Former U.S. Manager Bruce Arena Returns to Open Cup Fray
Possible Semifinal Locations Set
CHICAGO (Aug. 16, 2006) – After an intense fourth round that saw one match postponed due to inclement weather and two amateur teams square off against Major League Soccer squads, eight MLS teams prepare for an all-MLS quarterfinal round on Wednesday, August 23. This is the second time in U.S. Open Cup history that the quarterfinals will have all eight teams coming from MLS, and the first time since 2000. The quarterfinal winners will face off on Sept. 6 in the semifinal round of the tournament.
The final fourth round fixture concluded on Monday, Aug. 14, with the Chicago Fire edging the Kansas City Wizards, 2-0, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The match was originally scheduled for Aug. 2 but was rescheduled due to thunderstorms in Chicago. The Fire was awarded their second straight Open Cup home fixture as they welcome the New England Revolution into Toyota Park for the quarterfinals. Against the Wizards, the Fire showed their depth utilizing several young prospects in the shut-out victory. Look for a stronger Fire side to take the field as Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey, and company travel to Toyota Park on Wednesday.
In Bruce Arena’s first trip back to RFK Stadium as an MLS coach, he faces the side that he led to a 1996 Open Cup Championship. The Red Bulls meet D.C. United in a rematch of a league game played one week before as both teams look to avenge early exits from the 2005 Open Cup and add another championship to their resumes.
In another quarterfinal matchup, the Los Angeles Galaxy welcomes the Colorado Rapids to The Home Depot Center. The current Dewar Cup Trophy holders look to add to their two Open Cup championships (‘01 and ‘05) with the help of their home crowd. The visiting Rapids have had the best of L.A. this year, beating the Galaxy three times in league play including once at The Home Depot Center. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.
The intrastate derby between FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo will add an Open Cup chapter in the quarterfinals, as the Dynamo hosts their state rival. This match should have a derby-like atmosphere as the game is scheduled to be played at Carl Lewis International Complex on the campus of the University of Houston. The home side will be without leading scorer Brian Ching (10 goals, 2 assists), who is out due to injury, and will have to rely on strong midfield play to send FC Dallas packing from this year’s Open Cup.
Semifinalists will face off on Wednesday, Sep. 6, with the winner of the match between Los Angeles and Colorado facing the winner of the Dallas-Houston game. In the other semifinal, the winner of the New York vs. D.C. matchup will face either the New England Revolution or the Chicago Fire. Semifinal winners will vie for the U.S. Open Cup title on Wednesday, Sep. 27.
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.
Semifinal Round Matches
Final Sept. 27 Semifinal winners