(Press Release) The Fresno Fuego will play a busy schedule this week as they take on the Turlock Express on Tuesday to start their bid in attempting to win the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup and then square off against the O.C. Blue Star on Friday at Chukchansi Park for a 7:00 p.m. match.
The Fuego will play in the 99th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in 2012. This year’s appearance will be the Fuego’s first since 2003 when Fresno lost to the L.A. Galaxy in the Round of 16 at the Home Depot Center. The US Open Cup is one of the oldest soccer competitions in the world, and the Fuego qualified for this year’s tournament based on last year’s regular season results.
The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup features teams from all levels of soccer in the United States. Amateur and semi-professional clubs along with the top three pro divisions in the country, MLS, NASL and USL PRO, compete in the six month-long tournament.
The event expanded in 2012 from 40 teams to 64 teams, including the 16 MLS teams from the United States that enter in the third round of the bracket. Along with the Fuego, there are 16 teams from the Premier Development League (PDL), and the Turlock Express is the only team representing US Club Soccer in the tournament.
If the Fuego defeat the Express at Turlock on Tuesday, they will move on to face the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (North American Soccer League) in Florida on Tuesday, May 22nd.
The Fuego enter Tuesday’s game coming off a 1-1 tie against the Blue Star this past Friday in league play. Paul Islas scored the lone Fuego goal in the match. The tie keeps the Fuego undefeated at 3-0-1 in PDL competition.
After Tuesday’s game in Turlock, the Fuego return home to Chukchansi Park for another match against the Blue Star on Friday, May 18th. The first 1,000 fans to Friday’s game will receive a vuvuzela, courtesy of Freeway Insurance, the Auto Insurance Experts.
All Fuego home games feature free admission for fans, provided by Univision Radio. Free admission vouchers can be printed from the Fresno Fuego’s Facebook Fan Page www.facebook.com/FresnoFuegoor by visiting Univision Radio on Palm and Herndon in Fresno.