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Dramatic Open Cup Quarterfinals Set Stage for Semifinal Rematch of Chicago Fire vs. Los Angeles Galaxy


CHICAGO (Tuesday, July 24, 2001) - The 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup field has been reduced to its final four teams after the Quarterfinals on Tuesday evening produced four dramatic results. No game was decided by more than a goal and two games advanced to overtime as four Major League Soccer squads advanced to the Semifinals, scheduled for August 21 or 22 (to be announced as venues and kickoff times are finalized).

The Western Semifinal will be a rematch of the 2000 Western Semifinal as the Chicago Fire - who went on to capture the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship - take on the Los Angeles Galaxy, whom they defeated, 2-1 in overtime last year. In the Eastern Semifinal D.C. United will look to advance to their third U.S. Open Cup Championship Match (champions in 1996, runners-up in 1997) as they take on their MLS Eastern Division rivals New England Revolution.

Though the two teams from the United Soccer Leagues - the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Richmond Kickers of the A-League - fell in the quarterfinals, it was an A-League player who proved to be the hero as the defending champion Fire needed overtime to defeat Pittsburgh, 3-2. In the second session of overtime, Minnesota Thunder forward Amos Magee, on loan to the Fire, tallied the decisive goal in the 111th minute, allowing Chicago to continue its bid to become the first repeat champion since the 1982-83 Pancyprian-Freedoms of New York.

The San Jose Earthquakes were the lone home team to fall in the quarterfinals as the Los Angeles Galaxy prevailed 10-9 in a marathon penalty kick shootout after the teams played to a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes. The teams converted an amazing 19 consecutive penalty kicks in the shootout before Los Angeles goalkeeper Kevin Hartman denied Wade Barrett's attempt to equalize in the tenth round.

The two Eastern Quarterfinals didn't need overtime but were tight contests nonetheless as D.C. United and the New England Revolution advanced with 2-1 victories at home. D.C. defeated its own A-League affiliate, the Richmond Kickers, as Abdul Thompson Conteh pumped in two second-half goals before Richmond pulled one back in the 88th minute. Conteh now has five goals in the 2001 U.S. Open Cup.

United's semifinal opponent will be a familiar one as they take on the New England Revolution, one of the teams with whom United is battling for a spot in the MLS playoffs and 2-1 winners over the Columbus Crew on Wednesday night at Foxboro Stadium. The home side built a 2-0 lead on second-half goals from Cate and William Sunsing before Columbus got back into the game with an 85th minute strike from John Wilmar Perez. The Crew was unable to convert some late opportunities and lost a quarterfinal heartbreaker for the second consecutive year.

Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol - which broadcast a quarterfinal, both semifinals and the championship game last year - has added several more U.S. Open Cup matches to its television schedule in 2001. In the second round, FSW broadcast the Los Angeles Galaxy's 5-0 win over the A-League's Nashville Metros and on Tuesday evening, both overtime thrillers from the Western side of the bracket were shown. Broadcasts of all remaining matches of the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - both semifinals and the final - are still on the way.

Dating back to 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the U.S., the annual Open Cup is an 88-year-old single-elimination tournament based on similar competitions played across the world concurrent with domestic league action.

In 1999, the U.S. Open Cup was renamed the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to honor the long-time soccer supporter and pioneer. Hunt, the owner of the Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards of MLS and the owner of the Dallas Tornados of the old NASL, was one of the sports first major ownership figures and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

QUARTERFINALS
West Bracket
July 24 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds (A-League) 2 @ Chicago Fire (MLS) 3 OT
July 24 - Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) 1 @ San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 1 (Galaxy 10-9 pks)

East Bracket
July 24 - Columbus Crew (MLS) 1 @ New England Revolution (MLS) 2
July 24 - Richmond Kickers (A-League) 1 @ D.C. United (MLS) 2

SEMIFINALS
West Bracket
August 21-22 - Chicago Fire (MLS) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)

East Bracket
August 21-22 - New England Revolution (MLS) vs. D.C. United (MLS)

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