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U.S. Open Cup Second Round Begins Today


CHICAGO (Wednesday, June 23, 1999) - The second round of the 1999 U.S. Open Cup begins today with three interesting matches between first round winners from the amateur ranks and professional teams from the USL's A-League, who enter the competition at this stage. The round opens when the USASA Region I United German Hungarians, the lowest ranked of the first round survivors at #29, face the #11-ranked Staten Island Vipers, who earned the third highest A-League spot, at 7:30 p.m. ET. In other action across the country, the Mid Michigan Bucks face the '98 A-League runner-up Minnesota Thunder at 7:30 p.m. CT, while the PDL's Spokane Shadow battle fellow Washington state residents, the Seattle Sounders, at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Other marquee matches from the second round include two intrastate rivalries pitting amateurs versus professionals. The defending A-League champion Rochester Raging Rhinos play host to the PDL's New York Freedoms on Wednesday, July 30, while the Jacksonville Cyclones take on the Cocoa Expos on Saturday, July 10.

The first round concluded Sunday with the Carolina Dynamo scoring a 1-0 victory over Mil- waukee's Bavarian Leinenkugel, courtesy of an 86th minute header from Daniel Dudley. Despite the loss for the USASA Region II representatives, the amateurs still finished with a 5-3 record against their D3 Pro League counterparts, including a perfect 4-0 sweep for the four teams from the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League. Revenge may have been the motivating factor, as the D3 Pro League shut out the amateurs in the 1998 Open Cup with an 8-0 record.

The final 32-team U.S. Open Cup field is comprised of eight teams each from Major League Soccer, the A-League and the D3 Pro League, as well as four teams each from the PDL and the USASA.

Dating back to 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, the annual U.S. Open Cup is an 86-year-old single-elimination tournament based on similar competitions played across the world concurrent with domestic league action.

The brackets for the first three rounds of the tournament have been solidified, helping each team chart their course into the quarterfinals, at which time a draw will be conducted to determine the pairings among the Open Cup's final eight competitors. Played under FIFA rules, each Open Cup match will finish with a winner, with tie games going into 30 minutes of sudden death overtime, and then to penalty kicks.

The 1999 U.S. Open Cup final is scheduled for the newly-constructed Columbus Crew Stadium on September 14 and will be televised live at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN for the first time in the annual tournament's history. For ticket information, contact the Columbus Crew at 614/221-2739.

1998 U.S. OPEN CUP SCHEDULE
First Round
DateThe Match-UpsKickoff/Result
June 5Los Lobos (USASA III) at Wilmington Hammerheads(D3)8-1, Wilmington
June 8Austin Lone Stars (D3) at Mid-Michigan Bucks (PDL)3-2, Mid-Michigan
June 9New York Freedom (PDL) at Cape Cod Crusaders (D3)3-1, New York
June 9United German Hungarians (USASA I) at New Jersey Stallions(D3)2-1, UG Hungarians
June 10Cocoa Expos (PDL) at N. Virginia Royals (D3)5-3, Cocoa
June 11Mexico SC (USASA IV) at Arizona Sahuaros (D3)3-2 OT, Arizona
June 16Spokane Shadow (PDL) at Chico Rooks (D3)3-2 OT, Spokane
June 20Bavarian Leinenkugel (USASA II) at Carolina Dynamo (D3)1-0, Carolina

1998 U.S. OPEN CUP SCHEDULE
Second Round
DateThe Match-UpsKickoff
June 23 #29 German Hungarians (USASA I) at #11 Staten Island Vipers (A-League) 7:30 p.m. ET
June 23 #25 Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL) at #12 Minnesota Thunder (A-League) 7:30 p.m. CT
June 23 #28 Spokane Shadow (PDL) at #14 Seattle Sounders (A-League) 7:30 p.m. PT
June 30 #26 New York Freedom (PDL) at #9 Rochester Rhinos (A-League) 7:30 p.m. ET
June 30 #19 Arizona Sahuaros (D3 Pro) at #10 San Diego Flash (A-League) 4:15 p.m. PT
July 5 #24 Carolina Dynamo (D3 Pro) at #16 Orange County Zodiac (A-League) TBD
July 6 #17 Wilm. Hammerheads (D3 Pro) at #13 Charleston Battery (A-League) 8:00 p.m. ET
July 10 #27 Cocoa Expos (PDL) at #15 Jacksonville Cyclones (A-League) 7:30 p.m. ET

1998 U.S. OPEN CUP SCHEDULE
Third Round
DateThe Match-UpsKickoff
July 13 Staten Island (A) / UGH (USASA I) at #8 NY/NJ MetroStars (MLS) TBD
July 13 Orange County (A) / Carolina (D3) at #4 Columbus Crew (MLS) TBD
July 13 Jacksonville (A) / Cocoa (PDL) at #5 Dallas Burn (MLS) TBD
July 13 Seattle (A) / Spokane (PDL) at #1 Colorado Rapids (MLS) TBD
July 14 #6 Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS) at Minnesota (A) / Mid Michigan (PDL) TBD
July 14 #2 Chicago Fire (MLS) at Rochester (A) / New York (PDL) TBD
August 4#3 D.C. United (MLS) at Charleston (A) / Wilmington (D3) TBD
TBD #7 Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) at San Diego (A) / Arizona (D3) TBD

Rankings based on team's divisional standing as of June 1, 1999 ... Team rankings do not affect team pairings or home-field advantage, but are listed to serve the media and fans in comparing team strengths ... League affiliation listed in parenthesis.

www.us-soccer.com FOR LATEST U.S. OPEN CUP INFORMATION: For the latest information on the 1999 U.S. Open Cup be sure to log on to www.us-soccer.com for the redesigned U.S. Open Cup web page. The site is updated daily with match results, schedules and previews, and also features recaps from previous tournaments. New features on the site include up-to-date qualifying procedures and recaps and final standings from each division in the competition. For the latest on the tournament, go to www.us-soccer.com and click on the U.S. Open Cup icon.

#29-German Hungarians (USASA) vs. #11-Staten Island Vipers (D3):
The United German Hungarians knocked off the D3's New Jersey Stallions, 2-1, to become the only team from the USASA and the lowest ranked team to advance to the second round. In Open Cup qualifying, the Hungarians averaged an amazing five goals per game during the quarters, semis, and regional finals, winning 4-2, 5-3, and a stunning 6-0 in the championship match. The Staten Island Vipers are the third highest ranked A-League team and are currently tied for third place in the Northeast Division with a 6-4 record and 28 points.

#26-Spokane Shadow (PDL) vs. #14-Seattle Sounders (A-League):
The Spokane Shadow squeaked out a win in double overtime over the D3 Chico Rooks to advance, stealing the 3-2 victory on a goal from a penalty kick rebound in extra time. The Shadow are 4-3 with 18 points in league play and second in the Premier Development League's Northwest Division, and compiled a 4-0 record in Open Cup qualifying. The Seattle Sounders, who lost to the Shadow 1-0 in an exhibition in Spokane last week, will have home field advantage as they look to stave off the upstart amateurs. The Sounders currently sit in fourth place in the Pacific with a 6-5 record and 25 points.

#10-San Diego Flash (A-League) vs. #19-Arizona Sahuaros (D3):
The Arizona Sahuaros needed overtime to defeat the USASA's Mexico SC, 3-2 in the first round of the Cup. The Sahuaros, who lead the West Conference of the D3 Pro League with an 8-4 record and 37 points, earned a wildcard spot in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup by tallying 13 points in a tough Pacific West Division. The San Diego Flash are arguably the hottest team in the A-League, winners of nine of their last 10 games and owners of first place in the Pacific with an 11-3 overall record with an impressive 51 points.

#25-Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. #12-Minnesota Thunder (A-League):
The Mid Michigan Bucks make their second consecutive appearance in the second round after surprising the D3 Austin Lone Stars 3-2. The Bucks advanced last year with a 3-2 upset of the D3 Wilmington Hammerheads before losing in the second round to the A-League's Rochester Raging Rhinos, 3-2 in overtime. Mid Michigan is currently a perfect 8-0 with 37 points in league play. The Minnesota Thunder, the A-League's Western Conference champions of a year ago, sit in second place in the Central with a strong 9-2 record and 38 points.

#27-Cocoa Expos (PDL) vs. #15-Jacksonville Cyclones (A-League):
The Cocoa Expos advance to the second round after a solid 5-3 win over the D3 Northern Virginia Royals, in their first ever trip to the U.S. Open Cup. The Expos, 4-3 with 14 points in league play for the PDL's Southeast Division, won 4-1, 3-0, 7-1 and 1-0 against their opponents during the qualifying round. The Jacksonville Cyclones, who lead the A-League's Atlantic division with an 8-6 record and 37 points, will try to hold off their intrastate counterparts.

#13-Charleston Battery (A-League) vs. #17-Wilmington Hammerheads (D3):
Wilmington, who are an unblemished 5-0 with 22 points in league play to lead the Atlantic Conference, advanced to the second round with a resounding 8-1 defeat of the USASA's Los Lobos. The Hammerheads won the Open Cup berth on head- to-head points, to advance to the first round for the second time. The Charleston Battery, currently in second place in the Atlantic behind the Cyclones, are 7-5 on the year for a total of 30 points.

#28-New York Freedoms (PDL) vs. #9-Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League):
The New York Freedoms are holding onto second place in the Northeast Division of the Premier Development League with a 3-4 record and 17 points, qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup for the first time by earning a wild-card berth off a 4-0 record and 18 points. The Rochester Raging Rhinos, who broke all kinds of league and team records on their extremely successful run to the '98 A-League Championship, have picked up right where they left off last season. To nobody's surprise, the Rhinos are back atop the A-League and the Northeast division with a 9-1 record.

#16-Orange County Zodiac (A-League) vs. #24-Carolina Dynamo (D3):
The Carolina Dynamo, who lead the D3's Atlantic Conference with a 5-3 mark, got a scare but defeated the USASA's Bavarian Leinenkugel, 1-0 to get to the second round. After a tight race in qualifying, the Carolina Dynamo walked away with a wild-card berth in Open Cup qualifying. The Orange County Zodiac trail only the San Diego Flash in the A-League's Pacific Division and own an 8-5 record with 34 points.

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