The 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup open division local qualifying match between the UPSL’s Bay Area Oilers and Leon FC from the North Texas Premier Soccer Association was finally played in Houston after two postponements due to weather.
This time, there would be no rain to get in the way as the match was moved to a turf field at the British International School of Houston in Katy, Texas. The visitors from Dallas, Leon FC used a pair of late goals to edge the Houston-based Oilers, 2-0 to advance to the second round of the qualifying tournament.
The two teams struggled to get used to the turf where the match was played since the temperature in Houston at kickoff was 93 degrees. But, that did not stop both teams to attack and create chances to open the scoring. The teams had two different approaches on offense, but they seemed to emphasis the order on defense.
The Oilers were looking to centralize the game in the midfield where they created some chances, but nothing clear to score the first goal of the game.
On the other side, Leon was very dominant in their last third. Especially when they opened the field and use their wings to cross the ball and generate scoring opportunities through Charles Bryce. The North Texas forward took advantage of his size and good air game to try to score.
The match was a hard fought one, and even though both teams had some chances, everything seemed like they were going to finished tied in regulation and move to extra time. However, Leon FC had different plans, and wanted to win it in regulation since they were shorthanded as they traveled to the Space City with only 11 players. Without any available substitutes, they managed to break the deadlock in the 78th minute when Ryan Morales took advantage of a ball played inside the box.
Leon would seal the victory ten minutes later when a William Diebold shot beat Oilers’ goalkeeper Omar Calderon to give them a 2-0 win to send them into the next round in their first-ever US Open Cup qualifying match.
Now, Leon FC will return home and are expected to play against fellow NTPSA side NTX Rayados in Round 2 the weekend of Oct. 20-21. The date, time and venue are still to be determined.
Leon FC: James Thurmond, Mark Santibanez, Ryan Rosebaum, Payam Pourjavad, Ryan Morales, Joshean Gonzalez, Kristian Garciamendez-Rowold, Rene Garcia, William Diebold, Kingsly Bryce, Charles Bryce.
Bay Area Oilers: Jordan Velasco, Johan Vazquez, Dylan Schuder, Kevin Guerrero, Darwin Histroza, Leo Guevara, Roger Tovar, Eric Escobar, Mickey, Christian Torres, and Omar Calderon.
LFC: Ryan Morales – 78th min.
LFC: William Diebold – 88th min.