U.S. Open Cup

United Halt Soldiers’ Advance

Miami United, playing in the 2020 Open Cup qualifying tournament under their U-23 banner, edged out Florida Soccer Soldiers 2-1 in an enthralling encounter at Orange Bowl Field, Ives Estates Park on Sunday evening.

A clear and dry fall evening in this part of Miami, not that you would know it by the soaring temperature and high humidity, an unseasonably warm day for mid-October that delivered a red hot game of soccer for the 150 fans in attendance.

Soldiers started on the front foot, wrenching the ball from United and enjoying the majority of early possession. Andres Ruiz de Somocurcio and Jose Boggio in particular enjoying plenty of time on the ball and Josduar Serrano making some trademark runs from his full back position down the right flank. But there were few clear cut chances created as Miami United’s experienced back line kept Soldiers #9 Bryan Perea very quiet.

As the half wore on Miami United began to grow into the game with their physical edge beginning to show. They were starting to give Soldiers less and less time on the ball with a lot of pressing and hard, but fair, tackling. Soon, United were rewarded with the game’s first goal, Matias Solari forcing the ball home from close range after a corner caused chaos in the penalty area.

The second half started as the first finished. Soldiers struggling to keep the ball and get their passing game going. United were happy for this to continue and protect their one goal lead. With time running out Soccer Soldiers went a bit more direct with their play and got their breakthrough. Perea was finding more and more space in the final third and got the equalizer with a great finish, latching on to a through ball from midfield.

Extra time looked to be certain with less than 15 minutes left to find a match winning goal. Soldiers looked the more likely of the two teams to find it. United can thank goalkeeper Omar Soto for keeping the scores level with a few good saves. The high standard of the play for the whole game really underlined the quality present at this level in South Florida.

Two minutes into injury time at the end of the second half disaster struck for the team that captured everyone’s hearts with their run in the 2019 competition. With a huge gap gaping down the left hand side, United went raiding into the space and a perfect cross was swung over for Nicolas Micoli to thump a free header into the net from point blank range. The contingent of Miami United supporters cheered a great goal that sees their team head into the third qualifying round to play Hurricane FC of Delray Beach, who hammered Orlando Wolves 7-1.

Magic City Soccer podcast Episode 70: Live from Wynwood Brewing before Florida Soccer Soldiers’ U.S. Open kickoff!

On this episode of the Magic City Soccer podcast, Drew, Lee and Christian discuss Florida Soccer Soldiers’ Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup second-round fixture against Charlotte Independence. Join us, won’t you?

To subscribe to Magic City Soccer on iTunes, click here. To subscribe to Magic City Soccer on SoundCloud, click here.
To subscribe on Google Play, Listen on Google Play Music

Charlotte Independence v Florida Soccer Soldiers: Previewing The Match

Florida Soccer Soldiers travel to Charlotte to take on the Independence in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup

It was surprising and yet at the very same time it was not. The Florida Soccer Soldiers will get their second round match against the Charlotte Independence (USL Championship) in just a few hours. The UPSL heavyweights from the Magic City held their own against the NPSL champions Miami FC just a week ago. Flash forward six days later, and the Soldiers are looking to make a FC Christos style run in the U.S. Open Cup.

Miami FC v Florida Soccer Soldiers: Previewing The Open Cup Match

The matchup that fans of the lower leagues in South Florida have been wanting for the last year is finally here. Today is the day two of the finest teams in the state go toe-to-toe in a competitive game. A US Open Cup first round encounter that sees NPSL champions Miami FC against UPSL national finalists Florida Soccer Soldiers.

2019 US Open Cup Likely To Be The Least “Open” Of Them All

Florida Soccer Soldiers defeated Red Force FC in U.S. Open Cup qualifying at Tropical Park Stadium in Miami on Oct. 21, 2018. Photo by Lee Ifans.

The nation’s oldest soccer tournament has long been a historic tradition that has allowed some of the country’s smallest soccer clubs to square off against the heavyweights. The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup began in 1914, long before the official pyramid was even thought of. The inclusivity of the tournament allowed many proverbial “David v Goliath” matches to take place. With the expansion of the professional pyramid over the years, fewer amateur and semi-pro clubs have had the ability to compete. The 106th edition may be one of the worst for the non-professional sides. 

Florida Soccer Soldiers beat 10-man Red Force FC 1-0

Florida Soccer Soldiers defeated Red Force FC in U.S. Open Cup qualifying at Tropical Park Stadium in Miami on Oct. 21, 2018. Photo by Lee Ifans.

 

Tropical Park was the scene for another exciting U.S. Open Cup qualifier with two local heavyweights going toe-to-toe for a chance to progress one step closer to the tournament proper. Florida Soccer Soldiers edged out 10-man Red Force FC 1-0 to reach the next round.

With the sad demise of FC Kendall it looks like Red Force have found a new rivalry already. These two teams have been playing some of the best local elite amateur soccer over the past year and a fair crowd of about 125 stayed out late on a Sunday evening to watch a compelling encounter.

With a steady wind whipping in from the north Red Force looked the more composed of the two sides early on. Florida Soccer Soldiers had quite a high defensive line and were almost undone by the diagonal ball over the top a couple of times. Danger man Stiven Salinas getting behind his marker and trying to create chances for his team mates. He and David Holguin combined to set up a chance for the latter but the big Colombian couldn’t get his effort on target.

What the Soccer Soldiers might lack in experience they made up for with youthful enthusiasm. Two players especially catching the eye were Manuel Coll and Valentin Sabella. Sabella, a 19 year old Argentinean, is as fast as lightning and good with the ball at his feet very reminiscent of his countrymen Messi, Maradona or Tevez. Short, quick and tricky. His powerful runs down the left flank were a constant threat to Red Force. Manuel Coll got in on the action with Soccer Soldiers’s best chance in the first 45. Sending an accurate shot on target from outside the box that was well-covered by Red Force keeper Anton Widen. Nil-nil at half time.

Although this match was played in the right spirit, there were flashpoints as the game wore on. A yellow card apiece for the two teams in the first 45 and five more in the second. There was a competitive physical element to the game and it boiled over on the hour when Fabio Fernandes was shown a straight red for a high elbow in a challenge with an opponent. The decision was controversial. It was certainly a foul and a card but perhaps a yellow would have sufficed in the context of the game.

The game-breaking goal

Down to ten men, it got worse for Red Force when the Soccer Soldiers finally made the difference count. With the defense stretched Manuel Coll found livewire Sabella in the box and he made no mistake from close range. It was a fine goal to cap off Sabella’s man of the match performance. It was almost 2-0 not long after that. Julian Hoyos Cadavid with an effort that Widen was equal to.

Into time added on, which there was a lot of because of a few injury breaks and the red card, and Red Force almost got back into it. First hitting the post with a looping effort and then a glorious change for midfielder Jesse Kehoe. Kehoe was through on a one-on-one with the keeeper but Estrada Soto was quick to react and snuff the chance out.

Time was up and the Soldiers march on to the third qualifying round. Red Force had won six Open Cup qualifying games in a row stretching back to September 23rd, 2017. That run came to an end. They’ll be looking for revenge next year when they head into the UPSL themselves.

Post match interview with man-of-the-match Valentin Sabella.

Starting Lineups:

RED FORCE FC

Anton Widen (GK); Richard Perdomo, Lucas Compos Coro, Chris Munoz, Jesse Kehoe, Gilbert Ruiz, Steven Salinas, Fabio Fernandes, Cesar Murillo, David Holguin, Franco Alvaro. Subs; Daniel Gomez, Scott Gordon, Marcello Palucci, Omar Parsad

FLORIDA SOCCER SOLDIERS

Omar Estrada Soto (GK); Antonioni Gonzalez Gutierrez, Adolfo Suazo Williams, Valentin Sabella, Julian Hoyos Cadavid, Mario Ferro, Juan Carlos Paredes Rios, Manuel Coll, Andres Ruiz de Somocurcio, Carlos Meneses Freire, Cesar Moreno Ramos. Subs; Heatclif Castillo Delgado, Daniel Espantoso, Fernando Hernandez Aguirre

RED CARD ’60 Fabio Fernandes (Red Force)

GOAL ’73 Valentin Sabella, Assisted by Manuel Coll (Florida Soccer Soldiers)

MAN OF THE MATCH Valentin Sabella