News from around the Premier Development League
The Fresno Fuego of the Premier Development League and their run in the U.S. Open Cup ended Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to the MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy. Los Angeles, which has advanced to the past two U.S. Open Cup finals, fell behind 1-0 in the first five minutes before scoring three unanswered goals in front of almost 7,000 fans at the newly built Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The Orange County Blue Star, the Western Conference champion, fell 3-1 to the Chicago Fire Reserves in the PDL national semifinals last weekend. Chicago, the Heartland Conference champion, will play the Cape Cod Crusaders, the Eastern Conference champion, today at 4 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Ill. The game will televised tape delay on Fox Sports World at 7 p.m., and will be played as a doubleheader with an MLS game between the Chicago Fire and the New York/New Jersey Metrostars.
Nevada Wonders General Manager Randy Roser, whose team plays in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference with Fresno and Orange County, said last month he supported both teams.
“We want them to go as far as possible,” Roser said. “Because then it shows we played in probably the toughest division in the nation. No other PDL teams in any other division had to play as many Pro Select League teams ours did.”
Nevada, which went 1-15-2 in its inaugural season, lost all of four of its games to Fresno and both games against the Blue Star. The Fuego was the last PDL team remaining in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, which is our country’s true national championship because it includes both established amateur leagues, as well as all three professional leagues.
CPR, Inc., the corporation established to bring a PDL soccer team to Carson City, was hoping for profits from three exhibition games this summer to help erase first-year costs of over $100,000. Nevada General Manager Randy Roser, one of three partners in the corporation, said partner Charles Oguntoye, a London, England based agent, arranged the July 26 game between Nigeria and Venezuela in London. Based on an attendance of over 50,000 people, Roser expected that game to generate over $300,000. However, less than 1,000 people showed up for Nigeria’s lackluster 1-0 win over Venezuela.
Roser said Oguntoye was also responsible for setting up a proposed game tonight between China and Venezuela in Salt Lake City. The game was scheduled to be played back-to-back with the Utah-California Pro Select League playoff game that starts at 4 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium. However, there is no indication the China-Venezuela game will be played.
The Chinese National Team’s next scheduled game isn’t until Sept. 9 and that will be against the MLS’ New York/New Jersey Metrostars. It will be China’s first game in the U.S. since Jan. 27, 2001. The third and final game Roser said Oguntoye was arranging was between China and Peru on Aug. 26 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
Recent calls to Roser haven’t been returned regarding the three games.
PDL POSTSEASON HONORS
Fresno defender Jose Delgadillo and Southern California Seahorses’ forward Jason Hotchkin were named to the PDL’s 2003 All-League Team. Delgadillo was also voted PDL Defender of the Year after helping the first-year franchise to a 14-4 regular season record and a spot in the Western Conference finals. Hotchkin scored 14 goals and had four assists for Southern California, which missed the postseason by finishing in third place with a 10-6-2 record. Hotchkin ranked seventh among PDL point leaders (32).
MORE U.S. OPEN CUP
The Wilmington (N.C.) Hammerheads of the Pro Select League pulled off a huge upset with a 4-1 win Wednesday against the MLS’ Dallas Burn in the tournament’s fourth round. The U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal schedule is as follows: Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders (A-League), D.C. United at Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL), Colorado Rapids at Chicago Fire, New England Revolution at New York/New Jersey Metrostars. All games will be played Aug. 27.
PSL PLAYOFF UPDATE
The playoffs for the 13-team Pro Select League, the United States’ third level of professional soccer, conclude today. Other than the Atlantic and Western Regions, the other four teams in the quarterfinals will play a two-game, aggregate series.
In the Western Region, the Utah Blitzz (12-5-3) will play the California Gold (11-6-3) today at 4 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Nevada went 0-2 against Utah this season and 0-4 against California. In the Atlantic Region, defending champion Long Island (13-4-3) will play New Jersey (9-9-2) in a one-game playoff today at 4:30 p.m.
In the Northern Region, Westchester (12-9-0) beat New Hampshire (11-8-2) 3-0. In the Southern Region, Carolina (14-2-5) and Wilmington (11-6-4) tied 1-1. The second and final legs of those series will be played today.
The four regional winners advance to the national semifinals. The championship game will be played Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. and be broadcast live on Fox Sports World.