The romance of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup hinges on the little guys taking on the pros; part-time amateurs getting the chance to compete 11v11 against full-time paid professionals. Mass Soccer's very own GPS Omen's of the Bay State Soccer League, led by Harris Smriko, Greg Zuboff and Jake Edwards, advanced to the third round of the competition. They defeated two semi-pro clubs along the way before narrowly falling 2-1 in the final seconds on the road to professional side Rochester Rhinos of the USL. It was their third road game of the tournament. In the first and second rounds Omens defeated PDL side GPS Portland Phoenix 2-0 and outlasted Boston City FC of the NPSL 2-1.
Despite their status as amateurs, the self-proclaimed "white-collar squad" -- all whom work full-time jobs and play on the weekends -- showed why the U.S. Open Cup can produce such memorable moments. And while GPS Omens fell just short of a third consecutive "cupset", leading goalscorer Keith Caldwell looked back at the run with pride. "I think we showed we can compete at this level. Our goal next year will be to take it one step further, though we know it won't be easy. It's a great group of guys, and we're all such good friends off the field. I think it helps us on the field as well."
The Rochester Rhinos, who knocked out Mass Soccer's Southie FC in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup, fell to the New England Revolution in the Fourth Round in Providence, RI. The Cup Final is set for Wednesday, September 20 at 9:00 p.m. between Sporting KC (MLS) and NY Red Bulls (MLS). It will be televised live on ESPN.