RWB Adria rested, confident for Saturday’s USOC “win and you’re in” regional semifinal
While RWB Adria manager Ante Loncar feels confident about his club’s chance to win a berth in the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this Saturday, he’s not taking his opponent FC Indiana lightly…
“This match may look easy on paper, but it won’t be. It doesn’t matter that they backed into the playoffs,” said Loncar.
Indeed, while the Lions of Lafayette lost 3-1 in their regional qualifier at KC Athletics, they nonetheless advanced to the USASA Region II semifinals as the losing team with the most goals scored in the first round. Unfortunately though, the 2012 Indiana State Cup Champions are not expected to have their full squad available Saturday.
The Lions last met Chicago’s RWB Adria in a 2012 cup qualifier, when their international, diverse squad of collegiate players fell to the more experienced Chicago side 2-0.
“We’re very excited about the game – win and you’re in,” Loncar said. “This is what it’s all about, a chance to play against the pros.”
If they’re fortunate to qualify for USOC competition, Loncar admits he hopes to draw a PDL side in the first-round. Adria’s manager thinks this scenario would not only give his club a better chance to advance in the tournament, but would allow them sufficient time to train for a more seasoned, in-form professional opponent in the second-round. After all, the season is still quite young for Adria. Their fitness is not yet where it needs to be for them to play to their potential.
But, Adria will field a well-rested squad Saturday and Loncar anticipates the return of forwards Eric Huffman and Taylor Bond to the eighteen.
Huffman, a University of Illinois at Chicago product, returns to his local club after three weeks of professional tryouts in Georgia. According to Loncar, Huffman attracted interest, but was unable to ink a contract because the transfer window is currently closed in the Caucasian nation.
Hailing from Palatine, IL, Bond is a product of Chicago’s Bridges FC and has seen plenty of international youth action in recent years. Loncar describes the 6’2 striker as “athletic, explosive, fast, fit, and good in the air.” Bond will certainly be a player to watch on Saturday.
RWB Adria Notes:
- A Croatian documentary film crew paid a visit to Adria’s clubhouse this week on Chicago’s south side. The filmmakers are in town to learn about Adria’s history and connections to NASL side Toronto Metros-Croatia, a club that won Soccer Bowl ’76.
- Adria will be without attacking midfielder Dorin Oprea on Saturday. The Moldavian suffered an ankle injury vs. first-round opponent Croatian Eagles.
RWB Adria vs. FC Indiana
Saturday, April 20th at 2:00pm
Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
1250 W. 119th St. (119th & Ada)
*Follow the Twitter hashtag #USOC100 before, during, and after the match on Saturday for live action and complete coverage!