EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Tuesday, October 14, 2003)– The Chicago Fire will be looking for their third U.S. Open Cup title in six years on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET in the final match of the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Giants Stadium. Standing in the Fire’s path is former Fire head coach Bob Bradley, who looks to bring his winning ways to the MetroStars in the form of the club’s first championships trophy.
The match, televised live on Fox Sports World, pits two rivals of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference against one another. The Chicago Fire have dominated the regular season series, with three wins and a tie that ensured that the Fire would finish atop the conference standings heading into the league playoffs.
The MetroStars, the first MLS team to beat three other MLS teams in a single Open Cup, will look to continue the perfect 5-0 record of home teams in the Open Cup final since MLS teams joined the competition in 1996.
Tickets for the match are all $25 and are available for all MetroStars games at the Continental Airlines Arena box office and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster by phone for callers in New Jersey (201-507-8900), New York (212-307-7171), and for Spanish-speaking customers throughout New York and New Jersey (212-307-4757).
MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara leads all scorers in the 2003 Open Cup with four goals and two assists. Two of those goals were game-winners, and he also posted a game-winning assist. DaMarcus Beasley and Ante Razov have led the Fire attack in the tournament, each posting two goals and one assist.
2003 Open Cup Final Quote Sheet
Chicago Fire head coach Dave Sarachan
On going into the Open Cup final after a 2-0 league win over the Columbus Crew on 10/10:
“There’s an old saying that you are only as good as your last game in some ways. It’s not a league game, it’s a Cup game so mentality might be somewhat different, but at the same time you are always building on your last performance.”
On playing the MetroStars in the final:
“It’s going to be a very hard game. We have had good success in New York this year, but all of that is out the window. We set a goal in the preseason to lift a couple of trophies this season, and now we are in position to do that with the Open Cup so our guys will be excited about that.”
Chicago Fire midfielder Jesse Marsch
On facing former Chicago Fire head coach Bob Bradley in the Open Cup final:
“We are going to give it everything we’ve got. It’s a championship. I know how Bob (Bradley) prepares his teams – you know that they are going to be ready to play. It’s not like I want to beat Bob more than I would anyone else. I just want to win another championship and give ourselves a chance to win the double.”
MetroStars head coach Bob Bradley
On facing the Chicago Fire, who his team has lost to three times this year:
“Each time we have played them this year it has been an indication that we’re closer to being a very good team. I think after last game, everybody walked out of here feeling like that we have improved a great deal as a team and have closed the gap. We are now ready to compete for some trophies with the likes of Chicago.”
On how the star players can impact the game:
“The best players understand what goes into winning a championship. They understand that they must take their game to the highest level. The level of concentration and competition gets pushed as high as it can go.”
On what it takes to be a championship team:
“It is a process of the players not just talking about it, but understand what goes in on a daily basis to have a good team that can really compete to win something. That asks every player when they show up every day to give everything they have and to concentrate so that they are helping the team move forward. Everybody is part of that. We had a great leadership of experienced players in Chicago that made the young guys understand that if we are going to win anything, this is what goes into it every day.
MetroStars defender Eddie Pope
On playing in the Open Cup final:
I think everyone understands the importance of this game. You don’t get here very often, so when you do you have to take advantage. I think you need to throw the past records out the window because anything can happen. It’ll be a tough game and we know that. We are really looking forward to it.
ABOUT THE LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP: Dating back to 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, the annual U.S. Open Cup is an 90-year-old single- elimination tournament. In a nutshell, the U.S. Open Cup is very similar to domestic cup competitions popular throughout Europe, South America and the rest of the world. Cup competitions, which usually run concurrent with a country's league season, are open in the early stages to any club that can qualify, giving local amateur teams a chance to compete against the best teams a country has to offer. 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.
OPEN CUP PLAYING RULES: The FIFA Laws of the Game apply to all Open Cup competition matches. Some of the rules differ from Major League Soccer’s competition rules.
- Each team will be allowed to list 18 players from the official team roster for its match day roster.
- Four substitutes will be allowed.
- Overtime: If the match is tied at the end of regulation, two 15-minute golden goal overtime periods will be played. If at the end of these periods the score is still tied, the winner will be decided with penalty kicks.
- Players are suspended for one match after accumulation of a single yellow card in three matches in one year or one red card. The suspensions carry over from year to year.
FOX SPORTS WORLD TO TELEVISE FINAL: Once again, Fox Sports World and Fox Sports en Espanol serve as the official broadcaster of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Fox Sports World will be showing the final live beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Max Bretos and Alan Hopkins will have the call. Fox Sports en Espanol will also carry the broadcast live if the Major League Baseball playoffs have concluded.
DEWAR CUP TO BE ON DISPLAY DURING FINAL: The 100-pound, three-foot tall Dewar Cup will make the 200-plus mile journey from the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. to Giants Stadium for the 2003 Open Cup Final. The 2003 Open Cup winners will be awarded the 2003 Championship Trophy, gold medals and also will have their names added to the Dewar Trophy. The second-place team will receive silver medals. The Dewar Cup has been retired and resides permanently in the Hall of Fame. This is the first time the Cup will be at an Open Cup final since the 1998 championship game in Chicago’s Soldier Field.
HISTORY OF THE DEWAR CUP: The oldest trophy in United States team sports history was donated to the American Amateur Football Association in 1912 by Sir Thomas R. Dewar, a British distiller, sportsman and philanthropist during a AAFA (now United States Amateur Soccer Association) visit to London prior to the 1912 Olympics. The trophy was originally purchased for $500 and given in the hope of promoting soccer in the United States and in the name of Anglo-American friendship. The cup was first awarded to the Yonkers Football Club (N.Y.) in 1912 after they defeated the Hollywood Inn Football Club (N.Y.) at the Lennox Oval in New York City. The trophy was officially adopted as the U.S. Open Cup trophy prior to the Brooklyn Field Club's inaugural championship in 1914 in Pawtucket, R.I. The trophy was retired in 1979, but was refurbished by the USASA in 1997 and was presented to the 1997 and 1998 Open Cup winners, before permanently returning to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
MORE THAN 150 TEAMS PARTICIPATE IN 2003: A total of 163 were eligible to qualify for the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with the field narrowed down to 34 teams for the tournament. A breakdown of the numbers and qualifying follows:
- MLS: All 10 teams automatically qualify
- A-League: Eight of 15 teams qualify
---- The defending league champion
---- Seven other teams play home-and-away series as part of the A-League regular season schedule that serve as qualifiers.
- United Soccer League’s-Pro Select League: Six of 13 teams qualify
---- Defending League Champion
---- Five teams with the best records after playing four pre-selected qualifying games that are also part of the league’s regular season.
- Premier Development League: Six of the 47 teams qualify
---- Determined by the results of four pre-selected regular season games, with the top two teams from the Eastern and Central Conference advancing, and the top team from the Southern and Western Conference advancing.
- United States Amateur Soccer Association: Four of 78 teams qualify
---- Determined by regional tournaments, with each of four region winners advancing to the final tournament.
$180,000 IN PRIZE MONEY TO BE HANDED OUT: Not just the Open Cup Champion walks away with a payday. A total of five of the 34 teams will divide $180,000 in prize money for their performances. The Champion will win $100,000, with the runner up earning $50,000. Another $30,000 has already been claimed by lower division teams. The Seattle Sounders claimed the Division II (A-League) prize of $10,000 as the only team from their level to advance to the quarterfinals. Similarly, it was the Wilmington Hammerheads claiming the Division III (USL-PSL) prize of $10,000 as the team to advance the furthest from that level with a quarterfinal appearance. Winning the amateur (USASA, PDL) prize of $10,000 was the Fresno Fuego, with two wins against professional teams.
U.S. NATIONAL TEAM TIES IN OPEN CUP FINAL: A total of 18 players who may see the field during the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final have ties to one of the U.S. Men’s National Teams. Justin Mapp, Mike Magee, Ricardo Clark and Craig Capano all to the field for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National team last Wednesday in a 2-1 loss to Japan’s U-20 team. Eddie Gaven of the MetroStars made his impact at this summer’s FIFA World Youth Championships with the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team, playing every minute during the tournament. Four Fire players – DaMarcus Beasley, Nate Jaqua, Kelly Gray and Logan Pause are all eligible for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, which begins qualifying for Athens 2004 later this year. Beasley is joined in the full national team player pool with teammates Ante Razov, Chris Armas, C.J. Brown, Zach Thornton and Carlos Bocanegra, as well as MetroStars Clint Mathis, Eddie Pope and Jonny Walker.
2003 U.S. OPEN CUP LEADING SCORERS: MetroStars midfield Amado Guevara leads all scorers in the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with four goals and two assists for 10 total points.
Name Team Points Goals Assists
Guevara, Amado MetroStars 10 4 2
Ramirez, Orlando Fresno Fuego 7 3 1
Howes, Greg Milwaukee Wave United 6 3 0
Moreno, Alejandro Los Angeles Galaxy 6 3 0
Ruiz, Carlos Los Angeles Galaxy 6 3 0
Gutierrez, Eddie Fresno Fuego 6 3 0
Spencer, John Colorado Rapids 6 3 0
Pope, Eddie MetroStars 5 2 1
Wolyniec, John MetroStars 5 2 1
Torres, Arturo Los Angeles Galaxy 5 2 1
Contreras, Edgardo Fresno Fuego 5 2 1
Beasley, DaMarcus Chicago Fire 5 2 1
Razov, Ante Chicago Fire 5 2 1
METROSTARS, FIRE PLAYERS OPEN CUP SCORING IN 2003: Representatives from the Chicago Fire and MetroStars have accounted for 22 of the 119 total goals scored in the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and 17 of the 81 total assists. In total, 20 different players recorded a point. Each team also received a little help from opponents as the benefactor of an own goal.
Name Points Goals Assists
Beasley, DaMarcus 5 2 1
Razov, Ante 5 2 1
Ralph, Damani 3 1 1
Whitfield, Evan 3 1 1
Armas, Chris 2 1 0
Jaqua, Nate 2 0 2
Selowane, Dipsy 2 1 0
Mapp, Justin 1 0 1
Williams, Andy 1 0 1
Name Points Goals Assists
Guevara, Amado 10 4 2
Pope, Eddie 5 2 1
Wolyniec, John 5 2 1
Nugent, Mike 3 1 1
Galvan, Jose 2 1 0
Jolley, Steve 2 1 0
Mathis, Clint 2 1 0
Bartolomeu, Edgar 1 0 1
Clark, Ricard 1 0 1
Lisi, Mark 1 0 1
Williams, Richie 1 0 1
CAREER OPEN CUP GOALS BY PLAYERS APPEARING IN THE 2003 FINAL: Chicago Fire and MetroStars players have recorded a total of 35 career Open Cup goals. Ante Razov of the Fire leads the way with six goals.
Name Team Goals
Razov, Ante Chicago Fire 6
Mathis, Clint MetroStars 5*
Pope, Eddie MetroStars 4^
Williams, Andy Chicago Fire 4&
Guevara, Amado MetroStars 4
Wolyniec, John MetroStars 3$
Beasley, DaMarcus Chicago Fire 2
Pause, Logan Chicago Fire 1#
Armas, Chris Chicago Fire 1
Galvan, Jose MetroStars 1
Jolley, Steve MetroStars 1
Nugent, Mike MetroStars 1
Ralph, Damani Chicago Fire 1
Selowane, Dipsy Chicago Fire 1
Whitfield, Evan Chicago Fire 1
*2 goals with LA Galaxy in 1999
^ Scored 1 goal in 1996 and 1 in 2001 with D.C. United.
& Scored 2 goals in 2000 with Miami Fusion and 2 in 2001 with New England Revolution
$ Scored 1 goal in 2002 with Milwaukee Rampage
# Scored 1 goal in 2002 with Raleigh CASL Elite