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2002 U.S. Open Cup Final Three Weeks Away as Crew Set to Host Defending Champion Galaxy on Oct. 24

CHICAGO (Thursday, October 3, 2002) – In just three weeks the final battle for the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup crown will take place as Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew host the Open Cup defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy in this year’s tournament final at Crew Stadium on October 24 at 7 p.m. ET.  The championship match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Español.

Both the Crew and the Galaxy are still in the hunt for the “double” entering the MLS playoff semifinals this weekend. The Crew advanced to the final four after sweeping last year’s MLS Cup winners San Jose out of the playoffs, and will square off against the New England Revolution as both teams try to advance to their first MLS Cup championship game on Oct. 20.  The Galaxy had their hands full with the Kansas City Wizards, dispatching them in three games, and will take on Colorado in a bid to qualify for their fourth MLS Cup championship game.

The Chicago Fire were the last team to claim the “double” by winning the MLS Cup and the Open Cup back in 1998, the team’s inaugural season.

The U.S. Open Cup Final returns to Columbus, Ohio, and to Crew Stadium for the first time since 1999, when the A-League’s Rochester Raging Rhinos blanked the MLS’ Colorado Rapids 2-0 for the title.  The match on Oct. 24 in Columbus will mark the fourth time that the 89-year-old tournament final has been stages in the state of Ohio.

The Galaxy, who are trying to become the first team since the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League to win back-to-back U.S. Open Cup Championships (1982-1983), will be putting an eight-game Open Cup unbeaten streak on the line (matching the MLS’ Chicago Fire from 2000-2001) while never losing a tournament game on the road (4-0-1).

In contrast, the Crew have never lost an Open Cup game on their home soil going 6-0-1 in seven all-time matches at Crew Stadium.  The Crew, also defeated the Galaxy in their only previous meeting in U.S. Open Cup action back on August 11, 1999 in Fullerton, Calif.  Two goals by forward Brian McBride and one by midfielder Jason Farrell pace Columbus to a 3-1 quarterfinal victory.

Tickets for the 2002 Open Cup Final are on sale online at Tickets also available at all Ticketmaster outlets in Ohio and surrounding states and the Columbus Crew Stadium ticket office (stadium ticket office open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET).

Dating back to 1914, the 89-year-old U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States and is also among the oldest in the world.

For an updated 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Bracket please visit at (.pdf)