PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Four years into their infancy, Portland Phoenix GPS will get a shot many college kids and amateurs dream of: to play against the pros in soccer.
The United States Premier Development League team won their opening game in the 100th Lamar Hunt US Open Cup 2-0 at Deering's Memorial Stadium on Tuesday.
It's an open tournament comprised of 68 amateur and professional teams. The teams from the lowest tiers in the country play head-to-head progressing to larger, more established opponents. In the seven round single-elimination format, Major League Soccer teams receive byes until the third round.
In the second round, Portland will play the USL's Rochester Rhinos on May 21. One of the most consistent minor-league soccer franchises are all that stands between the Phoenix and a date with the New England Revolution of the MLS in the following round.
With players haling from all over the US and even world (Brazil, England, France, Scotland, Jamaica), the primary core of players are playing college across the country. Ages range from 18 to 28 years old.
Maine's lone representative is 2012 Cheverus graduate Nick Melville