Press Release (ePRNews.com) - AZUSA, Calif. - May 11, 2017 - L.A. Wolves FC controlled a younger, much less experienced opponent in its U.S. Open Cup opener.
In a historic game for coach and club, L.A. Wolves FC defeated San Diego Zest FC, 4-2, in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup First Round game on Wednesday night at Cougar Soccer Complex on the campus of Azusa Pacific University.
L.A. Wolves FC Head Coach Eric Wynalda said, “I think the way the game started there were some nervous moments, and that’s to be expected. We weathered that storm and we didn’t get punished. We made some adjustments (and) we had to risk a little bit more. They’re a good side but we were able to put the game away in the second half.”
It was Wynalda’s first U.S. Open Cup game with L.A. Wolves FC since his hiring in March, and the second consecutive First Round victory for the club.
L.A. Wolves FC President Yan Skwara said, “It’s a good start to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for L.A. Wolves FC’s coaching staff and players, and a positive first step as we continue our march toward what will hopefully be a long, successful run in this tournament.”
Chuck Pitts turned and scored in the 37th minute to give Wolves FC a 1-0 advantage, and nearly doubled the score early in the second half but Zest goalkeeper Sean Williams came up with a courageous one-handed save.
Miguel Sanchez put Wolves FC up, 2-0, in the 60th minute with a back-post finish to a corner kick from Pablo Cruz, and then Cruz pounced on a rebound to make it 3-0 just three minutes later.
Joseph Fortini scored in the 72nd minute for Zest FC, a USL PDL team making its first appearance in the U.S. Open Cup.
“They had a couple of chances that could have ended in goals for them,” Wynalda said. “They have a good team, and they have great weapons up top that gave us some real problems. They were one knock down away from making this a 3-2 or 4-3 game.”
Paolo Cardozo, who had an assist on Cruz’s goal, was credited with L.A. Wolves FC’s fourth goal when his cross into the box was deflected into the net.
Wolves FC goalkeeper Lucas Nascimento was called for a late foul in the penalty area, and Zest FC captain Patrick McGrath converted from the spot to cap the scoring.
Wolves FC outshot Zest FC, 8-3, in the second half. Nascimento finished with three saves.
The club next plays Sporting San Fernando in a UPSL Pro Premier Division Western Conference game at Toyota Sports Complex (555 Maple Street, Torrance, CA 90504) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.
L.A. Wolves FC
L.A. Wolves FC are an American Soccer club based in Los Angeles, California. We are named after the Los Angeles Wolves, who played in the United Soccer Association in 1967 and the North American Soccer League in 1968.
L.A. Wolves FC are a charter member for the UPSL (United Premier Soccer League) and compete in the Western Division, posting an 16-0-0 record for the 2016 Fall Season. The club also manages L.A. W17 FC of the UPSL’s Championship Division, and oversees L.A. Wolves FC Youth Soccer Program.
In addition, L.A. Wolves FC participates in the qualifying round for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation and membership with the UPSL, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
Dennis Pope, L.A. Wolves FC Media Relations
Direct: (951) 675-3963
L.A. Wolves FC