Real Maryland Hosts 1st Round of US Open Cup

Monarchs to face NY Pancyprian Freedoms June, 10


Real Maryland will face the New York Pancyprian Freedoms in the first round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Tuesday June 10th at 8:00 PM at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

US Soccer announced the first round match-ups today. The first round features 32 teams from the United States Adult Soccer Association, USL’s Player Development League, USL-1 and USL-2.

The winners on June 10th will advance to the second round which will be held on June 24th. The June 24th winners will than face off against the eight teams that qualified from MLS on July 1st for a place in the quarter finals of the 40 team tournament.

The New York Pancyprian Freedoms are based in Astoria, New York and play locally in the Cosmopolitan League. The Freedoms qualified for the US Open Cup by making it to the final of the Region I qualifying tournament. The side is lead by former MLS player Jeff Matteo and Julio Do Santos who once played for Brazilian heavyweights Vasco De Gama.

This is the Freedoms’ first appearance in the US Open Cup since 2002 when they were a member of the USL’s D3 Pro League. In the early 1980’s the eastern New York side won the trophy three times (80, 82, 83) and are the only team in US Open Cup history to hoist the trophy back to back.

Real Maryland head coach Silvino Gonzalo admits he does not know much about the Monarchs first round opponents, but warns that no team in this tournament should be taken lightly. “Its good that we are playing at home,” Gonzalo said about the draw. “The Pancyprian Freedoms are an armature team but you don’t go by that because those teams are good teams and they can surprise you. So you have to be prepared and ready to play your best.”

Established in 1914, the US Open Cup is open to all professional and amateur teams associated with the US Soccer Federation. In 1999, the tournament was renamed the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in recognition of Mr. Hunts tremendous contribution to US soccer. This year will be the tournaments 95th edition making it the oldest cup competition in US sports.

More than pride is on the line as the winner of the tournament not only hoists the Dewar trophy, but also receives $100,000 in prize money and will earn a berth in the 2009-2010 CONCACAF Champions League.

The runner up receives $50,000 and $10,000 will also be given to each of the USL-1, USL-2 and PDL/USASA teams that go the farthest in the tournament.


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