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Lafayette Lightning Defeat Louisiana to Open PDL Qualifying

CHICAGO (Monday, April 23, 2001) - The Lafayette Lightning won the inaugural "Battle of the Bayou" against their in-state rivals, the Louisiana Outlaws, to kick off U.S. Open Cup Qualifying in the USL's Premier Development League (PDL) on Saturday when the two met for the first time. Tied, 2-2, at halftime, Lafayette scored twice in the second half to give the expansion Lightning a 4-2 victory in its first match. Lafayette's Chris Veselka tallied three assists in the match.

In the weekend's other PDL Open Cup Qualifier, the San Fernando Valley Heroes and the San Gabriel Valley Highlanders played to a 2-2 draw to open play in Group 3.

The PDL's qualification process remains unchanged from 2000, as the league will send four teams to the U.S. Open Cup again in 2001. The league's conferences will serve as the three groups for the qualification round. The three group winners and the best second place finisher will advance to the Open Cup's first round, where they will face four representatives from the United States Amateur Soccer Association.