GPS Omens (MA) defeated Newtown Pride FC (CT) 3-1 in the second round of the open division qualifying tournament for the 2017 US Open Cup. The game was played at Newtown High School in Newtown, CT on Sunday afternoon.
GPS Omens advances to the third round of the tournament, bringing them one step closer to qualifying for the US Open Cup for the third time in four years.
The match between the leaders of the Bay State Soccer League’s GPS Omens and the Newtown Pride, the leaders of the Connecticut State League, got off to an interesting start as the Pride played the start of the game with just 10 players as designated starter Graciano Britto was late to arrive. GPS were unable to capitalize on the early man advantage, though they did spend much of the first 15 minutes maintaining pressure on Newtown’s goal.
Once Britto was in the game, things started to even out, with the two teams trading chances in the middle of the first half. Newtown’s Christian Camacho would send his team’s first chance wide of the net following a counter attack in the 20th minute followed by Keith Caldwell of GPS also missing the far post ten minutes later.
Caldwell, who has been a key player for GPS over the last few years, is the brother of New England Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell. Their father, Larry, played for the Hartford Bicentennials of the original NASL.
Right before the half it was GPS who broke the deadlock with a strong attack down the left flank. Defender Pete Nolan found Caldwell streaking down the sideline and after a long run to almost the endline, Caldwell centered for Eric Anderson who finished from close range in the 42nd minute. The first half would end with GPS leading 1-0.
Newtown would need a strong start to the second half, but what they got was just the opposite.
Goalkeeper Drew Nucifora spilled a ball in the 52nd minute and GPS striker Charles Romero was there to finish the mistake and double the road team’s advantage. Now chasing the game, Newtown inserted attacker Christian Turizo in the 61st minute looking to spark the offense but before their sub could settle in, GPS took control.
A 65th minute corner was headed home after a fashion by defender Ryan Dunn to give GPS a 3-0 lead. Dunn met Caldwell’s wonderfully-placed cross and despite a deflection on the line by the Newtown defense, the Pride were left picking the ball out of their net for the third time.
The two Turizo brothers did spark Newtown late in the game, with substitute Christian centering for his brother Mauricio in the 79th minute to pull Newtown back to 3-1. But against a packed and organized GPS side, there were not many chances in the final minutes for Newtown and the game ended with no additional goals.
Also, with what might be a USOC qualifying first, a flying drone was sent up by a regional photographer to capture video at the start of the second half. Sadly, the drone was grounded after a few minutes by the referee crew for mostly being noisy.
GPS Omens advances to the third round of qualifying for the 2017 US Open Cup. Dates and opponents for that round have not yet been announced by US Soccer. 14 more games for second round qualifying will take place next weekend on October 22 and 23.
UNOFFICIAL BOX SCORE
Newtown Pride FC (4-4-2) – Drew Nucifora; Clayton Ulmar, Sean O’Brien, Istvan Kanyo, Dante Spinelli; Frederick Metellus, Christian Camacho, Raphael Carminati, Jan Galvis; Mauricio Turizo, Graciano Britto (Christian Turizo 61’)
GPS Omens (4-4-2) – Zachary Abu-Glass; Alex Walters, Pete Nolan, Alan Ashenfelter, Ryan Dunn; Nicholas Figueiredo (Noah Grumman 66’), Ben Shulera, Scott Prozeller, Keith Caldwell; Charles Romero, Eric Anderson
GPS – 42’ – Eric Anderson (Keith Caldwell)
GPS – 52’ – Charles Romero (unassisted)
GPS – 65’ – Ryan Dunn (Keith Caldwell)
NEW – 79’ – Mauricio Turizo (Christian Turizo)
NEW – 71’ – Caution #5 Camacho
GPS – 74’ – Caution #5 Dunn
NEW – 76’ – Caution #9 Carminati
NEW – 83’ – Caution #10 Turizo, M.