MPS 6 Newtown SC 0 4/28/13

MPS 6 Newtown SC 0 4/28/13

Some were more thrilled by the hot US Open Cup action than others.
US Open Cup visual support for MPS.  One of multiple firsts for MPS, who up til’ now had been a neutral observation.
Newtown brought up some fans, including a few in Newtown replica jerseys.  There’s a challenge for you ebayers.
MPS was measured in their approach.
Until they broke through and dominated the entire game.
Wide angle view of the facilities
Game 43 (Game 11 Season 2)
MPS                                        6
Newtown SC                         0
US Open Cup USASA Region I Tournament – Semifinal (Win & You’re In)
USASA (CSL) (5th Division) vs. USASA (BSSL) (5thDivision)
4/28/13 2:00 PM
Framingham State University  Framingham, MA
Attendance: 53
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I’m not going to bore you with the details of MPS journey to the US Open Cup; we did that in the last round, which you can check out here, and backtrack through the bracket if you like.  It has been a long haul though, and its been rewarding to track their progress here on DITP, as well as the progress of some other Region I entrants, including New Jersey champ and fellow US Open Cup entrant and future MPS USOpen Cup (amateur version) opponent Icon FC.  Originally, it was assumed that MPS would face off with NY Pancyprian Freedoms, the Eastern New York champ, because last year the Massachusetts US Open Cup champ, and current US Amateur Cup title holder Battery Park Gunners played NY Greek American Atlas, the Pancyprians intra-league, intra-city, intra-cultural rival, after Greek Americans bested Pancyprians in the corresponding 2012 cup qualification game.  The two clubs flip-flopped results this year, but late in the qualifying season, teams from both Connecticut (Newtown SC) and Rhode Island (Rhode Island Reds) declared their intentions of qualifying, and since no other entries from their states entered, they were awarded slots in the first round of the Region I tournament.  While this may seem unfair to teams that had to slug out a comprehensive 2-4 game qualification campaign in a state tournament just to get in the Region I bracket, it seems that the battle hardened teams actually have the advantage from playing together and a few games to get their form, because for the upstarts, this is their first game of the season.  That difference in continuity was apparent in the MPS victory over Rhode Island Reds.  That win eventually sent MPS to the “win and you’re in” match against Newtown.  Newtown, who compete in the highly competitive Connecticut Soccer League, defeated Pancyprian on penalties in a rematch of a fixture that was played twice due to New York’s use of an ineligible player.  New York won the first time, and then the second time a 0-0 draw through 120’ was settled 7-6 on extra penalties.  This year’s qualification season was fraught with eligibility and rules controversies.  Between the KC Athletics situation, the Screaming Eagles, and Pancyprian, the administrative ineptitude of the USASA needs to be cleaned up if these games are going to continue to rise in profile, which despite the issues, they most certainly are.
Newtown arrived in Framingham, MA with a reputation as a defensively stout and disciplined team.  MPS likes to play a possession game, and is extremely alert on the counter and with through balls.  I had made plans with The Commish (@Chris Camille) to meet up for the game, and was pleasantly surprised to find a few other associated fooligans (you can use that!) President of the Midnight Riders @FranHarrington, internationally renowned wrestling impersonator and AO Boston face of the franchise Chris Reid (No not this one).  Anyway, we had a good crew, of about 6 or 7 among the throng of 53 who witnessed the complete and total beatdown that MPS administered upon poor Newtown.  Newtown of course has been the feel good story of this years cup qualification process.  In the aftermath of the tragedy, there was a tremendous outreach from the soccer community.  Members of almost every MLS team made appearances at free clinics for local youth, and there was a outpouring of goodwill.  I was curious why specifically soccer seemed to be such a high profile part of the community healing process.  Research revealed that the community has long had a thriving local soccer culture, and Newtown, has a long history in the highly competitive CSL, I expected a good matchup, after all, emotion will only take you so far for so long, and Newtown must have a raft of talented players to dispatch Pancyprians.  Everyone expected a great match.  That’s why it was all the more puzzling that they laid such an egg.  Every team has their off days, and unfortunately for Newtown, theirs came on the day with the biggest prize on the line.  MPS tested Newtown’s defense with searching through balls, and first found the net on a 9thminute OG.  For the minutiae of the game play, read DITP co-conspirator Camille’s fantastic write-up on thecup.us.  For our purposes lets just say that the outcome was never in doubt, and all who attended were kind of disappointed with the one sidedness of the affair.  That being said, I do think that MPS are clicking on all cylinders and am looking forward to see them take on their better-funded Global Premier Soccer brethren Portland Phoenix in the first round of the US Open Cup.  This was a landmark game for MPS’s cup run because it was the first time in four matches that the sparse crowd lent them any vocal support.  One of the player’s moms came over and sat with us, and we proceeded to embarrass him by chanting his name.  This was all enhanced by the pregame and halftime semi-clandestine parking lot birthday party / whisky sampler / kick-around.  After the game I congratulated the players on the cup run and reminded them that should they maintain this run of form, they very well could find themselves competing against Bayern or Dortmund in the Club World Cup.  One step at a time though, and DITP will be there all through the process, look for coverage here of the next match.  US Open Cup first round proper, Tuesday May 14th 2013 8:00 PM in Portland, ME.  GPS Portland Phoenix vs. MPS.

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