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Initial Pairings Announced for 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup


CHICAGO (Thursday, May 29, 2003) – U.S. Soccer announced the first and second round pairings for the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup today. In the first round, eight amateur clubs from the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) and the United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League (PDL) will square off from June 4-8. In the second round, six teams from USL’s Pro Select League (USL-PSL) and two amateur teams join the mix for matches on June 25. Complete results, pairings and U.S. Open Cup news including a finalized schedule and venue list will be available on the competition page of ussoccer.com.

All but one of the berths for the 2003 tournament have been filled, with the field narrowed down to 34 teams from a total of 167 teams initially eligible. Ten Major League Soccer teams, eight A-League teams, six USL-PSL teams, six PDL teams and four USASA teams will qualify for this tournament.  

In the first round, four USASA teams will face four PDL teams. Two PDL teams, the Bradenton Academics and the Mid-Michigan Bucks, earned a first round bye based on a random draw of all 10 amateur teams held at Soccer House. On the East Coast, the USASA Region I Champion Bridgeport (Conn.) Italians will take on the Chesapeake Dragons (PDL), while USASA Region III’s D.S. United from Jacksonville, Fla., will face Raleigh CASL Elite (PDL) at a site to be determined. In the Midwest, the tournament opens with the Milwaukee Bavarians of USASA’s Region II traveling to face the Des Moines Menace (PDL). Completing the first round, the Fresno Fuego (PDL) will host the winner of this weekend’s USASA Region IV qualifying tournament.

In the second round, either the Bridgeport Italians or the Chesapeake Dragons will travel to take on the New Hampshire Phantoms as the USL-PSL teams enter the tournament. The 2002 USL-PSL Champion Long Island Rough Riders will head west to face the Mid-Michigan Bucks, who advanced to the second round through their bye. The other second round game with both opponents and a site already determined is the Bradenton Academics traveling north to face the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL-PSL.

Three second-round game sites are yet to be determined. The Utah Blitzz (USL-PSL) will face the Fresno Fuego or the USASA Region IV winner and the Reading Rage (USL-PSL) will face the winner of the Des Moines Menace/Milwaukee Bavarians game. Also, the USL-PSL’s Carolina Dynamo will face either D.S. United or Raleigh CASL Elite.

Geographical pairings and host proposals received from each club determined match-ups, as they will through the quarterfinals of the tournament. Consideration was also given to prevent teams from the same level from playing each other in the first or second rounds. Possible pairings for the third round will be announced after the completion of the first round.

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.

2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Initial Pairings

First Round
Game 1: Bridgeport Italians (USASA) at Chesapeake Dragons (PDL)
Game 2: D.S. United (USASA) vs. Raleigh CASL Elite (PDL) at site TBD
Game 3: Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) at Des Moines Menace (PDL)
Game 4: USASA Region IV Winner at Fresno Fuego (PDL)
Bye: Bradenton Academics (PDL)
Bye: Mid-Michigan Bucks (PDL)

Second Round
Game 5: Game 1 Winner at New Hampshire Phantoms (USL-PSL)
Game 6: Carolina Dynamo (USL-PSL) vs. Game 2 Winner at site TBD
Game 7: Bradenton Academics (PDL) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-PSL)
Game 8: Long Island Rough Riders (USL-PSL) at Mid-Michigan Bucks (PDL)
Game 9: Reading Rage (USL-PSL) vs. Game 3 Winner at site TBD
Game 10: Game 4 Winner vs. Utah Blitzz (USL-PSL)

Qualified Teams
MLS (10): Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, MetroStars, New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes
A-League (8): Atlanta Silverbacks, El Paso Patriots, Milwaukee Wave United, Minnesota Thunder, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rochester Raging Rhinos, Seattle Sounders, Virginia Beach Mariners
USL-PSL (6): Carolina Dynamo, Long Island Rough Riders, New Hampshire Phantoms, Reading Rage, Utah Blitzz, Wilmington Hammerheads
PDL (6): Bradenton Academics, Chesapeake Dragons, Des Moines Menace, Fresno Fuego, Mid-Michigan Bucks, Raleigh CASL Elite
USASA (4): Bridgeport Italians, D.S. United, Milwaukee Bavarians, Region IV Champion

2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
Pairings Announcement: May 29
First Round: June 4-8
Second Round: June 25
Third Round: July 16
Fourth Round: Aug. 6
Quarterfinals: Aug. 27        
Semifinals: Sept. 23-24
Final: Oct. 15


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