With the US Open Cup returning to Starfire and Seattle Sounders FC hosting an amateur side the data out there is hard to find. Frankly, finding someone to do Three Questions is downright impossible. But you need to know about them, because Seattle doesn't need to lose to a team in the USASA.
What is PSA Elite?
They are a team that plays in the USASA. That's a collection of amateur leagues. In PSA Elite's case they are based in Irvine, California and enter the Open Cup through District IV. That's the eleven western states, not the fishing district from the Hunger Games. They play league play in the Coast Soccer League. You would recognize several of the teams in the CSL as regular participants in the Open Cup. If you want to impress your friends tomorrow let them know that the following players played in the CSL;
Jurgen Klinsmann, Frank LeBouf, Alexi Lalas, Sacha Kljestan, Kei Kamara, Chandler Hoffman, Eric Avila, Edwin Miranda, Sacha Van Der Most Van Spijk, Amani Walker
Are PSA Elite any good?
Yes. They are. This is their third straight year in the Open Cup. They are also trying to qualify for a fourth straight run. From 2011 to the present they've regularly been near the tops in the nation for USASA sides. Twice they won the National Cup.
Where do they find their players?
The following is from their Facebook page.
We offer top level competition and training to players who are trying to advance to the next level, current professional players that wish to stay sharp in the off-season and retired professionals who can still compete at a high level.
Most of those are from Southern California.
Who are the best players on this year's roster?
Earl Edwards Jr won the Player of the Round in the Third Round. The keeper had 14 saves. In his spare time he plays soccer at UCLA and for the US U-20 team. Cuban Erlys Garcia is a defender with three years of experience in USL PRO. Jamie Cano used to be a pro defender in Mexico's lower leagues. Forward/Midfielder Michael Dwayne Salazar Jr represented Belize in Gold Cup Qualifiers and with their U-20s.
Most of the rest play for local colleges. This is the kind of match that can get a player a trial with a pro team, so expect to learn about some kids that deserve a longer look.
How did they get to the Fourth Round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup?
They beat former CSL rivals Los Angeles Misioneros 1-1 aet (3-2) in the First Round while playing fifty of the final sixty minutes down a man. The last few minutes were even at 10. Then they beat the San Diego Flash due to a lack of field forfeit. In the Third Round they had to beat Galaxy II and did, via penalties again (scoreless and 3-1 pks). You could say they've been fortunate.