May 29, 2012

Gauchos in the Pros: U.S. Open to Feature Gaucho vs. Gaucho Match-Ups

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – As the 99th U.S. Open Cup continues this week, a few matches over the next couple of days will feature clubs that boast former Gauchos on the roster. 

On Tuesday, May 29, the San Jose Earthquakes will host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Cagan Stadium in Stanford, Calif. The match will feature Sam Garza (UCSB, 2010-11), who is in his first season with the Earthquakes, and Alfonso Motagalvan (UCSB, 2005-08), who is in his first season with the Strikers. The 7:30 p.m. match will be streamed live at sjearthquakes.com.

Also on Tuesday, Chivas USA and its starting goalkeeper Dan Kennedy (UCSB, 2001-04) will face the Ventura County Fusion, which Tim Pontius (UCSB, 2008-11) and Sam Hayden (2009-10) currently play for, at Ventura College at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday, May 30, the Seattle Sounders – winners of three successive U.S. Open Cup titles – will host the Atlanta Silverbacks at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila at 7 p.m. Michael Tetteh (UCSB, 2008-10) currently plays for the Sounders and Ciaran O'Brien (UCSB, 2007) is in his second season with the Silverbacks. For broadcast coverage of the match, visit SoundersFC.com.

This year's U.S. Open Cup includes a 64-team field. All Division I, II and III professional clubs will be participating in the tournament proper for the first time ever. The Division I field includes all 16 U.S.-based Major League Soccer teams, meanwhile, all six U.S.-based North American Soccer League teams (Division II) and all 10 U.S.-based USL PRO teams (Division III) will complete the balance of the 32 professional sides competing.

The US Open Cup is the longest standing soccer tournament of its kind in America. Started in 1914, the cup has been awarded to teams of various levels in the American soccer pyramid, but has been dominated by MLS sides for the last 12 competitions.