Sydney derby drawn for FFA Cup round of 16

BEN MCKAY
Last updated 04:56 23/08/2014

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The FFA Cup has its dream draw, with Sydney United 58 pitted against A-League side Sydney FC.

The local derby will see United, a three-time National Soccer League (NSL) grand-finalist, playing Graham Arnold's "Bling FC" in the tie of the round of 16.

Arnold played for almost a decade at the NSL club, known then as Sydney Croatia, and was delighted with the tie.

"There will be a big build up and it's going to be a fantastic night with a packed crowd, I have no doubt," he said.

"It is an excellent draw for Sydney United, for ourselves and for the city of Sydney.

Another of the connections between the clubs is Sydney United 58's coach Mark Rudan.

Rudan was Sydney FC's foundation captain, and was linked with the vacant Sydney FC coaching job in the off-season.

He tweeted "You beauty!" at the tie, which is likely to be staged at their home ground, Sydney United Sports Centre in Edensor Park.

The only all A-League tie is Adelaide United against 2014 A-League champions Brisbane Roar.

Minnows South Springvale, who play in the Victorian third-tier, must travel to Queensland if they are to continue their tremendous run.

They play Palm Beach Sharks, while fellow Queensland grassroots side Olympic FC will host Central Coast Mariners.

Victorian second division St Albans Saints hosts Perth Glory, while Melbourne Victory will head to Canberra to play Tuggeranong United.

Victory's trip to the ACT is a homecoming for their new Socceroo signing Carl Valeri.

Valeri played his junior football for the club and told Fairfax media last month the prospect of a reunion was "crazy".

But in its inaugural season, the FFA Cup is already gathering a reputation for fairytale stories unseen elsewhere in Australian sport.

The draw is not pure, with A-League and grassroots clubs drawn from different pots using an FFA-devised system to ensure at least one grassroots club makes the semi-finals.

With only six A-League clubs remaining - following losses to Melbourne City, Newcastle Jets, Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers - the draw is already stacked with 10 community clubs.

After Adelaide City's stunning 1-0 win over the Wanderers in the opening round, former player and 87-cap Socceroo Alex Tobin assisted with the Round of 16 draw.

Tobin, who played over 500 games for City in the National Soccer League (NSL) side, drew his old side with the first ball.

Adelaide City will host fellow NSL old boys Brisbane Strikers, while Bentleigh Greens will travel to Sydney Olympic to complete the round of 16.

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FFA CUP ROUND OF 16 DRAW

Adelaide City (SA) vs Brisbane Strikers (Vic)
Sydney Olympic (NSW) vs Bentleigh Greens (Vic)
Palm Beach Sharks (Qld) vs South Springvale (Vic)
Adelaide United (SA) vs Brisbane Roar (Qld)
Olympic FC (Qld) vs Central Coast Mariners (NSW)
Sydney United 58 FC (NSW) vs Sydney FC (NSW)
Tuggeranong United (ACT) vs Melbourne Victory (Vic)
St Albans Saints (Vic) vs Perth Glory (WA)

Four matches are scheduled to be played on both Tuesday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 23. Venues and times to be confirmed

- AAP

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