Irvine, Calif. – (June 7, 2017) – Orange County SC, Orange County’s only professional soccer team, will play its first match against a Major League Soccer (MLS) team June 14 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at the StubHub Center Track Stadium. First played in 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a tournament where all levels and divisions of U.S. Soccer compete for the chance to be named the top team in the country. This year’s starting field of 99 teams from 30 states is the largest in tournament history.
The 104th edition of the competition will showcase Southern California’s best soccer talent in a fight for $250,000 and a qualifying spot in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League, a tournament of league champions and cup winners from the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. In tournament history, eight teams from California have claimed 15 Open Cup titles, the second-best state record behind New York.
“This is a massive game for our organization and the entire Orange County community,” said Oliver Wyss, Orange County SC General Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations. “We’re delighted to test ourselves against a strong MLS team.”
Orange County SC heads into the game on a tournament winning streak having already beat FC Golden State Force 5-2 on May 17. The team then ended a nine-game unbeaten streak for the LA. Wolves with a 1-0 win May 31 to advance to the fourth round.
Orange County SC also has the advantage of being coached by a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup winner. Head Coach Logan Pause won the prestigious trophy with Chicago Fire FC in 2003 and 2006.
"It's a tournament that is rich in history and I have been very fortunate to win on a couple of occasions with the Fire," said Pause. "What better way to measure where we are at as an organization and test ourselves against players from the highest level."
Orange County star Oscar Sorto will return to LA Galaxy for the first time to play against his former team. Sorto was signed by the L.A. Galaxy as a homegrown player in 2012 and went on to represent the Galaxy on several occasions. During this time, Sorto was called up to the full U.S. Men's National Squad. Sorto made the move to Orange County in February of this year and has been ever present in the lineup for Orange County.
The winner of the June 14 match will move to Round 16 and the chance to play for the 2017 title as well as qualifying for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League. FC Dallas enters the tournament as the 2016 defending champions.
Tickets for the game are almost sold out with a handful of tickets still available from StubHub here.
About The Orange County Soccer Club
The Orange County Soccer Club is Orange County’s Professional Soccer Team. The club was one of 12 founding members of the new United Soccer League (USL) in its inaugural 2011 season. The predecessor club Orange County Blues were the 2015 Western Conference Regular Season Champions and have reached the Western Conference semifinals of the USL Playoffs in back-to-back seasons. The club’s brand-new owner, James Keston, is the Chief Investment Officer of LARO Properties, and will actively oversee all operations of the USL club in Orange County. Keston is dedicated to transforming the club into a world-class professional soccer organization that focuses on the fans, players, and youth clubs of Orange County.
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