CHICAGO (July 18, 2007) - The third round of the 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup ended on Wednesday, July 18 and all eight games have been completed. This round has seen plenty of upsets, as five MLS teams, the Los Angeles Galaxy, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, Chicago Fire, and Chivas USA have already fallen to lower division USL teams. This marks the first time in U.S. Open Cup history that the majority of the teams in the quarterfinals are from the USL. The fourth round begins on August 7.
The third round kicked off in an exciting fashion with the Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1) taking on FC Dallas (MLS) at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. FC Dallas elected to field their strongest team for this match and the Silverbacks fought admirably throughout the entire 120 minutes, but lost 4-3 on penalties. The game was scoreless up until the 74th minute when forward and Guatemalan International Carlos Ruiz gave the home side the lead. Atlanta answered almost instantly, when Dan Antoniuk scored the equalizer just four minutes later in the 78th minute. Jubilation at tying the score turned into heartbreak, however, as Antoniuk received a red card just four minutes later after he kicked FC Dallas defender Clarence Goodison in the face in an act perceived as retaliation for an unseen foul on the Silverback player earlier in the game. The hero of the match for Atlanta was goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh who kept the Silverbacks in the game with nine saves and an additional two saves in the penalty shootout. Unfortunately for Atlanta, this performance was not enough and Arturo Alvarez scored the winning penalty kick for Dallas after Scott Buete of Atlanta missed his attempt. FC Dallas will take on the Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston S.C. on Tuesday, August 7 at 7:30 pm ET.
The first of four upsets to take place in the third round happened in Richmond Virginia as the Richmond Kickers (USL-2) defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) 1-0. David Bulow scored an unassisted goal for the Kickers in the 31st minute when the Galaxy were unable to successfully clear a corner kick. Richmond were able to keep the Galaxy off of the score sheet for the rest of the game, with Goalkeeper Ronnie Pascal making four saves, thus claiming a spot in the fourth round. Richmond will play the winner of the match between the Chicago Fire and the Carolina RailHawks (July 15) at either Chicago or Carolina.
After 105 minutes of scoreless action at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., the Charleston Battery (USL-1) broke the deadlock and Stephen Armstrong scored on the rebound, after having his penalty blocked, in the 106th minute to defeat the reigning MLS Cup Champions, the Houston Dynamo (MLS). Goalkeeper Zach Wells of the Houston Dynamo blocked the initial shot from Armstrong, but Armstrong was quick off of the spot and made sure to power the ball into the back of the net. The Battery will host FC Dallas in the next round, at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston S.C. on Tuesday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET, in what will be a rematch of last years fourth round game in which Dallas won in penalties, 5-3.
In an exciting finish, the New England Revolution (MLS) defeated the Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL-1) by a score of 4-2 at PAETEC Park in Rochester, N.Y. The match had a total of six goals, five coming in the second half. Steve Ralston opened the scoring for the Revolution with an unassisted strike in the 19th minute. Taylor Twellman then doubled the lead by scoring the first of his two goals in the 67th minute. Rochester fought back bravely with Hamad Diallo scoring two goals nine minutes apart (67th, 76th minutes) to tie the score 2-2. Then, on the 90 minute mark, Taylor Twellman scored to give the Revolution the lead. Steve Ralston then added a penalty in stoppage time to put the game out of reach for the Rhinos. The Revolution will face the Harrisburg City Islanders in the fourth round at Gilette Stadium in Foxborough Mass. on Wednesday, August 8 at 7:30 pm ET.
The Colorado Rapids (MLS) defeated the visiting California Victory (USL-1) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. by a score of 3-1. The home team opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a goal by Jose Cancela, who then assisted Herculez Gomez on Colorado’s second goal (50th minute). The Victory tried to mount a comeback following a goal by Juan Epitie in the 79th minute, but an 89th minute strike courtesy of Omar Cummings secured the win for the Rapids. Colorado will hit the road to play the winner of the match between Chivas USA and the Seattle Sounders in the fourth round.
D.C. United (MLS) were the third MLS team to fall in the Third Round of the Open Cup as the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) defeated them 1-0. Steve Fisher scored for the Islanders one minute before halftime to put Harrisburg in the lead and that proved to be enough to hold off D.C. United in front of the home crowd at Hempfield High School Stadium in Greensburg, P.A. The Islanders will now travel to Massachusetts where they will face the New England Revolution in the fourth round at Gilette Stadium in Foxborough Mass. on Wednesday, August 8 at 7:30 pm ET.
The Carolina RailHawks (USL-1) were the fourth USL team to upset their MLS counterparts as they defeated the Chicago Fire (MLS) 1-0 on Sunday, July 15 at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The score was tied until McColm Cephas gave the RailHawks the lead with a strike from inside the penalty area in the 56th minute. Carolina held on to the lead thanks to solid goalkeeping from backup goalkeeper John O’Hara, who has not seen any playing time during the regular season. This victory ensures that at least one USL team will be present in the Open Cup Semifinals. The RailHawks will face the Richmond Kickers on August 7 at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, NC. at 7:30 pm ET in the next round.
To close out the third round, and to add a fifth upset to the surprising results, the Seattle Sounders (USL-1) beat Chivas USA (MLS) 3-1, at Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash. Chivas opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Laurent Merlin’s shot deflected off of Seattle defender Danny Jackson and over goalkeeper Chris Eylander. Seattle tied up the score just before halftime, however, as Leighton O’Brien passed to Roger Levesque who then left the ball for Sebastien Le Toux to shoot past the helpless Chivas goalkeeper. This trio hooked up again on the other side of halftime for Le Toux’s second goal of the night. The two goals by Le Toux proved to be enough to see off the visiting Chivas USA side, but Levesque added a goal to his two assists in the 82nd minute as Le Toux let a cross from Josh Gardner roll through his legs to the unmarked Levesque at the back post. This game was not a good homecoming for Chivas goalkeeper Preston Burpo, who after nine years with the Sounders, left to join Chivas last year. Seattle will play the Colorado Rapids in the next round.
The next round will begin on August 7, with eight teams from the original 40 remaining. Of those eight teams, five are from the USL. This will be the first time in U.S. Open Cup history that the majority of the teams in the quarterfinals will be from the USL.
2007 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP THIRD ROUND SCORES
|29||Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1)
at FC Dallas (MLS)
|Pizza Hut Park;
|1-1 (3-4 PK's)|
|26||New England Revolution (MLS)
at Rochester Rhinos (USL-1)
|27||Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
at Richmond Kickers (USL-2)
|Univ. of Richmond Stadium;
|30||Houston Dynamo (MLS)
at Charleston Battery (USL-1)
|31||California Victory (USL-1)
at Colorado Rapids (MLS)
|Dick’s Sporting Goods Park;
Commerce City, Colo.
|25||D.C. United (MLS)
at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2)
|Hempfield High School Stadium;
|28||Chicago Fire (MLS)
at Carolina RailHawks (USL-1)
|SAS Soccer Park;
|32||CD Chivas USA (MLS)
at Seattle Sounders (USL-1)
Fourth Round Possible Pairings
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) at New England Revolution (MLS)
Gilette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
7:30 pm ET
Richmond Kickers (USL-2) at CarolinaRailhawks (USL-1)
SAS Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
7:30 pm ET
FC Dallas (MLS) at Charleston Battery (USL-1)
Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston S.C.
7:30 pm ET
Colorado Rapids (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL-1)
Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash.
7 pm PT
2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
Aug. 7 Quarterfinals Round 3 winners
Sept. 4 Semifinals Quarterfinal winners
Oct. 2 Final Semifinal winners
Composition of participating teams:
8 Major League Soccer
9 United Soccer Leagues First Division
7 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