In another marquee quarterfinal match-up, two past champions will do battle when the 1998 champion Chicago Fire host the 1997 Open Cup winning Dallas Burn at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. The other two quarterfinal match-ups will feature defending MLS champion D.C. United hosting the Miami Fusion at a venue to be determined, and the Los Angeles Galaxy hosting the San Jose Earthquakes at Cal State Fullerton in Southern California.
MLS clubs went 8-for-8 in third round action of the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, giving the five-year old Division I league eight teams in the quarterfinals. The lower division clubs all have been eliminated including last year's champion Rochester Rhinos, who fell last night to D.C. United, 3-0. The eight MLS quarterfinalists skated past their opposition with relative ease in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup as the Dallas Burn, San Jose Earthquakes, Los Angeles Galaxy and D.C. United all recorded victories over their A-League opponents (Minnesota Thunder, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos and San Diego Flash, respectively). The Chicago Fire downed the PDL Chicago Sockers 1-0 in a Chicago derby, and the suddenly mighty MetroStars thumped Central Division leading Tampa Bay 3-0 in Long Island. The closest match of the third round saw the Miami Fusion squeeze by Open Cup upstart Mid Michigan Bucks, who battled to a 3-3 draw, despite playing most of the match a man down, eventually losing 6-5 in penalty kicks.
Dating back to 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in U.S. States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the U.S., the annual U.S. Open Cup is an 87-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 Kansas City Wizards and Columbus Crew 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.
The following is a look at the quarterfinal match-ups:
|Date||Opponent||Location||Kickoff / TV||Tickets|
|Aug. 9||Match 29 (West): 5-San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)|
@ 1-Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
|Cal State Fullerton||7:30 p.m. (PT) / --||--|
|Aug. 9||Match 30 (West): 2-Dallas Burn (MLS)|
@ 3-Chicago Fire (MLS)
|N. Central College|
|7:30 p.m. (CT) / --||--|
|Aug. 9||Match 31 (East): 1-D.C. United (MLS) vs. 4-Miami Fusion (MLS)||TBA||7:30 p.m. (ET) / --||--|
|Aug. 9||Match 32 (East): 6-NY/NJ MetroStars (MLS) @ 2-Columbus Crew (MLS)||Columbus Crew Stadium|
|8 p.m. (ET) / Fox Sports World (live)||--|
|Aug. 23||Semifinals||TBA||TBA / Fox Sports World||TBA|
|Oct. 22||2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final||TBA||TBA / Fox Sports World||TBA|
Match #29 (West): 1-L.A. Galaxy (MLS) vs. 5-San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Ian Russell has been the hot scorer for the Earthquakes, with three goals in the first two Open Cup matches. The Earthquakes will have to contend with a Galaxy team that boasts four MLS All-Stars: Cobi Jones, Greg Vanney, Robin Fraser and Mauricio Cienfuegos. These two teams have battled it out twice already this year in MLS play, with deadlocked results. Both teams are looking to make it to the Open Cup semifinals for the first time.
Match #30 (West): 3-Chicago Fire (MLS) vs. 2-Dallas Burn (MLS)
A match-up of former Open Cup champions, with Chicago winning in '98 and Dallas in '97. Two of the league's most threatening scorers and U.S. National teammates, Jason Kreis of the Dallas Burn and Ante Razov of the Chicago Fire, will face-off in this the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal. The Fire and Burn last met in Open Cup play in the 1998 semifinals where the Fire defeated the Burn 3-2 en route to their 1998 Open Cup title. This season the Fire and Burn have split their first two MLS meetings, with each team winning on home soil.
Match #31 (East): 1-D.C. United vs. (MLS) vs. 4-Miami Fusion (MLS)
This will be the first ever meeting between the two teams in Open Cup play, but these MLS Eastern Conference rivals are going to be seeing a lot of each other in the coming weeks as they are scheduled to meet three more times in MLS play in 2000. D.C. United is looking to make it to the Open Cup semifinals for the third time in four years, while the Fusion are hoping to reach the semis for the first time. If D.C. United wants to advance they will have to contain red-hot Welton, who had four goals and one assist in round two of Open Cup play, and an overtime winner in a 1-0 Fusion triumph over United in MLS play back in May.
Match #32 (East): 2-Columbus Crew (MLS) vs. 6-NY/NJ MetroStars (MLS):
This quarterfinal match could be the 2000 Open Cup debut for Crew star forward Brian McBride, who has been sidelined for the past two Open Cup matches due to an injured right cheekbone. The MetroStars hope their MLS All-Stars Aldolfo Valencia, Clint Mathis, Mark Chung and Mike Ammann will continue their stellar play and lead their team to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals for the third time in four years. The MetroStars have won both MLS season meetings in 2000, 1-0 on April 15 and 2-0 on May 6. These two teams have met one other time in Open Cup history, with the Crew winning 1-0 in the semifinals of the 1998 U.S. Open Cup.