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2011 US Open Cup qualifying (PDL West): Kitsap Pumas and Portland Timbers U23s finish dead even, successfully lobby for tiebreaking match

Posted by | May 21, 2011 | One Comment

PDL West logoUS Open Cup qualifying for the Premier Development League is already underway for 2011 as the season began on April 30. It is arguably the most exciting portion of the event for the league as the task of qualifying can be more daunting than the professional opponents awaiting them in the tournament proper.

In the 2011 edition of the tournament, the PDL will be represented by a record nine clubs after seven consecutive years with eight representatives. With nine berths available, the league will send one from each division based on four league contests that will double as qualification matches – a format long established by the parent United Soccer Leagues.

The Western Conference has a new set of dominant teams in recent years, as the Kitsap Pumas (back-to-back Northwest representatives) and Ventura County Fusion (2009 PDL champions, 2010 Southwest representative) look to make their mark by qualifying for the US Open Cup once again in 2011. 11 other teams have other ideas, and that includes the Portland Timbers U23s, who have to be scratching their heads at last year’s results. They finished 16-0 in the regular season, and won another four straight in the playoffs to finish as PDL champion with a perfect 20-0 record, the first in history. Yet they fell short to the Pumas on account of goal differential. They will surely be looking for another shot as they look to extend their streak.

Here is the how the Western Conference is currently shaping up:

Northwest Division
Final Results – Pending Fifth Match [+]

The much anticipated meeting between the Portland Timbers U23s and Kitsap Pumas, who both finished the qualifying slate 4-0-0 a year ago with Kitsap advancing via tiebreakers, finished in a surprising scoreless draw. But both teams held serve the rest of the way, defeating each of their other opponents. The final game pitted the Timbers against the Tacoma Tide, where a potential 2-0 Timbers victory would lead to a coin flip. They did exactly that. The Pumas and Timbers are tied on points, head-to-head, goal difference (+7), and goals scored (7). The first time a lottery was conducted was back in 2006, when the Des Moines Menace and Boulder Rapids Reserve finished dead even at second place in the Central Conference at 3-1 with a +5 GD and 7 goals scored. At the time, the top two in the conference qualified, and the Michigan Bucks won first place with a 4-0 record. The Menace won the lottery, and rode that all the way to the Third Round, which ended in a 2-1 loss to the Kansas City Wizards.

But Kitsap Pumas General Manager Ben Pecora had a great idea. The teams were to meet again at Portland’s Jeld-Wen Field on Friday anyway, why not make it a tiebreaker, to settle the score on the field? The Timbers, the USL, and US Soccer all agreed to it, and they will play on Friday, June 3 with the final US Open Cup spot on the line. If the game is tied after regulation, the match for regular season purposes will count as a draw, but the Open Cup spot will be decided by a penalty shootout.

NORTHWEST DIVISIONGPWLTPTSGFGA GFGD
Kitsap Pumas430110101 7+7
Portland Timbers U23s430110100 7+7
North Sound SeaWolves4022225 2-3
Tacoma Tide40222512 5-5
Washington Crossfire40222211 2-6

Top team qualifies for the US Open Cup

Clinched Open Cup berthEliminated from contention

Note: Columns on the far right are for tiebreaker purposes

USL Premier Development League tiebreakers

(1) Head-to-head record based on total points in Open Cup qualifiers

(2) Total wins in Open Cup qualifying games

(3) Goal difference (+/- 3 goals maximum for each USOC qualifier)

(4) Goals scored (+/- 3 goals maximum for each USOC qualifier)

(5) Lottery conducted by the USL

All times Eastern

May 7Washington Crossfire0:0North Sound SeaWolves10:00
May 13North Sound SeaWolves2:2Tacoma Tide10:00
May 14Washington Crossfire0:3Kitsap Pumas4:00
May 15Portland Timbers U23s6:0Washington Crossfire9:00
May 21Portland Timbers U23s0:0Kitsap Pumas10:00
May 23Tacoma Tide2:2Washington Crossfire10:00
May 25North Sound SeaWolves0:2Portland Timbers U23s2:00
May 27Kitsap Pumas6:1Tacoma Tide10:00
May 29Kitsap Pumas1:0North Sound SeaWolves6:00
May 29Tacoma Tide0:2Portland Timbers U23s8:00
FIFTH MATCH TIEBREAKER
June 3Kitsap PumasatPortland Timbers U23s2:00

Southwest Division
Final Results

The Fresno Fuego finished qualifying with a perfect 4-0 record after defeating the Ogden Outlaws 4-1 on May 21. They then had to wait a week for fellow unbeaten Ventura County Fusion to play its final match as the Fusion were capable of finishing level, but better on tiebreakers. On Saturday night, the holiday weekend news was cause for celebration in Los Angeles while their rivals to the north experienced disappointment. Ventura County blanked the Southern California Seahorses , 4-0, with Mark Magee scoring two goals that propelled the Fusion past Fresno in the tiebreakers, clinching the US Open Cup berth from the division. Southern California was also 3-0 in the battle of unbeatens, but had been previously eliminated due to the tiebreaker scenario with Fresno.

SOUTHWEST DIVISIONGPWLTPTSGFGA GFGD
Ventura County Fusion440012213 12+12
Fresno Fuego440012133 11+10
Southern California Seahorses4310954 5+1
Orange County Blue Star42206119 8+1
Ogden Outlaws4031139 3-6
BYU Cougars4121415 1-4
Los Angeles Misioneros40400113 1-9
Los Angeles Blues 2341303211 2-6

Top team qualifies for the US Open Cup

Clinched Open Cup berthEliminated from contention

Note: Columns on the far right are for tiebreaker purposes

USL Premier Development League tiebreakers

(1) Head-to-head record based on total points in Open Cup qualifiers

(2) Total wins in Open Cup qualifying games

(3) Goal difference (+/- 3 goals maximum for each USOC qualifier)

(4) Goals scored (+/- 3 goals maximum for each USOC qualifier)

(5) Lottery conducted by the USL

All times Eastern

May 1Orange County Blue Star4:0Los Angeles Misioneros8:00
May 7Los Angeles Blues 230:5Orange County Blue Star8:00
May 7Ventura County Fusion6:1Los Angeles Misioneros8:00
May 12BYU Cougars0:2Fresno Fuego10:00
May 13Los Angeles Blues 230:4Ventura County Fusion10:00
May 14Los Angeles Misioneros0:1So. California Seahorses7:30
May 14Ogden Outlaws2:4Fresno Fuego10:00
May 20Fresno Fuego3:0BYU Cougars10:00
May 20Orange County Blue Star2:7Ventura County Fusion10:00
May 21Fresno Fuego4:1Ogden Outlaws8:00
May 21So. California Seahorses2:0Los Angeles Blues 2310:00
May 24Ogden Outlaws0:0BYU Cougars9:30
May 25So. California Seahorses2:0Orange County Blue Star8:00
May 28BYU Cougars1:0Ogden Outlaws8:00
May 28Los Angeles Misioneros0:2Los Angeles Blues 2310:00
May 28Ventura County Fusion4:0So. California Seahorses10:00

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