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Open Cup Field Down to Eight Quarterfinalists After MLS Squads Take Seven of Eight Matches in Third Round

CHICAGO (Wednesday, July 17, 2002) – The 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round featured a record four sudden-death (golden goal) overtime victories in one night, as seven MLS teams and one A-League squad earned berths to the tournament’s Quarterfinals slated for August 7.

In the marquee match-up of the quarterfinals, the defending U.S. Open Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy will travel to take on the defending MLS champion San Jose Earthquakes in a match that will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World (FSW) and Fox Sports World Español (FSWE) from Spartan Stadium on Wednesday, August 7 at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET).

The Galaxy-Earthquakes match-up marks the third consecutive year that the two MLS-rivals will be meeting in the Open Cup quarterfinals.  L.A. has twice eliminated San Jose from the Open Cup, winning 10-9 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in 2001 and downing the 'Quakes 2-0 in 2000.  San Jose got a measure of revenge for those two defeats, though, by beating L.A. in overtime to claim the 2001 MLS Cup.

Another quarterfinal match will feature the MLS’ Kansas City Wizards visiting the last remaining A-League squad, the Milwaukee Rampage at the Rampage Sports Complex in Franklin, Wis.  The date and kickoff time for this encounter will be announced at a later date.

When the NY/NJ MetroStars (MLS) host the Columbus Crew (MLS) at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y., in another Open Cup quarterfinal match on August 7, that game will be played as part of a doubleheader with the WUSA’s New York Power and Carolina Courage. 

The fourth quarterfinal contest features the Colorado Rapids (MLS) traveling to meet the Dallas Burn (MLS) at the Cotton Bowl at 7:30 p.m. CT, also on August 7.

With four “golden goal“ victories in the Third Round, six overall matches were decided by a single goal as eight teams from Major League Soccer entered the tournament, beginning with Tuesday's lone match as the MetroStars shut out the host Hampton Roads Mariners (A-League) 1-0 at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. Forward Rodrigo Faria scored the game's only goal in the 76th minute as the victory gave the MetroStars their first berth in the Open Cup Quarterfinals since 2000.

The remaining seven Third Round matches took place yesterday as the Crew kicked off “Elimination Wednesday” with a 3-0 blanking over the visiting Richmond Kickers (A-League). The Crew’s offense was led by forward Dante Washington's two-goal performance, with U.S. Men's National Team star Brian McBride adding another.

Two former Open Cup champions were sent packing from the 2002 competition on Wednesday. The 1999 champion Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) squandered a 2-0 lead late in their match, as the Kansas City Wizards leveled the score to send the game into overtime.  Second-half substitute Chris Brown notched the game-winner in the 105th minute for the Wizards in the 3-2 victory.  The 1998 and 2000 champion Chicago Fire (MLS) also suffered a heartbreaking defeat as midfielder Ranko Golijanin scored the only goal of the match to boost the Milwaukee Rampage (A-League) to a 1-0 home-win over their Midwest neighbors.

Two goals by forward Chris Albright led the Galaxy’s quest for their second Open Cup title on Wednesday with a easy 4-0 victory over the host Minnesota Thunder (A-League).  In a renewed battle from the old North American Soccer League the visiting Earthquakes defeated the Seattle Sounders (A-League) in a marathon match 4-3 on a “golden goal” by forward Ariel Graziani in the 109th minute. 

In other Third Round results: Midfielder Antonio Martinez scored twice - including the game-winner in the 103rd minute - to lift the Burn to a 2-1 road victory over the Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League); Forward John Spencer notched the only tally eight minutes into sudden death overtime as the Rapids topped the host Charleston Battery (A-League) 1-0.

Following  the Galaxy-Earthquakes broadcast live from Spartan Stadium on Wednesday, August 7 at 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET), FSW and FSWE Open Cup will broadcast both Semifinal matches (tentatively set for September 3-4 or 10-11) and the 2002 Championship game (October 26 or 27).

Dating back to 1914, the 89-year-old U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States and is also among the oldest in the world.

The 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Brackets are available  here (pdf.)