Chicago Awarded Match if Fire Gets Past United;
Galaxy-Dynamo Winner Hosts if D.C. Prevails
CHICAGO (Aug. 30, 2006) – The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas, and Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., were named possible venues for the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final on Sept. 27. The final venue will ultimately be determined by the semifinal round results on Sept. 6 as the Chicago Fire hosts D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy hosts the Houston Dynamo. The final will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel at either 7 p.m. CT if it is played in Chicago or Houston, or 8 p.m. PT if it is played in Carson.
In their fourth straight U.S. Open Cup semifinal round appearance, the Chicago Fire continues their Open Cup campaign by hosting D.C. United in the friendly confines of Toyota Park at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Led by former Fire star Peter Nowak, United rolls into town in what will be the first U.S. Open Cup meeting between the two teams, both of whom are previous champions in this tournament.
This Open Cup semifinal could prove to be an important indicator to both teams for how the rest of the season might progress. For Chicago, a win would legitimize their recent run of good form, and cement their place as a serious playoff contender in the MLS standings. For United, a win would put a stop to their recent slide, and put them in prime position to have their named etched on the Dewar Cup trophy as champion for a second time.
Defending 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy will host their Western Conference rival Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 7:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center. With already two Open Cup Championships under their belt, the Galaxy has been known to place a strong emphasis on cup competition.
“The U.S. Open Cup is an opportunity for us to defend our championship and this organization is about winning championships,” said Los Angeles president and General Manager Alexi Lalas.
The Houston Dynamo is seeking to establish itself as a championship franchise for the first time since their relocation from San Jose last year. For either team to advance to the final, key opposing attacking players must be contained and limited to few scoring opportunities. The Galaxy will need to stop MLS All-Star MVP Dwayne De Rosario from not only scoring goals, but controlling the central part of the field. On the other side, the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, whose play seems to be in top form, will need to be the primary concern for Dynamo defenders.
At stake in the tournament is $180,000 in prize money broken down as follows: $100,000 to the champion, $50,000 to the runner up and $10,000 to the team which advances deepest in the tournament from each of the Division II, Division III and amateur levels.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule/Results
MLS (12): Chicago Fire, CD Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake
USL First Division (8): Atlanta Silverbacks, Charleston Battery, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Portland Timbers, Rochester Raging Rhinos, Seattle Sounders, Virginia Beach Mariners
USL Second Division (6): Charlotte Eagles, Cincinnati Kings, New Hampshire Phantoms, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Wilmington Hammerheads
USL Premier Development League (8): BYU Cougars, Cape Cod Crusaders, Carolina Dynamo, Des Moines Menace, Laredo Heat, Michigan Bucks, Ogden Outlaws, Virginia Beach Submariners
USASA (8): Allied SC (Reg. I; Baltimore, Md.), Arizona Sahuaros (Region IV; Phoenix, Ariz.), Chicago Lightning (Reg. II; Chicago, Ill.), Croatian Eagles (Reg. II; Franklin, Wisc.), Dallas Mustang Legends (Reg. III; Dallas, Texas), Milford International (Reg. I; Bridgeport, Conn.), Roma FC (Reg. III; Garland, Texas), Sonoma County Sol (Region IV; Santa Rosa, Calif.)