COLUMBUS, Ohio (Thursday, October 24, 2002) - The Columbus Crew won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tonight with a 1-0 victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy in front of 6,054 chilly fans at the Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
The victory for the Crew came courtesy of a 30th minute first-half goal from forward Freddy Garcia as teammate Brian West’s right side cross was deflected by Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Reis to the Guatemalan forward, who got the rebound and fired a low shot from seven yards out for the only goal of the game.
“It was a great goal for me,” said Garcia. “I guess I was at the right place at the right time.”
The victory was the first domestic championship in the Crew's seven-year history and also earned them the final U.S. Soccer berth for the 2003 CONCACAF Champions Cup. The win also gave the Crew 13 total victories in Open Cup competition since 1996 (the most since the inception of MLS).
“I think luck was on our side tonight,” said Crew head coach Greg Andrulis. “It was a great way to end our year and I have to give credit to all our guys for all their work. It feels real good to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and it is an honor for us to have it now as the first championship in our trophy case.”
The match marked the first shutout in a U.S. Open Cup Championship match since the A-League’s Rochester Raging Rhinos blanked the MLS’ Colorado Rapids 2-0 on September 14, 1999 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
The Galaxy had the better possession of the ball in the first half, outshooting the Crew 9-4, but it was the home team that would get on the board through Garcia’s goal. The Galaxy continued to search for the equalizer throughout the game, but couldn’t beat a strong performance from Crew goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Forward Jeff Cunningham had an opportunity to increase the Crew lead in the 67th minute of the second half as he had a one-on-one with Galaxy netminder Reis but his low shot was saved out for a corner kick. A minute later, Galaxy’s substitute Alejandro Moreno fired a 12-yard rocket that was saved by Busch, one of four saves on the evening for the Crew stalwart.
In the 78th minute, another Galaxy substitute, Mauricio Cienfuegos, hit a left-side cross into the box, finding teammate Simon Elliott, but his header went just wide right of the far post.
Columbus went down to 10 players after the ejection of defender Chad McCarty in the 83rd minute, but although the Galaxy created a couple of dangerous moments with the man-advantage, they could not force overtime with a goal.
Dating back to 1914, the 89-year-old U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States and is among the oldest in the world. For a final updated 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Bracket please visit (.pdf)
2002 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP GAME REPORT
Participants: Columbus Crew vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Competition: 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship
Venue: Crew Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
Date: October 24, 2002
Weather: 47 F, Clear & Cold
Scoring Summary: 1st ... 2nd ... Final
Columbus Crew 1 0 1
Los Angeles Galaxy 0 0 0
CLB – Freddy Garcia (Brian West) 30th minute
CLB – 1-Jon Busch, 3-Mike Clark, 5-Chad McCarty, 8-Duncan Oughton,10-Brian Maisonneuve – Capt. (19-Robert Warzycha, 89), 11-Jeff Cunningham (9-Dante Washington, 89), 13-Brian Dunseth, 15-Freddy Garcia (4-Daniel Torres, 81), 16-Eric Denton, 17-Brian West (21-Kyle Martino, 65), 20-Brian McBride.
Substitutes Not Used: 6-John Harkes, 14-John Wilmar Perez, 22-Tom Presthus
LA – 1-Matt Reis, 5-Chris Albright (15-Alejandro Moreno, 59), 8-Peter Vagenas (9-Brian Mullan, 86), 11-Sasha Victorine, 12-Simon Elliott, 13-Cobi Jones -Capt., 14-Tyrone Marshall, 17-Ezra Hendrickson, 20-Carlos Ruiz, 23-Danny Califf, 30-Alexi Lalas (10-Mauricio Cienfuegos, 76).
Substitutes Not Used: 4-Adam Frye, 6-Craig Waibel, 21-McKinley Tennyson, 22-Kevin Hartman
Statistical Summary: CLB ... LA
Shots 10 ... 19
Saves 4 ... 4
Corner Kicks 4 ... 4
Fouls 21 ... 13
Offsides 1 ... 1
Ruiz (caution) 8.
Clark (caution) 43.
McCarty (caution) 48.
McCarty (caution) 83.
McCarty (ejection) 83.
Referee: Brian Hall (Gilroy, Calif.)
Referee Assistant #1: Craig Lowry (New Holland, Pa.)
Referee Assistant #2: Steven Davidson (Schaumberg, Ill.)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar (Elgin, Ill.)