UPDATE: The Wolves’ protest has been upheld by US Soccer and Ventura County Fusion have been disqualified. Read the details here.
UPDATE: The US Open Cup committee denied Ventura County Fusion’s appeal
There was plenty of drama in the opening round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Wednesday night. However, one of the results may be overturned due to the use of an ineligible player.
The Ventura County Fusion of the PDL defeated the Los Angeles Wolves of the UPSL 2-1 with all the scoring taking place in the first half. However, one of the players the Fusion put out on the field may ultimately bring the team’s Modern Era record of six consecutive opening round wins to an end.
According to LA Wolves head coach Yan Skwara, the Fusion fielded a player that was already cup-tied to another club.
“We have determined that the Ventura County Fusion clearly used an ineligible player who played for Cal FC in the qualifying rounds against our team and per the US Open Cup rules, that would be deemed a forfeit.”
The Wolves defeated Cal FC 2-1 on Nov. 21, 2015 in a game that would ultimately clinch a spot in the US Open Cup.
Skwara says he plans to file the protest on Thursday morning and is very confident that the result will be overturned.
According to the new roster rules stated in US Soccer’s 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Open Division Handbook, players who are registered with a team during the open division qualifying tournament are cup-tied to that team for the remainder of the competition.
“Rules are in place for a reason and they must be followed by all teams,” said Skwara. “The new rules for 2016 may not be perfect, but all teams still have to follow the rules or risk the repercussions.”
If the Fusion are disqualified, the Wolves would host the USL’s Orange County Blues in Round 2 on May 18.