It's officially official: LA Wolves FC will play in the next round of the U.S. Open Cup.
U.S. Soccer announced on Monday the appeal by Ventura County Fusion to overturn their disqualification in the tournament had been denied, meaning the Wolves will host the Orange County Blues in the second round of the competition this Wednesday.
As we reported last week, the controversy began in the aftermath of the Fusion's 2-1 win over the Wolves in the first round last Wednesday. LA Wolves, a local amateur side that plays in the UPSL, filed a formal complaint on the result, arguing a player on Ventura County's team had played for another team, Cal FC, in the 2016 USOC qualifiers last year. On Friday, U.S. Soccer ruled on the Wolves' protest, saying Gabriel Gonzalez had in fact played for both teams and was therefore cup-tied to his original team, meaning PDL side Ventura County had therefore fielded an ineligible player. As a result, the game was a forfeit and the Fusion would be disqualified from the competition, with LA Wolves being reinstated.
For their part, Ventura County said they would file a protest of their own following last week's ruling, saying U.S. Soccer had cleared their roster, which included Gonzalez, ahead of time.
But U.S. Soccer upheld the disqualification, and it appears the matter is done, as both sides have filed protests and both have been ruled upon. Of course, you never quite know what can happen, but it seems like there probably won't be any more official word on this controversy, likely in part due to the fact that the second round game will take place in just two days.
So, LA Wolves FC will now host the Orange County Blues on Wednesday at Banning High School in Wilmington, with the kick off coming at 8 pm PT. We'll certainly have more coverage of the game this week.
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