The scene after America SC’s 2-1 win over Soda City FC Sorinex in the 2019 US Open Cup qualifying tournament. Photo: Joshua Taylor
In an exciting match at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Fla., America Soccer Club of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) managed to hang on for a 2-1 victory over the South Carolina-based Soda City FC Sorinex.
With the win, ASC moves on to the Fourth Round of qualifying as they attempt to qualify for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time in club history.
At the beginning of the match, Soda City had chances early on but ASC goalkeeper Joao Bolizan made saves early to keep ASC in the match. In the 12th minute, the captain for Soda City, Driss Bareket, put his team on the board as he converted on a deflection from a corner kick.
America Soccer Club returned the pressure and created chances but weren’t able to capitalize until they got some help from Soda City. In the 25th minute, City were called for a foul in the box and the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty kick for ASC. Pedro Toblas converted the PK as he blasted the shot past Soda City goalkeeper Camillo Agudelo to tie the match 1-1.
ASC was able to build some momentum later in the first half as both teams fought to take the lead before the halftime break. In the 44th minute, William Eyang of ASC received a cross from distance and buried it past Agudelo to give his club the lead heading into the locker room.
In the second half, it was a battle as both teams got physical and had many chances but couldn’t convert. In the 80th minute, Soda City midfielder, Graham Jermstad, had a free kick opportunity but he hit it straight at the keeper. Later, in stoppage time, Soda City was given a corner kick but their shot attempt went wide as they were inches from tying the match.
The referee blew the final whistle to seal the deal for coach Marcos Borges and his America Soccer Club, which extended their unbeaten streak to 10 matches in all competitions. After the match, he talked about how he admired how both teams played hard until the end and was proud of how his team bounced back after being down a goal early. While he was disappointed that his team didn’t put away some early chances, he was happy their they kept fighting and advanced to Round 4.
It is unclear, as of now, whether a Fourth Round, which is tentatively scheduled for March of 2019, will take place. Every professional team in the United States is automatically entered into the US Open Cup, and with the addition of an entirely new professional league with USL League One (Div. 3), and a number of expansion teams in the USL Championship (Div. 2), the format of next year’s tournament has yet to be finalized. Without a finalized format, it’s unclear how many Open Division teams (National Premier Soccer League, USL League Two — formerly Premier Development League — , and all of the Open Division Local teams) will be granted entry into the competition. It’s possible that ASC will have to play a Fourth Round qualifying match, but they won’t find out until January.