Amateurs Own U.S. Open Cup First Round with 5-2 Mark
CHICAGO (Thursday, June 17, 1999) - If first round success holds true, the 1999 U.S. Open Cup might just be the year of the amateurs. With seven of the eight first round games having been played, the amateur entrants from the USL's Premier Development League and United States Amateur Soccer Association have posted a surprising 5-2 mark against their professional opponents from the USL's D3 Pro League. Revenge may be the motivating factor, as the D3 Pro League shut out the amateurs in the 1998 Open Cup with an 8-0 record.
Since the Wilmington Hammerheads pounded the USASA Region III Los Lobos 8-1 in the first round opener, the amateurs have won five of six games from the pros, starting with the Mid Michigan Bucks' 3-2 upset of the Austin Lone Stars. Then came surprise wins by the New York Freedoms (3-1 over the Cape Cod Crusaders), United German Hungarians (2-1 over the New Jersey Stallions) and the Cocoa Expos (5-3 over the Northern Virginia Royals). Last night, the Spokane Shadow slipped by the Chico Rooks, 3-2 on a penalty kick rebound goal in overtime that made them the fifth amateur team to advance to the next round.
USUSA Region II's Bavarian Leinenkugel will try to join them when they travel to face the D3's Carolina Dynamo this Sunday (June 20) at 1:00 p.m. ET in the final first round Open Cup match.
The first round winners will then be drawn against eight A-League qualifiers, who join the U.S. Open Cup in the second round. The eight MLS competitors will enter the tournament in the third round. [Note: A complete schedule of the next two rounds will be released next Tuesday (June 22).]
The final 32-team U.S. Open Cup field is comprised of eight teams each from Major League Soccer, the A-League and the D3 Pro League, as well as four teams each from the PDL and the USASA.
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 86-year-old single-elimination tournament based on similar competitions played across the world concurrent with domestic league action.
The brackets for the first three rounds of the tournament have been solidified, helping each team chart their course into the quarterfinals, at which time a draw will be conducted to determine the pairings among the Open Cup's final eight competitors. Played under FIFA rules, each Open Cup match will finish with a winner, with tie games going into 30 minutes of sudden death overtime, and then to penalty kicks.
The 1999 U.S. Open Cup final is scheduled for the newly-constructed Columbus Crew Stadium on September 14 and will be televised live at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN for the first time in the annual tournament's history. For ticket information, contact the Columbus Crew at 614/221-2739.
|June 5||Los Lobos (USASA III) at Wilmington Hammerheads(D3)||8-1, Wilmington|
|June 8||Austin Lone Stars (D3) at Mid-Michigan Bucks (PDL)||3-2, Mid-Michigan|
|June 9||New York Freedom (PDL) at Cape Cod Crusaders (D3)||3-1, New York|
|June 9||United German Hungarians (USASA I) at New Jersey Stallions(D3)||2-1, UG Hungarians|
|June 10||Cocoa Expos (PDL) at N. Virginia Royals (D3)||5-3, Cocoa|
|June 11||Mexico SC (USASA IV) at Arizona Sahuaros (D3)||3-2 OT, Arizona|
|June 16||Spokane Shadow (PDL) at Chico Rooks (D3)||3-2 OT, Spokane|
|June 20||Bavarian Leinenkugel (USASA II) at Carolina Dynamo (D3)||1:00 p.m. PT|