Posted On April 20, 2015 by PUSC
CHARLESTON, S.C. (April, 2015) – In its first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearance, San Francisco City FC (formerly Ticket Arsenal FC) will open the 102nd edition of the country’s longest-running national soccer competition by hosting Cal FC, April 25 at 2 p.m. PT at Kezar Stadium.
San Francisco City FC claimed US Club Soccer’s direct qualifying berth to the U.S. Open Cup by defeating Stanislaus United, 3-0, on Jan. 31. That game was the final stage of the US Club Soccer qualifying process in a NorCal Adult Premier Leagues playoff series.
While San Francisco City FC coach Andrew Gardner has aspirations greater than a one-and-done appearance, he recognizes the significance of the appearance itself.
“The fact that we are able to host a US Open Cup match, here at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco is a major success. To be able to bring this level of soccer, to a city with this kind of history behind it, is something so special,” Gardner said. “On the pitch, I am really confident in where we are at as a club and our ability to compete with anyone. With the combination of high-level former college players and recent professionals, I think our soccer can match up with the best of the best. I have my sights set on getting to round two of the Cup. If we are able to go out and establish our ‘city football’ style of play and knock off a couple teams in the play-in and first rounds, I would consider this first trip to the U.S. Open Cup a success.”
San Francisco City FC readies to face Cal FC, a United States Adult Soccer Association representative, in the play-in round of the tournament. Cal FC made a name for itself in the 2012 U.S. Open Cup, when the Eric Wynalda-coached squad defeated the Portland Timbers (MLS) and Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro) en route to the round of 16.
“In the end, while we know they will be a very skilled and organized bunch, their history has certainly added to the motivation of our players and staff to end up on top,” Gardner said. “We want to be that 2015 team to make a run and surprise some larger clubs. Not only do we want it, but we have it within our grasp; it’s now just a matter of capitalizing on it.”
Buy tickets to San Francisco City FC vs. Cal FC, April 25 at 2 p.m. PT at Kezar Stadium
The winner of San Francisco City FC/Cal FC advances to the first round, May 13, against Ventura County Fusion (USL PDL) at the Ventura College Sportsplex in Ventura, Calif., at 7 p.m. PT. In addition to the PDL, the first round will also welcome fellow amateur teams from the National Premier Soccer League and other USASA opponents.
A week later, those winners move on to face USL foes (Division III) in second-round showdowns before NASL (Division II) and MLS (Division I) teams join in the third and fourth rounds, respectively. Ultimately, the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship will be held Sept. 29 or 30 at the home field of one of the finalists.
There are a record 91 total teams participating this year – 47 professional and 44 amateur. The 2015 champion will hoist the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, earn a berth in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League and claim $250,000.
MLS’s Seattle Sounders FC are the defending U.S. Open Cup champions, having won four times in club history.
This is the fifth year US Club Soccer has sent representatives to compete in the U.S. Open Cup.
Before San Francisco City FC takes the field, Gardner said his advice to the team will be simple. “I will just remind them of everything it has taken to get up to this point – all the way back two years ago when this was just an idea, and we had to battle through some tough things,” Gardner said. “We have not only persevered, but we have found major successes. This is just the next step in getting to where we want to be. We have prepared for it, this amazing city is out here to support us and it’s our time.”
ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer is an organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs in the United States.
US Club Soccer offers youth and adult registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, as well as a variety of other programming, including the Olympic Development Program-sanctioned id2 Program and Player Development Programs.
Through US Club Soccer, all of a club’s programs – recreational, competitive and adult – are able to be united under one organizational umbrella, creating a “members for life” culture within each club. US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike.