Mississippi Brilla to Host First Round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
On April 6, the United States Soccer Federation announced the first round match-ups for the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s national club championship, is an annual knockout competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion annually since 1914.
Wednesday’s announcement was exciting as each team learned who their first round opponent would be, as well as the location of that match. Brilla was excited to learn that they will be hosting CD Motogua New Orleans on May 11 at Traceway Park in Clinton.
Mississippi Brilla qualified for this year’s tournament by finishing on top of the Mid-South division standings last season. CD Motagua New Orleans plays in the Louisiana Premier League and qualified for this year’s Open Cup after winning the Region III championships in 2015. CD Motagua was founded in 1984 and, in addition to the Louisiana Premier League, competes in the International Soccer League Association in New Orleans.
"Having won our division last year, we have created a great opportunity for our players to experience playing in the U.S. Open Cup,” said Head Coach Mark McKeever. "Now that we have the opportunity we have to make the most of it by performing at the highest level and giving ourselves a chance to progress. I am excited to get this talented bunch of players together and see what heights can be reached this year.”
“Hosting the Open Cup is an incredible opportunity to showcase our team and our community,” said Executive Director Rusty Bryant. “We are hoping that Mississippi soccer fans will rally behind us and see if we can make a run in this tournament."
The teams will square off at Traceway Park in Clinton, MS at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $5 at the gate. To purchase tickets online, CLICK HERE.
In addition to announcing the first round matches, U.S. Soccer also announced the second round scenarios. If Mississippi Brilla wins the May 11 match, they will host Oklahoma City Energy FC of the USL on May 18. If Motagua are victorious, they would also face Energy FC with the site to be determined later.
"I first felt God calling me into full-time Christian service when I was 14 years old. Since that day, I have tried my best to be in His will at all times. While I always knew that I would be serving Him in some capacity, I never dreamed that God would allow me to impact lives through sports. However, God has placed a passion in my heart to share the Good News of Jesus Christ using soccer as a platform. God is currently opening doors to share the Gospel all over the world through the use of sports. I am extremely honored that God has chosen me to participate in an area of evangelism that is making a tremendous difference for the Kingdom of God."
Former Clinton High School, Clinton, MS player.
Former Mississippi College player, 1992-1996.
B.A. in Christian Studies, Mississippi College, 1996.
Master of Arts in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Has competed, spoken, and conducted clinics worldwide (Costa Rica, Antigua, Venezuela, Mexico, England, Spain, Guatemala Honduras, & El Salvador).
5 years of church staff experience working with youth and activities.
Founder of Brilla Soccer Ministries in 1996.
2010 Premier Development League Executive of the Year