FC New York at NY Pancyprian Freedoms
Belson Stadium – Queens, NY – 7:30 p.m.
FC New York / NY Pancyprian Freedoms at New York Red Bulls
June 28, 8 p.m. ET – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, NJ
NY Pancyprian Freedoms
Founded in 1974, the club has been a long-time member of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League. The Freedoms also played under the USL auspices for several years, launching in the PDL in 1999 and moving up to the professional third division league for two seasons before leaving USL. Meet the USASA Feature [+]
Path to Open Cup: The Region I tournament kicked off May 1 with the Freedoms dominating former Open Cup qualifier Danbury United, 4-0, with two goals from Julio Cesar Dos Santos. Three weeks later in the Semifinal May 22, New York traveled to Massachusetts for a “Win & You’re In” match and defeated Mass Premier Soccer, rallying from a two-goal deficit at halftime with a pair of goals each from Dos Santos and Stefan Dimitrov to post a 4-2 victory. Region I Semifinal Recap [+]
First Round: Pancyprian Freedoms (USASA) 2:1 Brooklyn Italians (NPSL)
In a showdown of longtime local and Open Cup rivals with five Cup titles between them, the Freedoms and Italians were in a stalemate in the First Round until Stefan Dimitrov gave the Freedoms the lead in the 65th minute. Brooklyn answered back in the 80th only to see Dimitrov immediately reply a minute later with the 2-1 winner. Full recap[+]
League form: The Freedoms are idle in league play. They captured the Cosmopolitan Soccer League First Division championship June 5, rallying from a two-goal deficit to tie NY Athletic Club 2-2 with a penalty from Stefan Dimitrov (55) and goal from Julio Cesar Dos Santos (71) en route to claiming the title via penalties 4-2.
Open Cup History: One of the most successful clubs in the history of the tournament, it is one of the few current long-time participants that have played in the tournament in four decades and one of seven clubs all-time to win the tournament at least three times. The three-time champions won their titles in 1980, 1982 and 1983 when the tournament was an all-amateur event. The third title led to an appearance in the CONCACAF Champions Cup where they upset Mexican side Puebla via penalties and Vida from Honduras, but were disqualified in the final stage for the North/Central America Zone, along with opponent Guadalajara, when they failed to agree on match dates, giving the Caribbean winner Violette AC the title by default. The Freedoms were the last US club to reach the equivalent of the semifinals in the competition until the Seattle Sounders reached the four-team group stage Final in 1996.
The club also reached the Open Cup semifinals in 1988 and the quarterfinals in 1993 before professional teams began to enter in 1995. The club launched a PDL team in 1999 that would qualify and upset professional third division club Cape Cod Crusaders in their debut campaign before falling in a narrow 2-1 overtime defeat in Rochester to the defending second division champion and eventual US Open Cup champion Rhinos. The team played four more seasons, two in the third division, before leaving the USL. They continued to compete in the CSL, qualifying for the tournament through the USASA in 2008. The new Freedoms lost to USL Second Division’s Real Maryland 3-2 in overtime in the First Round. Last year they were also knocked out in the opening round, 2-0, by the PDL Long Island Rough Riders.
PRO ERA RECORD: 3-4-0 overall | 0-1-0 vs. professional teams (0-1-0 vs. 2nd Division)
FC New York
The club is an expansion side playing in USL Pro.
Path to the Open Cup: Automatic entrant from USL Pro.
First Round: FC New York (USL Pro) 3:0 Western Mass Pioneers (PDL)
The expansion New York side dominated the First Round match Tuesday against Western Mass with Jhonny Arteaga scoring all three goals in the 3-0 victory. Recap [+]
League Form: The club is idle in league play this week. The team has only lost once in the last five games (2-1-2) and are in fourth place in the USL Pro National Division with a 3-5-4 overall record.
Open Cup History: First appearance in the tournament. PRO ERA RECORDS: 1-0-0 overall | 1-0-0 vs. amateur teams
New York Red Bulls
How They Qualified: Automatic entrant from top six MLS finish in 2010.
This Month in MLS: [D-W-D] The Red Bulls came away with a dramatic come-from-behind 3-3 draw at Portland on Sunday. Down 3-1, Thierry Henry scored in the 73rd minute, but it was a Timbers handball that led to a Dwayne De Rosario penalty kick in second half stoppage time. They have two more games to play before their Third Round matchup. They will make trips to Seattle on Thursday, June 23 and to Chicago on June 26 before returning home two days later for the Open Cup. They opened the month with a 1-1 draw at home against the Columbus Crew June 4 in which they allowed a 92nd minute equalizer after leading since Mehdi Ballouchy’s ninth-minute strike. They rebounded from the setback a week later on June 10 with a 2-1 victory at home against the New England Revolution. The Red Bulls were the recipient of an own goal and Thierry Henry delivered the second before the Revs answered.
Last Five: D-W-D-D-D | Season record: 5-2-8 (4-1-3 at home), first place in Eastern Conference, fourth overall.
Open Cup History: The Red Bulls have come close early in their history with trips to the Semifinals in 1997, 1998 and 2000, but have never won the US Open Cup. The closest they came was in 2003 when they lost to the Chicago Fire in their only trip to the championship game. Since then, it’s been a series of short runs in the tournament with a 1-5 record the last five times they have qualified, including a pair of upsets to third division clubs (Crystal Palace Baltimore, Harrisburg City Islanders) and two more to second division teams (Charleston Battery, Rochester Rhinos). New York did not qualify in 2007 or 2009.
PRO ERA RECORDS: 12-12-1 (1-0 in PKs)
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) 1:2 N.Y. Pancyprian Freedoms (USASA – East NY)
Belson Stadium, St. Johns University – Queens, N.Y. – 7:30 p.m.
Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL) 0:3 FC New York (USL PRO)
Met Oval – Queens, N.Y. – 7 p.m.
Full Recap [+]
Founded in 1949, the club played in the Metropolitan Soccer League and later the American Soccer League through 1964. Since then, the club has played in the amateur ranks, recently joining the National Premier Soccer League in 2010.
Path to the Open Cup: The club was one of three teams in the NPSL Northeast that entered the qualifying competition. Brooklyn played host to FC Buffalo in the opening game, defeating the Western New York side by a narrow 1-0 margin on a 25th minute goal from Jorge Joseph. The club advanced to face the defending league champions Sonic Lehigh Valley, winning on the road 2-1.
June News Updates: [NPSL, Atlantic Conference: 1-1-1] Drew 2-2 against Morris County, rallying from two down on goals from Don Smart and Kordel Samuels.
Open Cup History: One of the 21 clubs to have won the US Open Cup on two occasions, it also one of the few current long-time participants that has played in the tournament in four decades. Brooklyn won the championship as the “Dodgers” in 1979 with a runners-up finish two years later. During that run to the Final in 1981, they defeated the New York Pancyprian Freedoms in the Semifinals to deny them a shot at repeating as champions.
Brooklyn returned to Open Cup prominence as runners-up in 1990 (falling to 2011 qualifier AAC Eagles from Chicago) before winning the championship a second time the following year. They won their 1991 title 1-0 over Houston’s Richardson Rockets on a sixth minute goal by Ernest Inneh. The club, however, did not return to the tournament until last year, falling 4-2 in overtime to the USL Second Division’s Harrisburg City Islanders despite taking the lead twice in regulation. Read more about the Freedoms/Italians rivalry [+]
PRO ERA RECORD: 0-1-0 overall | 0-0-0 vs. USASA
Western Mass Pioneers
Founded in 1998, the club was a long-time member of the professional third division league in USL prior to moving to the PDL in 2010. The team has made the playoffs only six times in 13 previous seasons, but reached the final twice (1999, 2005) and winning the 1999 championship.
Path to the Open Cup: Playing in the smallest of the nine PDL groups, the Pioneers’ campaign came down to the final game against MPS Portland Phoenix. Western Mass opened with a 2-1 win in New Hampshire and then defeated the Phantoms in the return match 4-2. They then played to a scoreless stalemate in Vermont, leaving them at 2-0-1 and needing at least a draw against the 2-1-0 visitors from Maine in the finale. Chris Roswess scored the winning goal in the 71st for the 1-0 win. Kyle Clancy was the lone player with multiple games in the campaign, scoring in both matches against the Phantoms. PDL East Qualifying [+]
June News Updates: [PDL, Northeast Division: 4-1-1] The Pioneers fell at home 2-1 June 11 to Vermont with TJ Popolizio scoring an equalizer in the 65th minute while following up with a 1-0 win at Ottawa on June 4 that snapped the Fury’s 26-game regular season home unbeaten streak on a 56th-minute James Mooney strike. Their June 1 match versus Vermont was postponed.
Open Cup History: The Pioneers qualified for the tournament in its inaugural campaign in 1998 and advanced to the second round via a forfeit by USASA entry NY Greek American Atlas. Their run would end with a 3-1 loss to the second division Rochester Rhinos 3-1. They did not return until the 2004 tournament, the first of five appearances over the next six seasons. The club reached the Third Round only once, and that came in the 2005 season when they defeated Reggae Boyz FC (USASA) in their opening second round match 5-0 before falling 3-1 to the Chicago Fire. The club’s five tournament wins have all come against USASA opponents. The Pioneers last qualified in 2009 and were eliminated via penalties by league rival Harrisburg after a scoreless draw.
While Tuesday’s game is being held in New York, Open Cup soccer in the Pioneers’ home of Ludlow, Mass. goes back to 1937, when the Gremio Lusitano club began Cup play. The team continued through the 50s and 60s, and often called Lustiano Stadium their home, the same place the Pioneers play their home games. In 1956, Gremio Lusitano reached the Quarterfinals, but were stopped by a Big Apple team, New York Hakoah. After a 2-2 extra time draw at Zerega Oval in the Bronx, on Feb. 26, 1956, Hakoah won the replay 1-0 on the same field two weeks later.
PRO ERA RECORD: 5-4-1 (0-1 in PKs) overall | 0-1-1 (0-1 in PKs) vs. 3rd Division