Fresno Fuego FC has drawn La Máquina FC in the 1st round of the 104th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup competition, the club learned today. The match will be played Wednesday, May 10, 7pm, at Chukchansi Park in downtown Fresno.
"We're excited to return to Open Cup action at Chukchansi Park. This will be our 4th appearance in the competition and it's a fantastic opportunity for our players to test themselves against elite competition we don't normally face and, potentially, professional clubs," said Jeremy Schultz, general manager of the Fuego. "Soccer in the Central Valley region is trending upward and the Fuego's participation in this year's Cup is an opportunity for us to continue that trend."
La Máquina FC is a UPSL club based in Santa Ana, California. The club advanced to the 4th round of the 2016 competition, defeating Portland Timbers U23, LA Wolves, and Sacramento Gold before falling to MLS club LA Galaxy 4-1 at the StubHub Center.
The Fuego will participate in Open Cup action after a 3-year absence, last appearing in 2014 when the club defeated USL side Orange County SC (then Orange County Blues) 2-0 in one of the upsets of the 2nd round. The club also made appearances in 2003 and 2012.
Should the Fuego advance, a Second Round match-up with USL side Phoenix Rising FC would take place Wednesday, May 17 at Fresno State's Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium. The Third Round will take place on May 31, and then Major League Soccer clubs will begin U.S. Open Cup play in the Fourth Round on June 14.
The team that advances furthest from the Open Division, which the PDL is a part of, will earn a $15,000 cash prize.
Tickets for the Open Cup match will go on sale Friday, April 14, at 10am and are available online at bit.ly/FuegoTickets, by calling (559) 320-8497 or at the Chukchansi Park box office. Tickets to the Open Cup match are not included in 2017 Fuego season ticket packages.
Additional reporting from the PDL's Aaron Cranford