402 Academy (Nebraska) 5:5 Detroit United (Michigan)
Detroit United qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, 4-2 on PKs
Saturday, May 15 – Ultimate Soccer Arenas (Pontiac, Mich.)
In the first USASA Open Cup qualifier ever played indoors, Detroit United earned their first trip to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. They defeated 402 Academy, 4-2, in a penalty kick shootout, after finishing extra time tied 5-5 in a USASA Region II semifinal match.
United hosted the game at United Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Mich., the indoor home of the PDL’s Michigan Bucks, and they bounced back after trailing 3-1 late in the game and sent the match into overtime. A shorthanded 402 squad, who only brought 12 players with them from Nebraska, battled hard after falling behind twice in the extra session, only to level the match each time. The final goal came in the 116th minute on a penalty kick.
It was the visitors from Nebraska who controlled the majority of the first half and they were rewarded with a pair of goals. Former Minnesota Thunder player Johnny Torres, who is now an assistant coach at Creighton University, scored the opening goal in the 30th minute on an assist from Sean Moahatt, one of Creighton’s athletic trainers.
Four minutes later, 402 would strike again, this time, it was another member of the Creighton coaching staff, player/manager Jason Mims, who also received a pass from Moahatt, to make it 2-0.
After the halftime break, Fernando Gatica, the hero of last round’s 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Kickers, pulled one back in the 49th minute. However, two minutes later, Torres would snatch the momentum right back, scoring his second of the match, on a third assist from Sean Moahatt.
As the 85th minute approached, it appeared as though Detroit was going to fall one game short of the Open Cup, like they did in 2007, but Taiwo Olorunnimbe came to the rescue. Gatica played a ball across the penalty area from the left wing to Olorunnimbe who, rather than hitting the ball one-time, he touched the ball forward to avoid his defender, and fired the ball past the helpless goalkeeper from close range. His goal gave the team new life, which led to Tommy Eller’s equalizer two minutes later where he dribbled in from the left side and beat the keeper from an angle.
The game finished tied 3-3 at the end of regulation and the momentum continued into the extra session. Olorunnimbe scored to put United up 4-3 in the 97th minute, and afterward he wow’d the crowd with an acrobatic goal celebration.
The celebration was cut short a few minutes into the second overtime period when Michael Krause, a player who was cut by the Kansas City Wizards in the final round of roster cuts, leveled the match. Moahatt assisted on his fourth goal of the night, winning the ball in midfield and dribbling to the top of the 18 before finding Krause on the left side of the box. Krause beat the goalkeeper to the far post to make it 4-4.
“Krause was the best player on the field tonight,” said 402 player/manager Jason Mims after the match.
The fans cheering on the home team had the wind knocked out of them by the tying goal, but Detroit would regain the lead three minutes later when Tommy Eller dribbled into the penalty area from the left wing and fired a shot that beat 402 goalkeeper Joshua Walz and clipped the underside of the crossbar and went straight down. The ball may have crossed the line, but it didn’t matter because Jake Munchiando crashed the net and headed it in from point blank range to give them the lead.
The Nebraska club continue to fight, despite not having any subs left and having a couple players playing through injuries in extra time. They would manage to find a second equalizer in the 116th minute when Krause drew a penalty kick on a tough individual effort. Krause received the ball in the penalty area with his back to goal. He battled with his defender, but when he found enough room to turn toward goal, he was tripped and the referee pointed to the spot. Tony Schmitz converted the spot kick to bring the game level a second time.
Olorunnimbe nearly drew a penalty kick with two minutes remaining, but the defender who grabbed a handful of his jersey went unpunished and the match finished tied at 5-5.
In the penalty kick shootout, United goalkeeper Ryan Mathe needed to make a stop in the fifth round to send his team to the Open Cup. Tim Walters of 402 approached the ball for his attempt, and then hesitated in an effort to get Mathe to show his hand. Mathe bit on the fake and started leaning heavily to his left, but unfortunately for Walters, he shot to the keeper’s left so the save was made and Detroit piled on Mathe in celebration.
“ were excited after beating Milwaukee, and they are excited now,” said head coach George Juncaj. “Right now, our focus is the US Open Cup. There are better teams and it’s better competition.”
“We don’t really practice, we just put a team together for this tournament and see what we can get out of it,” said Mims about his 402 Academy team. “This year we got three games out of it and it was fun, but it was a tough trip having only 12 players. I was very proud of the way we played.”
Prior to begining their 13-hour trek back to Nebraska, three key players for 402 announced their retirement. Mims, Walters and former New England Revolution player Matt Wieland.
With the win, Detroit United becomes the first USASA team from Michigan to qualify for the Open Cup since Detroit’s Chaldean Arsenal made it in 2001. They will begin play in the tournament in the first round which begins June 15.
402: Johnny Torres (Sean Moahatt) – 30th
402: Jason Mims (Sean Moahatt) – 34th
DET: Fernando Gatica – 49th
402: Johnny Torres (Sean Moahatt) – 51st
DET: Taiwo Olorunnimbe (Fernando Gatica) – 85th
DET: Tommy Eller (Unassisted) – 87th
DET: Taiwo Olorunnimbe – 97th
402: Michael Krause (Sean Moahatt) – 108th
DET: Jake Munchiando (Tommy Eller) – 111th
402: Tony Schmitz (PK) – 116th
Penalty Kick Summary:
DET – Nate Robinson (GOAL)
402 – Johnny Torres (GOAL)
DET – Fernando Gatica (GOAL)
402 – Michael Krause (GOAL)
DET – Tommy Eller (GOAL)
402 – Ryan Junge (SAVED)
DET – Chris Long (GOAL)
402 – Tim Walter (SAVED)
AAC Eagles (Illinois) 3:3 KC Athletics (Kansas)
KC Athletics qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, 5-3 on PKs
Saturday, May 15 – CommunityAmerica Ballpark (Kansas City, Kan.)
It was a night that was all about the city of Kansas City against the city of Chicago. At CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, the Wizards of MLS played to a 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire. Following the game, the KC Athletics, the first Kansas entry into the USASA Region II qualifying tournament in several years, hosted Chicago’s AAC Eagles, the 1990 Open Cup champions who are celebrating their 70th anniversary.
AAC Eagles, the Illinois champions, held a one-goal lead twice during the match, only to see KC equalize both times in front of a handful of fans who braved the poor weather conditions.
In USASA qualifiers, it’s typically the road team that arrives with a short bench, but it was KC who played the game shorthanded. A pair of injuries, multiple coaching commitments, and a wedding left the team with only 11 available players.
The Eagles struck first with a goal by Jakub “Kuba” Piotrowski, on an assist by Sebastien Skital. Piotrowski is one of the main reasons why the team advanced to the Region II semifinals after he scored five goals in last round’s 8-3 win over Fire SC ’00 of Minnesota.
Kansas City equalized in the 27th minute thanks to a cross by Geoff Miles. The former Wizard found space on the left wing and served a ball to Kyle Perkins, whose glancing header beat the keeper to the far post. The Eagles would answer just before halftime with another goal by Piotrowski on an assist by David Otachel.
The Athletics would come out firing in the second half, with Miles starting the attack in the 55th minute. Miles sent in a low cross from the left wing which found Perkins who left it for an onrushing Marty Johnston who took a touch, then shot the ball off the near post and into the back of the net.
Four minutes later, KC took the lead when another former Wizard Brian Roberts switched the ball to Garrett Guthrie who headed the ball toward the center of the penalty box. Perkins ran on to the ball and connected on a diving header, sending the ball to the underside of the crossbar and in. For Perkins it was his fifth goal in the last two qualifying games, after he notched a hat trick in their opening round game against the Des Moines Menace USASA.
Trailing 3-2, the Eagles leveled the match with a shot from distance by Otachel in the 75th minute. The match would end up in extra time, and after 30 minutes of scoreless soccer, KC would make their fans’ patience pay off, by winning the penalty kick shootout, 5-3, to punch their first-ever ticket to the US Open Cup. The team will enter the first round, which is scheduled for June 15.
“The match was played at a high level,” said AAC Eagles president Stanley Makowka. “I think for the eye, it was better than the Wizards and Fire game earlier. The Eagles surely had no luck that day, but we are a young team and we’ll be back.”
“We are very grateful to the Kansas City Wizards organization for allowing us to play at CommunityAmerica Ballpark,” said player/manager Kyle Perkins. “We also would like to say thanks to all the fans who stuck around to cheer us on. We are grateful for their support.”
AAC Eagles: Piotr Sliwa, Piotr Kolasinski, Darek Szewczyk , Mariusz Napiorkowski, Jacek Lechowicz, David Otachel, Mathew Kochanowski, Sebastian Skital, Jakub Piotrowski, Rafal Popko, Michael Kapusta
Subs: Mark Golik (47th), Rafal Zalewski (65th), Chris Gasiorek (78th)
KC Athletics: Zach Brennan (GK), Neal Woodworth, Brian Roberts, Jason Woods, Stephen Hoffman, Garrett Guthrie, Ryan Barber, Josh McDaniel, Geoff Miles, Kyle Perkins, Marty Johnston (No subs available)
AAC: Jakub Piotrowski (Sebastien Skital) – 6th
KCA: Kyle Perkins (Geoff Miles) – 27th
AAC: Jakub Piotrowski (David Otachel) – 42nd
KCA: Marty Johnston (Kyle Perkins) – 55th
KCA: Kyle Perkins (Garrett Guthrie) – 59th
AAC: David Otachel (Unassisted) – 75th
Penalty Kick Summary:
KCA: Stephen Hoffman (GOAL)
AAC: Piotr Kolasinski (GOAL)
KCA: Josh McDaniel (GOAL)
AAC: David Otachel (SAVED)
KCA: Ryan Barber (GOAL)
AAC: Jakub Piotrowski (GOAL)
KCA: Geoff Miles (GOAL)
AAC: Chris Gasiorek (GOAL)
KCA: Marty Johnston (GOAL)