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Revolution join FC Dallas, Carolina RailHawks, and Seattle Sounders in Open Cup Semifinals

CHICAGO (August 8, 2007) - The New England Revolution ensured that Major League Soccer would be equally represented in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals alongside FC Dallas (MLS), the Carolina RailHawks (USL-1) and Seattle Sounders (USL-1) after defeating the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) 2-1 in the final game of the quarterfinals on Wednesday, August 8 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

The victory gives the Revolution the opportunity to earn their second appearance in the U.S. Open Cup final.  Their first appearance was in 2001 when they lost 2-1 to the L.A. Galaxy.

The Sounders (USL-1) advanced to the final four with a stunning 5-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids (MLS) on Tuesday evening at Qwest Field in Seattle, while the RailHawks (USL-1) squeaked by the Richmond Kickers (USL-2), 1-0, at home.

The Charleston Battery (USL-1) almost ensured a non-MLS squad would move on to the finals, but their hopes of moving on to the semifinals were dashed in overtime by FC Dallas (MLS), who pulled out a 2-1 win.

The Sounders need to defeat their third straight MLS squad to move on to the finals when they host FC Dallas in just their second-ever Open Cup semifinal match on Sept. 4 (their first was in 1995). Before defeating the Rapids, Seattle downed Chivas USA, 3-1.

The Rochester Rhinos are the only non-MLS team to play in an Open Cup final since the league entered the tournament in 1996 advanced to the final twice, falling to D.C. United in 1996 before winning the tournament in 1999 against the Colorado Rapids.

New England Revolution (MLS) 2, Harrisburg City Islanders 1 (USL-2)
Scoring Summary
NE - Andy Dorman (Shalrie Joseph)        4th minute
NE - Taylor Twellman (Pat Noonan)        17th
HBG - Matt Tanzini                                       78th

In Foxborough, Mass. the New England Revolution avoided becoming the seventh MLS team to fall to a lower division side by defeating the visiting Harrisburg City Islanders, 2-1. New England wasted no time getting on the score sheet as Andy Dorman scored in the fourth minute, on a solid left footed volley, to give the home side an early lead. Striker Taylor Twellman doubled the lead just 13 minutes later, calmly tapping in a low cross from Pat Noonan. Harrisburg fought hard to reduce their deficit, and were given hope of tying the game when Matt Tanzini cut the Revolution lead in half in the 78th minute. Tanzini scored a brilliant goal, hitting a powerful strike from 30 yards out that soared into the top right corner of the net. The Islanders were unable to get a second goal, however, and their comeback effort was effectively thwarted in the 90th minute when Anthony Calvano received a second yellow card for running into Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis. This victory by the Revolution completes the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Open Cup and New England will face off against the Carolina RailHawks in the semifinals.

Carolina RailHawks (USL-1) 1, Richmond Kickers (USL-2) 0
Scoring Summary
CAR – Connally Edozien (Jonny Steele)                         64th minute
In Cary, N.C.,  the Carolina RailHawks  faced the defending USL-2 champions, the Richmond Kickers, in a tight match with both teams enjoying good stretches of play. The game was scoreless after the first half but the deadlock was finally broken by the RailHawks in the 64th minute. Jonny Steele got loose down the right side of the field and sent a far post cross to Connally Edozien who slotted the ball home for his fourth goal of the tournament, and the only goal of the game. Richmond did not go down without a fight, however, and only the heroics of Carolina defender Frankie Sanfilippo kept the Kickers from tying the score and forcing overtime, as he cleared a ball off of the line in the 90th minute. The Railhawks will play the New England Revolution in the next round.

FC Dallas (MLS) 2, Charleston Battery (USL-1) 1 (OT)
Scoring Summary
CHA – Stephen Armstrong              17th minute
DAL – Clarence Goodson                22.
DAL – Arturo Alvarez                          95.

In the second match of the night, FC Dallas were once again unable to secure victory in 90 minutes of play and needed overtime to see off the Charleston Battery. The Battery got on the scoreboard first as Stephen Armstrong's  left footed strike from 35 yards out found the back of the net in the 17th minute. FC Dallas, not happy to fall behind early in the game, fought back quickly and Clarence Goodson's header brought the score level in the 22nd minute. Neither team were able to break the tie, and the game moved into overtime. FC Dallas only needed five minutes before they scored the eventual winning goal, courtesy of Arturo Alvarez, who beat Charleston goalkeeper Dusty Hudock with a strike to the near post from inside the penalty area. FC Dallas will now face the Seattle Sounders in the semifinals.

Seattle Sounders (USL-1) 5, Colorado Rapids (MLS) 0
Scoring Summary:
SEA – Taylor Graham (Josh Gardner)                23rd minute.
SEA – Zach Scott (Leighton O’Brien)                  25.
SEA - Own goal (Ugo Ihemelu)                            41.
SEA – Josh Gardner (Sebastien Le Toux)         56.
SEA – Sebastien Le Toux                                      68.

In one of the most surprising results of the entire tournament, the Seattle Sounders outclassed their MLS visitors with a 5-0 drubbing of the Colorado Rapids at Qwest Field in Seattle, Wash. The home side opened their scoring account in the 23rd minute as Taylor Graham headed a Josh Gardner corner kick past Rapids goalkeeper Zach Thornton. Just two minutes later Zach Scott got on the end of a free kick by Leighton O'Brien and headed the ball home to give the Sounders a surprising 2-0 lead. Just four minutes before halftime Seattle added another goal to their lead, as a shot from Roger Levesque was saved by Thornton, but then bounced off of his defender Ugo Ihemelu and into the back of the net, making the halftime score 3-0. To make matters even worse for the Rapids, defender Facundo Erpen received his second yellow card of the game in the 49th minute, reducing Colorado to 10 men for the remaining 41 minutes of play. Seattle capitalized on this and Josh Gardner (56th minute) and Sebastien Le Toux (68th minute) each scored to make the final score 5-0. With the win, the Sounders extended their overall unbeaten streak to 11 matches (10-0-1), posting their third convincing victory in four U.S. Open Cup matches this year. Seattle will play FC Dallas in the next round.

Quarterfinal Results

No. Date Teams Venue;Location Result
33 August 8 Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) at New England Revolution (MLS) Gilette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass. 1-2
34 August 7 Richmond Kickers (USL-2) at CarolinaRailhawks (USL-1) SAS Soccer Park; Cary, N.C. 1-0
35 August 7 FC Dallas (MLS) at Charleston Battery (USL-1) Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston S.C. 2-1 OT
36 August 7 Colorado Rapids (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL-1) Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash. 0-5

Semifinal Pairings

No. Date Teams Venue;Location Time
37 Tuesday, September 4 Carolina RailHawks (USL-1) at New England Revolution (MLS) Veterans Stadium; New Britain, Conn. 7:00 p.m. ET
38 Tuesday, September 4 FC Dallas (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL-1) Qwest Field; Seattle, Wash. 7:00 p.m. PT

2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
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