NPSL: Southwest Conference Preview & Ranking

The NPSL Southwest Conference had three teams leave (The SoCal SC, Corinthians USA, City of Angels), leaving the conference thin once again, but it picked up an important SoCal club in FC Golden State. FCGS does well pretty much in every league they’ve competed in, including the PDL, UPSL and I expect the NPSL to be no different for them. The club is a vast upgrade over the debacle that was “City of Angels FC,” that has quietly disappeared.

This ranking will take their last season’s performance into account, and especially any recent competition, the kind of activity keeping a team like Orange County FC sharp, due to their commitment to playing in the UPSL.

Ranking

Orange County FC had some key victories in the NPSL playoffs over the other top two teams in the NPSL SW last season, namely Riverside Coras and FC Arizona, leaving no question about what was the better team in the conference. OCFC went further towards building their depth in the NPSL offseason by putting a team in the UPSL, and giving some of its NPSL players minutes in UPSL competition.

 

FC Arizona finished atop the NPSL SW regular season, but fell to OCFC in the NPSL playoffs. FCAZ aspired to join the proposed National Independent Soccer Association, but was not accepted, likely due to that league’s concentration of clubs in the East. FCAZ would’ve been the only club out west.

 

img_2939Riverside Coras were consistently one of the top three teams in the NPSL SW last season, and for one stretch of time were at the top of the conference. They had a dip in form towards the end of the NPSL season, finishing third and falling to OCFC in the playoffs.

 

ASC San Diego returns rebranded from “Albion SC Pros,” that finished fourth last season and fell 3-1 to FC Arizona in the NPSL playoffs. This club is also rumored to be in discussions with the USL D3 and NISA.

 

FC Golden State typically does well wherever it plays, as mentioned before. They’ve entered the Cal South State Cup, breaking from previous patterns shown by NPSL clubs, that opted on not entering that cup tournament. This will give them minutes, form and chemistry going into the NPSL season, and could very likely face the best of the UPSL in the State Cup. FCGS is put in this place out of courtesy to last season’s top 4, but could end up performing better than this ranking indicates.

 

Temecula FC marked the delineation of the best and worst of the NPSL SW. They won 5, lost 8, tied 3 and had a -12 goal differential. They shared a similar record (but worse in goal differential) than the now-defunct SoCal SC. Two of the three teams that finished beneath them (City of Angels and Corinthians USA) are now defunct.

 

Oxnard Guerreros lost twice as many games as it won last season, it’s debut season, with a record of 5 wins, 10 losses and 1 tie with a -5 goal differential. With the absence now of City of Angels and Corinthians from the NPSL, Oxnard enters the new season as the weakest team left in the NPSL SW, and also one of the most secluded from the rest of the league. It’s not clear, perhaps not likely, that Oxnard can build a team to compete with the top of the NPSL SW, given that they’re not as close to the higher concentration of players, leagues and activity found in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties. But, this is SoCal and talent is abundant here, although they may face competition for talent from Cal FC in nearby Thousand Oaks, that recently announced their return to playing in August 2018.

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The USASA Los Angeles Top 10: May 15

This ranking comes after first round Open Cup results are in, and just before the second round kicks off.

There is additional tweaking to my ranking, with the aim of being as fair and as precise as possible. But no matter how I or anyone else attempts to rank these teams, there is no clearer indicator for ranking clubs other than direct competition. That’s why for this ranking, and from now on, where there is no direct competition in the form of inter league play, overall league (or conference where necessary) competitiveness will be weighed.

This additional metric comes after reading feedback on another ranking, where a club suggested that X league is more competitive than Y league.

This ranking will, emphasis on will, reflect ongoing club and league performance in the Open and State Cups. For example, UPSL clubs are ranked higher because they are alive in the Cal South State Cup and Open Cup, and this is a reflection of the UPSL Western Conference, while the NPSL Southwest clubs are out of the Open Cup. The NPSL’s sole Southwest Conference representative in this Open Cup was Albion Pros of San Diego, and they were eliminated by Chula Vista FC, that isn’t competing in their usual So Cal Premier League play so far this year. Thus, no NPSL club represented the LA area at all in this Open Cup. Neither are there any So Cal Premier clubs remaining in the State or Open Cups.

Here are additional metrics to be included with my initial ranking, from May 3. My aim now is to solidify, codify and standardize this ranking system.

Criteria / Definition

Region: Greater Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, Ventura Counties)

Tournament Ranking: 

  1. Open Cup
  2. USASA Region IV Cup
  3. Regional Cup (South)
  4. League

Inter League Results: Tournaments, exhibitions (A loss in an exhibition match is indicative of Squad Depth).

League or Conference Strength: Gauged by the nature of its highest performing clubs, individually + combined league performance outside of league play.

Squad Depth: Gauged by a club competing in more than one tournament.

League Membership / Continuity: What is the club’s standing with its league? Is it active and in good standing? Is it on hiatus?

Cumulative League Activity: The span of league activity will be weighted, but CLA directly relates to League or Conference Strength.

Current Form: Last 5 games

The LA Top 10

1. Moreno Valley FC (UPSL) retains the top spot after earning a victory in the Open Cup over Ventura County Fusion of the PDL. MVFC has yet to make up their State Cup semifinal match with LA Wolves, the tournament in which FC Long Beach is a finalist and awaits either one of these UPSL semifinalists.

2. LA Wolves (UPSL) hold on to the second spot by winning convincingly in their first round Open Cup match, 4-2 over San Diego Zest of the PDL. The Wolves await their chance to knock Moreno Valley out of the number 1 spot, and will have to wait until their State Cup semifinal is rescheduled.

3. FC Golden State (PDL) appear in the 3rd spot after debuting in the Open Cup with a win over Outbreak SC, who at the time of this writing is the highest-performing club in the So Cal Premier League. Golden State’s appearance at this spot demonstrates the weight / value assigned to the Open Cup in my ranking.

4. FC Long Beach (CAL) club that isn’t a member of any of these leagues, but is a member of Cal South through their youth system, is a finalist in the Cal South State Cup. They’ve earned a shot at the USASA Region IV tournament along with the winner of the LA Wolves – Moreno Valley semifinal match. The winner of the Region IV tournament competes for the National Cup with the champions of the other three USASA regions.

5. Strikers (UPSL) are out of the Regional and Open Cups but will seemingly run away with the top spot in the UPSL Western Conference if they continue on their tear. Strikers last made a statement with a 4-3 comeback win over Santa Ana Winds FC in UPSL play.

6. La Maquina (UPSL) are also out of the State and Open Cups. La Maquina crashed out of this Open Cup after the first round, after a 4-1 blowout loss to Fresno Fuego. While they haven’t measured up in the State or Open Cups, they’ve picked up steam in the UPSL.

7. Santa Ana Winds FC (UPSL) have dipped in form, dropping 4 out of 6 points in their last two games, versus Anaheim and Strikers, after their elimination from the State Cup by defending USASA Region IV Champion, Moreno Valley FC. Santa Ana sits sixth in the UPSL after 10 games, with one game in hand. PSC FC has shot up to fifth in the UPSL, one point above Winds FC, but additional points were earned by SNA (for purposes of this ranking) for an Open Cup qualifying win, and two wins in the State Cup, while PSC didn’t compete in these cups.

8. Outbreak SC (SCP) is the top club in the So Cal Premier League after 16 games, good enough to retain their current top spot no matter what Real Sociedad Royals do with 15 games played. Outbreak earned 4 points in the State Cup, the same as Royals, but Outbreak qualified to the Open Cup by defeating San Fernando Valley Scorpions of the UPSL, and fellow So Cal Premier club Buena Park FC, in contrast to Royals who didn’t make the Open Cup.

9. Real Sociedad Royals (SCP) are second in the So Cal Premier League and are a traditional fixture in the USASA LA landscape, having competed in Open Cup qualifying over the years, and earned 4 points in the State Cup this year, only having missed the quarterfinal stage by very little.

10. Riverside Coras (NPSL) continue to dominate the NPSL Southwest Conference, successfully fending off attempts to take their top spot, particularly against Orange County FC and FC Arizona.

Honorable Mentions

Orange County FC (NPSL), PSC FC (UPSL), Bell Gardens FC (UPSL), Panamerican FC (UPSL).

 

The Los Angeles Area USASA Top 10

This is the first attempt to rank USASA teams in the LA area, that I know of. This ranking measures, especially, team performance across the affiliated USASA leagues (NPSL, PDL, UPSL, SoCal Premier, etc). More weight is given to clubs playing beyond their league conferences, for example. Simply put, with more success outside of league play, comes more merit. Sounds reasonable, right? I don’t think it’s that hard to comprehend.

Criteria

  1. First off, my metric encompasses clubs throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, made up of its counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, Ventura.
  2. Results against clubs in the area, regardless of league, are especially favored.
  3. Clubs competing in cups beyond their league, and winning in those cups, are also weighted favorably.

Clarification

I’m going to lay this down once, to eliminate misperceptions in the future. I don’t subscribe to the notion that the NPSL is a better league, in general, nor by default. The NPSL has improved greatly in presentation and perception off the field, but this doesn’t necessarily translate to on-field success. I’ll give you two or three examples of how NPSL clubs haven’t delivered on the field.

The NPSL’s Sacramento Gold fell to La Máquina of the UPSL in last year’s Open Cup. Prior to that match, the Gold went on TV in Sacramento saying that they were going to come down here to win. Fast forward to Open Cup 2017 qualifying and the NPSL’s Orange County FC fell to “La Machina” [sic], on September 17, 2016.

OCFC got a “rematch” in February, and lost that too.

So what? Why do I make a big deal about this? To not assume that teams in a startup league like the UPSL, or any league, are inferior by default. This is too common a characteristic in American soccer and among its fans, even front offices.

The Top 10, Defined

1. Moreno Valley FC is the defending USASA Region IV Champion. This means they’re the best California team outside of the professional leagues (USSF divisions 1-3, do not confuse this to be anything other), and they’ve demonstrated it in the State Cup. Last year they defeated LA Wolves, the club that defeated the USL’s OC Blues, later-rebranded-as Orange County SC in last year’s Open Cup. Performance is telling, and especially against other regional standouts. “Mo Val” recently defended their state title successfully versus UPSL standout Santa Ana Winds FC in Norco, and they have another title defense coming up against Eric Wynalda’s L.A. Wolves.

2. L.A. Wolves have done some significant revamping since last year’s Open Cup exit versus Santa Ana’s La Máquina. They’ve brought on Eric Wynalda as head coach, perform consistently well in the UPSL, and are alive in two other competitions, the State Cup and the Open Cup. They have a chance to eliminate the sitting State Champion in Moreno Valley, and the have a chance to advance in the Open Cup versus San Diego Zest of the PDL.

3. La Máquina currently sits in third in the UPSL, and also has had a lot on their plate recently. They’re still alive in the Open Cup, and will travel to face Fresno Fuego at Chukchansi Park. They’re no strangers to travelling to face PDL teams. Last year, La Máquina eliminated Portland Timbers PDL, in Oregon. La Máquina was recently eliminated from the State Cup vs San Nicolás SC of Santa Barbara, by a score of 1-0.

4. Santa Ana Winds FC sit in 2nd in the UPSL and are having a turnaround season, having rebuilt their club with players from the reputable Santa Ana College Dons program. Winds FC won a 2017 Open Cup qualifying match over La Habra City, before being eliminated in the 2nd qualifying round by La Máquina. Santa Ana managed to grind out wins in the State Cup, including a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad Royals of the SoCal Premier League, and a momentous 3-2 comeback over UPSL leader Strikers South Coast. Their creative individual skills were not enough to best regional powerhouse Moreno Valley FC in the State Cup quarterfinals.

5. Real Sociedad Royals are 2nd in the SoCal Premier League, and like in-league club Outbreak SC, are accustomed to competing in extra-league tournaments. They’ve won Open Cup qualifiers in the past, and topped the best team in the UPSL in Strikers South Coast, effectively eliminating them from the State Cup. The only thing keeping them from being ranked higher than Winds FC is their loss to the Santa Ana side in the group stage of the State Cup. The Royals were eliminated from 2017 Open Cup qualifying by L.A. Wolves, 4-1.

6. Outbreak SC, of Huntington Beach, sits in 3rd in the SoCal Premier League, and has an upcoming Open Cup match against FC Golden State Force of the PDL on May 10. Outbreak qualified for the Open Cup by defeating in-league Buena Park FC and San Fernando Valley Scorpions of the UPSL.

7. Strikers FC South Coast, another Huntington Beach club, while at the top of the UPSL with goal differential, fell twice in the group stage of the State Cup. In one loss the club blew a 2-0 lead to Winds FC, who exposed them by taking control of possession, and turned the game in their favor 3-2. Strikers fell to Real Sociedad by the same score, finishing last in the State Cup group stage, but did edge out Santa Barbara club San Nicolás in the State Cup, in which the latter is a semifinalist.

8. Riverside Coras are dominating the NPSL Southwest Conference, which includes conference leaders OCFC and FC Arizona. Surprisingly, to this writer, the NPSL Southwest is the only competition Coras are participating in. Coras had a UPSL squad, and nave focused on the NPSL, which is the right thing to do in my book, but are absent of the Open Cup and the State Cup (more on this later).

9. Orange County FC is having an impressive debut season in the NPSL, sitting 2nd behind Coras. The Irvine club has a chance to bump Riverside out of 1st, in their upcoming match, which will reveal who’s the best in the NPSL SW. OCFC is undefeated and features ex-Máquina player José “Chila” Montes and ex-Sueño MLS Winner Armando “Mambo” Flores of Santa Ana, CA, among others. OCFC lost an Open Cup qualifier to La Máquina, of Santa Ana, in September 2016, and a rematch in February 2017.

10. FC Long Beach is a semifinalist in the State Cup and has won 3 matches in that tournament, in which they defeated Los Angeles United Soccer Club, of the L.A. Premier League, along with Chula Vista and Newhall Premier, but were pummeled by L.A. Wolves, which is revealing. They have an upcoming match with San Nicolás SC. FC Long Beach appears to be a non-league club, described as the men’s club of the Long Beach Youth Soccer Association. Due to this fact there’s no telling how this club would fare in leagues like the UPSL, NPSL, or the SoCal Premier’s first division. Their only measure against a UPSL club is an 8-0 loss to L.A. Wolves.

Closing thoughts

As a fan, I argue that more interleague play, outside of Open Cup one-offs and the like, are a necessary part of “growing the game,” which every league and club claims to want to do. It’s a win-win when leagues and clubs cooperate. Maybe there should be an invitational for LA area clubs. Anyway, whether observers agree with my assessment or not, USASA clubs in the LA area need prodding to produce even better matchups in the LA area. The NPSL Southwest Conference has improved greatly with its recent expansion teams. The So Cal Premier’s best will always be there pecking at the top.

Remember, before you blow a gasket, rankings are never stagnant. As boxing referee Mills Lane used to say, “Let’s get it on.”

What do you say? What’s your top ten? Do you hate me yet?

 

 

 

 

A Burgeoning National Soccer League, with Santa Ana Origins

The United Premier Soccer League launched in 2011, when Santa Ana Winds FC leaders reformed their club in this new league, outside of the National Premier Soccer League, where they had a season-long stint. Winds FC started the league with other Santa Ana clubs including La Máquina and Ozzy’s Laguna, in addition to Orange County area clubs like OC Crew and Irvine Outcasts, etc. By 2016 two more Santa Ana clubs, Cal Arsenal and CF Cachorros, joined the UPSL.

UPSL_new_logo

The league is turning seven and now has an upward and national trajectory that’s mostly taken off in the last year. Much of this boom, arguably, came from one of their more successful clubs, La Máquina, that made a splash in the 2016 national US Open Cup.

For those that need a primer or a reminder, La Máquina shattered all expectations of an “Open Division” or “amateur” club in that tournament. The club defeated other clubs from longer-established and supposedly better quality leagues including the Premier Development League and the National Premier Soccer League. La Máquina made it to the fourth elimination round where they faced the LA Galaxy and lost on a controversial deadball play, a play in which the referee officiating the match later admitted he was wrong in allowing. (See Máquina – Galaxy: The Aftermath).

Incidentally, fellow club LA Wolves of the UPSL deafeated another club from another supposedly superior league, the OC Blues, of the United Soccer League in the same 2016 Open Cup.

This performance on the national stage, one representative of the league put on by La Máquina and LA Wolves demonstrated what is possible outside of the existing system/s found in the PDL/NPSL/USL, etc.

Come 2017 and the UPSL has seen interest from clubs around the country interested in joining their model:

It’s gotten to the point that the UPSL has identified regional directors to oversee growth and nationwide expansion. The league is positioned to be a national league by 2018:

https://twitter.com/upslmidwest/status/826984766704668672

The UPSL makes up part of the frontier of American soccer, a league existing outside of the wall that is the closed system and the status quo involving the youth development to collegiate player drafting method. This league, like other regional leagues, proves that there is undeniable talent in the “Open Division,” outside of said closed structures.

It’s a league like the UPSL that leads reputable American soccer figures like Eric Wynalda to affirm that US Soccer isn’t functioning at its maximum potential by overlooking talent in leagues like the UPSL, instead opting for the current collegiate/PDL, etc player drafting model.

Wynalda reached this affirmation, or reaffirmation, in Santa Ana, on the night of April 1, after the club he now coaches, LA Wolves, lost to La Máquina at Santa Ana Stadium. (LA Wolves are still trying to find that elusive win over La Máquina, btw):

Santa Ana Soccer: Forgotten History, Forsaken Potential

Visit the LA Times online archives and you’ll find some nuggets of history concerning pro soccer at Santa Ana Stadium. You’ll see a story of international matches and local pro league matches that took place at this stadium, long before the creation of Major League Soccer, in 1996.

You’ll see a period when soccer flourished at the stadium, followed by a period of stagnation in the face of other developments in pro soccer, and pro sports, in the LA area. Before there was a Home Depot Center or a StubHub Center, there was Santa Ana Stadium as an option for international soccer matches. This stadium as a soccer venue was hindered even further with the removal of its natural grass and the installation of an artificial American football gridiron.

You’ll see a city’s replacing of the sport of international soccer, with all of the economic potential that it had back then, and has now, with a favoring of American football for the city’s private Catholic high school, Mater Dei, and the city’s public school district teams. Is it any wonder that Mater Dei games are what usually fill the stadium nowadays, attended by friends and families of kids that generally aren’t from, nor live in Santa Ana?

International soccer at Santa Ana Stadium, since its advent

International soccer began being programmed at Santa Ana Stadium soon after it was built in 1963. The stadium was the site of a match between a local team named the Orange County Soccer Club, and none other than historic German powerhouse, FC Bayern Munich in 1966.

Side note: Information on pro soccer at Santa Ana Stadium for nearly a 20 year period is unavailable here, as the research for this article is limited to the Los Angeles Times’ online archive, which only goes as far back as 1985.  

Whoever the promoters were putting on international soccer at Santa Ana Stadium knew what teams would draw well there given the city’s demographics, those teams being Mexican clubs Chivas de Guadalajara and Club América. It was common practice to see a club face a national team, like in the cases of Guadalajara’s 1-0 win over Honduras, on March 15, 1988, and a 5-4 goal fest Chivas took over the United States, a month later on April 24, 1988. Club América defeated Bayern Munich 2-1 on January 14, 1989 and East Germany by a score of 3-1 on August 2, 1990 at this stadium. América faced the United States at Santa Ana Stadium on March 25, 1989 prior to their match with East Germany, in a match for the “Santa Ana Soccer Cup,” a game in which the “team from Mexico City” (Club América) won 2-0.

There was at least one game with tinges of CONCACAF regional tournament play, with Central American clubs Herediano of Costa Rica facing storied club Olympia of Honduras, a game which Herediano won 1-0 on August 28, 1988.

American pro soccer leagues and club ventures at Santa Ana Stadium

Santa Ana Stadium was the home of the now-defunct clubs California Sunshine (American Soccer League, defunct), Orange County Zodiac, later rebranded Orange County Waves, (A-League, now known as the United Soccer League). Most importantly, what did these teams have in common? None of them used the Santa Ana name, thus failing, fantastically, to form a club that would resonate with the Santa Ana market.

Another factor that contributed in part to burying pro soccer in Orange County (and more importantly, Santa Ana), until the LA Blues of the USL rebranded themselves “OC Blues” in 2014, is the formation of Major League Soccer and that league’s goal of subjugating USL, and placing MLS development teams there, so as to not have a rival to its soccer “business,” which is really an ongoing monopolization of the “First Division,” or, “Major League” status, which is really no much more than a tag set by monetary criteria and not sporting merit, through promotion and relegation among divisions, which is how Division 1 status is attained in leagues around the world. But not in the USA, ’cause what works for pro basketball, baseball, football in this country, works for soccer is their thinking. Getting back to the original point of this paragraph, Orange County went without pro soccer for 14 years, the Blues now play in Irvine, the city next door, but Santa Ana Stadium hasn’t had a pro team since the “OC Zodiac,” which made a last-ditch effort to save themselves by moving to Santa Ana Stadium, (they moved out of Irvine) but it was too late, and they insisted on branding themselves generically as the “Orange County Waves.”

So we see this timeline of pro soccer at Santa Ana Stadium beginning in the 1960s, with some information missing on the 1970s missing from the LA Times online archives, although it can be deduced that soccer was played there throughout this decade, given that the sport has always been popular in the city and given that a Santa Ana soccer player, José López, worked his way up through UCLA to eventually play on the inaugural 1974 LA Aztecs of the first North American Soccer League. It’s safe to say that Santa Ana Stadium remained a destination for soccer during that decade and it was such through the 80s.

In the 80s we see a number of international soccer matches, particularly ones appealing to the city’s Latino (mostly Mexican, and or Mexican-American) demographic, one that the city has been strongly associated with since then and prior. In the 90s we see the inclusion of American soccer leagues that came and went, one flopping out entirely and one rebranding itself as the United Soccer League.

At the start of the 21st century we see the growth of MLS and its stymying of organic growth in soccer cities like Santa Ana, because of that league’s and the US Soccer Federation’s refusal to implement promotion and relegation. For the LA Galaxy to continue being what it is, an unchallenged franchise clinging to a division 1 tag, no other team and city in the LA region can grow a team and reach division 1 status through sporting merit. For the LA Galaxy to continue as is, soccer cities in the LA region must remain subjugated, at best allowed to exist as a mostly irrelevant club trotting along in a MLS development league, which is the case of the OC Blues.

Afterthoughts

One this is abundantly clear. Santa Ana has always been a soccer destination. It’s soccer potential is still great and better than ever before, due to population growth, along with the popularity the sport enjoys. “Every place you go in the community is about soccer,” said Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent Rick Miller. The Galaxy knows this and that’s why they’ve always tried to treat Santa Ana like nothing more than a market. It is much, much more than a market. MLS knows this and that’s why they squatted on santaanafc.com, which is absolute pettiness on the part of the shot-callers at that league, which are backed NFL, MLB and NBA money.

Just recently the LA Galaxy struggled to move on in the US Open Cup versus a Santa Ana amateur team known as “La Máquina.” What would’ve that result been if a Santa Ana club had the competitive advantages of a pro club? Things like fulltime training, physical trainers, doctors, nutritionists, and at least the opportunity and incentive to receive the necessary cash injections to compete regionally? That full potential is capped through US Soccer’s locking out of all clubs not already bought into (literally) “division 1” and the exposure that’s associated with that tag. And that’s done to curb competition, don’t be naïve.

 

 

 

La Máquina, on to the next round

Santa Ana-based La Máquina FC of the United Premier Soccer League defeated Sacramento Gold of the National Premier Soccer League in an elimination game in the Second Round of the US Open Cup on Wednesday night May 18 at Westminster High School.

La Máquina dominated their rival since the start of the match but could not capitalize on their chances until the 70th minute when Edwin Borboa broke through. Midfielder José Castro Pérez scored a goal on a volley at the 79th minute to kill the game.

The next opponent for La Máquina will be LA Wolves FC, a team that is also a member of the UPSL. It will be the first time in the history of the Open Cup that teams in this league meet in an elimination game in a later round.

The match between La Máquina and LA Wolves will be played at Westminster High School in Westminster, CA at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 1. The winner will face the LA Galaxy in the Fourth Round.

La Máquina, a la siguiente ronda

La Máquina Fútbol Club de la United Premier Soccer League derrotó la noche del miércoles 18 de mayo al Club Oro de Sacramento (Sacramento Gold FC) de la National Premier Soccer Leauge en un partido de eliminación dentro de la Copa Abierta de EEUU (U.S. Open Cup).

El equipo de La Máquina, basado en Santa Ana, CA, dominó al rival desde el inicio del partido pero no pudo concretar sus oportunidades de gol hasta el minuto 70, cuando Edwin Borboa logró anotar. El medio campista José Castro Pérez anotó un golazo de volea al minuto 79 para sentenciar el partido.

El próximo rival para La Máquina será el Club Lobos de Los Ángeles (LA Wolves FC), equipo que también es miembro de la UPSL. Será la primera vez en la historia de la Copa Abierta que equipos de esta liga se enfrenten en un partido de eliminación, en una ronda avanzada.

El partido entre La Máquina y Club Lobos de Los Ángeles se jugará en Westminster High School en Westminster, CA el primero de junio a las 7 pm. El ganador enfrentará nada más y nada menos que al Galaxy de Los Ángeles.