San Nicolas FC of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL), is one step away from qualifying for the 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after defeating Real Sociedad (SoCal Premier League), 3-0 on Sunday. at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif.
Amilcar Lopez scored midway through the first half, and Eduardo Barba added a brace with goals on either side of halftime for San Nicolas, a Pomona (Calif.)-based club who are attempting to qualify for the tournament for the first time.
“First half was intense but we took control,” San Nicolas co-owner Daniel Collazo said. “We have a team that I think can make a run at this thing.”
San Nicolas, also a quarterfinalist in this season’s UPSL playoffs (where they will play La Maquina), will wait until Jan. 7 to hear what club it’ll play in the final round of Open CUp qualifying during the first weekend of April.
“So we go back to focusing on our main season, the UPSL playoffs, and letting people know what San Nicolas is all about,” Collazo said.
Collazo said veteran forward Maykel Galindo should return from a right ankle injury in time for the match. Galindo, a former Cuban international and player for the now-defunct Chivas USA, was injured in a friendly on Oct. 23. The game was against Corinthians USA, who was supposed to be San Nicolas’ first round qualifying opponent, but they forfeited due to not having enough players registered. The two teams decided to play each other anyway, and Galindo was injured.
“It’s looking good. We’re pretty sure he’ll be ready for April,” Collazo said.
San Nicolas has been a finalist each of the last four years at the annual Las Vegas Silver Mug tournament. The club won the Silver Mug three consecutive times from 2011-13 and lost in penalty kicks last year.