US SoccerUS Soccer

'99 U.S. Open Cup Semifinalists Set to Battle Sept. 1 at Virginia Beach Sportsplex

CHICAGO (Thursday, August 19, 1999) - With the Charleston Battery's 2-1 home victory over A-League peer Staten Island last night, the four semifinalists for the 1999 U.S. Open Cup have been decided, with the next round to take place on Wednesday, September 1 at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex in Virginia Beach, Va. As a result of Tuesday's blind draw, it will be A-League vs. MLS in both matches, when the #13 Battery host the #1-ranked Colorado Rapids of MLS in the first match of the doubleheader at 6:00 p.m. (ET), while the A-League's Rochester Rhinos will attempt to upset their third MLS team on the road to the title when they face 1998 Open Cup runner up Columbus Crew in the nightcap at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets, which are priced at $10 (bench), $12 (lower prime), $15 (upper prime) and $20 (club), are available through the Hampton Roads Mariners at 757/430-8873 or TicketMaster at 757/671-8100.

Charleston had arguably the toughest road to the semi's, needing a storybook comeback to top #3 D.C. United, 4-3, in overtime on August 4 just to advance to the quarterfinals. Last night, two goals in the first 12 minutes and the support of the home crowd carried them to victory over the Vipers.

Colorado slipped through with a 90th minute header by Jorge Dely Valdes that gave them a tight 1-0 decision over the Tampa Bay Mutiny on August 13. The Rapids had advanced out of the third round by the same score, when they defeated the Seattle Sounders on a Matt McKeon bomb back on July 13.

Rochester, the highest ranked A-League team at #9, advanced to the semifinals with their second consecutive upset of an MLS team, this time getting a goal in the second overtime period to down the distraught Dallas Burn, 2-1, in front of the Rhinos' typically rowdy Frontier Field crowd on August 11. The victory followed a rugged 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire, the defending MLS and Open Cup champions, in the third round on July 14.

Ranked #4 of the original 32 teams, Columbus has cruised to the semi's on the strength of a 3-0 romp over the D3 Pro League's Carolina Dynamo in the third round and a solid 3-1 win over L.A. in the quarterfinals in which Brian McBride had two goals to lead the Crew past the Galaxy on August 11.

The 6,000-seat Virginia Beach SportsPlex, which hosts the A-League's Hampton Roads Mariners, was completed in July 1998 and stands as one of the first stadiums in the country that was built specifically for soccer.

The two winners will battle for the Dewar Trophy in the 1999 U.S. Open Cup Final on Tuesday, September 14 at the newly-built Columbus Crew Stadium, which will be televised live at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN for the first time in the tournament's history. For ticket information, call 614/447-CREW.

U.S. Open Cup
DateOpponentLocationKickoff / TVTickets
Sept. 1#1 Colorado Rapids (MLS) at #11 Staten Island (A) / #13 Charleston (A)Virginia Beach SportsPlex
(Virginia Beach, Va.)
6 p.m. (ET) / - 757/430-8873 (Hampton Roads Mariners)
757/671-8100 (TicketMaster)
#4 Columbus Crew (MLS) at #9 Rochester Rhinos (A-League)Virginia Beach SportsPlex
(Virginia Beach, Va.)
8:30 p.m. (ET) / - 757/430-8873 (Hampton Roads Mariners)
757/671-8100 (TicketMaster)
Championship Match
Sept. 14Semifinal WinnersColumbus Crew Stadium
(Columbus, Ohio)
8 p.m. (ET) /
614/447-CREW (Columbus Crew)