Ventura County Fusion

US Open Cup first round preview: Detroit City vs. Michigan highlights close-proximity matches

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There are plenty of big-time matches on the “minnows” docket for tonight’s U.S. Open Cup first round.

The tournament is especially interesting at this time of year because the NPSL and PDL sides have to contend not only with each other but with USASA and USSSA sides that have played together much longer as opposed to talented college kids getting to know each other outside of the NCAA window.

This round also tends to keep close proximity at the forefront. It doesn’t make sense for the competition to send Lansing United down to face the Laredo Heat, as it could crush the team’s budget.

[ MORE: Detroit City gets 3,000 for NPSL match ]

So we get juicy match-ups like the PDL’s Michigan Bucks against the NPSL’s Detroit City FC. One club a newer power with a fervent-if-profane fan base against a well-established Open Cup contender trying to lay claim to Detroit as its home and as a future pro side. Sign us up.

DCFC fans hate that Bucks claim fan supremacy despite the Cass Tech crowds dictating otherwise. The Bucks prod at DCFC’s fans by calling them newboys. It’s going to be a dynamite night, and the winner gets to host Timbers 2 of USL, which would be a huge boon to either club.

Then there’s Cal FC, the darlings of the 2012 tournament. The then-Eric Wynalda-coached club surprised Wilmington Hammerheads and Portland Timbers in the tournament. The USASA entry has to get past strong PDL side Ventura County Fusion to get a shot at LA Galaxy II.

There’s plenty more. Monitor the intrigue tonight, as the path to the 102nd USOC title is trod.

Fort Pitt Regiment (NPSL) at West Virginia Chaos (PDL) – 7:00 pm ET
GBFC Thunder (NPSL) at Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) – 7:00 pm ET
RWB Adria (USASA) at Lansing United (NPSL) – 7:00 pm ET
Triangle Brigade (USASA) at Upward Stars (NPSL) – 7:00 pm ET
SW Florida Adrenaline (PDL) at Miami United (NPSL) – 7:00 pm ET
Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) at AC Connecticut (PDL) – 7:00 pm ET
Maryland Bays (USASA) at Reading United – 7:00 pm ET
Ocala Stampede (PDL) at Chattanooga Football Club (NPSL) – 7:30 pm ET
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) at Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) – 7:30 pm ET
Detroit City FC (NPSL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL) – 7:30 pm ET
NY Greek American SC (USASA) at Jersey Express (PDL) – 8:00 pm ET
Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) at GPS Mass (USASA) – 8:00 pm ET
Madison Fire Soccer Club (USASA) at Des Moines Menace (PDL) – 8:30 pm ET
Tulsa Athletics (NPSL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers (PDL) – 8:30 pm ET
NTX Rayados Academy (USASA) at Laredo Heat (PDL) – 9:15 pm ET
Harpo’s FC (USASA) at BYU Cougars men’s soccer (PDL) – 9:30 pm ET
Kitsap Pumas SC (PDL) at FC Tacoma 253 (NPSL) – 10:00 pm ET
Cal FC (USASA) at Ventura County Fusion (PDL) – 10:00 pm ET
Burlingame Dragons (PDL) at Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) – 10:00 pm ET
Golden State Misioneros (PDL) at PSA Elite (USASA) – 10:00 pm ET
Chula Vista Futbol Club (USASA) at FC Tucson (PDL) – 10:30 pm ET