A little over a week ago, the top Colorado amateur soccer league kicked off it’s spring season. Take a look at these results. Does one stand out to you?
No, that’s not a typo. FC Valencia beat Colorado Rush 20-0. What the hell happened here?
You’ve got to go back a few months to unravel this story a bit. On October 22, Colorado Rush, as members of the Colorado Amateur Soccer League (CASL), traveled to Portland and beat IPS/Marathon Taverna 4-0 to qualify for the first round of 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. That was under the auspices of the USSSA, the United States Specialty Sports Association.
Then in November, Rush announced that they were joining the United Premier Soccer League, along with Indios, FC Boulder, and Colorado Springs FC.* UPSL are affiliated with the USASA, the United States Adult Soccer Association. It’s a different path to the US Open than the USSSA. That’s where things get complicated.
According to reporting by Richard Terry and Jose Bueno of the Flakoglost soccer podcast, it seems that Open Cup rules require that qualifiers to the Open Cup must continue playing in the league under which they qualified for the Open Cup. That meant that Colorado Rush now needed to field two teams: one for UPSL matches, and another in the newly re-christened Colorado Premier League, formerly known as CASL; in order to keep their spot in the Open Cup.
Rush opened their season in UPSL with a 1-1 draw against FC Greeley on March 5th, and followed that up with a 2-0 win over FC Boulder on March 12th and a 2-2 draw against Logrones SC on March 26th.
But they also had to field a team against FC Valencia in the CPL opener in Broomfield on March 19. Rather than send out the first team to risk injury in, what was for Rush a meaningless game in their former league, Rush sent seven guys up to face Valencia. According to Jose Bueno, they pretty much just stood around on the pitch and meekly attempt to make a few passes. You can tell by the 20-0 scoreline that the results were not pretty.
The debacle was repeated again this past weekend, as two-time US Open qualifiers Harpos FC played Colorado Rush’s perfunctory CPL squad this past Sunday.
Harpos won, 14-0. They weren’t happy about how it went down.
A representative of another of the teams in CPL, who contacted me off-the-record, referred to the latest match as ‘shameful.’
Rush has a different story, but has declined our request to comment at this time.
Hopefully either representatives of the US Open Cup or CPL can discuss the issue before it affects the entire spring season for the other nine teams in CPL.
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* Four more teams subsequently signed up to play in the Colorado Conference of UPSL; Club El Azul, FC United, Logrones SC, and FC Greeley. For more on UPSL, check out our Burgundy Wave article on it here.