I was looking through the results from Round 1 of National Cup and was struck by how insanely competitive one of the pools was (Group E) for the 2002s. My DD has never had any affiliation with any of the teams in that pool, but I am familiar with some of them. If these are the teams I think they are... The #1 seed was CDA FC Slammers - Fullerton. They are the type of team you might expect to see as a strong first round #1 seed. They won their Europa division and were undefeated in SCDSL league play. The strength of the #2 seed the Slammers team had to face is a little surprising. Barcelona Cantera won the Presidents Division of State Cup last year and advanced to the finals of the regional championships. They finished second in Flight 1 of SDDA (by one point and with a +20 goal differential) even though they had 2 forfeited games. It's the #3 seed where things get really wacky. The third seed was Westside Breakers Elite. They were the third place Champions team in SCDSL league play last fall with only 1 loss and a +19 goal differential. They made it to the championship of the SCDSL playoffs where they lost by only 1 goal. A number of teams they've beaten this season had byes to the second round of National Cup. YSR has them as the #11-ranked team in So Cal. With a group this strong surely they got a 4th seed that they could all beat up on, right? Nope. The 4th seed was the Pat's DPL team. It's hard for me to judge how strong they are, but I know they were strong enough to beat the #1-seeded CDA Slammers team the first weekend. Only 1 team ended up advancing out of this pool, which, no surprise, was Westside Breakers. The other 3 just beat up on each other (each had 1 win and 2 losses). Maybe Westside Breakers is the only team with a legitimate shot to win National Cup so its not a travesty that they were the only team to advance. But on its face I can't see any first round pool that was remotely as difficult as Group E. The National Cup rules say "Entries into the National Cup will be seeded and placed in brackets based primarily on California Regional League participation and the previous year’s National Cup." Maybe that's how this anomaly happened, but it seems Cal South should at least peek at teams' performances in the current season before finalizing everything.