CHICAGO (Tuesday, May 25, 2004) – U.S. Soccer announced the first and second round pairings for the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup today. The field of teams is up from 34 to 40 last year, with the first round featuring solely amateur squads, with the professional teams from United Soccer Leagues and Major League Soccer entering in rounds two through four.
In the first round, eight regional qualifiers from the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) will face eight clubs from the United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League (PDL) on June 2 and 8.
In the second round, six teams from USL’s Pro Soccer League (USL-PSL) and the A-League’s Syracuse Salty Dogs and Virginia Beach Mariners join the mix for matches on June 15. Complete results, pairings and U.S. Open Cup news including a finalized schedule and venues are available on the competition page of ussoccer.com.
All but two of the berths for the 2004 tournament have been filled, and the final two qualifiers from USASA Region III will be determined by May 31 at that region’s tournament. Once they have qualified, the field for the 2004 Open Cup will have been narrowed down to 40 teams from a total of 167 teams initially eligible to compete. All 10 MLS teams are eligible and are part of the 40-team field. Eight of the 10 eligible A-League teams, six of the 12 USL-PSL teams and eight of the 53 eligible PDL teams qualify. Additionally, a pool of 82 USASA teams is narrowed down to eight teams through regional qualifying.
The June 2 match date will feature six games coast-to-coast. In the east, the N.Y. Greek American-Atlas will face the Cape Cod Crusaders at a site to be determined. Also on the East Coast, the South Jersey Barons will host Allied S.C. and the Carolina Dynamo will host the Milwaukee Bavarians. Moving west, the Chicago Fire Reserves will face S.A.C. Wisla in a Chicago derby. Including the MLS Chicago Fire, which will enter the Open Cup in the fourth round, the Reserves and Wisla bring the total number of teams in the city to three. The opening match day concludes on the West Coast as the Boulder Rapids Reserve travel to play the Chico Rooks, and the Sacramento Knights head north to face the Spokane Shadow.
The first round concludes on June 8 with the Region III USASA teams joining the fold. The Region III East qualifier will face the Cocoa Expos at a site to be determined, and the West qualifier will travel to face the DFW Tornadoes.
Geographical pairings and host proposals received from each club determined match-ups, as they will through the quarterfinals of the tournament. 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.
2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Initial Pairings
2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
Pairings Announcement May 25
# Date Teams Venue Kickoff
1 June 2 Boulder Rapids Reserve (PDL) at Chico Rooks (USASA) Rooks Stadium, CSU Chico Campus; Chico, Calif. 7:30 p.m. PT
2 June 2 Sacramento Knights (USASA) at Spokane Shadow (PDL) Joe Albi Stadium; Spokane, Wash. 7:05 p.m. PT
3 June 2 Allied S.C. of Baltimore (USASA) at South Jersey Barons (PDL) Winslow High School; Tansboro, N.J. 6 p.m. ET
5 June 2 Chicago Fire Reserves (PDL) at S.A.C. Wisla of Chicago (USASA) Redmond Recreational Complex; Bensenville, Ill. 9 p.m. CT
6 June 2 N.Y. Greek American-Atlas (USASA) vs. Cape Cod Crusaders (PDL) TBD TBD
8 June 2 Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) at Carolina Dynamo (PDL) MacPherson Stadium; Browns Summit, N.C. 7:30 p.m. ET
4 June 8 Region III West (USASA) at DFW Tornadoes (PDL) Pennington Field; Bedford, Texas 7:30 p.m. CT
7 June 8 Cocoa Expos (PDL) vs. Region III East (USASA) TBD TBD
# Date Teams Venue Kickoff
9 June 15 San Diego Gauchos (USL-PSL) at Game 1 Winner TBD TBD
10 June 15 Game 2 Winner at Utah Blitzz (USL-PSL) Rice-Eccles Stadium; Salt Lake City, Utah 7:30 p.m. MT
11 June 15 Syracuse Salty Dogs (A-League) at South Jersey Barons TBD 6 p.m. ET
OR Allied S.C. at Syracuse Salty Dogs TBD 7:30 p.m. ET
12 June 15 Region III West at Virginia Beach Mariners (A-League) TBD 7:30 p.m. ET
OR DFW Tornadoes vs. Virginia Beach Mariners TBD TBD
13 June 15 Game 5 Winner at New Hampshire Phantoms (USL-PSL) Southern New Hampshire University; Manchester, N.H. 7:30 p.m. ET
14 June 15 Game 6 Winner at Western Mass Pioneers (USL-PSL) Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass. 7:30 p.m. ET
15 June 15 Game 7 Winner at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL-PSL) Legion Stadium; Wilmington, N.C. 7:30 p.m. ET
16 June 15 Charlotte Eagles (USL-PSL) at Game 8 Winner TBD TBD
Third Round June 30 Second round winners vs. Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, six A-League teams
Fourth Round July 20 Third round winners vs. remaining eight MLS teams
Quarterfinals Aug. 4 Fourth round winners
Semifinals Aug. 24 & 25 Quarterfinal winners
Final Sept. 22 Semifinal winners
MLS (10): Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, D.C. United, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, MetroStars, San Jose Earthquakes
A-League (8): Atlanta Silverbacks, Charleston Battery, Minnesota Thunder, Portland Timbers, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Raging Rhinos, Syracuse Salty Dogs, Virginia Beach Mariners
USL Pro Soccer League (6): Charlotte Eagles, New Hampshire Phantoms, San Diego Gauchos, Utah Blitzz, Western Mass Pioneers, Wilmington Hammerheads
Premier Development League (8): Boulder Rapids Reserves, Cape Cod Crusaders, Carolina Dynamo, Chicago Fire Reserves, Cocoa Expos, DFW (Dallas-Ft. Worth) Tornadoes, South Jersey Barons, Spokane Shadow
USASA (6 of 8): Allied F.C. (Baltimore, Md.; Region I), Chico Rooks (Calif.; Region IV), Milwaukee Bavarians (Wisc.; Region II), N.Y. Greek-American-Atlas (N.Y.; Region I), S.A.C. Wisla (Chicago, Ill.; Reg. II), Sacramento Knights (Calif.; Region IV).