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2005 U.S. Open Cup Field Set with 42 Teams, First Fixtures Announced

CHICAGO (Thursday, June 2, 2005) – U.S. Soccer announced the qualifying and first round pairings for the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup today. Teams from the United Soccer Leagues Second Division and Premier Development League join regional qualifiers from the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as 18 teams will see action over the next two weeks.

A qualifying round was added in 2005 to accommodate the expansion of the tournament by two teams to 42 from 40 due to the entrance of the two first-year Major League Soccer teams into the tournament. Two teams each that qualified through the USASA and PDL will playoff for spots in the first round on June 15. The teams playing in the qualifying round were selected by random draw after all of the USASA and PDL teams were grouped regionally.

The U.S. Open Cup officially kicks off on June 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Cocoa, Fla., as the Cocoa Expos (PDL) host Roma (USASA) of Dallas, Texas. The second qualifying round game sees the Salinas Valley Samba of USASA travel up the West Coast to face the Cascade Surge later that day at 7 p.m. PT in Salem, Ore.

Two professional teams – the USL Second Division Cincinnati Kings and Pittsburgh Riverhounds – join the balance of the amateur teams and the qualifying round winners in eight second round matches scheduled for June 15. The first round features one cross-town match-up as Chicago Fire Premier of the PDL hosts a fellow Second City side, the AAC Eagles of the USASA, in the suburb of Algonquin, Ill. A complete first round schedule is available below.

All 12 MLS teams are part of the 42-team field and will join the tournament beginning in the third round on July 13. All eight of the eligible USL First Division teams, six of the nine USL Second Division teams and eight teams from the PDL qualified for the 2005 tournament. Additionally, regional qualifying narrowed down the field of USASA teams to eight.

Geographical pairings and host proposals received from each club determined match-ups, as they will through the quarterfinals of the tournament. Possible pairings for the second round will be announced after the completion of the qualifying 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. 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.

2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Initial Pairings

2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
Qualifying Round
#  Date    Teams                                                                         Venue                                                                Kickoff (local)
1 June 8  Roma (USASA) at Cocoa Expos (PDL)                            Cocoa Expo Sports Center; Cocoa, Fla.   7:30 p.m. ET
2 June 8 Salinas Valley Samba (USASA) at Cascade Surge (PDL)   McCulloch Stadium; Salem, Ore.             7 p.m. PT

First Round
#  Date    Teams                                                                               Venue                                                                Kickoff (local)
3 June 15 Baltimore Colts (USASA) at Richmond Kickers Future (PDL) Sports Backers Stadium; Richmond, Va.     7 p.m. ET
4 June 15 Azzurri FC (USASA) at Cocoa Expos (PDL)                         Cocoa Expo Sports Center; Cocoa, Fla.       7:30 p.m. ET
OR June 15 Azzurri FC (USASA) vs. Roma (USASA)                          TBD                                                          TBD
5 June 15 Ocean City Barons (PDL) at NY Greek American Atlas (USASA) St. Johns University; Jamaica, N.Y.      8 p.m. ET
6 June 15 Pittsburgh Riverhounds FC (USL2) at Des Moines Menace (PDL) Waukee Stadium; Waukee, Iowa           7:30 p.m. CT
7 June 15 AAC Eagles (USASA) at Chicago Fire Premier (PDL)            Jacobs High School; Algonquin, Ill.             8 p.m. CT
8 June 15 Orange County Blue Star (PDL) at El Paso Patriots (PDL)      Patriot Stadium; El Paso, Texas                7:30 p.m. MT
9 June 15 Match 2 Winner at Sonoma County Sol (USASA)                  Ernie Nevers Field; Santa Rosa, Calif.         7 p.m. PT
10 June 15 Cincinnati Kings (USL2) vs. Indiana Reggae Boyz (USASA)  TBD                                                        TBD

Future Dates
Second Round    June 29    First Round winners vs. 4 USL Second Division, 4 USL First Division
Third Round       July 13      Second Round winners vs. 4 USL First Division, 4 MLS
Fourth Round     Aug. 3       Third Round winners vs. 8 MLS
Quarterfinals      Aug. 24     Fourth Round winners
Semifinals        Sept. 14     Quarterfinal winners
Final                 Sept. 28    Semifinal winners

Qualified Teams
MLS (12): Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, MetroStars, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes;

USL 1 (8): Atlanta Silverbacks, Charleston Battery, Minnesota Thunder, Portland Timbers, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Raging Rhinos, Seattle Sounders, Virginia Beach Mariners

USL 2 (6): Charlotte Eagles, Cincinnati Kings, Long Island Rough Riders, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Western Mass, Wilmington Hammerheads

USL Premier Development League (8): Cascade Surge, Chicago Fire Premier, Cocoa Expos, Des Moines Menace, El Paso Patriots, Ocean City Barons, Orange County Blue Star, Richmond Kickers Future 

USASA (8): AAC Eagles (Chicago, Ill.), Azzurri FC (Reg. III; Dallas), Baltimore Colts (Reg. I; Fallston, Md.), NY Greek American Atlas (Reg. I; Bayside, N.Y.), Roma (Reg. III; Garland, Texas), Salinas Valley Samba (Reg. IV; Salinas, Calif.), Sonoma County Sol (Reg. IV; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Indiana Reggae Boyz (Reg. II; Indianapolis, Ind.)