The third round of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup took place on Wednesday, and the field of five amateur teams left in the tournament was whittled to one.
PSA Elite advanced in the lone all-amateur match in the round, against perennial USOC participant Ventura County Fusion, after defeating the PDL side 2-1 on the Fusion's home ground. PSA took the lead courtesy of a first half penalty from Mats Bjurman. But Ventura County weren't content to just take the result as it was, and tied the game in the 72nd minute with a goal from Abdullah Adam.
But Justin Dhillon came off the bench, and moments later regained the lead for PSA Elite, as his 80th minute goal stood up as the winner for the visitors.
The result means PSA Elite advance to the fourth round for a second consecutive Open Cup, and this year will take on the LA Galaxy in their next game, to be played June 17 at 7:30 pm PT at the StubHub Center.
Also, by virtue of their win and the other results in the third round, including a spirited 7-3 loss by the third Southern California amateur team left in the tournament, Chula Vista FC against USL champs Sacramento Republic, PSA Elite is the last amateur team in the USOC, and by virtue of advancing the furthest, they have the title of "best amateur team" and will get the $15,000 cash prize awarded to the lower-division entrant that goes the furthest. Although coach Jon Spencer downplayed the cash prize in an exclusive interview with The Goat Parade, it does seem like the $15,000 could be put to good use by the team, even if that wasn't the motivation.
So, that leaves a total of two Southern California teams in the Open Cup, between PSA Elite and the Galaxy. Only one of those teams will advance beyond the fourth round, and the underdogs will get a couple weeks to prepare for the match and see if they can spring an upset on an MLS side. Obviously, we'll keep a close eye on that game, but in the meantime, congrats to PSA Elite for continuing their U.S. Open Cup run!
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