After a weekend of quarterfinal action, the USASA’s Region I, which covers the northeastern part of the country, has reached it’s final four. With victories on Sunday, May 1, three New York-based clubs and a Philadelphia team have put themselves one win away from qualifying for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The Brooklyn Italians defeated Go Soccer FC 1-0 and will face newcomers Fenerbahce USA in the semifinals. Fenerbahce survived a wild match with Danbury United and advance on penalty kicks. Meanwhile, the United German Hungarians defeated Charm City FC 3-1 to set up a match with the historic club, New York Pancyprian Freedoms. The Freedoms needed extra time to eliminate D.C.’s Aegean Hawks, 2-1. The semifinal matches are scheduled to be played on Sunday, May 23, with the winners qualifying for the US Open Cup. Fenerbahce USA is the only club of the four who has never qualified for the tournament, with the other three having either won the tournament (Brooklyn: 1991; New York: 1980, 1982, 1983), or finished as a runner-up (UGH: 1977, 1993; Brooklyn: 1979, 1981, 1990).
GO SOCCER FC (NJ) 0:1 BROOKLYN ITALIANS (NPSL – NY)
John Dewey High School – Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Italians moved one step closer to qualifying for the US Open Cup with a 1-0 win over New Jersey’s Go Soccer FC. JP Ahoua headed home the lone goal off a free kick in the 55th minute. The free kick was cleared out, but Brooklyn sent it back in where Ahoua nodded it past the keeper.
After the game, Go Soccer’s player/coach Dominic Paolella was proud of the way his team played. “It was a good game, though really tight the entire time,” said Paolella. “Our keeper Faouzi Bendaoud played a hell of a game. He made at least a dozen saves. I thought we did a good job against a very good NPSL team.” He added, “We made it one round further than we did last year, so at least we improved. We’ll be back next year for sure.”
Brooklyn is the NPSL representative in the Region I tournament, having just joined the league this past off-season, after decades in New York’s historic Cosmopolitan League. Brooklyn will travel to play at Fenerbahce USA on May 23 in the next round, however the site and time of the match are yet to be determined.
Go Soccer FC lineup:
GK: Faouzi Bandaoud
RB – Paul Racz
CB – Paul Breen (injured and subbed out 6th min)
CB – Dan Ryan
LB – Chris Tatro
RM – Steve Mellen
LM – Matt Connor
CM – Steve DeMatteo
CM – Dennis Maldonado
CM – Gary Gibbings
ST – Dominic Paolella (injured and subbed out in 60th min.)
FENERBAHCE USA (EAST NY) 4:4 DANBURY UNITED (CT)
(Fenerbahce USA advances 4-3 on PKs)
Portuguese Cultural Center – Danbury, Conn.
After a crazy back and forth match, it would take penalty kicks to separate Fenerbahce USA of Eastern New York and Connecticut’s Danbury United. Fenerbahce, competing in US Open Cup qualifying for the first time, would emerge victorious in the tiebreaker after finishing extra time tied at 4-4.
Fenerbahce USA scored two goals in the first ten minutes of the match, but before the game got out of hand, Danbury answered with two goals of their own before halftime. The two clubs couldn’t break the deadlock in regulation, but in overtime, it was the first half all over again. Fenerbahce scored twice, and it looked like they were going to walk away with the match, but, once again, the Connecticut club retaliated with two goals to tie the game back up in the final minutes of extra time to send the match into a penalty kick shootout.
Jose Batista scored two of the goals for Fenerbahce, with Keith Detelj and Frank Alesci adding one each.
Fenerbahce USA will host fellow New York club, the Brooklyn Italians, in a battle of the old and the new. Brooklyn won the tournament in 1991 and finished runner-up three times, while this is brand new to Fenerbahce, who was founded in 2001.
Fenerbahce USA lineup: GK: EJ Xikis (45th – John Sanfilippo), James Davis, Laurent Manuel, Alejandro Montanez, Diego Martinez, Mohammad Mashriqi, Torres Garcia, Christopher Alesci (75th – Deleon Herbert), Frank Alesci, Jose Batista, Keith Detelj
DULLES SPORTSPLEX AEGEAN HAWKS (DC/VA) 1:2 (AET) NY PANCYPRIAN FREEDOMS (EAST NY)
Belson Stadium – Queens, NY (St. John’s University)
The New York Pancyprian Freedoms are through to the semifinals after being taken the distance by a shorthanded Aegean Hawks club from D.C. The Freedoms won the match 2-1 after extra time, but needed a late equalizer to survive into overtime against a team who had only brought 11 players up to New York.
The previous night, the Hawks had competed in the championship game of “La Super Copa” tournament, which was hosted by DC United of Major League Soccer. They won the game in a penalty kick shootout after a 3-3 draw but lost three key players to injury. Less than 24 hours later, the 11 players remaining drove up to Queens for Sunday’s quarterfinal match.
Predictably, the Hawks played a defensive game throughout, especially after striker Carlos Garcia suffered a hamstrong injury. Garcia played through the injury, but was largely ineffective throughout.
The Hawks held off the New York attack, but it was the visitors who scored the first goal. Watson Prather sent a penetrating ball into John Stephens who flicked a layoff to Robby Wright, who was making a secondary run. Wright dodged a defender at the top of the box, then hit a looping left-footed strike into the top left corner of the goal.
Just when it looked like the Hawks were going to pull off an improbable upset, New York’s Joel Gustafsson saved the Freedoms with a goal in the 86th minute. The match went into extra time and the Hawks would run out of gas. The Freedoms Stelios Andreou would find Julio Cesar DoSantos for the game-winning goal.
For a full report of this match by Dylan Butler of the New York Post, click HERE.
New York will host the United German Hungarians (East PA) in the next round on May 23.
Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC lineup: Alex Fatovic (GK – Long Island University), Eddie Thurston (Brown), Devlin Barnes (UMass), Karsten Smith (American University), Alan Golden (William & Mary), Michael Goldman (George Washington University), Watson Vaughan-Prather (Univ. of Wisconsin), Robby Wright (Virginia), Erwin Diaz (U of Maryland), John Stephens (James Madison), Carlos Garcia (William & Mary)
CHARM CITY FC (MD) 1:3 UNITED GERMAN HUNGARIANS (EAST PA)
UGH Field – Oakford, PA
The United German Hungarians are now one step away from qualifying for the US Open Cup for the first time in over a decade after a 3-1 win over Charm City FC. The representative from Maryland got an early goal in the fifth minute and held on to the lead until halftime, but the second half was taken over by the hosts. Jeremy Ortiz tied the game in the 51st minute and David Castellanos gave UGH the lead nine minutes later. Andrew Weyershaeuser would put the game away in the 83rd minute to put the 100-year old club into the semifinals to face the New York Pancyprian Freedoms.
CHA: Unknown goalscorer – 5th
UGH: Jeremy Ortiz – 51st
UGH: David Castellanos – 60th
UGH: Andrew Weyershaeuser – 83rd
UGH lineup: Eric Talbot (GK), Jason Karasow (c), Ryan Tadley, Will Thornton, Jeremy Ortiz, Brian Blesi, Ben Marucci, Tony Rod, Ryan Moseley, Blair Carson, Dave Castellanos | Subs: Andrew Weyershaeuser, Brian Bowers, Jimmy Bradley, Kevin Sherry | Coach: Mike Curley
USASA Region I quarterfinals results
(All games are Sunday, May 2)
Fenerbahce USA (East NY) 4:4 Danbury United (CT) (Fenerbahce USA advance 4-3 on PKs)
Aegean Hawks FC 1:2 (AET) NY Pancyprian Freedoms
Charm City FC 1:3 United German Hungarians
Go Soccer FC 0:1 Brooklyn Italians
Go-Soccer FC vs. Emigrantes Das Ilhas *Emigrantes Das Ilhas disqualified*
USASA Region I semifinals schedule
(All games are Sunday, May 23 – All times Eastern)
Brooklyn Italians at Fenerbahce USA – Park Stadium (Franklin Square, NY) | 5 p.m.
United German Hungarians at NY Pancyprian Freedoms – Belson Stadium (St. John’s University) | 4 p.m.
*Semifinal winners will qualify for the 2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup