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First Round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fixtures Announced

CHICAGO (May 28, 2008) – U.S. Soccer has announced the first round pairings for the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The first round features 32 teams from the United Soccer Leagues First Division, USL Second Division, Premier Development League and United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) ranks. Pairings for the opening round were determined by blind draw. The first round will be played on Tuesday, June 10, with the winners facing off in the second round on June 24.

Eight USASA squads will participate in the first round of the Open Cup, with the N.Y. Pancyprian Freedom (Astoria, N.Y.) taking on Real Maryland (USL-2), Boston Olympiakos traveling to the Western Mass Pioneers (USL-2), the AAC Eagles (Chicago) hosting the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL-2) and RWB Adria (Chicago) facing the Rochester Rhinos (USL-1). Texas-based ASC New Stars (Houston) will travel to the Charleston Battery, Arizona Sahuaros (Phoenix) play host to the Seattle Sounders (USL-1) and Hollywood United will travel to the Portland Timbers (USL-1).

The PDL is also represented by eight teams in the first round as the Brooklyn Knights travel to the Carolina Railhawks (USL-1), the Fredericksburg Gunners will face the Richmond Kickers (USL-2), the Michigan Bucks will host the Cleveland City Stars (USL-2) and the St. Louis Lions travel to St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Thunder (USL-1). In the South, the Austin Aztex will host the Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1) and the Bradenton Academics (PDL) stay in state to play at Miami FC (USL-1). The Yakima Reds (Yakima, Wash.) will travel to Harrisburg to battle the City Islanders (USL-2) and the Los Angeles Legends host Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL-2).

First Round Pairings 
#  Date Teams
June 10
 Brooklyn Knights (PDL) at Carolina RailHawks (USL-1)
WakeMed Park
7:30 p.m.
June 10  NY Pancyprian Freedom (USASA) at Real Maryland Monarchs (USL-2)
Maryland SoccerPlex
8 p.m.
 3 June 10  Fredericksburg Gunners (PDL) at Richmond Kickers (USL-2)
SportsBackers Stadium
8 p.m.
 4 June 10 Boston Olympiakos (USASA) at Western Mass Pioneers (USL-2)
Lusitano Stadium
7:30 p.m.
 5 June 10  Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL-2) at AAC Eagles (USASA)
Benedictine University
7:30 p.m. 
 6 June 10 Cleveland City Stars (USL-2) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)
Ultimate Soccer Arena
7:30 p.m. 
 7 June 10 St. Louis Lions (PDL) at Minnesota Thunder (USL-1)
National Sports Center
7 p.m.
 8 June 10 RWB Adria (USASA) at Rochester Rhinos (USL-1)
7:30 p.m. 
 9 June 10 Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1) at Austin Aztex (PDL)
Dragon Stadium
7:30 p.m. 
 10 June 10
ASC New Stars (USASA) at Charleston Battery (USL-1)
Blackbaud Stadium
7:30 p.m. 
 11 June 10 Clearwater Galactics (USASA) at Charlotte Eagles (USL-2)
Charlotte Christian School
7 p.m.
 12 June 10 Bradenton Academics (PDL) at Miami FC (USL-1)
Tropical Park
8 p.m.
 13 June 10  Seattle Sounders (USL-1) at Arizona Sahuaros (USASA)
Grand Canyon University
7:30 p.m.
 14 June 10 Yakima Reds (PDL) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2)
Skyline Sports Complex
7 p.m.
 15 June 10 Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL-2) at Los Angeles Legends (PDL)
Cougar Athletic Stadium
7:30 p.m. 
 16 June 10 Hollywood United (USASA) at Portland Timbers (USL-1)
PGE Park
7 p.m.

Applications to host and hosting proposals received from each club determined Open Cup home teams. Teams will be hosting matches through the quarterfinals of the tournament, with possible venue sites for the second round to be announced next week. The eight MLS clubs qualifying for the 2008 Open Cup proper enter the competition in the third round to face the winners from the second round. The Division I teams will be added to the tournament bracket based on geographical considerations after the first round is completed.

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 that advances deepest into 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. 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.

2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
June 12 First Round 32 lower division teams enter tournament
June 26 Second Round 16 Round 1 winners face off
July 1 Third Round Round 2 winners face eight MLS teams
July 8 Quarterfinals Round 3 winners
Aug. 12 Semifinals Quarterfinal winners
Aug. 26 Final Semifinal winners

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