Heading into the tournament the Kansas City Wizards were looking for their first-ever Open Cup win but were denied again and will have to wait until next year to shake their winless Open Cup curse after they fell in penalty kicks, 6-7, to the defending PDL champion Chicago Sockers. The Wizards are now winless in four Open Cup games, losing 2-3 to Colorado Rapids in 1996, and falling 1-2 in 1997 to the San Francisco Bay Seals (D3) and again 1-2 to the Nashville Metros in '98.
The Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL) have begun their Cinderella run for the Dewar Cup trophy after Chad Schomaker scored the game-winning goal three minutes into extra time of the second half to upset Eastern Division-leading New England Revolution (MLS), 1-0. The Bucks advance to the third round of the Open Cup and will play the Miami Fusion (MLS) who defeated the New Jersey Stallions (D3), 6-1.
Defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion Rochester Rhinos (A-League) were able to hold off a strong Pittsburgh Riverhounds team (A-League), 2-1, to earn a berth in the third round against 1999 MLS league champion, D.C. United.
The following are a look at the third round match-ups to be played on July 25. Venues and kickoff times will be announced at a later date:
1-Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) vs. 8-San Diego Flash (A-League)
The battle for Southern California will begin when the A-League powerhouse San Diego Flash take on the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS. The Flash will be looking for their first-ever win against the Galaxy after falling in 1998, 1-2, and most recently, 2-3, in the third Round of the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Richmond Kickers (A-League) vs. 5-San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
Offense will be the name of the game between Richmond and San Jose as the two teams scored a combined eight goals in the second round. The Kickers, U.S. Open Cup champions in 1995, will be looking for their second Open Cup title while the Earthquakes will look to better their best-ever finish in Open Cup competition, quarterfinalists in 1997 and 1998.
3-Chicago Fire (MLS) vs. Chicago Sockers (PDL)
The stage is set for the bragging rights of the 'Windy City' when the defending PDL champion Chicago Sockers take on the Chicago Fire, winners of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 1998. The Fire will have to contain Socker midfielder Michael Richardson, an indoor star with the NPSL's Milwaukee Wave who has trained with the Fire in the past. For the Fire, it will be about penetrating the Socker's defense which has yet to concede a goal in both the first and second rounds of the 2000 Open Cup.
2-Dallas Burn (MLS) vs. 7-Minnesota Thunder (MLS)
This marquee match-up pits the defending A-League champion Minnesota Thunder against Jason Kreis and the Dallas Burn of Major League Soccer. This match will feature top goal scorers Jonny Nenyonger, who scored three goals for Minnesota in the second round, and Jason Kreis, 1999 MLS leading goal scorer and MVP, of the Dallas Burn.
1-D.C. United (MLS) vs. Rochester Rhinos (A-League)
Bound to be a soccer classic and rich in action, this match pits the defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions against the 1996 U.S. Open Cup winners, D.C. United, both of whom will be looking for their second Open Cup title. D.C. United defeated the Rhinos in the 1996 Open Cup final, 3-0, to win the title.
4-Miami Fusion (MLS) vs. Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL)
The Cinderella story has begun for the PDL Mid Michigan Bucks after defeating the New England Revolution, 1-0, but the Miami Fusion (MLS) vows to end the story before it goes any further. Last year the Bucks' Open Cup run ended in a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Mutiny. However, this year's team is comprised of some of the top current college players with a few pros and currently sits in first place in the Great Lakes Division at 6-1. The Fusion return to the Open Cup after falling to the Columbus Crew in the quarterfinals of the 1998 tournament.
3-Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS) vs. 6-NY/NJ MetroStars (MLS)
The Mutiny will be without starting goalkeeper Scott Garlick and Chris Houser who received red cards in their 1-0 victory over Uruguay F.C. (USASA) . The MetroStars will need to maintain their form from which has seen them rebound from a disastrous 1999 season.
2-Columbus Crew (MLS) vs. 7-Hampton Road (A-League)
In a dramatic come-from-behind second round victory over the N. Virginia Royals (D3), 3-2, the Mariners will be looking to extend their run in the 2000 Open Cup when they face Brian McBride and the Columbus Crew (MLS), who lost a hard fought semifinal battle to Rochester last year in Hampton Road's home stadium.
Total Second Round Goals Scored: 53 (27 West; 26 East)
Number of MLS Teams Remaining: (of 12) 9
Number of A-League Teams Remaining: (9) 5
Number of D3 Teams Remaining: (7) 0
Number of PDL Teams Remaining: (2) 2
Number of USASA Teams Remaining: (2) 0
UP-TO-DATE LEAGUE RECORDS IN U.S. OPEN CUP SINCE '96: Below is a breakdown of how each of the five league's involved in U.S. Open Cup games across the last four years have faired against each other. [Note: The numbers in parenthesis indicate the total inter-league match-ups played across the last three years.]
|MLS (15)||A-League (11)||D3 Pro (1)||PDL (0)||USASA (1)|
|vs. A-League||23-16-2||vs. MLS||16-23-2||vs. MLS||2-12-0||vs. MLS||0-4-1||vs. MLS||0-1-0|
|vs. D3 Pro||12-2-0||vs. D3 Pro||17-6-1||vs. A-League||6-17-1||vs. A-League||3-8-0||vs. A-League||2-8-0|
|vs. PDL||4-0-1||vs. PDL||8-3-0||vs. PDL||5-10-1||vs. D3 Pro||10-5-1||vs. D3 Pro||4-12-0|
|vs. USASA||1-0-0||vs. USASA||8-2-0||vs. USASA||12-4-0||vs. USASA||2-3-0||vs. PDL||3-2-0|