Chula Vista Heading Back to the Big Time

The 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will be the 105th edition of the famous and longest ongoing soccer competition in the United States.

This tournament will be the biggest in the history of the US Open Cup as a total of 108 Open Division teams have entered the event and it continues to go from strength to strength.  Not only that but it highlights the continued development of soccer in the United States and the increasing number of teams and soccer players in the country.

The first qualifying round of the 2018 US Open has already taken place and Chula Vista were once again in the hat, aiming to progress deep into the tournament.  Could we witness another run like 2015?  Chula Vista defeated professional team Arizona United FC on a fantastic run in the US Open Cup two years ago.

The draw for the Pacific region on the 2018 US Open Cup paired Chula Vista with Strikers FC South Coast, away from home.  If this had been a home draw, Chula Vista would have been very confident of picking up the victory.

However, games on the road are never easy, especially in the US Open Cup when it can be difficult to scout and find out information about the opponent.

The game took place on the 24th September at Lake Forest Sports Park and Chula Vista knew there were no second chances, if they wanted to qualify for the US Open Cup for the second season in succession.

Chula Vista started the match on the front-foot and in truth, their looked like being only one winner in this game. 

Chula Vista were organised and prepared to attack and this paid dividends with an excellent performance in the final third of the field, cutting open Strikers FC South Coast several times and finding the back of the net on five occasions.

Chula Vista opened a 3-0 lead at half-time and just when the hosts thought they were getting back into the game having scored in the second half, Chula Vista upped the tempo again to score two further goals.

There was a goal apiece for Sergio Zamudio, Francisco Ramirez and Rafael Lua and Alberto Diaz returned to a competition he clearly enjoys by netting a brace.  The match finished 5-1 in favour of Chula Vista and although there was no clean sheet, the margin of victory was significant.

Diaz earned the Player of the Round award for his performance when scoring a hattrick against Arizona United FC in the second round in 2015 and looks ready to set the 2018 US Open Cup alight this season.

The former youth international already has two goals to his name and will be looking to add to his tally in the second round.

The draw for the second round has taken place and Chula Vista will be on the road again as they face trip to Heritage High School to play Valley United SC.  If the team deliver the same level of performance as the first round, we could be looking forward to another thrilling run in the US Open Cup this season.

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