Southern California's USASA qualifiers for the U.S. Open Cup selected their first-round foes after facing off in Sunday's regional title game. That wasn't enough for U.S. Soccer, which insisted on deciding the matchups with a coin flip, and did so Monday.
It landed just as hoped for.
Irvine's PSA Elite will play at Premier Development League power Portland Timbers U-23 in a May 15 opener in the Open Cup, the nation's oldest and most prestigious knockout soccer competition. Thousand Oaks' Cal FC will play at PDL champion Kitsap Pumas, in Bremerton, Wash.
That's how it was when the teams left the field at Ontario Soccer Park, PSA choosing to play in Portland after beating Cal FC, 2-0, in Sunday's U.S. Adult Soccer Association Region IV title game. USASA officials had offered the winner its choice of PDL foes from the Pacific Northwest after U.S. Soccer failed to specify when it held the Open Cup draw last week.
The federation did not approve the proposal, but the coin flip confirmed its conclusions. Everything would have been simpler had U.S. Soccer drawn each Region IV group winner into a specific game.
The matches up north are among three first-rounders involving local teams. The Fullerton Rangers on Monday confirmed they will meet the Ventura County Fusion at Santa Ana Stadium. Kickoff will be 7 p.m.
The L.A. Blues will play the Rangers-Fusion winner on May 22, with the second-round game -- initially announced for Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium -- tentatively scheduled for Riverside Community College's Norco campus, which has very limited seating, a few hundred at most. The Blues played five games at Norco last year, including their Open Cup-opening victory over Hollywood United.
The Galaxy and Chivas USA, like all Major League Soccer teams, enter the competition in the third round May 29.