AFC Ann Arbor’s quarter-final opponents for the Michigan Milk Cup has been confirmed for both the men’s and women’s competition. BiH GR defeated Bafana United in a first-round match in the men’s tournament, while for the women it was North Oakland topping Livonia City. The quarter-final bouts will both take place at Concordia, home of The Mighty Oak. The men’s QF will be on May 30th while the women’s match will take place June 4th. It will be a pair of first-time meetings as while AFCAA fans certainly know about the inaugural women’s season, this is also year one of the men’s opponent, BiH GR, as well.
This is the third season of the Michigan Milk Cup, but the first year of the women’s competition. When it comes to the men’s cup, however, AFC Ann Arbor have been able to find a great deal of success in the prior two competitions. The Mighty Oak became the inaugural champions in 2017 when the competition was formatted in a double round-robin that took place throughout the NPSL season. In 2018, the competition shifted to a single-elimination tournament with eight teams. AFCAA knocked out Oakland County FC over two legs and Kalamazoo FC in an away semifinal, before falling to Lansing United in the final.
“We’re happy to participate in the Michigan Milk Cup again in 2019,” said head coach Eric Rudland. “It has been best to see the tournament evolve from year to year as it unifies competitive amateur teams across the state of Michigan.” On the opponent, Rudland said, “We don’t know a ton about BiH at the moment, but we know they are a respectable side with a good coach and a core group of veteran players.” He also added that he looks forward to the competition outside of just NPSL league play to close out the month of May.
The 2019 Men’s Michigan Milk Cup has been expanded to feature twelve teams instead of just eight. AFCAA were allowed a berth to the quarter-finals alongside Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC (both NPSL), and Flint City Bucks (USL League Two). AFCAA found their opponent out after a 6-0 victory on the road for the newest addition to the UPSL over Bafana United (MPSL). This match will be the seventh match of the season for AFCAA, with five NPSL matches and a USOC match confirmed to occur before this one in the month of May.
The 2019 Women’s Michigan Milk Cup features nine teams, which was knocked down to eight following the first round ‘play-in’ game that saw North Oakland topple Livonia City 6-1. The competition will feature four teams that AFCAA will see in UWS league play: Detroit Sun, Michigan Legends, Lansing United, and Grand Rapids FC.
“Every game that we play in is a good test to see what we have here at AFC Ann Arbor in our first year playing. We know we have some fantastic individuals and great personalities that are working hard, looking to improve and gel as a team. North Oakland look like they have a team that counter quickly and also have individuals that can break teams down. It should make for an exciting game,” said Women’s Head Coach Andy Pritchard.
“It's great to be a part of the Milk Cup this year, I got to see a mens game last year and there's a different type of feeling when you play a knockout competition rather than league games. We're glad the Milk Cup added a women's side this year as it will make the season even more exciting,” added Pritchard.
General, Youth and Premium members will receive free admission to these matches. Family and Flex tickets will also be accepted. Individual match tickets are on sale online at AFCAnnArbor.com/tickets, and can also be purchased at the gate.
About AFC Ann Arbor
Founded in 2014, Association Football Club Ann Arbor launched it’s men’s semi-pro team in 2015 and has competed in the NPSL since 2016. Led by Head Coach & Sporting Director, Eric Rudland, the team has found great success winning back to back Great Lakes Championships (‘17 & ‘18) and earning US Open Cup bids three straight years (2017-2019). In October 2018, the club announced the launch of the women’s side, who will be coached by Andy “Pritch” Pritchard in their inaugural season of the United Women’s Soccer national league. Owned by a group of local soccer fans and entrepreneurs, AFC Ann Arbor has become a fixture in the greater Ann Arbor community. Tickets can be purchased here or check out our official online team store here.