CHICAGO (Monday, August 22, 2005) – Eight teams continue their quest for the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship this Wednesday (Aug. 24) night as the quarterfinals of the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history kick off in four venues from coast to coast.
Six teams from Major League Soccer and two teams from the United Soccer Leagues First Division are the remaining survivors of a field of 42 teams that began play on June 8. The winners of eight of the last nine U.S. Open Cup Championships are still alive in the 2005 tournament, with the three-time champion Chicago Fire leading the charge. The Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL1) are the last lower division team to win it all as the 1999 champions. The Minnesota Thunder (USL1) and San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) are the only clubs of the final eight with their team name not inscribed on the Dewar Cup.
After the Wednesday night quarterfinal games, the winners advance to the semifinals on Sept. 14 two weeks before the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final is played on Sept. 28.
Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Spartan Stadium; San Jose, Calif. – 7:30 p.m. PT
This California derby features the Galaxy, winners of the 2001 U.S. Open Cup, traveling up the left coast to face the Earthquakes, who look toward their first taste of Open Cup glory. Both teams entered the tournament in the fourth round on Aug. 3 and made relatively easy work of their opponents. Five different players found the score sheet for the Galaxy in a 5-2 victory over Chivas USA, while Wade Barrett and Brian Mullan scored on either side of the half as San Jose topped the Portland Timbers 2-0.
Semifinal Setup: San Jose at Minnesota or Kansas City / Los Angeles hosts Minnesota or Kansas City
Minnesota Thunder (USL1) at Kansas City Wizards (MLS)
Park University; Parkville, Mo. – 7 p.m. CT
The defending 2004 U.S. Open Cup champion Kansas City Wizards look to become the first back-to-back winners of the U.S. Open Cup since New York Pancyprian-Freedoms managed two straight titles in 1982-1983. Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud each scored a brace as the Wizards topped 2005 Cinderella Des Moines 6-1 in the fourth round. The Thunder have turned the head of two MLS sides in the 2005 Open Cup, making minced meat of the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake by a combined 11-5 margin. Kansas City must watch out for Thunder striker Melvin Tarley, who already has scored six goals in two games against MLS teams in this year’s tournament.
Semifinal Setup: Minnesota hosts San Jose or at Los Angeles / Kansas City hosts San Jose or at Los Angeles
Chicago Fire (MLS) at Rochester Raging Rhinos (USL1)
Frontier Field; Rochester, N.Y. – 7:30 p.m. ET
After two consecutive trips to Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass., to defeat the Western Mass Pioneers and New England Revolution, respectively, the Chicago Fire are east bound yet again as they head to Rochester, N.Y. to face the USL1’s Rhinos. These teams have combined to win four of the last seven Open Cup titles, with Chicago holding three titles from 1998, 2000 and 2003. Both teams will open new stadiums before the 2006 Open Cup begins, so there is no doubt that both sides will put it all on the line for a new piece of hardware for their new mantles.
Semifinal Setup: Chicago at D.C. United or FC Dallas / Rochester at D.C. or hosts FC Dallas
FC Dallas (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS)
Maryland Soccerplex; Germantown, Md. – 7:30 p.m. ET
The first two winners of the U.S. Open Cup from MLS in 1996 and 1997, D.C. United and FC Dallas square off in Germantown, Md. FC Dallas has had the toughest road to the quarterfinals, needing overtime to dispose of the Wilmington Hammerheads in the third round and the Columbus Crew in the fourth round. Interestingly, four of the six goals scored by Dallas in the 2005 tournament have come in overtime. Carey Talley and Abe Thompson are the unlikely scoring leaders for FCD with two goals each. D.C. United had a somewhat easier go, as Freddy Adu and Christian Gomez (2) led the team over the Richmond Kickers (USL1) by a 3-1 margin in the fourth round.
Semifinal Setup: D.C. United hosts Chicago or Rochester / FC Dallas hosts Chicago or at Rochester
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 Des Moines Menace (PDL) have already claimed their $10,000 prize as the top amateur team, and three teams from USL2 – the Western Mass Pioneers, the Charlotte Eagles and the Wilmington Hammerheads – will split the Division III prize.
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. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer and National Soccer Hall of Fame member Lamar Hunt.
The Open Cup champion has its name inscribed on the base of the Dewar Cup, the three-foot tall, 100 pound trophy that has recognized the tournament champion since its inception after being donated to the American Amateur Football Association in 1912 by British distiller Sir Thomas R. Dewar. The trophy now resides at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y., and will be next on display during the 2005 induction ceremony on Monday, August 29.
2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final Eight Bracket
Final - Sept. 28 - Game 39 Winner vs. Game 40 Winner
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