US Open Cup Pregame: Capo v OCFC
A showdown of two of the hottest amateur teams of SoCal, Capo FC, and OCFC, will face off in the final round of the US Open Cup qualifiers this Sunday afternoon in Irvine, Ca.
The Orange County Football Club has built a reputation over the past couple of years in their performance in the NPSL, UPSL, and the US Open Cup. Owned by Nader Dejbakhsh and currently coached by USMNT legend Paul Caligiuri, the club of over ten years has always been a competitive powerhouse gaining national attention.
Recently following the fallout of the NPSL's presence in southern California during COVID-19, the club focused on the UPSL and got a return on investment by winning the 2022 UPSL spring national title. In previous US Open Cup runs, OCFC made it to the 2nd round falling to Fresno FC in 2018, then their furthest run in 2019, making it to the 4th round losing to MLS side LA Galaxy.
In their current league form of the 2022 UPSL fall season, they placed 1st in the newly formed SoCal central conference without losing a game (9-1-0) and cleared the competition in the playoffs to reach the national round of 32. They face the LA Galaxy academy the same weekend as the US open cup match against Capo FC.
In their 2022 US Open Cup qualifying form, they handled SC Trojans 3-1, destroyed Temecula FC 7-1, and made a dramatic comeback to finish Escondido 7-3. That marks 17 goals scored in 3 games and allowing 5.
On the other end of this matchup is Capo FC, based in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. Capo is more of a total club kind of team, meaning they started as a youth club fielding boys and girls and plan on making a pipeline directly to the pros. In fact, according to their website, they will have a NISA professional side to compete in the spring 2023 season.
On the adult side, they field a NISA nation team, which last spring placed 1st in the southwest conference with only one loss. Currently, they have a SoCal Premier (affiliate within the NISA pyramid) Division 1 squad, which, at the moment of the season break, is in 1st place with an 8-0-0 record.
So far, in their US Open cup run, they have faced clubs based in the same county. First, they got a 3-0 win over OC Kings, then a 4-1 beating of Laguna United, and finally a win via forfeit from Desert FC, who couldn't field 11 starting players.
On Tuesday morning, Capo FC was announced as the latest expansion side for USL 2. They begin to set league play next year and will most likely play in the southwest division.