[MEET THE TEAM] Eric Wynalda's Cal FC is the sensation of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a hastily assembled team from a
small ethnic league in Ventura County near Los Angeles.
It has already beat the 2011 PDL champion Kitsap Pumas, USL PRO's Wilmington Hammerheads and in the biggest upset in the history of the Open Cup MLS's Portland Timbers.
Next up are the three-time champion Seattle Sounders whom they meet in the fourth round on Tuesday.
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid says Cal FC is anything but a Sunday morning pub team. Indeed, all Wynalda's young players have either played pro ball or harbor pro ambitions.
They are players Wynalda says are "yeahbuts," players who have for one reason or another have fallen through the cracks.
For a look at Cal FC's 11 starters who beat Portland ...
DERBY CARRILLO. The Cal FC goalie attended Cal State Dominguez Hills, home of the Home Depot Center. He knows all about the Seattle Sounders. He played with the neighboring Kitsap Pumas in 2010 and had a trial with the Sounders. He even scrimmaged with the Sounders' reserves. He returned home after spending 2011 with FC New York in USL PRO.
JESUS GONZALEZ. Defender is only 20 but has lots of promise. Spent time with the U.S. under-18 national team. Played the 2011 season with the Timbers U-23s in the PDL. Also tried out with the Sounders.
BETO NAVARRO. Defender attended Delano High School near Bakersfield and played for the Roadrunners at CSU Bakersfield.
MIKE RANDOLPH. Defender was a JC star at Yavapai in Arizona. He's the oldest player on Cal FC at 26. Was a finalist for USL First Division Rookie of the Year with the Portland Timbers in 2006. Then spent part of three seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy, making 39 appearances. Played for Miami FC and the Los Angeles Blues the last two years.
HECTOR ESPINOZA. Defender is also only 20. Attended Santa Ana College for two years, playing 36 games of community college ball.
RICHARD MENJIVAR. Starred at CSU Bakersfield and was on the El Salvador team that knocked the United States from Olympic qualifying.
EDER ARREOLA. All-Pac 12 selection in 2011 at UCLA. Taken by the Houston Dynamo in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft. Played for the USA in the 2011 Concacaf Under-20 Championship.
PABLO CRUZ. Midfielder is also only 20. Like Menjivar, played for LAFC in the Development Academy. Was named to the U-17/18 Development Academy Starting XI in 2009-10. He previously spent one semester with the U-17 national team program in Bradenton, Fla.
DIEGO BARRERA. Born in Colombia, he moved to California as a child and attended Loyola Marymount and New Mexico. Played for several PDL clubs before moving to USL PRO's Wilmington Hammerheads last summer and the indoor Syracuse Silver Knights this past winter. At 25, one of the oldest players on the team. Set up two goals in 4-0 win over Wilmington in second round.
DANNY BARRERA. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder is Diego's younger brother. Also spent time in U.S. U-17 residency and attended UC Santa Barbara, where he was a two-time Big West Midfielder of the Year before leaving to pursue a professional career. Played one game last fall for FK Spartak Zlatibor Voda in Serbia before returning home. Scored two goals set up by his brother in victory over the Hammerheads in the second round. Also had two goals in 3-1 win over the Kitsap in first round.
ARTUR AGHASYAN. The 24-year-old forward played professionally in Armenia before coming to the United States in 2008. He starred in the PDL for the Ventura County Fusion and played for the Los Angeles Blues last year in USL PRO before finishing the year with MLS's Real Salt Lake, for which he made four appearances. He scored overtime goal to beat the Timbers.