Ventura County Fusion home for Open Cup opener

June, 2, 2010
6/02/10
4:03
PM PT
The Ventura County Fusion, one of three Southern California teams in this year's U.S. Open Cup, will be home for its first-round match in America's oldest soccer tournament.

The Fusion, defending champions in the United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League, will play the Arizona Sahuaros on June 15 at Ventura College. A win would set up a second-round game, on June 22 at a site to be determined, against the Austin Aztex or the Dallas-Fort Worth Tornados.

The Galaxy and Chivas USA are among eight Major League Soccer clubs that will enter the tournament in the third round June 29. The Galaxy has won the Open Cup title twice, in 2001 and 2005, and lost twice in the final, to the Columbus Crew in 2002 and the Chicago Fire in 2006.

The Seattle Sounders are reigning champion.

The Open Cup has been played since 1914. Maccabi Los Angeles has won a record five titles, the last in 1981. Amateur teams dominated until MLS's arrival in 1996; MLS clubs have won all but one championship since.

The Fusion is 4-2-0 and atop the Southwest Division in the PDL, a semipro/amateur league and the fourth tier of American men's soccer. The Arizona Sahuaros play in the National Premier Soccer League, another national semipro/amateur league, and they qualified through U.S. Amateur Soccer Association eliminations.

The Austin Aztex play in the USSF D2 Pro League, one step below MLS; the Dallas-Fort Worth Tornadoes play in the PDL.

The final will be played Oct. 5, and the tournament champion wins $100,000 and the runner-up $50,000. The team that gets the furthest from each division except MLS wins $10,000.

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