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Possible Dates and Venues Set For 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final

CHICAGO (Aug. 7, 2008) – The possible sites and venues for the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final have been announced as four teams prepare for the semifinal matches that will take place Tuesday, Aug. 12. Once again, the U.S. Open Cup final will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.

The semifinalists include a pair of teams from MLS and another from the USL First Division. D.C. United welcomes defending champion New England Revolution to RFK Stadium in Washington D.C., while the Seattle Sounders travel across the country to face Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. Both games will take place on August 12 at 7:30 p.m. local time.

The winner between the Sounders and Battery will become the just the second-ever non-MLS team to play in an Open Cup final since the top professional league entered the tournament in 1996.

U.S. Open Cup Final

Date Potential Matchups Venue; City, State Time (local)
Sept. 3 D.C. United (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL1) Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash. 8 p.m.
  -- or --    
Sept. 3 Charleston Battery (USL1) at D.C. United (MLS) RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. 7:30 p.m.
  -- or --    
Sept. 15 New England Revolution (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL1) Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash. 7 p.m.
  -- or --    
Sept. 22 New England Revolution (MLS) at Charleston Battery (USL1) Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C. 7 p.m.

Preview: New England Revolution (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS)
New England enters the semifinals in search of their second straight U.S. Open Cup title. The defending champions won their first U.S. Open Cup last year after beating rival F.C. Dallas 3-2 in the Championship match. This is New England’s ninth appearance in the U.S. Open Cup. The team holds a 10-6-2 all-time record in tournament play.

They enter the semifinal match as the leading team in the MLS Eastern Conference with 33 points.

D.C. United advanced to their sixth Open Cup Semifinal appearance after defeating rival Chicago Fire in a quarterfinal match on July 8 at Maryland Soccerplex. The 2-1 win was United’s first -ever win in the tournament against Chicago. United holds one U.S. Open Cup title, winning the 1996 tournament title to complete the “Double” after capturing the inaugural MLS Cup crown.

The teams have met once before in Open Cup competition and at the same stage of the event, the Revolution capturing a 2-0 victory in the semifinal of the 2001 edition of the tournament on Aug. 21, 2001 at Foxboro Stadium.

Preview: Seattle Sounders (USL1) at Charleston Battery (USL1)
The Charleston Battery is currently atop the United Soccer Leagues First Division, tied with the Vancouver Whitecaps at 34 points.

This is the Battery’s third-ever appearance in the Open Cup semifinals. In 2004, the Battery advanced to the semifinals before falling 1-0 to the Chicago Fire. The Sounders return to the semifinals for their second consecutive year, losing to eventual runner-up FC Dallas in 2007.

On Saturday, July 25, the Seattle Sounders faced the division-leading Charleston Battery in what became a preview match for the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. The Sounders won the game 1-0 with a second half goal from Striker Sebastien Le Toux at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington. Le Toux finished as top scorer of the 2007 Open Cup, recording five goals and two assists.

Open Cup Composition of Participating Teams:
8 Major League Soccer (MLS)
8 United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL1)
8 United Soccer Leagues Second Division (USL2)
16 Amateur (8 USL Premier Development League, 8 USASA regional qualifiers)
Total Number of Teams: 40
Total Number of Games: 39

The Lamar Hunt Open Cup tournament is the oldest 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.