The Florida Soccer Soldiers have punched their ticket to the 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup without playing their final Open Division Local Qualifying tournament game. On March 18, 2019, the US Soccer Federation announced on Twitter that their final round opponent, Jacksonville, Fla.-based America Soccer Club, has withdrawn from the competition.
TheCup.us has confirmed with the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) that America SC is no longer a part of the league due to financial reasons, which disqualifies them from participating in the US Open Cup.
America SC did not respond to a request for comment.
This will mark the first time that Florida Soccer Soldiers, who are based in the Miami area, will take part in the US Open Cup. The Soldiers won the UPSL Florida Conference regular season championship in their inaugural season in 2018.
They began their qualifying journey on Sept. 22 when they edged fellow UPSL side Miami Sun FC, 2-1. In Round 2, the Soldiers took advantage of a second half red card and earned a 1-0 win over fellow Miami club Red Force FC who were seeking their fifth trip to the Open Cup.
They advanced to the final round with a one-sided 6-0 win over Hurricane FC. Valentin Sabella, who scored the game-winner against Red Force FC, scored two goals and dished out two assists in the win. William Stamatis also bagged two goals for the Soccer Soldiers.
With one less game, the final round of the qualifying tournament is down to six games, which will be played the weekend of April 6-7. The winner of each game will join the field of 84 teams in the 106th edition of the tournament. Click here for the full qualifying schedule.