The reigning champions of the USL Premier Development League crashed out of the 99th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Tuesday evening at the hands of Cal FC, a one-year-old side built and managed by former US international striker Eric Wynalda. Former US youth international Danny Barrera scored twice for the California club in a 3-1 victory.
Cal FC becomes just the second USASA club from Southern California to win a US Open Cup game, joining Hollywood United, who memorably upset the Portland Timbers (then a 2nd Division pro club) in 2008. It was Kitsap’s first opening round loss since 2009, and the first time they have been defeated by an amateur club (2-1-1) in tournament play.
The visitors, managed by Nick Webster with Wynalda following from Germany on assignment for Fox Soccer, held the better of the play for much of the early going through a slow pace dictated by the heat. Kitsap would not find an opportunity until 24 minutes in only to see the ball cleared out from the six in the midst of a scramble.
At the half-hour mark Artur Aghasyan sent Cal FC’s best chance of the game toward goal, forcing a great save from Dustin Brim.
Photo: Jenni Conner
Barrera finally put one past Brim, firing a low shot on goal, forcing the goalkeeper to dive to his left. Brim was able to get a touch on it, but in the end, put it into his own net while trying to gather it. This gave the visitors the advantage a minute before the break.
Seven minutes into the second half Barrera nearly set Aghasyan up to double the advantage with a through ball only to see his effort lobbed over Brim from 23 yards clang off the crossbar.
Two minutes after entering the match, Samaniego scuffed a chance from four yards out in the 64th minute, but continued to liven up the contest. Just two minutes later Barrera twisted past defender Justin Robbins to notch his second of the evening.
With 18 minutes remaining the Pumas began to rally with Truax connecting with Friesen to cut the deficit in half.
The comeback, however, was crippled significantly in the 80th minute when Danny Medina was sent off for apparently stomping on Aghasyan.
Aghasyan would make no doubt of the outcome, chipping past Brim in the 86th minute to restore the two-goal advantage.
The US Adult Soccer Association’s Region IV runners-up advance to face USL Pro’s Wilmington Hammerheads, traveling to North Carolina for the Second Round contest next Tuesday. The pairing for the potential Third Round opponent from Major League Soccer is expected to be announced in the next two days by the US Soccer Federation.
Cal FC 3:1 Kitsap Pumas Bremerton Memorial Stadium – Bremerton, Wash.
CAL: Danny Barrera 44 CAL: Danny Barrera 66 KIT: Matt Friesen (Ben Truax) 72 CAL: Artur Aghasyan 86