(Matt Lapish wrote this report on the game and provided the photo.)
Phoenix SC won the U.S. Amateur Cup’s eastern Pennsylvania final 3-2 Sunday and will now advance in the qualifying for the national tournament.
Bobby Francis netted a brace while former Philadelphia Union trialist Ryan Soroka set off a mad celebration with a chip shot goal in extra time to claim the title for Phoenix.
Looking to add to their earlier Open Cup success, Phoenix SC came out of the gates and quickly put Vereinigung Erzgebirge under pressure. Soroka, who was on trial this year with Philadelphia Union, and Dan Murtagh were tormenting the VE defense, creating several scoring opportunities from themselves and others. However, it would be direct, route one football that would lead to Phoenix’ first goal. A Ryan Kelly clearance from a corner kick released Kamara Freebolle, who was taken down by the goalie for a PK, which was converted by Bobby Francis. Phoenix missed a flurry of chances before VE evened the scores. A failed clearance attempt by a Phoenix player ended up deflecting off the arm of a defender leading to a PK, which was converted by Artie Taylor, leveling the scores at halftime.
Phoenix came out in the second half, continuing to pressure VE with their fluid passing, creating numerous chances without breaking through. Finally, a move started by Murtagh and Steve Mellor lead to Francis slotting home a goal in the 65th minute. The game continued to showcase open play, with each team creating opportunities. VE were next to tally a goal, albeit a contentious one. From a shot, Dan DeMasters appeared to use his arm to deflect the ball into the goal while in an offside position. After much deliberation, the goal stood and the teams went into extra time.
Phoenix were on the ascendancy in extra time, with Virgis Anusauskas creating several opportunities with no reward. Phoenix goalie Matt Rominger smartly kept out a DeMasters shot before Soroka would claim the game winner in the 118th minute. Ben Castor split the VE defense apart with a through ball, which was gathered by Soroka at the edge of the penalty box. A brilliant first touch set him up to expertly chip the VE goalkeeper, sparking frantic celebrations by the Phoenix bench and in the stands.
In Amateur Cup Regional play, Phoenix SC hosts the German American Kickers (NJ), while VE hosts Charm City (Md). Both games are set to be played April 25th at 2 PM.
Phoenix 3 - VE 2
Bobby Francis Artie Taylor
Bobby Francis Dan DeMasters
Results below for other matches from Pennsylvania’s United Soccer League, courtesy of the USL.
US Amateur Cup – Eastern PA Final
3 Phoenix SC / VE Majors 2 (overtime)
Phoenix Sport Club wins the state amateur title and moves on to regionals.
4 Danubia / Intare FC 1
4 Spirit United / Ukrainian Nationals 2
4 UGH Ultra / Springfield 1
9 Danubia / Philadelphia Flames SC 0
5 UGH Elite / UGH o-30 0
3 VE / UGH Fury 1