Local soccer

Western Mass. to host Portland Phoenix in Open Cup first round

U.S. Soccer has announced the first round matchups for the 2020 US Open Cup competition, with the Western Mass. Pioneers to host GPS Portland Phoenix at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass. on Tuesday, March 24.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

2020’s edition of the Open Cup — which will be the 107th edition of the tournament, the oldest domestic soccer tournament in the United States — is Western Mass.’s 12th appearance all-time, sixth as a member of USL League Two — formerly the Premier Development League — and third time out of the last four seasons. Portland is making its sixth overall appearance.

All told, there will be 19 first-round matchups.

Both the Pioneers and Portland did not take part in the Open Cup last year, with GPS making its first appearance since playing last in 2017, a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Massachusetts’ local qualifier GPS Omens on May 10 that year.

While the two sides have not faced each other in the Open Cup, they have faced each other in the Open Cup with Portland playing under a different name: they were once known as the Cape Cod Crusaders, and the two sides played in 2004, with the Crusaders winning, 3-2.

The winner of the March 24 matchup will advance to the Second Round. The pairings for that round will be made next Tuesday.

In addition, Newtown, Conn.’s Newtown Pride, the US Amateur Soccer Association’s Amateur Cup champion, will travel to New Jersey on Wednesday, March 25 to take on Atlantic City FC of the NPSL at Rowan University.

Pioneers’ history in The Cup

2019: No appearance
2018: Lost to Elm City Express (NPSL), 2-1
2017: Lost to Boston City FC (NPSL), 2-2 (5-4 penalties)
2016: No appearance
2015: Lost to Greater Binghamton Thunder (NPSL), 1-1 (4-3 penalties)
2014: Beat Mass. Premier Soccer (USASA), 4-1; lost to Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro), 2-1
2013: No appearance
2012: No appearance
2011: Lost to FC New York, 3-0
2010: No appearance
2009: Beat Emigrantes das Ilhas, 3-2; lost to Harrisburg City Islanders, 0-0 (4-3 penalties)
2008: Beat Boston Olympiakos, 2-0; lost to Richmond Kickers, 2-1
2007: Beat Danbury United, 3-2; lost to Rochester Rhinos, 2-1
2006: No appearance
2005: Beat Reggae Boyz, 5-0; lost to Chicago Fire (MLS), 3-1
2004: Lost to Cape Cod Crusaders, 3-2
2003: No appearance
2002: No appearance
2001: No appearance
2000: No appearance
1999: No appearance
1998: Lost to Rochester Rhinos, 3-1

Portland Phoenix’s history in The Cup

2019: No appearance
2018: No appearance
2017: Lost to GPS Omens (Mass. Local qualifier), 2-0
2016: Lost to AFC Cleveland (NPSL), 1-0
2015: No appearance
2014: Lost to FC Sonic Lehigh Valley (NPSL), 1-0
2013: Beat Mass. Premier Soccer (USASA), 2-0; lost to Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro), 1-0
2012: Lost to Brooklyn Italians (NPSL), 3-2
2011: No appearance
2010: No appearance
2009: No appearance

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