearance into the net.
San Francisco nearly found the go-ahead goal in the 86th minute when a cross from left back Gabriel Padilla saw Hill misplay the ball, before popping for Anderson. The City FC midfielder took an ambitious bicycle kick which Hill recovered to collect.
A bit against the run of play, Cal FC would find the eventual game-winner from the penalty spot the 87th minute as Anguiano sent a cross-in that was judged to have been handled by a City FC defender. This time, Cal FC midfielder Jonathan Bravo stepped up and squeezed his penalty low, inside the right post to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Late pressure from San Francisco City FC was well sustained by Cal FC, and the referee blew the full-time whistle, sending the 2012 giant killers back into the 2015 tournament proper.
“I’m glad I have a roster full of guys with such character,” said Greaney. “We’re not the fittest, we’re not training every day – there’s a lot of obstacles to performing your best. Even in the second half when we started to wither, we pulled through. Hopefully our character will continue to help us through this tournament.”
Cal FC advances to face USL Premier Development League side Ventura County Fusion on May 13 at Ventura College Sportsplex in Ventura, California The match will hold special significance for Greaney, who served as a long-time assistant coach for the club, as well as former player Danny Barrera.
“There’s going to be a lot of familiarity – we know them a little bit and they know us a bit,” said Greaney. “It’s pretty exciting to go up against a team that you have some ties to and I think both sides are looking forward to it.”
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Match Report #1
Match: Cal FC 2, San Francisco City FC 1
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Venue: Kezar Stadium; San Francisco, CA
CAL – Chris Cummings (penalty kick) 47 minute
SFC – own goal (Randy Mendoza) 76
CAL – Johnny Bravo (penalty kick) 87
SFC – Austin Harms (caution) 46 minute
SFC – Reed Williams (caution) 58
CAL – Danny Barrera (caution) 88
SFC – Gabriel Padilla (caution) 89
Cal FC: Bryan Hill; Conor Hearn, Jason Gallardo, Randy Mendoza, Edgar Espinoza; Jonathan Bravo, Osiris Saligan, Chris Cummings (John Lopez 74’), Danny Barrera; Alberto Anguiano, Jose Altamirano
San Francisco City FC: Austin Harms; Gabriel Padilla, Adam Ringler, Tom Montgomery, Marc Tonkel; Jack Momeyer (Tyson Crim 74), Johannes DeMarzi, Mauricio Diaz De Leon, Eric Anderson, George Plakorus; Reed Williams (Taylor Amman 77’)
Harpo’s FC Slides Past KC Athletics 2-0
In “Play-In” Match #2, Boulder, Colorado-based Harpo’s FC used second half goals from captain Dan Campbell and forward Shane Wheeler to take down the visiting KC Athletics at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Field #20 in Commerce City, Colorado.
After a spirited first half where Harpo’s controlled most of the way, Campbell put the home side ahead on the hour mark, finishing off a feed from Kyle Leutkehans.
Luetkehans would set up the second goal 10 minutes later as he played Wheeler through the KC backline before the powerful forward rounded the goalkeeper and finished into an empty net to push Harpo’s into a First Round date with Brigham Young University on May 13 in Provo, Utah.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Match Report #2
Match: KC Athletics 0, Harpo’s FC 2
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Field 20; Commerce City, CO
HAR – Daniel Campbell (Kyle Leutkehans) 60 minute
HAR – Shane Wheeler (Kyle Leutkehans) 70 minute
KC – Bobby Reiss (caution) 63 minute
KC Athletics: Steven Grow, Oran Andrews, Steven Emory, Ryan Kawoluk, Bobby Reiss, Martin Johnson (Samuel Braverman 70’), Peter Kariotis (Josh Westberg 53’), Skelly Kellar, Matt Kuhn, Josh White, Bryan Williams (Kyle Perkins 56’)
Harpo’s FC: Zac Gibbens, Frank Sawyer, Daniel Campbell (Daniel Schewe 73’), Justin Geibel, Kevin Haber, Benjamin Liames, Kyle Luetkehans, Ian Marchesci (Daniel Whittle 82’), Jose Matibag, Edgar Olivas (Corey Cullen 75’), Shane Wheeler