PSA Elite and Doxa Italia booked their spots in the US Open Cup this past weekend, qualifying out of a historically strong USASA Region IV. PSA Elite won the tournament with a perfect 4-0-0 record while Doxa Italia qualified for its second Open Cup with a second-place finish.
After qualifying for the Open Cup in its first attempt last year, PSA Elite made it two-for-two this year with four comfortable wins. They started with a 3-0 victory in a cross-group game against Doxa Italia. Then, eight different players scored in a 10-0 win over The Internationalists. With qualification all but secured, PSA used five goals in 25 minutes to take out DV8 Defenders 9-2.
Already qualified for the Open Cup, PSA Elite took the Region IV title with a 4-1 win over Doxa. The teams had to overcome extreme heat that even resulted in one of the linesmen suffering a heat stroke.
Doxa Italia’s road to its second US Open Cup appearance was much tougher. The format for this year’s tournament involved a cross-group game, with those match-ups being determined by random draw. As luck would have it, Italia drew the strongest team from Group B and fell in that 3-0 loss to PSA Elite.
“The format certainly impacted how we approached the tournament. Because of the tiebreak rules it took a little pressure off the cross-group results and stressed the two pool games we had on Saturday. We have been in tournaments formatted like this in the past and it took a significant amount of time planning the rosters for each match,” said Alex Lujan, PSA Elite owner.
After losing its initial match, Doxa trounced San Francisco City FC 7-0, setting up a “Win & You’re In” game against Cal FC. After a magical Open Cup run last year that involved a victory over MLS side Portland Timbers, Cal FC came into this tournament as favorites. However, Doxa Italia pulled off the 2-1 upset victory, ensuring an Open Cup berth for the club for the first time since 2011.
Bryan Byrne, Doxa Italia player/coach and scorer of both goals against Cal FC, said, “It is a proud feeling to be able to say you are part of such a storied competition. For us, it is what we have been building up to all year and having the opportunity to see Doxa’s name on the list of first round teams is a real honor. But we won’t be happy this year unless we see our name in Round Two also.”
Doxa lost to the Ventura County Fusion in 2011 by a 3-1 scoreline in its only US Open Cup appearance. PSA Elite was more successful in its lone attempt, beating the PDL’s Portland Timbers U23s 3-1 in Round One, then bowing out to the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks 7-0 in Round Two.
“The US Open Cup represents an opportunity to compete against professional and top US amateur teams. We are honored to have another chance to play in this prestigious event,” Lujan said. “This also provides another platform for our players to showcase their talent. Seven players from our 2012 Open Cup roster are now living that dream in the MLS, NASL and USL Pro leagues. We feel confident that we will be able to build on last year’s experiences, make a run and represent USASA Region IV, Cal South & the Coast Soccer League well.”
2013 US Open Cup qualifying: USASA Region IV Finals (April 19-21)
Ontario, California – All Times Eastern
|Doxa Italia (CA – South)||6||2||1||0||+5|
|Cal FC (CA – South)||6||2||0||0||+12|
|San Fran. City (CA – North)||3||1||1||0||-13|
|PSA Elite (CA – South)||9||3||0||0||+19|
|DV8 Defenders (CA – North)||3||1||2||0||-4|
|Internationalists (CA – South)||0||0||3||0||-18|
Doxa Italia 0:3 PSA Elite
The Internationalists 2:8 DV8 Defenders
Cal FC 12:3 San Francisco City FC
Doxa Italia 7:0 San Francisco City FC
Cal FC 4:1 DV8 Defenders
PSA Elite 10:1 The Internationalists
Doxa Italia 2:1 Cal FC
PSA Elite 9:2 DV8 Defenders
San Francisco City FC 4:1 The Internationalists
April 21 (Championship)
PSA Elite (Group B winner) 4:1 Doxa Italia (Group A winner)
Both group winners qualify for the 2013 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
Region IV champion advances to USASA National Cup Finals
PAST US OPEN CUP ENTRIES FROM REGION IV
2013: Doxa Italia (SCA), PSA Elite (SCA)
2012: Cal FC (SCA), PSA Elite (SCA)
2011: Doxa Italia (SCA), DV8 Defenders (NCA)
2010: Arizona Sahuaros (AZ), Bay Area Ambassadors (NPSL)
2009: Arizona Sahuaros (AZ), Sonoma County Sol (NCA)
2008: Arizona Sahuaros (AZ – NPSL), Hollywood United (SCA)
2007: Banat Arsenal (AZ), El Paso Indios (NPSL)
2006: Arizona Sahuaros (AZ), Sonoma County Sol (NCA – NPSL)
2005: Salinas Valley Samba (NPSL), Sonoma County Sol (NCA – NPSL)
2004: Chico Rooks (NCA – NPSL), Sacramento Knights (NCA – NPSL)
2003: Chico Rooks (NCA – NPSL)
2002: Mexico SC (NCA)
2001: Mexico SC (NCA)
2000: Mexico SC (NCA)
1999: Mexico SC (NCA)
1998: San Nicolas (CSA)
1997: Inter SC (NCA)
1996: San Jose Oaks (NCA)
1995: Flamengo SC (UT)