New England Soccer Today

Boston City, Omens Set for 2nd Round

Photo credit: Boston City FC

The second round of the U.S. Open Cup tournament will feature an intriguing clash of clubs from the Hub on Wednesday as Boston City FC (NPSL) hosts GPS Omens (BSSL) at Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere, Mass.

The Lions will be playing on short rest, as Wednesday’s fixture will be their third in eight days. After a physical battle in last week’s first-round clash with the Western Mass Pioneers, Boston City fought to a 3-3 draw with the Rhode Island Reds in NPSL play.

Making matters more difficult, Boston City will be without striker Kamali Webson, defender Paulo Henrique, and midfielder and captain Ronaldo Vieira after they were all sent off in last week’s Cup match at Western Mass.

As a result of the absences, the Lions may be forced to shift from their usual 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-4-2, with right attacking midfielder Isaac Addai, who notched a hat trick against Rhode Island, pushing up to forward to pair with primary target Jhonata Batista.

GPS Omens enter the match fresh off last week’s upset over perennial PDL power GPS Portland Phoenix, which fell 2-0 to the defending BSSL champions. The Boston-based selection scored two goals early and never looked back to book their ticket to the second round.

Omens is making their first appearance in the tournament since 2015, when they were known as GPS Massachusetts. Despite their standing on the American Soccer Pyramid, Omens roster is far from short on experience when it comes to Open Cup play. In fact, 21 players on the current 30-man roster were on the team during that Cup run two years ago.

Among them is striker Keith Caldwell, the brother of Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell. The Brown alum and 2006 Colorado Rapids Supplemental draft pick is the team’s primary weapon, scoring 20 goals last season.

The winners of Wednesday’s tie will move onto the third round on May 31 when they face the winner of the second round match between the Rochester Rhinos (USL) and Motown FC (USASA). The Rhinos, who won the tournament in 1999, are expected to advance, which would then lead to a third-round tie in Rochester.

However, an upset by Motown FC of the Garden State Soccer League would mean the third-round match would be played in the Boston area, and would be hosted by the winner of GPS Omens/Boston City FC.

Wednesday’s Boston City-Omens match will kickoff at 7:00 pm in Revere instead of Malden, the Lions’ regular home. As a result, Boston City, in affiliation with Malden Trans, will run a free shuttle bus for fans travelling through public transit from Wonderland T station to Harry Della Russo Stadium.

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