While Wednesday’s US Open Cup match between the Charleston Battery and The Villages SC ended with the visitors pulling off the upset on following a 4-2 victory in the Penalty shootout, it is the Battery who will move on after The Villages striker Paulo Vaz had played in the local qualifying rounds for Boca Raton FC:
US Soccer has commented on the situation via press release:
“Following Wednesday’s Second Round, the Charleston Battery (USL) filed a protest of their shootout defeat to The Villages SC (PDL), claiming their opponent used an ineligible player. The U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel reviewed the matter earlier today and ruled in favor of Charleston, declaring the Battery the winner via forfeit. Charleston now advances to the Third Round to face the Jacksonville Armada (NASL). The Panel determined that Paulo Vaz had previously played for Boca Raton Football Club during the local qualifying rounds and was thus ineligible to play in the Open Cup for another team during the competition year.”
The rules clearly state that any player who played for a team in any round of the tournament can not play for any other team in the tournament year:
“Any player who plays in any part of an Open Cup match for a team, including any match in any Open Division qualifying round, may not be included in the Open Cup roster or play for any other team in the Open Cup competition for that competition year.”
Both ‘keepers pulled off a string of impressive saves in the match, but it was Paulo Pita who kept his nerve in the shootout to win the match on the night. It’s a shame that an oversight such as the one that occurred here would knock out The Villages, but surely such an occurrence should have been avoided.
Carlos Arujo opened the scoring on 23 minutes for the visitors, before Dante Marini levelled on the stroke of half time, as he continued his decent run of form.
Goalkeeper Alex Tambakis was left flat footed as a great cross was met by the Villages striker in the middle of the box to make it 2-1 on 67′.
But it was Chris Tsonis’ first goal for the Battery which sent us to extra time after 83 minutes, connecting with a Maikel Chang cross from a corner.
A scoreless extra time meant penalties, where the Villages goalkeeper Pita saved spot kicks from Justin Portillo and Zach Prince on the way to a 4-2 shootout win to advance to the next round, however, it was discovered on Thursday morning that Paulo Vaz had previously played for another team in the tournament. The Battery protested the result, and the US Open Cup Adjudication and Disciplinary board ruled in favor of the Battery, meaning that they will now face the NASL’s Jacksonville Armada in the third round.
The loss would have eliminated the Black and Yellow from the tournament, though the recent revelation means that they move on.
The next match, however, is on May 21st, as the Black and Yellow visit Wilmington Hammerheads. Kickoff is at 7.
Photo Credit Vin Duffy/Charleston Battery