ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Bates head men's soccer coach Stewart Flaherty will be helping coach GPS Portland Phoenix on Tuesday night against the professional team Rochester Rhinos, in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Flaherty is an assistant coach with the Phoenix, who compete in the USL Premier Development League (PDL). The PDL is the highest tier of amateur soccer in the United States, with over 71% of players drafted into Major League Soccer (MLS) over the last seven years having come through the league.
The Phoenix also compete in the U.S. Open Cup, a knockout tournament open to all professional and amateur teams in the U.S., now in its 100th edition. Last year's competition was won by MLS team Sporting Kansas City.
The Phoenix entered the tournament in round 1, and came away with a 2-0 win over Mass Premier. The Massachusetts team featured three former NESCAC standouts in Tim Cahill and Tyler Macnee (Middlebury), and former pro Charlie Romero (Williams). (A WCSH-TV feature on round 1 can be seen here.)
On Tuesday night (May 21) the Phoenix face the Rhinos at soccer-specific Sahlen's Stadium (capacity over 13,000). The winner of the game will move on to play the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in round 3. A full tournament bracket can be found here.
"This is an exciting opportunity for our players," said Flaherty. "They aspire to play professionally, and we get a chance tomorrow to go head to head and beat a pro team if we're good enough."
Live audio streaming of the game will be available at http://www.rhinossoccer.com/.