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Possible Semifinal Pairings Set for 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup


CHICAGO (July 7, 2008) – U.S. Soccer announced the possible semifinal scenarios for the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The semifinal round will be played on August 12, with the winners of the quarterfinal round to be determined on July 8.

The quarterfinals consist of five MLS teams including defending champions New England Revolution, Kansas City Wizards, D.C. United, Chicago Fire, and F.C. Dallas. Two USL First Division teams will compete, with the Seattle Sounders and Charleston Battery remaining in contention, and Crystal Palace Baltimore represents the only USL Second Division team still in the running for the U.S. Open Cup.

The winner of the quarterfinal match between Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) and the New England Revolution (MLS) will have to win on the road to earn a spot in the Open Cup Final as the quarterfinal winner between the Chicago Fire (MLS) and D.C. United (MLS) will host the semifinal. If the Fire win, they will host the semifinal match at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., while United would host at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. 

In the other semifinal bracket, three of the four teams could host if they win their quarterfinal match. If the Charleston Battery defeat FC Dallas, they would host the winner between the Kansas City Wizards and Seattle Sounders. If FC Dallas wins their quarterfinal match against the Battery, they could either host Kansas City at Westcott Field in University Park, Texas, or travel to face Seattle at Qwest Field.

Before we get to the semifinals though, here’s a quick breakdown of the four quarterfinal matchups that will be played on July 8.

Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) at New England Revolution (MLS)
Tuesday, July 8, 7:00 p.m. ET – Veterans Stadium, Willow Brook Park; New Britain, Conn.

As the only USL Second Division team remaining in the U.S. Open Cup, Crystal Palace Baltimore will take on the defending champions, the New England Revolution. Crystal Palace edged the Los Angeles Legends, 2–1, to continue play into the second round, where they advanced on penalty kicks, 4–3, after a 2–2 regulation tie against the Harrisburg City Islanders. In the third round, Baltimore eliminated the New York Red Bulls (MLS) with a 2–0 shutout.

The Revolution commenced the 2008 U.S. Open Cup play with a strong 3–0 victory over the Richmond Kickers. New England, along with all other MLS teams, entered the 2008 U.S. Open Cup in the third round.

Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL1)
Tuesday, July 8, 7:00 p.m. PT – Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash.

The Seattle Sounders are one of two USL First Division teams left in contention, with a game winning goal scored in the 118th minute against the Arizona Sahuaros in the first round, a solid 6–0 shutout over Hollywood United in the second round, and a 2–0 victory to knock out Chivas USA and advance to the quarterfinal round.

In the team’s first match of 2008 U.S. Open competition, the Kansas City Wizards defeated the Carolina Railhawks, 4–2, in overtime and look to reclaim the championship title after recording a 1–0 decision over the Fire in the 2004 final.

Chicago Fire (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS)
Tuesday, July 8, 7:30 p.m. ET – Maryland SoccerPlex; Germantown, Md.

The Chicago Fire and D.C. United are the only two MLS teams to compete head to head in the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Fire is a historically strong U.S. Open Cup competitor, and has taken home the championship title four times in the past nine years. In the MLS Play in Qualifier, the team defeated the Columbus Crew (MLS), 3–2, in added time, and went on to host the Cleveland City Stars and take a 4–1 win.
In the inaugural MLS season in 1996, D.C. United not only took home the MLS Cup but also the U.S. Open Cup title, with a 3–0 victory over the Rochester Raging Rhinos. In this year's competition, D.C. United opened up Cup play once again shutting out the Rhinos, but this time recorded a 2–0 result to advance into the quarterfinals.

Charleston Battery (USL1) at F.C. Dallas (MLS)
Tuesday, July 8, 7:30 p.m. CT – Pizza Hut Park; Frisco, Tex.

Charleston Battery advances into the quarterfinals on penalty kicks (4–3) after a 1–1 tie in regulation against Houston Dynamo. The team opened up U.S. Open Cup play with victories against the ASC New Stars in the first round, 3–0, and defeated the Charlotte Eagles, 2–1, in the second.

F.C. Dallas, the 1997 Open Cup champion and two-time runner-up (2005, 2007), launched their bid to return to the championship game for the third time in four years with a 2–1 result at home over the Miami F.C. Blues.

The tournament quarterfinalists are vying for a piece of the $180,000 in prize money at stake in the tournament. Prize money broken down as follows: $100,000 to the champion, $50,000 to the runner up and $10,000 to the team that advances deepest into the tournament from each of the Division II, Division III and amateur levels.

The winner of the U.S. Open Cup will qualify to compete in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League. The CONCACAF Champions League consists of 24 teams, with representatives from each of CONCACAF’S regions: four teams from Mexico and the U.S., two clubs each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama, and one team from Canada, Belize and Nicaragua, and three from the Caribbean. The U.S. Open Cup winners will represent the United States alongside the MLS Cup Champion, the MLS Regular Season Winner, the MLS Cup Runner-up.

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.

2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule/Results

2008 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP FOURTH ROUND MATCHES

Matchup Venue City/State Date Time (local)
Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) at New England Revolution (MLS) Veterans Stadium, Willow Brook Park New Britain, Conn. 7/8 7:00 p.m.
Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL1) Qwest Field Seattle, Wash. 7/8 7:00 p.m.
Chicago Fire (MLS) at DC United (MLS) Maryland SoccerPlex Germantown, Md. 7/8 7:30 p.m.
Charleston Battery (USL1) at FC Dallas (MLS) Pizza Hut Park Frisco, Tex. 7/8 7:30 p.m.

 SEMIFINAL PAIRING SCENARIOS

Potential Matchups Venue City/State Date Time (local)
Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) / New England Revolution (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS) RFK Stadium Washington, D.C.   8/12  7:30 p.m.
or        
Crystal Palace Baltimore / New England Revolution at Chicago Fire (MLS)  Toyota Park Bridgeview, Ill.  8/12  7:30 p.m.
         
Kansas City Wizards (MLS) / Seattle Sounders (USL1) at Charleston Battery (USL1) Blackbaud Stadium Charleston, S.C. 8/12  7:30 p.m.
or        
F.C. Dallas (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL1)  Qwest Field  Seattle, Wash.  8/12  7:00 p.m.

or

       
Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at F.C. Dallas (MLS)  Westcott Field  University Park, Tex.  8/12  7:30 p.m.

2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
June 12 First Round 32 lower division teams enter tournament
June 26 Second Round 16 Round 1 winners face off
July 1 Third Round Round 2 winners face eight MLS teams
July 8 Quarterfinals Round 3 winners
Aug. 12 Semifinals Quarterfinal winners
Aug. 24 Final Semifinal winners

Composition of participating teams:
8 Major League Soccer
8 United Soccer Leagues First Division 
8 United Soccer Leagues Second Division
16 Amateur (8 USL Premier Development League, 8 USASA regional qualifiers)
Total Number of Teams: 40
Total Number of Games: 39

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