Open Cup: Chula Vista FC and PSA Elite hang with the pros

The record of USASA teams against pro teams in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is not good. They won 12 of 81 games entering 2015, but both Chula Vista FC and PSA Elite from Cal South won their second-round matches against USL opposition last week.

They follow in the tradition of Cal FC, Eric Wynalda's USASA team that reached the fourth round of the 2012 U.S. Open Cup.

U.S. Open Cup: Schedule

CHULA VISTA FC. Located on the USA-Mexico border between San Diego and Tijuana, Chula Vista is one of the biggest soccer hotbeds in Southern California. Players from the area include Joe Corona, Paul Arriola and Alejandro Guido, all members of Mexican first division club Tijuana.

Chula Vista FC serves as a community program for 500 players. Its entrant in the Open Cup is its under-23 team playing in the SoCa Premier U23 Summer League, part of what head coach Hector Diaz told theCup.us is the process of "building a club for life and not just a youth club.” The club and its under-23 program help keep players in the game who might not otherwise because few get a chance to play college soccer.

Chula Vista's star is Diaz's younger brother, Alberto, who played with Guido on the U.S. U-15s in 2009 when they were teammates on the Aztecs Premier. In the second round of the Open Cup, CVFC traveled to Arizona United and came away with a 3-0 win thanks to two goals and an assist from Alberto Diaz.

For the next round, CVFC heads north to face another pro team from the USL, defending champion Sacramento Republic FC. To fund the trip, Hector Diaz started a GoFundMe campaign and it had raised more than $2,100 as of midday on Tuesday.



PSA ELITE. Based in Irvine, PSA Elite is no stranger to the Open Cup. Indeed, it is making its fourth straight appearance in the tournament, granted entry from USASA Region IV on the strength of last year's performance that included a win over the LA Galaxy II in the third round.

PSA Elite plays in the United Premier Soccer League that is based in Orange County but stretches across Southern California. This year, it knocked off another USL team in the third round, beating the Orange County Blues, 2-1, despite finishing the game with 10 players.

The match was a proverbial Orange County derby as PSA Elite's coach, Joe Spencer, was the OC Blues' general manager in 2014. Belize international Michael Salazar and UC Irvine junior Mats Bjurman scored the goals, while former U.S. U-17 keeper Wade Hamilton, who played every minute in goal as a freshman at Cal Poly, held the Blues at bay until he conceded a goal in the 90th minute.

Next up is Ventura County County Fusion, which is coming off a 2-1 win of its own over the LA Galaxy II on an overtime goal by highly touted Ghanaian Abu Danladi, a freshman at UCLA. Spencer can counter with several Bruins of his own, among them Chase Gasper, another freshman star, and Nathan Smith.

"This will be a tough match, a tricky one, because you have two amateur teams," he told& amp; amp; lt; /a> the Goat Parade. "The stakes are high."

The winner gets a date with the LA Galaxy, the king of So Cal soccer, in the fourth round.

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