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Rochester Rhinos Defeat Pittsburgh in Penalty Kicks as 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Kicks Off

CHICAGO (June 10, 2009) – The first round of the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicked off on Tuesday, June 9, with 28 teams competing for the chance to advance into the second round. Overall it was a night of dominance for the home sides, as only two of the 14 matches were won by the visitors.

The first round game between the Ocean City Barons (PDL) and Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) was postponed due to weather, as was Real Maryland FC (USL2) against Aegean Hawks (USASA-Va.). Both games are planned to kick off Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m.

The most physical and tightly contested match of the night took place in Rochester, N.Y. as the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL2) almost pulled off the upset against the Rochester Rhinos (USL1). Despite many more chances for the home team, it was Pittsburgh who took the lead in the 22nd minute. Withstanding numerous attacks, that lone goal almost stood up until a stoppage time goal off a corner kick by Tai Atieno saved the Rhinos’ season and sent the game into overtime.

In the extra periods, a game which saw 46 combined fouls by both teams continued to be physical, resulting in a penalty awarded to Rochester in the 118th minute. Earlier hero Atieno banged it off the crossbar however, and the game went into PKs to decide a winner. With two saves by Rhinos goalkeeper and captain Scott Vallow, Rochester advanced into the second round by a 1-1 scoreline, 4-2 on penalty kicks.

In Harrisburg, Pa., the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL2) defeated the Reading Rage (PDL) by a score of 4-1. Four different goal scorers hit the back of the net for the Islanders, with forward Chad Severs getting an assist and a goal on the night. The game started out fast with Harrisburg City taking the lead in the first minute, but Reading answered back with a goal from Jon Ports in the ninth. Taking back the lead just before halftime, Harrisburg carried momentum into the second half with goals in the 49th and 60th minutes to put the game away.

The Western Mass Pioneers (USL2) beat Emigrantes Das Ilhas (USASA-Mass.) 3-2 in overtime with the Pioneers netting the game winner in the 92nd minute. The remainder of overtime would see a flurry of cards, however, as Western Mass’ Dan McGarry got both his first and second yellow cards 17 minutes apart, resulting in his ejection in the 119th minute.

In Cary, N.C., the Carolina RailHawks (USL1) sent the Richmond Kickers (USL2) home by a 2-1 scoreline, with the lone Richmond goal coming via penalty kick in the 20th minute.

In Wilmington, N.C., it was an intra-state battle that saw the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL2) defeat the Charlotte Eagles (USL2) 2-0. Late goals by Wilmington in the 82nd and 90th minute snuffed out any hopes by the visiting Eagles of staying alive in the tournament.

Down south, Miami FC (USL1) won against Lynch’s FC (USASA-Fla.) by a 2-1 scoreline. Lynch’s was on the board first, but two goals a minute apart in the second half by Paulo Araujo Jr. and Diego Serna gave the home side the victory.

The Charleston Battery (USL1) defeated a depleted Atlanta FC (USASA-Ga.) team 2-0 in a game that saw three Atlanta FC players sent off, the Battery tallying in the first minute and again in the 32nd.

At Nelson Field in Austin, Texas, the Austin Aztex (USL1) beat Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) 2-0.

The Cleveland City Stars (USL1) protected their home field with a 3-0 shutout against the St. Louis Lions (PDL). Midfielder Ryan Stewart had two assists and a goal on the night.

A high-scoring affair in Blaine, Minn., saw the Minnesota Thunder (USL1) defend their turf with a 3-2 victory over 402, a USASA team out of Nebraska. The visitors drew first blood in the 12th minute, but three unanswered goals by Minnesota gave them all they needed to advance into the second round.

The Chicago Fire PDL (PDL) held serve with a 3-1 win against the visiting Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA-Wis.), despite being down a man after starting goalkeeper James Maurer was sent off in the 68th minute for taking a man down in the box on an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

Out west, the Portland Timbers (USL1) ensured their first round upset of a year ago would not be repeated with a sound 3-0 defeat of the Kitsap Pumas (PDL) in Bremerton, Wash.

In the lone upset of the day, the Sonoma County Sol (USASA-Calif.) defeated the Orange County Blue Star (PDL) 5-2.

The El Paso Patriots (PDL) continued the home teams’ dominance in the first round by defeating the Arizona Sahuaros (USASA-Ariz.) 2-1 in Texas. Patriots’ goals on both sides of the break were enough to overcome a late strike by Arizona.

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.

2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
June 09 First Round 32 lower division teams enter tournament
June 16 Second Round 16 Round 1 winners face off
June 30 Third Round Round 2 winners face eight MLS teams
July 7 Quarterfinals Round 3 winners
July 21/22 Semifinals Quarterfinal winners 
Sept. 2 Final Semifinal winners

2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
First Round

No. Date Match Result Venue
1 June
Reading Rage (PDL) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL2) 1-4 Skyline Sports Complex; Harrisburg, Pa.
2 June 9 Emigrantes Das Ilhas (USASA-Mass.) at Western Mass Pioneers (USL2) 2-3 Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.
3 June 10 Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL2) at Ocean City Barons (PDL) 0-3 Carey Stadium; Ocean City, N.J.
4 June 10 Aegean Hawks FC (USASA-Va.) at Real Maryland FC (USL2) 0-1 Richard Montgomery H.S.; Rockville, Md.
5 June 9 Richmond Kickers (USL2) at Carolina RailHawks (USL1) 1-2 WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
6 June 9 Charlotte Eagles (USL2) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL2) 0-2 Legion Stadium; Wilmington, N.C.
7 June 9 Atlanta FC (USASA-Ga.) at Charleston Battery (USL1) 0-2 Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.
8 June 9 Lynch’s FC (USASA-Fla.) at Miami FC (USL1) 1-2 Tropical Park; Miami, Fla.
9 June 9 St. Louis Lions (PDL) at Cleveland City Stars (USL1) 0-3 Middlefield Cheese Stadium; Bedford, Ohio
10 June 9 Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL2) at Rochester Rhinos (USL1) 1-1 (2-4, PKs) Rochester Rhinos Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
11 June 9 402 (USASA-Neb.) at Minnesota Thunder (USL1) 2-3 National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.
12 June 9 Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA-Wis.) at Chicago Fire PDL (PDL) 1-3 Toyota Park Practice Field; Bridgeview, Ill.
13 June 9 Arizona Sahuaros (USASA-Ariz.) at El Paso Patriots (PDL) 1-2 Patriot Stadium; El Paso, Texas
14 June 9 Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) at Austin Aztex (USL1) 0-2 Nelson Field; Austin, Texas
15 June 9 Portland Timbers (USL1) at Kitsap Pumas (PDL) 0-3 Bremerton Memorial H.S.; Bremerton, Wash.
16 June 9 Sonoma County Sol (USASA-Calif.) at Orange County Blue Star (PDL) 5-2 Concordia University; Irvine, Calif.

2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round Matchups

Match Number

Date Matchup Venue Location Time (local)
17 June 16 Western Mass. Pioneers (USL2) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL2) Skyline Sports Complex Harrisburg, Pa. 7:05 p.m.
18 June 16 Real Maryland FC (USL2) at Ocean City Barons (PDL) Carey Stadium Ocean City, N.J. 7 p.m.
19 June 16 Wilmington Hammerheads (USL2) at Carolina RailHawks (USL1) WakeMed Soccer Park Cary, N.C. 7 p.m.
20 June 16 Charleston Battery (USL1) at Miami FC (USL1) Tropical Park Miami, Fla. 8 p.m.
21 June 16 Cleveland City Stars (USL2) at Rochester Rhinos (USL1) Rochester Rhinos Stadium Rochester, N.Y. 7 p.m.
22 June 16 Chicago Fire PDL (PDL) at Minnesota Thunder (USL1) National Sports Center Blaine, Minn. 7:05 p.m.
23 June 16 El Paso Patriots (PDL) at Austin Aztex (USL1) Nelson Field Austin, Texas 7:30 p.m.
24 June 16 Portland Timbers (USL1) at Sonoma County Sol (USASA-Calif.) Santa Rosa High School Santa Rosa, Calif. 7 p.m.