Qualifying Round 2: America SC vs. CFFC Spartans

America Soccer Club 2, Central Florida Football Club Spartans 1

One must learn when to eat some crow, and that was an unfortunate lesson learned this past weekend during the second round of U.S. Open Cup qualifying. I was one hundred percent certain America SC would rip through the midfield and defense of the Spartans. I was leaning on both teams’ runs of form in their respective leagues in my predicted score line. However, that score line of 4-0 in favor of America never materialized.

Instead, it was a hard-fought match that ended up breaking the hearts of the Spartans. America had plenty of possession in the opening thirty minutes of the match and had plenty of opportunities to take the lead, but those shots were either saved or way off target. The Spartans, however, took their chance to grab an early lead, when a long throw into the box was misjudged by the America keeper and allowed the Spartans to tap in for the goal.  

It wouldn’t be until the second half that America finally got its first goal. The Spartans gave America a beautiful opportunity by committing a foul twenty-five yards out from their own goal. Number eleven of America stepped up and put the ball in the upper ninety of the near post.  America then added a second with seventeen minutes left, on a beautiful through ball that broke the defense of the Spartans. The America striker calmly slotted the ball in the bottom far corner of the goal over the outstretched hands of the Spartan keeper.

The Spartans, for their part, were not going away very easily. Throughout the last seventeen minutes of the match, they continued to work and get shots off. They very nearly equalized on a perfectly weighted ball that the Spartan striker got to after muscling off the defender. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t drop the way of the Spartans in this match.

In the end, this was one exciting match for those in attendance and a good showing for all amateur clubs around the country in this tournament. Good luck to America in the next round, when it hosts Soda City Sorinex at West Orange High in Winter Garden, Florida on November 17th.

- Shawn Laird

Lola Vaughn