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Amateur notes: Madison Fire book spot in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

10/08/2014, 10:00pm CDT
Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup logo

The Madison Fire have been a fixture at the top of the standings and in playoff finals in the Madison Soccer Association throughout the past decade.

But the amateur team is increasing its profile, joining the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Major Division for the 2014-15 season. And now it appears that they'll be part of one of the oldest cup competitions in the world.

Ali Barry scored the lone goal as the Fire blanked FC Indiana 1-0 in a U.S. Adult Soccer Association Region II 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifier on Saturday night at Goodman Pitch at Verona's Reddan Soccer Park.

Only three teams entered the regional tournament: KC Athletics got the luck of the draw and didn't have to play, while the Fire were drawn at home against FC Indiana.

This is the first year Region II has held separate qualifying events for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a 101-year-old event run by the U.S. Soccer Federation, and the Werner Fricker Open Cup, which is the USASA's annual championship.

The USSF hasn't announced the format for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, but each of the four USASA regions traditionally receive two berths in the tournament, which includes teams from every level of organized soccer in the country – including Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League, USL PRO, the USL Premier Development League and the National Premier Soccer League.

  • Seven WSL sides from the Milwaukee area entered the 2015 USASA Wisconsin Werner Fricker Open Cup, which will kick off with three matches Oct. 18. The Croatian Eagles received a bye into the semifinals as the defending state champions, and will meet the winner of the first-round match between host Bavarian SC and North Shore United – the quarterfinal pairings were determined by a double-blind draw Tuesday. On the other side of the bracket, Milwaukee Sport Club will play host to Milwaukee Kickers in Menomonee Falls, while United Serbians will entertain Milwaukee Brewers at St. Sava in Milwaukee. The semifinals of the single-elimination tournament will be Oct. 25 – teams that play home in the first round will play away in the semifinals, unless both teams were home or both were away. In that case, another draw will be held to determine home-field advantage. Should the Croatians advance to the final, they would play host to the Nov. 1 match at Croatian Park in Franklin. The Wisconsin champion will advance to the Region II Werner Fricker Open Cup tournament next spring.
  • The WSL First Division has a new format for the 2014-15 season. The league's 16 teams were split into two eight-team divisions, and each team will play divisional foes once in the fall and once again in the spring, with four crossover games in each season for a total of 22 games. The divisions were determined by 2013-14 results, with teams divided evenly. The two division winners will be the top two seeds for the playoffs, with the runners-up claiming the third and fourth positions – only division matches count in those standings. The other postseason spots will go to the next two teams with the most overall points.

First Division 1: Arandas, Azteca United, Gunners FC, Lincoln FC, Milwaukee Kickers Reserves, Milwaukee Sport Club Reserves, Simbas FC, Upper 90 Sports Pub Reserves.
First Division 2: Bavarian SC Reserves, Croatian Eagles Reserves, Milwaukee Brewers FC Reserves, North Shore United Reserves, Polonia Reserves, SC Waukesha White, United Serbians Reserves, Verdi SC.

  • The Northern Wisconsin Soccer League closes out its regular season this weekend, with the playoffs Oct. 18 and 19 and the two finals Oct. 26. Green Bay Team Miller (10-2-2) and Yale United (10-3-0) lead the six-team Premier Division, while FC Oshkosh (10-2-1) clinched the top seed in the eight-team Division I competition. NWSL results, schedules and standings

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