Matias Almeyda FC had to go through penalties to defeat Houston FC in the UPSL Texas State Cup
The new UPSL Texas Open State Cup is already offering us really interesting matches!
Matias Almeyda FC and Houston FC faced each other last Sunday in a great round-of-16 matchup. Houston FC had already made its debut in the competition in the round of 32 by beating 7-1 ELEV8 FC. Instead, this was the first game in 2023 for Matias Ameyda FC since they received a bye for the first round. Both of the teams fought until the end to get a win and they offered an amazing show to everyone present at the Matias Almeyda Training Center in Houston.
Both teams don't need many presentations since they are well-known and respected among the soccer community, especially in the Houston area. Houston FC has been playing in the UPSL for several seasons and also fields a team in the USL League Two. Matias Almeyda FC instead joined the league only in the 2022 Spring Season but got incredible results right away. In their inaugural season, they won their division's regular season and lost in the championship for the divisional playoffs. They did even better in their second season. After being crowned divisional champions, they reached the round of 16 of the National Playoffs where they fell short of Austin FC Academy.
The teams already knew one another having played in the same UPSL division for the last two seasons. Matias Almeyda FC got a resounding win 6-1 in their first match played in June. Houston FC got their revenge in November by prevailing 1-0. Given the priors, this match was expected to be amazing and well-balanced. It didn't let us down.
All the players who took the field did their best to give their team a win and a spot in the quarterfinals of the competition. Losing wasn't an option for either of the two teams. This made it a really entertaining game with six goals scored in 90 minutes. Not even overtime was enough to unbalance the game. Penalties were needed to determine a winner and a mistake from the penalty spot from Houston FC was crucial to allow Matias Almeyda FC to advance to the next round.
We had the chance to interview Mariano Vavich, the Argentinian player who wears the number 10 on the back of his jersey. He told us about his view on his team and the way they play the match: "The team's performance was quite good, last season we won regional but lost in nationals against Austin FC [Academy]. We started this cup with a lot of enthusiasm, the first game luckily we could win, which was a complicated game at times but we won, [and] now we are preparing for the quarterfinals." He also explained to us what are his team's goals in the competition: "The meaning of this cup is very important because it helps the team to prepare for the league that starts in March, we hope to do things well and be able to win it".
Matias Almeyda FC is now set to play Racing Houston City FC in the quarterfinals of the UPSL Texas State Open Cup. We, at nonprosoccer.com, will continue to follow the competition in the next round and will bring you more match recaps and interviews next week. In the meantime, you can find all the results at this link.
Good luck to both Matias Almeyda FC and Houston FC in their preparation for the next season, and a huge thanks to Mariano Vavich for dedicating some of his precious time to talk to us!
Picture source: matiasalmeydatc