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“Play In” Round Winners Advance to U.S. Open Cup First Round

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

Scoring Summary:
CAL – Chris Cummings (penalty kick)             47 minute
SFC – own goal (Randy Mendoza)     76
CAL – Johnny Bravo (penalty kick)    87

Disciplinary Summary:
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

Scoring Summary:
HAR – Daniel Campbell (Kyle Leutkehans)     60 minute
HAR – Shane Wheeler (Kyle Leutkehans)      70 minute

Disciplinary Summary:
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

Academy Preview: Playoffs Race Continues to Heat Up

D.C. United will host rival Bethesda-Olney U-15/16s in a battle for the D.C. area on Saturday. Bethesda-Olney has won two of its last three games and D.C United is coming off of a 5-0 victory over Baltimore Bays Chelsea U-15/16. Donovan Pines scored a goal in the 78th minute to lead D.C. to a 1-0 win over Bethesda-Olney the last time these teams met on October 5, 2014.

Bethesda-Olney will go head-to-head with D.C. United U-17/18s on Saturday April 25 at 9 a.m. Bethesda-Olney is coming off a win over Everton FC Westchester last week, while D.C. United is unbeaten in April and in second place in the Atlantic Division.

On Saturday April 25, Chicago Magic PSG will travel to New Lenox, Illinois, for a matchup with the Mid-American division’s top-ranked team, Shattuck St. Mary’s U-17/18s. Chicago Magic PSG is fourth in the Mid-American division and Shattuck St. Mary’s is riding a six-game winning streak.

On Sunday April 26, Shattuck-St. Mary’s will take on Chicago Fire U-17/18s in a battle for the top spot in the Mid-American Division. Shattuck-St. Mary’s is currently first in the division with 2.05 pts/gp, but the Fire is not far behind with 1.94 pts/gp.

A highly competitive New Jersey Rivalry is set to take place this weekend as New York Red Bulls U-15/16s and U-17/18s face in-state and Atlantic Division rival Players Development Academy. The U-17/18s Red Bulls continue their control atop the Academy, currently claiming the top spot in the East Division and in the playoffs pool. PDA for its part is in the 18th spot of the playoff pool sitting with 1.81 pts/gp, trailing 17th-place Concorde Fire by only a 0.01 point per game differential.

In the U-15/16s age group, an even tighter race is brewing between the two sides, as NYRB are second in the Division standings and PDA is in third place. Both teams are also in a good direction to continue with post season play, with NYRB in the second spot and PDA in the 17th positon of the playoffs pool.

Finally, things are heating up in LA, as Pateadores and Chivas USA go head -to-head in both the U-15/16s and U-17/18s age group. For Chivas USA U-15/16s, the game will represent a chance to bounce back from a loss to Arsenal FC last weekend that saw the team drop its first decision since January. Currently, 19th in the playoffs pool, Chivas will need to perform well to hold on to its spot.

Pateadores U-17/18s hopes to continue riding its high following a 5-1 victory over Real So Cal last weekend, by facing Chivas on Sunday. Pateadores, who is currently in the playoffs pool sitting at number 18.

U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Round Set To Kick Off Saturday

2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Round – Notes

FINAL: Cal FC 2, San Franciso City FC 1
FINAL: Harpo's 2, KC Athletics 0

Cal FC
Founded:
2011
Coach:
Ross Greaney
Affiliation:
USASA Region IV
Previous Appearances:
2012 (Fourth Round), 2014 (Second Round)
All-Time Record: 3-2-0

  • The Cal FC vs. San Francisco City FC match will be streamed live at baosn.tv, on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. PT.
  • Cal FC’s 2012 U.S. Open Cup run was one of the better Cinderella stories in recent memory. Led by former U.S. international Eric Wynalda, the team made up of former pros and players on the cusp of contracts defeated Kitsap Pumas (3-1), USL-PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads (4-0) and upset Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers (1-0 AET) before bowing out to Seattle Sounders FC in the fourth round.
  • A majority of the players on the 2012 Cal FC side went on to sign professional contracts later that year or next. Two players, Richard Menvijar and Derby Carillo have become regulars for the Salvadorian Men’s National Team.
  • Danny Barrera, a former U.S. youth international who scored four of eight goals in the team’s 2012 run to the Fourth Round of the Open Cup returns after stints with the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks and San Antonio Scorpions.  
  • Jesus Gonzalez, the only other returning player from the 2012 Cal FC side, is suspended for Saturday’s match after picking up a red card while playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks in a 3-1 quarterfinal defeat to the Chicago Fire on July 9, 2014.
  • The 2015 Cal FC squad features a number of other former professional players including: defenders Jake Hustedt (San Jose Earthquakes), Edgar Espinoza (Atlanta Silverbacks), Conor Hearn (Orange County Blues), midfielder Abraham Villon (Oklahoma City Energy) and forward Luis Hernandez (Orange County Blues).
  • Cal FC head coach Ross Greaney returns to the Bay Area where he finished his collegiate career with the University of San Francisco in 1997.

San Francisco City FC
Founded:
2001
Coach:
Andrew Gardner
Affiliation: U.S. Club Soccer (NorCal Premier League)
Previous Appearances: First appearance
All-Time Record: N/A

  • The Cal FC vs. San Francisco City FC match will be streamed live at baosn.tv, on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. PT.
  • Qualified by defeating Stanislaus United Academica 3-0 on February 2 at San Francisco State University’s Cox Field.
  • San Francisco City FC has a supporter-ownership structure, with nearly 300 members paying $50 annual dues or a $350 lifetime stake in the club.
  • The club plays home matches at San Francisco’s historic Kezar Stadium, former home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.
  • Key players include former UCLA forward and 2010 California High School Player of the year Reed Williams, former University of San Francisco midfielder Mauricio Diaz De Leon, former Georgetown left back Gabriel Padilla and ex-Harvard goalkeeper Austin Harms.
  • Head coach Andrew Gardner is a former kicker for the Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

Harpo’s FC
Founded:
1997
Coach:
Johnny Freeston
Affiliation: U.S. Specialty Sports Association
Previous Appearances: First appearance
All-Time Record: N/A

  • Evolved out of Colorado University’s successful club soccer team, which won the Club National Championship in 2010.
  • Team is named after Harpo’s Bar and Grille in Boulder, Colorado, where club trophies are housed and post-game celebrations take place.
  • Though they didn’t win the USSSA Championship, they advanced as the organization’s representative as opponents KC Athletics had already qualified for the Open Cup via USASA Region II.
  • In that competition, Harpo’s FC beat KC Athletics 4-1 on March 13 in group play before falling to them 3-1 in the final on March 15. Both matches were played in Overland Park, Kansas.
  • Because of the above, Harpo’s FC actually clinched qualification by virtue of a 3-2 win vs. Colorado Rovers on March 14. Twenty three year old forward Shane Wheeler scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute.
  • Wheeler has trialed in the past with Rochester Rhinos, Wilmington Hammerheads and Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

KC Athletics
Founded: 2001
Player/Manager:
Kyle Perkins
Affiliation: USASA Region II
Previous Appearances: 2010 (First Round), 2012 (Second Round)
All-Time Record: 1-2-0

  • Founded via the merger of Kansas City Football Club and Kansas Legends Soccer Club in 2001.
  • KC Athletics make its third tournament appearance after qualifying as a USASA Region II representative. The team is also the defending USSSA national champion.
  • KC Athletics initially won its USASA Region II match to qualify for the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, but a protest by Dearborn Stars was upheld because the field the match was played on was deemed too narrow. Unable to make it to the replay in Chicago, KC Athletics withdrew from the match, missing out on the 2013 Open Cup.
  • Features former professional players Steven Emory (Colorado Rapids), Ryan Kowaluk (Portland Timbers), Bobby Reese (Atlanta Silverbacks) and Peter Kariotis (Niki Voulo; Greece).

KC Athletics Looks to Leave Controversy Behind, Earn its Third Open Cup Berth

When asked what sets his club apart from others in the United States, Kyle Perkins, the manager of Saturday’s U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” participants KC Athletics can’t help but chuckle.

“We’re really not a club, necessarily,” he says. “We’re just one team that’s done alright for ourselves over the years.”

Before describing his side as “the most amateur team in the tournament”, Perkins explains that the team came into existence back in 2001 through a merger between the Kansas City Football Club and Kansas Legends Soccer Club.

“It was a mix of guys that were decent, some of who went to college and played and others that didn’t,” he said. “After school, guys came back and still had some desire to keep playing competitively – it’s sort of grown from there.”

On Saturday, KC Athletics will visit Harpo’s FC in Commerce City, Colorado, kicking off its third U.S. Open Cup tournament appearance since first qualifying in 2010. As they do, they’ll hope to put to bed the controversy that saw them miss out on the 2013 edition.

The side appeared to have earned its third Open Cup berth that year after downing Michigan-based Dearborn Stars 1-0 in a USASA Region II qualifying match, but the visitors from metro-Detroit protested the match, citing the size of the field KC arranged for the teams to play on. Indeed, the width was three yards short of the minimum required 65 yards and a replay was ordered shortly after to be played at a neutral site in Chicago.

With only a few days to coordinate travel for his players to go 500 miles to Chicago, KC instead withdrew from the replay and missed out on the tournament.

“Our team is all nine-to-five types with kids and families,” said Perkins. “Getting away isn’t easy for us in general, getting away weekend after weekend right after we’d already played it wasn’t something we could pull together. It was disappointing, but I think we knew we’d be back here and we’ve put it behind us.”

As they go up against Harpo’s on Saturday, they’ll do it with the experience of former Colorado Rapids midfielder Steven Emory, former Portland Timbers defender Ryan Kowaluk, ex-Atlanta Silverbacks defender Bobby Reese and the return of Peter Kariotis, who played professionally in Greece with Niki Voulo FC and Aetos Skydra.

They’ll also have a familiarity with their hosts. With KC already earning one of USASA’s Region II’s qualifying berths, the side also entered in the USSSA qualifying tournament, held in nearby Overland Park, Kansas last month.

The two teams met twice in the tournament. Harpo’s won the group stage match 4-1, went on to the tournament final and since KC was the other finalist and had already qualified, Harpo’s earned their berth without having to play the USSSA championship match. The Colorado-based side took that match lightly and fell 3-1 as KC Athletics ended up USSSA champs, even though it’s not how they qualified for the Open Cup.

“It’s sort of weird playing the same team three times so close together,” Perkins said. “We know a little bit about them. We know they have a huge roster to choose from, they might have a few guys we don’t know about, but we go there now with some experience in this tournament and ultimately knowing what’s on the line.”

Sharp Calls in 16 Players for PNT Camp at NTC in Carson

CHICAGO (April 24, 2015) – U.S. Paralympic National Team head coach Stuart Sharp has called in 16 players for the team’s second domestic training camp of 2015. The camp will run from April 29-May 6 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

“This camp is extremely important as it will serve as the final opportunity for players to make an impression before we select our squad for the World Championships which are taking place in June,” Sharp said. “The squad is carrying a few injuries into camp and some key players are missing due to college finals but this will provide an excellent opportunity for our trialists and peripheral players to step up and claim a place in the final squad.”

The USPNT returns to the NTC for the first time since Sharp first held training camp with the team back in January 2014.

The PNT is coming off a third-place finish at the FOOTIE 7-Povoa Tournament, which took place in late March in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal. Eight players from that roster are a part of the group for this training camp.

“It has been a quick year with the World Championships taking place so early”, Sharp continued. “But I am confident off the back of some good results during last month’s competition in Portugal, that the team will be ready to perform when the whistle goes to begin our first group stage match against Venezuela. “

The 16-player roster includes two new players for 2015: defender Pablo Duque and forward Joshua Brunais. It also includes a first time participant with the PNT under Sharp’s tenure in defender Vincent Juarez.  

For the USA, the camp will continue to serve as preparation for the 2015 Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships, which will run from June 16-28 at St. George’s Park in Staffordshire, England.

For game updates and more insight on the U.S. PNT, like them on Facebook or follow @ussoccer_PNT on Twitter 

Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Hendricks (Columbus, Ohio), Daniel Hoffman (Reisterstown, Md.), Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (5): Chris Ahrens (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), Bryce Boarman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Pablo Duque (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Kevin Hensley (Memphis, Tenn.), Vincent Juarez (San Jose, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mason Abbiate (San Diego, Calif.), David Garza (Chula Vista, Calif.), Jarrett Razon (Niceville, Fla.), Gavin Sibayan (Colorado Spring, Colo.), Marthell Vazquez (Long Beach, Calif.), Jordan Weise (Jacksonville, Fla.)
FORWARDS (2): Joshua Brunais (Washington, D.C.), Robert McChrystal (Boise, Idaho)


New Players, Same Goal for Cal FC in 2015 Open Cup Return

As Cal FC returns to U.S. Open Cup play on Saturday at San Francisco City FC, they do so with a bigger target on their backs than any of the other 43 amateur sides entering this year’s tournament.

Such is the burden for a team that wrote one of the competition’s best Cinderella stories in 2012 as they downed two professional sides, including a 1-0 victory over Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers to advance to the tournament’s fourth round.

Gallery: WNT Reps its New Nike Home Kit

Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team photo shoot in its new Nike designed home kit the players will wear at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. 

Gallery: U-23 MNT Win Completes Two-Game Double for USA Over Mexico

Photos from the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team 3-0 victory over its counterpart from Mexico at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on April 22, 2015. Los Angeles-area native Mario Rodriguez started the scoring for the U.S. in the second half. Fellow California Christian Dean followed up with his first international goal for the USA before Stanford University sophomore Jordan Morris capped off the night with his second goal against Mexico in as many games. Morris also scored the winning goal for the senior MNT in its 2-0 win against Mexico the week before. Additionally, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper turned in a fine performance, stopping all seven shots on goal he faced to earn his first shutout of the year for the U-23s. 

The U-23 MNT will next be in action come the end of May when the team travels to France for the international Toulon Tournament. The USA will face France (May 27), the Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2) during group play of the competition as it continues preparation for Olympic Qualifying, which kicks off this fall and will take place throughout the United States.

MNT Beats Mexico 2-0 in Front of Packed Alamodome

The U.S. Men’s National Team defeated archrival Mexico by a score line of 2-0 behind goals from Jordan Morris and Juan Agudelo in front of a sell-out crowd of 64,369. The match was presented by AT&T. The win extended the USA’s unbeaten streak against Mexico to a record six games (3-0-3), pushed the U.S. MNT’s current unbeaten streak on home soil to 21 games (18-0-3) and marked the ninth USA victory against Mexico by that familiar score line and eighth since 2000.

Results

Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
January 15, 2009 U-18 MNT vs Chile Under-18 Men 1-1 D 0 Okugo
January 16, 2009 U-18 MNT vs China PR Under-18 Men 4-0 W 0 Jahn (5), Altamarino (2), Sinclair (2), Bates, Okugo, Powers, Woodberry, Sarkodie
January 18, 2009 U-18 MNT vs Australia Under-18 Men 5-0 W 0 Bates (2), Byass, Altamarino, Sinclair
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