CAL SOUTH'S DOXA ITALIA TO TAKE ON VC FUSION IN OPENING MATCH OF LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP
June 10, 2011
Ventura, CA (June 10, 2011) - Top Cal South adult team Doxa Italia has earned an opening round berth in this year's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and will face off against PDL side Ventura County Fusion on Tuesday, June 14 at Ventura College. Kickoff for the match is 7:05 pm.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, first held in 1913-14, is the oldest ongoing tournament in American soccer, and is open to all USSF affiliated teams, from pro MLS teams down to amateur adult clubs. Doxa Italia earned their spot in the Open Cup by finishing on top of group play at the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) Region IV Men's Open National Cups competition held near Sacramento from May 20-22. Doxa eventually went on to win the championship title at that event.
"The Open Cup is the Super Bowl of soccer for an amateur team like ours," said Doxa Italia coach Derk Droze, who also plays at forward. "The Open Cup gives our team an opportunity to play against professional organizations and helps to put our club on the map."
Doxa Italia has been one of the most dominant and successful teams in the Southern California adult soccer scene since the late '90s, winning numerous Coast Soccer League, Pacific League and State Cup titles in that span, as well as three Las Vegas Silver Mug championships. The current incarnation of Doxa is composed of a mixture of older, deeply experienced players along with some top younger talent. While most of the team has collegiate experience, there is also a wide variety of
professional, semi-pro and international experience stirred into that mix.
While Doxa were a solid scoring force in the Region IV National Cup last month, winning one match 18-0 on their way to appearing in the championship final, Droze chalks up their success to an equal but opposite factor. "We pride ourselves on defense. After all, defense wins championships. If your team can keep a clean sheet, then you always have a chance to win."
Their defensive strength came in handy on May 22 in Sacramento as Doxa sought to bounce back from a 1-0 deficit against the San Francisco-based DV8 Defenders in the USASA Region IV Men's Open championship game. Holding the Defenders at bay in the second half , Doxa midfielder Steve Chirgwin launched a free kick in the 78th minute that found the head of team captain Nas Koubouras, who played the ball back across goal to an onrushing Bryan Byrne. Byrne finished a diving header into the top
corner, equalizing the game and eventually forcing extra time. The game remained locked at 1-1 after two overtime periods, sending the game to penalty kicks, where Doxa's Chirgwin, David Adams, Andrew Villalobos and Andrew Marinez went 4 for 4. Meanwhile, Doxa goalkeeper Brian Burdue, who got his hand on the Defenders first successful shot, used his presence in goal to force the second and third DV8 shooters to send their shots high over the bar, sealing Doxa's victory.
"The things we look forward to most in having reached the US Open Cup are putting on a good performance and getting the win to move on and advance in the competition," said Droze. "I keep telling the guys that these opportunities come along once in a lifetime for most, so let's make the most of it, and have some fun while we're at it! I've told my guys to not be satisfied with just qualifying... think big and work even bigger".