Fuego move on to final of U.S. Open Cup qualifying on April 27

Tyler Reinhart recorded a hat trick Saturday in the Fresno Fuego’s 10-2 victory over Cap FC of Sacramento in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier at Clovis East High.

The Fuego advanced to the qualifying tournament final against the winner between Los Gatos or San Ramon FC. The match will take place at Chukchansi Park on April. 27.

The winner of that match will be entered in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in round on May 7 against an opponent from the National Premier Soccer League.

This is the second year that U.S. Club Soccer has put together a qualifying tournament to determine its lone entry in the U.S. Open Cup from eight clubs comprised from teams in the Northern California Premier Soccer League.

The Fuego advanced to the final with a 1-0 win over Los Gatos, a 2-2 tie with Stanislaus and a 3-1 victory against Bullard.

Fresno opens the Premier Development League season May 4 against host Los Angeles. The Fuego’s PDL home opener is May 9 against the BYU Cougars.

Fresno’s Paul Islas drafted by MLS’s Chivas USA

Fresno Pacific University’s Paul Islas, right, has a shot blocked by Cal State Stanislaus’ Carlos Gavino, left, in a game Thursday night, August 30, 2012, in Fresno. (ERIC PAUL ZAMORA/THE FRESNO BEE)

Paul Islas — who honed his skills locally with the California Odyssey Soccer Club, Bullard High, Fresno Pacific and the Fresno Fuego — was selected Tuesday by Chivas USA with the 19th pick of Major League Soccer’s Supplemental Draft.

Islas, 21, is expected to report to the Carson-based Chivas USA’s training camp this week.

“This is my shot and I can’t let anything get in my way,” Islas said in a Fresno Pacific-issued news release. “I just have to go down and take care business.”

Islas is coming off a 22-goal, 12-assist senior season at Fresno Pacific, where he wasn named an NSCAA Division II All-American. He finished his four-year career as the Sunbirds’ third-leading career goal scorer (55) and assist maker (33).

“I think some people will look at it and say he comes from a smaller school, a smaller area and it’s hard to argue that,” Chivas USA Director of Soccer Operations Kevin Esparza said. “But the top goal scorer in the MLS this past year is a player that came from a Division II school. We will take a gamble and I am looking forward to watching Paul prove everybody wrong.” Read more →