OPEN CUP: Blues-Fusion moved to OC
May, 20, 2012
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
The L.A. Blues will begin their U.S. Open Cup run a little closer to home: they've switched Tuesday's second-round game against the Ventura County Fusion from an Inland Empire locale to Fullerton College, just around the corner from their offices.
Kickoff will be 5 p.m.
The club reports the change was made when Fullerton College's Sherbeck Field “unexpectedly became available.” The game was to have been played at Riverside Community College's Norco campus, where the Blues last year played five home games.
“We liked the idea of exposing our brand and style of play to the Inland Empire soccer community,” head coach/GM Charlie Naimo said in a statement. “However, moving the match to our hometown was an obvious decision, as it will allow a lot of our loyal supporters to attend when they would otherwise have fallen victim to rush-hour traffic.”
It's the second time the game has moved, although the first shift was all about clerical error. Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium was listed as the site when U.S. Soccer released the initial first-/second-round draw, but the Blues quickly announced the match would be played in Norco.
If the Blues win Tuesday, they will meet Chivas USA in a third-round game May 29 at Cal State Fullerton. No home team nor site has been announced if Ventura County is victorious.
The Blues, who train at Fullerton College, debuted at Sherbeck Field on May 4 with a 2-1 USL Pro victory over the Wilmington (N.C.) Hammerheads.
Ventura County, an amateur side that plays in the USL Premier Development League, beat fellow fourth-tier side Fullerton Rangers, 6-2, in overtime last week in an Open Cup opener. The Blues beat the Fusion, 1-0, in a second-round game last year in Ventura.