CHICAGO (Thursday, June 27, 2002) – The 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round concluded on Wednesday as A-League teams completed their sweep of all eight matches and advanced to the Third Round of the single-elimination tournament, where they will meet eight MLS teams on July 17.
The 89-year-old competition began Second Round play on Tuesday with one game as the A-League’s Seattle Sounders traveled to Utah and defeated the D3 Pro League’s Utah Blitzz 2-1 on goals by forward Leighton O’Brien and second half substitute Greg Foisie.
The remaining seven Second Round matches took place yesterday as the Minnesota Thunder (A-League) kicked off “Elimination Wednesday” with a convincing 6-1 victory over the visiting San Diego Gauchos (D3). The Thunder’s offense was led by forward Johnny Menyongar’s four-goal performance, which places him in a four-way tie for second (along with Abdul Thompson Conteh, Welton and Josh Wolff) in the Open Cup all-time goalscorers list (since 1996) with seven career goals. All four trail current leader Jamie Moreno of D.C. United (MLS) with 10 career goals.
Two former Open Cup champions also earned berths to the next round on Wednesday. The 1995 champion Richmond Kickers (A-League) easily blanked the host Raleigh CASL Elite of the Premier Development League, 3-0, behind two tallies from forward Josh Henderson. The 1999 champion Rochester Raging Rhinos needed an overtime goal by midfielder Lenin Steenkamp to top the visiting Des Moines Menace (PDL) 3-2.
In other Second Round results: Forward Ricardo Villar notched the game-winner for the visiting Hampton Roads Mariners (A-League) in a 1-0 win over the South Jersey Barons (D3); two tallies by striker John Barry Nusum led the host Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League) to a 2-0 shutout over the Memphis Express (PDL); goals by forwards Steve Klein, Raul Diaz Arce and midfielder Justin Evans lifted the Charleston Battery (A-League) to a 3-0 road win over the Greenville Lions (D3); and the New York Freedoms (D3) – who were the last team to win back-to-back Open Cup titles as the N.Y. Pancyprian Freedoms in 1982-83 – fell to the host Milwaukee Rampage (A-League) 4-0.
The Third Round kicks off with the eight Second Round survivors facing eight MLS teams -- Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, the MetroStars and San Jose Earthquakes -- on July 17.
The match-ups for the Open Cup Third Round will feature the Richmond Kickers traveling to take on the Columbus Crew, the Hampton Roads Mariners greeting the MetroStars, the Chicago Fire heading north to face the Milwaukee Rampage, the Rochester Raging Rhinos hosting the Kansas City Wizards, the Dallas Burn visiting the Atlanta Silverbacks, the Colorado Rapids heading southeast to meet the Charleston Battery and the San Jose Earthquakes traveling to the Pacific Northwest (changed from the announcement made June 20th) to battle the Seattle Sounders, while the defending Open Cup champions Los Angeles Galaxy will play their first-ever Open Cup match away from the state of California as they square off against the Minnesota Thunder.
The winners from the following Third Round regional brackets will host quarterfinal matches on August 7:
- MetroStars @ Hampton Roads
- Chicago Fire @ Milwaukee Rampage
- Dallas Burn @ Atlanta Silverbacks
- San Jose Earthquakes @ Seattle Sounders
Played under FIFA rules, each Open Cup match will finish with a winner, with games tied after regulation time going into 30 minutes of sudden-death overtime and then to penalty kicks, if needed.
Fox Sports World (FSW) and Fox Sports World Español (FSWE), which have broadcast a number of Open Cup matches across the last two years including the semifinals and championship games, will once again be the official television broadcaster of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2002.
The schedule for this year’s tournament will include two Quarterfinal games on August 7, with kickoff times slated for 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, respectively. Rounding out the FSW and FSWE Open Cup broadcasts will be both Semifinals matches tentatively set for either September 3-4 or 10-11 and the 2002 Championship game on the weekend of October 26-27.
Dating back to 1914, the 89-year-old U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States and is also among the oldest in the world.