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.
Sad news this morning for the local soccer world. Established local club FC Kendall has decided to cease operations, possibly permanently. Club president Mauro Grignola broke the news on Twitter this morning.
Sad days these last, we have to put a stop/pause to a historic club @_FCKendall due to economic, organizational and infrastructure issues. The underlying reason is the @ussoccer competition framework that does not provide incentives for a Non-MLS Adult Club to stay in operations
— Mauro Grignola (@MauroGrignola) September 25, 2018
Red Force advanced to the second qualifying round of the 2019 U.S. Open Cup thanks to a last-gasp matchwinner from Marcello Palucci, a strike that gave his side victory over FC Kendall 2-1 after a good 90 minutes of soccer.
The United Premier Soccer League tweeted out some expansion news early this morning. One of the most successful local amateur teams over the last 10 years, Red Force FC, will field a team in the UPSL. The team has previously competed in the American Premier Soccer League.
South Florida’s oldest running soccer rivalry will soon face off in US Soccer’s oldest tournament. The 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup draw for open division local qualifiers happened Wednesday morning and FC Kendall and Red Force FC were paired up for a Round 1 game in the Southeast Region on Sept. 23 at Tropical Park.
After being postponed from its originally scheduled date at Broward College South Campus in Pembroke Pines on Sunday, the American Premier Soccer League semifinal match between FC Kendall and Red Force FC will be played at Tropical Park tonight at 8:30 p.m.
Often after a U.S. Open Cup appearance, participating teams suffer from post-Cup swoon. For FC Kendall, who suffered defeat in Round 1 at the hands of Miami United FC, their 2018 spring/summer league performance has been ascendant.
The club has completed an undefeated American Premier Soccer League campaign, capping it off with a 2-0 win over UD Miami FC on Sunday night at Kendall Soccer Park
Second goal of our 2-0 Win vs. UD Miami yesterday. @danigonz10 scores off a great pass from Icaro “Iko.” This was the 6th goal of Dani “Mini” Gonzalez in the @apslofficial 2018 Summer Season. pic.twitter.com/EViznzB8Pq
— FC Kendall (@_FCKendall) July 23, 2018
With the win, the team is now top the league table, five points clear of the nearest competition in South Florida FC. Both South Florida and FC Kendall will now heads into the APSL playoffs with a well-deserved bye. This weekend, Boca Raton FC’s APSL squad will face Heights FC of Deerfield Beach, while UD Miami will play Miami-Dade stalwart Red Force FC this weekend. FC Kendall will play the winner of the second game.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>After 13 exciting weeks, we have our <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Top6?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Top6</a> that will move on to the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/2018APSLPlayoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#2018APSLPlayoffs</a>. <a href=”https://twitter.com/_FCKendall?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@_FCKendall</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/southfloridafc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@southfloridafc</a> earn <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Quarterfinals?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Quarterfinals</a> Bye and will await the results of <a href=”https://twitter.com/BocaRatonFC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BocaRatonFC</a> vs <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/HeightsFC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#HeightsFC</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/UDMiamiFCFans?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@UDMiamiFCFans</a> vs <a href=”https://twitter.com/RedForceFC09?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@RedForceFC09</a> this weekend. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/APSLSoccer?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#APSLSoccer</a> <a href=”https://t.co/So581ae5En”>pic.twitter.com/So581ae5En</a></p>— APSL (@apslofficial) <a href=”https://twitter.com/apslofficial/status/1021899601408876544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 24, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The APSL season provides both vigorous competition for local players and a path to the U.S. Open Cup, so securing the league title will be of the highest priority for Kendall.
While the name is relatively new, the club is not. Originally Uruguay Kendall FC, the club changed names to FC Kendall last year. The club qualified for the 2018 Open Cup by defeating Nashville United FC last November.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With three U.S. Open Cup matches to discuss locally, Matt and Drew are in absolute heaven. Join us, won’t you? Thanks to our sponsor, Groundhopper, for helping to make this Magic City Soccer episode happen!
It didn’t start exactly how the team imagined, but the end result was sweet nonetheless. Miami United FC overcame an early deficit to storm back and defeat FC Kendall, 5-2. Miami United will advance to the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to face The Miami FC 2.
Miami United FC and FC Kendall will face off at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah. Open Cup debutantes Kendall are looking to pull the upset over NPSL power Miami United. The winner will face the winner of the match between The Miami FC 2 and Red Force FC. You can watch the live stream of the match below!