Farfan Washington Crossfire
Miranda Chrislock

Timbers U-23s, Kitsap to settle Open Cup qualification on the field

TAMPA, Fla. – The U.S. Open Cup qualifying spot for the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League’s Northwest Division will be decided on the field this Friday, June 3 when the Kitsap Pumas travel to face the Portland Timbers U-23s in a regularly scheduled PDL game at JELD-WEN Field. 

The winner-take-all match is set to kick off at 11 a.m. PT, with the outcome determining who advances to the first round of the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In the event of a tie, the teams will decide the qualifying spot via penalty kicks. At the request of USL and the two teams involved, U.S. Soccer has granted an extension on its qualification deadline to allow the Northwest Division qualifier to be determined on the field.

The unique tiebreaker scenario, made possible by the previously scheduled PDL match, is the result of the teams finishing with identical 3-0-1 records in Open Cup qualifying and finishing even in all tiebreakers.   The teams played to a 0-0 draw on May 21, and finished with identical goal differentials and identical goals scored.  Under USL’s qualification rules, the final tiebreaker was to be a lottery conducted at the USL offices.

“Respecting the lottery system in place, we felt strongly that with the teams playing again on Friday it provided the opportunity to determine the winner on the field rather than in an office,” USL President Tim Holt said.  “We’re looking forward to a playoff-type atmosphere on Friday as these two rivals vie for a spot in U.S. Soccer’s most storied competition.” 

The full list of 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first-round matchups is expected to be released later today.