There was no shortage of scoring in the opening round of the Massachusetts US Open Cup qualifying tournament as the Commonwealth attempts to send their best to regionals in hopes of the state’s first Open Cup berth since 2009.
East Providence Sports (LUSA) and Mass Premier Soccer (BSSL) combined for a dozen goals in their respective first round matches on Sunday to join Saturday winner Battery Park Gunners and Strela Negra, who received a bye, in the state semifinals.
In the Modern Professional Era (1995-present), only two clubs from the Bay State have qualified for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (Emigrantes Das Ilhas in 2009, Boston Olympiakos in 2008)
It was a beautiful New England fall day to watch the beautiful game at Clemente Park in Boston. With the Boston skyline in the background, Boston Olympiakos and Mass Premier Soccer took to the pitch for a 2 p.m. start.
MPS were the aggressors from the first whistle led by their player/coach Dan MacGregor, a tough two-way central midfielder. MPS’s continued pressure paid off in the 24th minute when Tyler MacNee took advantage of the keeper coming 25 yards off his line only to mishandle the ball, allowing MacNee to skillfully tap in the half volley off the turf. Olympiakos settled down after that and were keeping possession but that didn’t last long. Five minutes before the half MacGregor’s hustle paid off finishing off a deflection on a free kick right in front of the net. Nicholas Christman added another a minute later off a long cross as MPS went into the half up 3-0.
At the start of the second half, Olympiakos looked the part of a beaten club. The two Mac’s came out firing, first MacGregor scored in the 48th minute, and soon after MacNee added his second from the left wing as he fired a shot from distance over the outstretched keeper.
MPS were firing on all cylinders the back line of Edwards, Brill, O’Relly were a organized trio who frustrated the lone striker for Boston, Yusuf Wahab, all day. The speedy Wahib already sitting on a yellow lost the plot late in the game as he came crashing into goalkeeper Jeff Newman and was shown his second yellow for dissent. MPS continued the pressure after that. TJ Thompson capped off the scoring finishing off a three-on-one break to finish the scoring at 6-0.
The only thing left to do was to keep the shutout and Newman made sure of that stopping the few shots that made it by the MPS backline. As the sun was setting on the Boston skyline so did Olympiakos’ dreams of advancing next round of the Open Cup.
With the win, Mass Premier, who was the state runner-up last year, moves on to the semifinals where they will face Strela Negra (NELASA), who were given a first-round bye, on Nov. 18.
In Dorchester, East Providence grabbed a 6-1 win over Middlesex FC (BSSL) at Dorchester High School. The LUSA Cup champions earned a 2-1 halftime lead before opening it up with four goals in the second frame. Jimmy Hernandez and Nick Tavares each bagged a brace, while Armando Gomes and Kyle Teixeira each added a goal for the Red and White.
The victory puts East Providence into the semis against the defending Massachusetts Open Cup champion Battery Park Gunners, who defeated Mass United FC, 2-1, the day before with first half goals from Ben Shuleva and Joe Annese.
2013 Massachusetts Open Cup tournament schedule
Battery Park Gunners 2:1 Mass United FC
Boston Olympiakos 0:6 Mass Premier Soccer
Middlesex FC 1:6 East Providence Sports
Strela Negra (BYE)
Mass Premier Soccer vs. Strela Negra
Sunday, Nov. 18
Citizens Bank Park Field – Lancaster, MA – 11 a.m.
Battery Park Gunners vs. East Providence Sports
Saturday, Nov. 17
Madison Park High School – Roxbury, MA – 12 p.m.
Final (Sunday, Dec. 9)
Recent Massachusetts Open Cup champions
2012: Battery Park Gunners
2011: Mass Premier Soccer
2010: Emigrantes Das Ilhas
2009: Emigrantes Das Ilhas*
2008: Boston Olympiakos*
2007: Lowell Revolution
2006: Green Briar Rebels
2005: Green Briar Rebels
2004: Boston Olympiakos
2003: Green Briar Rebels
2002: Hellas United
*Qualified for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup