The National Premier Soccer League’s Western Conference US Open Cup qualifying tournament will wrap up this weekend when the San Diego Flash take on FC Hasental in a “Win & You’re In” match on Saturday. The winner will join the Sacramento Gold in the 100th edition of the tournament who punched their ticket with a convincing 5-1 win over the Sonoma County Sol back on March 23.
Sacramento Gold won 5 – 1 last Saturday evening to secure the Golden Gate Conference’s entry to the US Open Cup. Sonoma Sol scored first, in the 18th minute, to go up 1 – 0. The Gold, however, responded with five goals to finish as the Golden Gate Conference’s single elimination tournament top team.
A very competitive contest ended the first half with Sacramento Gold responding to its first deficit with goals by Manolo Pina (assist John Jones II) and John Johns II off Clemente Fonseca’s corner kick. Both teams started the second half sharply. The Sonoma Sol had a number of dangerous opportunities as the Gold responded with robust defending. High pressure by the Gold forced a turnover in the Sol penalty area, as Clemente Fonseca intercepted and squared the ball across the goal mouth. Eliot Ricks-Cambers brilliantly dummied the ball for Manolo Pina, who slotted in the upper right corner for a 3 – 1 advantage.
The Gold’s defensive pressure created another Sol turnover, this time an unfortunate header back to the Sol keeper going over his head, and finished off by Pina into the open net, earning Manolo a hat trick on the night. Manolo also figured in the last Gold goal one minute into extra time at the end of the game. Pina drew two defenders to the left side of their penalty area, only to square the ball for an onrushing Clemente Fonseca to one time volley into the right corner of the goal.
Both teams worked extremely hard during the match, with numerous Gold players coming off exhausted and with leg cramps. The match seemed to turn on the turnover leading to the Gold’s third goal. Without the Sol turnovers, the match would have been a very close one.
Sacramento Gold now travels, as fate would have it, to Rancho Cotati High School (5450 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park) for the Sol’s and the Gold’s NPSL opener Saturday night, March 30. Kickoff is at 7 PM.
Gold lineup (with substitutes): Jakubek, Smarte (de Alba, 71), Marroquin, Madu, Pina (Rene), Brioso, Colman (Espinoza 77), Ricks-Chambers (Martinez 76), Fonseca, Pina (Manolo), Jones (Alvarez 63)
Goals: Sonoma Middlesmiss 18th min; Gold Pina, M 27th min, assist Jones; Jones 38th min, assist Fonseca; Pina, M 58th min, assist Fonseca; Pina, M 72nd min, una
ssisted; Fonseca 90 + 1 min, assist Pina, M
The National Premier Soccer League will enter eight teams into the 100th Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, but those teams have not yet been announced. Six of the eight teams are expected to be chosen from the Northeast, Midwest and Southern conferences but the league’s Western Conference kicks off their qualifying tournament this tournament.
Posted on 01. Mar, 2013 by Eric Anderson in 2013, 2013 US Open Cup qualifying, Qualification
Sacramento Gold played at Raimondi Park in Oakland against CD Aguiluchos on Sunday, March 10, 2013, in a single elimination tournament to determine the National Premier Soccer League’s North West Division (The Golden Gate Conference) direct entry to the US Open Cup.
A festive crowd greeted the Gold for the 7 PM kickoff. In the first half, the game was played at a fast pace, with the Gold trying to establish a rhythm of play and Aguiluchos testing the Gold backline on numerous occasions. The game turned, however, on a 31st minute errant back pass from an Aguiluchos defender which ended up in their own net. Although the Gold did not create many outstanding chances in the first half, they found a chemistry which proved to help them the rest of the match.
At the half time talk, Gold coaches stressed the need for steely defending, knowing Aguiluchos would be pushing very hard for an equalizer. And the Gold team responded. Goalkeeper Dominic Jakubek had a magnificent game, denying entry balls into his penalty area, and even coming out of the area to head away two other dangerous chances. The backline play continued their busy but effective night, as the midfield started to create counter attack chances for wide players and the forwards. The Gold’s hard work paid dividends at the 78 minute mark, as forward John Jones received Clement Fonseca’s throw in, playing the ball behind the defender, rounding him and slotting past the keeper near post in the ensuing one v one. Minutes later Marco Ramirez played Eliot Rick-Chambers into space behind the Aguiluchos defense and, after getting around the keeper, and Eliot played the ball into the open net. The final score, 3-0 for the Gold, did not reflect the very competitive nature of the match.
Sacramento Gold is well aware that a fluke own goal turned the tables in this match, and is determined to solidify its game for the next round of tournament elimination: Saturday, March 16, 2013, at River City High school in West Sacramento for a 7 PM kickoff for the next conference opponent, Real San Jose. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for youth, youth 15 years old and younger wearing a jersey get in free. Parking at River City High School is free, and concessions are available at the stadium.
Starting Lineup (with subs) for the Gold:
Jakubek, Smarte, Marroquin, Pina, Zevallos, Fonseca, Brioso (Colman, 51), Ramirez, Ricks-Chambers, Jones (Terrico, 82), Alvarez.
Goals: 31 min, own goal. 78 min, Jones, assist Fonseca. 83 min, Ricks-Chambers, assist Ramirez