CHICAGO (July 2, 2008) – The third round of the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicked off on Tuesday, July 1, and proved to be an underdog story. Three MLS teams (Chivas USA, Houston Dynamo, and New York Red Bulls) were eliminated from the competition, and two USL-1 teams (Seattle Sounders and Charleston Battery) and one USL-2 (Crystal Palace Baltimore) advanced to the quarterfinals. Eight teams will compete in the quarterfinal round to take place on July 8.
The Seattle Sounders shut out Chivas USA for a 2–0 victory when Taylor Graham headed in a Josh Fardner corner kick in the 43rd minute for the match’s first goal. Seattle put the game away with their second goal in the 80th minute, courtesy of Sebastian LeToux.
After a 1–1 tie in regulation time, the Charleston Battery advanced, 4–3, on penalty kicks with a 9-man side against the Houston Dynamo. Red cards were distributed to Charleston’s Chris Corcoran in the 64th and Marco Reda in the 102nd minutes, but the team was given an opportunity to stay in the game when penalties commenced. The Dynamo missed its third PK, and Battery goalkeeper Dusty Hudock saved Houston’s fifth kick. For the second year in a row, Chivas and Houston were eliminated by Seattle and Charleston, respectively, with both MLS teams out of the running for the Cup.
Crystal Palace edged the Red Bulls 2–0 with goals in the 17th and 75th minutes despite playing a man down when Ibrahim Kante was sent off in the 34th minute. Crystal Palace became the lone USL Second Division team to advance on to the next round of the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
With an early goal by Alex Afonso in the seventh minute, Miami FC Blues were up 1– 0 over FC Dallas until the second half when Abe Thompson tallied his first goal of the game in the 48th minute and then sealed the Dallas 2–1 victory over Miami with a game winner in the 92nd minute.
The Kansas City Wizards and Carolina Railhawks were 2–2 until extra time when goals from Ivan Trujillo and Ryan Pore gave the Wizards the advantage and the game concluded with 4–2 victory for the Wizards. The Railhawks were down a man when Ryan Solle was sent off in the 108th minute, between the two Wizards overtime goals.
Three second-half goals put the New England Revolution through over the Richmond Kickers with goals from Sam Brill, Joe Germanese, and Taylor Twellman.
The Chicago Fire trumped the Cleveland City Stars 4–1 with three first half goals and a final wrap-up goal in the 73rd minute. Already two goals up, Fire forward Chris Rolf was tackled in the box by Cleveland’s Kiel McClung and awarded a penalty kick, which he converted for the third goal for the Fire. McClung redeemed himself in the 61st minute to mark the Stars lone goal of the match.
Marc Burch tallied the two goals in the 78th and 85th minutes for D.C. United in their shutout defeat of the Rochester Rhinos, the U.S. Open Cup winners of 1999.
Historically, the USL First Division has had teams represented in all previous U.S. Open Cup tournaments with the exception of 2000 and 2006. Since 1996, the MLS has only lost five games in the quarterfinal round of play. However, last year, only three MLS teams advanced to the quarterfinals, marking the fewest representatives ever in a U.S. Open Cup since the inception of the league. The USL First Division had three teams competing and eventually one of those went on to win the tournament, the Rochester Raging Rhinos in 1999.
2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule/Results
|Richmond Kickers at New England Revolution||Veterans Stadium, Willow Brook Park||New Britain, Conn.||7/1||0-3|
|Kansas City Wizards at Carolina Railhawks||WakeMed Soccer Park||Cary, N.C.||7/1||4-2 (OT)|
|Cleveland City Stars at Chicago Fire||Toyota Park||Bridgeview, Ill.||7/1||1-4|
|Rochester Rhinos at DC United||Maryland SoccerPlex||Boyds, Md.||7/1||0-2|
|Miami FC at FC Dallas||Pizza Hut Park||Frisco, Tex.||7/1||1-2|
|Houston Dynamo at Charleston Battery||Blackbaud Stadium||Charleston, S.C.||7/1||1-1 (Charl 4-3 PK)|
|New York Red Bulls at Crystal Palace Baltimore||Broadneck Senior High School||Annapolis, Md.||7/1||0-2|
|Chivas USA at Seattle Sounders||Starfire Sports Complex||Tukwila, Wash.||7/1||0-2|
Applications to host and hosting proposals received from each club determined Open Cup home teams, as they will through the quarterfinals of the tournament. The five MLS clubs qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Open Cup proper enter the competition in the fourth round to face the winners from the third round.
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 founded in 1914. 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.
|Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) at New England Revolution (MLS)||Veterans Stadium, Willos Brook Park||New Britain, Conn.||7/8||7:00 p.m.|
|Kansas City Wizards (MLS) at Seattle Sounders (USL1)||Qwest Field||Seattle, Wash.||7/8||7:00 p.m.|
|Chicago Fire (MLS) at DC United (MLS)||Maryland SoccerPlex||Germantown, Md.||7/8||7:30 p.m.|
|Charleston Battery (USL1) at FC Dallas (MLS)||Pizza Hut Park||Frisco, Tex.||7/8||7:30 p.m.|
Composition of participating teams:
8 Major League Soccer
8 United Soccer Leagues First Division
8 United Soccer Leagues Second Division
16 Amateur (8 USL Premier Development League, 8 USASA regional qualifiers)
Total Number of Teams: 40
Total Number of Games: 39