Pros fall in round one of the U.S. Open Cup
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Albion SC PROS fell to Chula Vista FC 2-3 during the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 10 at Mission Bay Stadium.
The 17th minute set the tone for the entire match when referees gave defender Luke Staats a red card, forcing the PROS to play man down with more than 80 percent of the match remaining. “When we went down a man early on, it obviously changed the game plan … When you go down, the game changes,” said Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski.
As the game progressed and the score stayed at 0-0, the tension between teams increased. During the first half, both teams were awarded eight free kicks. Three went to Chula Vista and four to the PROS.
Despite playing man down, PROS defenders kept Chula Vista in check and did not allow them in scoring position until late in the game.
In minute 74, Alberto Diaz broke through defenders and brought the score to 0-1, breaking the tie for Chula Vista.
Less than one minute later, the crowd erupted as another run in occurred between the two teams. This time the PROS earned a penalty kick. Luquen took the penalty kick, but the shot bounced low off the left post and an attempt at a rebound was not successful.
The PROS did not wait long for redemption as Chula Vista’s Gilberto Perez-Lopez earned a red card in minute 77 and Luan Oliveira capitalized off a penalty kick. Oliveira’s goal tied the game 1-1.
With 15 minutes remaining in regulation, the PROS and Chula Vista remained tied until a Chula Vista goal in minute 88 pushed them ahead 2-1.
After regulation ended, Oscar Hernandez scored for Chula Vista in stoppage time and increased their lead to 3-1.
A goal by Tre Hayes late into stoppage time was not enough to reverse course.
Despite the tough loss, the Open Division of the U.S. Open Cup proved to be a testament to the soccer fan base in San Diego.
“Both sides of the stadium were packed … they know that professional soccer is coming here in San Diego and there’s people that want to be here and want to support soccer in this city,” said forward Amani Walker.
The coaching staff also noted the strong showing of soccer fans. “[The fans] were absolutely tremendous to hear them singing and chanting all through the game,” said Korytoski. “Just to look up and see the turnout from both clubs … and everybody from San Diego. It was tremendous.”
“San Diego is ready for a team.”