Norberto Orejel made the most of his Lamar Hunt US Open Cup debut, scoring two goals in the first half as PSA Elite defeated Golden State Misioneros FC, 7-1, in a first round game at Weingart Stadium on the campus of East Los Angeles College.
Orejel scored twice in an 11-minute span to help PSA Elite build an unassailable 4-1 lead at the break.
“I haven’t played with (PSA Elite) a lot but I felt like I knew them. I was really comfortable,” Orejel said.
PSA Elite, which lost to Seattle Sounders the U.S. Open Cup third round game last year, will now play host to OC Blues in a second round game on Wednesday, May 20.
“It’ll be a good experience and a different experience as well,” Orejel said.
Mats Bjurman’s right-footed blast to the far post opened the scoring in the third minute as PSA Elite was rewarded for its early pressure.
Misioneros did not record a shot until the 17th minute when Paolo Cardozo’s dangerous free kick from the right side found to the head of teammate Brian Behrad but it was nodded just wide.
PSA Elite produced repeated scoring opportunities in the 23rd, 24th and 25th minutes before Orejel broke through with his first goal in the 26th minute, tucking in a through ball from Michael Salazar.
Misioneros found some offensive life in the 35th minute when Jeromy Gurule won an airborne 50-50 challenge vs. PSA Elite keeper Julio Trejo, sending Trejo to the turf and the ball into the back of the net.
Two minutes later, a flying header from Orejel off a cross from Will Lopez gave PSA Elite and 3-1 lead, and Aaron Simmons scored just before halftime for a 4-1 advantage.
“Our plan was to be organized and consistent throughout the match,” PSA Elite head coach Jon Spencer said. “We put a really good tone to it and as the game went on I think we showed a lot of patience.”
Andrew Hoxie (65’), Salazar (70’) and Kyle O’Brien (80’) each added goals in the second half for PSA Elite, who held Misioneros without a shot on goal in the second half.
“It’s a good way to start,” Salazar said. “(Misioneros) is a good side but I just feel like we had a game plan and we executed it well.”
Cardozo, a former Los Angeles Galaxy player, totaled just one shot on goal after his swerving free kick late in the first half was punched away.