Preview: Real Maryland v. NY Pancyprian Freedoms
US Open Cup: Round 1
Tonight, Real Maryland will take part in its first ever US Open Cup match when it hosts the NY Pancyprian Freedoms in first round action at 8:00 PM at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Following a 2-1 loss to Cleveland on Sunday in USL-2, the Monarchs know that there is no room for error tonight as the US Open Cup is a single elimination tournament.
The Freedoms, an Astoria, New York based side, is an amateur team, but can not to be taken lightly. The Freedoms play in the very competitive Cosmopolitan League in New York and boast quality players such as former MLS man Jeff Matteo, Julio Dos Santos who once dawned the shirt of famous Brazilian side Vasco De Gama, and a group of NCAA Division I college players.
The Freedoms were once part of the USL D3 Pro League and lifted the US Open Cup in 1980, 1982 and 1983. Heading into the tournament’s 95th addition, the Freedoms are still the only team to ever win back to back US Open Cup’s.
“Tonight is a very important match for us,” Real Maryland head coach Silvino Gonzalo said. “The Pancyprians are a very good team with a lot of experienced players from both South America and Europe. We may be favored, but it is not going to be an easy game.”
Real Maryland will be without the services of centerback Daryl Ferguson who is away on national team duty with Barbados, but new signings Mateus Dos Anjos and Andy Kish are both eligible for tonight’s match giving Gonzalo plenty of options in defense.
The winner of tonight’s contest will face the winner of the Brooklyn Knights (PDL) v. Carolina Railhawks (USL-1) match in the second round on June 24th.
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