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Seattle, Charleston, D.C. and New England Advance to Semifinals of Open Cup


CHICAGO (July 8, 2008) – The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be evenly represented in the semifinals – and final – as two teams from the USL First Division and Major League Soccer were victorious in their quarterfinal matches on Tuesday evening.

The Charleston Battery and Seattle Sounders both pulled off upsets in their matches to advance to the semifinals, with the Battery soundly defeating FC Dallas, 3-1, and the Sounders pulling out a dramatic penalty kick shootout to down the visiting Kansas City Wizards.

The two USL clubs will now face off in the semifinals with the Battery hosting the Sounders at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. local time.

The semifinal winner between the Sounders and Battery will become the just the second-ever non-MLS team to play in an Open Cup final since the top professional league entered the tournament in 1996. The Rochester Rhinos advanced twice, falling to D.C. United in 1996 before winning the tournament in 1999 against the Colorado Rapids.

In the other semifinal match, D.C. United will host the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., as both teams won their respective quarterfinal matches. The New England Revolution survived a penalty kick shootout scare from Crystal Place Baltimore, and D.C. United tallied an overtime game-winning goal to outlast the Chicago Fire. The semifinal match will also be played on Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. local time.

The Battery and Sounders are both making their third-ever appearance in the Open Cup semifinals, and for the Sounders it will be their second straight appearance after falling to FC Dallas last year.

New England Revolution (MLS) 1, Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) 1 (5-4 PKs)
Scoring Summary
NE – Kenny Mansally     6th minute
BAL – Dan Lader            20.

Penalty Kick Summary:
NE – Chase Hilgenbrinck (Goal)        BAL – Shintaro Harada (Goal)
NE – Kheli Dube (Goal)                        BAL – Bryan Harkin (Goal)
NE – Chris Tierney (Goal)                    BAL – Matthew Mbuta (Goal)
NE – Amaechi Igwe (Goal)                   BAL – Val Teixeira (Saved)
NE – Mauricio Castro (Goal)

The New England Revolution’s Kenny Mansally ran onto a Brandon Tyler lead pass in the sixth minute to put the MLS squad in the lead early, but Crystal Palace fought back a short time later. In the 20th minute, Dan Lader slid past the New England defense to equalize and that’s how it would end in regulation and overtime despite an unusually high number of shots (NE 25, BAL 12). The Revolution were perfect in the penalty shootout, scoring in each attempt to advance 5-3 on penalty kicks. 

D.C. United (MLS) 2, Chicago Fire (MLS) 1 (OT)
Scoring Summary
CHI – Daniel Woolard    36th minute
DC – Francis Doe           77.
DC – Bryan Namoff         99.

In the most heated rivalry of the four quarterfinal matches, the Chicago Fire and D.C. United battled to overtime for a spot in the semifinals and it was a goal by Bryan Namoff that put United through to the next round. Chicago’s Daniel Woolard put the Fire up in the first half with a blast from outside of the penalty area, but D.C.’s Francis Doe pulled things even with a 77th minute strike. After Namoff’s goal gave D.C. the lead nine minutes into overtime, things got heated in the 108th minute when a scuffle broke and sending a player from each squad to the showers early. With just 10 men, the Fire pushed for the late equalizer but to no avail.

Charleston Battery (USL1) 3, FC Dallas (MLS) 1
Scoring Summary
CHR - Lazo Alavanja          28th minute
CHR – Ian Fuller                 43.
CHR – Randi Patterson    91+.
DAL – Kenny Cooper         94+.

The USL First Division Charleston Battery pulled the biggest upset of the night by eliminating F.C. Dallas with an impressive 3-1 victory. About ten minutes before the lighting delay in the 41st minute, the Battery’s Lazo Alavanja tallied the game’s first goal from outside the penalty area. Once the game resumed play, Charleston quickly picked up the pace and Ian Fuller put away the team’s second goal of the night. In four minutes of extra time, each teams recorded a goal, with Randi Patterson tallying for the Battery to put things out of contention and make Kenny Cooper’s last-minute strike merely a tally in the scoreline.

Seattle Sounders (USL1) 0, Kansas City Wizards (MLS) 0 (6-5PKs)

Penalty Kick Summary:
SEA - Danny Jackson (Goal)          KC - Ryan Pore (Goal)
SEA - Sebastien Le Toux (Miss)    KC - Jimmy Conrad (Saved)
SEA - Kenji Treschuk (Goal)           KC - Ryan McMahen (Goal)
SEA - Kevin Sakuda (Goal)             KC - Roger Espinoza (Goal)
SEA - Leighton O’Brien (Goal)       KC - Kerry Zavagnin (Goal)
SEA - Youssouf Kante (Goal)         KC - Michael Harrington (Goal)
SEA - Zach Scott (Goal)                   KC - Tyson Wahl (Saved)

The Seattle Sounders pulled off the second upset of the night, getting help from goalkeeper Chris Eylander who came up with a number of impressive saves, including the game-winning stop in the penalty shootout. Eylander had a total of 13 saves on the night to keep Kansas City off the scoreboard.

Quarterfinal Results
Matchup    Venue    City/State    Result
Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) at New England Revolution (MLS)    Veterans Stadium, Willow Brook Park    New Britain, Conn.     1-1 (NE advance on 5-3 PKs)
               
Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL1)    Qwest Field    Seattle, Wash.    0-0 (SEA advance 6-5 on PKs)
               
Chicago Fire (MLS) at DC United (MLS)    Maryland SoccerPlex    Germantown, Md.     1-2
               
Charleston Battery (USL1) at FC Dallas (MLS)    Pizza Hut Park    Frisco, Tex.   3-1 

Semifinal Schedule
Matchup    Venue    City/State    Date    Time
New England Revolution (MLS) at D.C. United (MLS)   RFK Stadium   Washington, D.C.    Aug. 12   7:30 p.m. (local)
Seattle Sounders (USL1)at Charleston Battery (USL1)    Blackbaud Stadium   Charleston, S.C.    Aug. 12   7:30 p.m. (local)

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