Home Teams Dominate Second Round of 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup; Three More MLS Teams Upset by USL Squads on "Elimination Wednesday"
CHICAGO (Wednesday, June 27, 2001) - The host teams dominated play in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round on Wednesday night, following a trend started on Tuesday night when the Connecticut Wolves' opened the second round with home win over the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Just two visiting squads - the Seattle Sounders Select and San Jose Earthquakes - were able to advance to the Round of 16 from the night's 14 matches. In the process, three more Major League Soccer sides exited the tournament, falling to their opponents from the United Soccer Leagues.
The most shocking result of "Elimination Wednesday" saw the Premier Development League's visiting Seattle Sounders Select post a 3-2 overtime win over the 1997 U.S. Open Cup Champion Dallas Burn on a 97th minute goal by Kurt Ness. The A-League's Pittsburgh Riverhounds needed a 90th minute goal to make their narrow 2-0 victory over the visiting Colorado Rapids seem more convincing than it really was. The final upset was not as dramatic as the A-League's Charleston Battery built a 4-0 lead over the New York/New Jersey MetroStars before a late goal by Daniel Hernandez provided a more respectable 4-1 final score.
Last year's finalists - the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion - both started off their bids for another title game appearance in impressive fashion with comfortable wins. The Fire defeated San Diego Flash FC, 3-0, as recently-acquired Eric Wynalda led the way with two goals and an assist. The Fire-Flash match was the second game of a doubleheader in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Rampage (A-League) pleased the home crowd in the opener with a 2-0 win over the Utah Blitzz of the D3 Pro League. The Fusion eliminated Uruguay S.C. - the last remaining representative from the U.S. Amateur Soccer Association - by a 4-0 score in a match the teams co-hosted at Lockhart Stadium. Greg Simmonds led the way with a goal and three assists as a different Fusion player scored each goal.
Looming in the next round for the Fire is an MLS Cup 2000 rematch with the Kansas City Wizards who posted a 4-0 win over the A-League Seattle Sounders. The visitors were unable to overcome an own-goal and red card in the first 28 minutes of the match as the Wizards posted their first-ever win in Open Cup play. In a rematch of the 1999 quarterfinals, the Columbus Crew (MLS) again eliminated the Carolina Dynamo (D3), this time posting a 5-1 win at Columbus Crew Stadium. The two MLS sides are both owned by Lamar Hunt.
In 1999, the U.S. Open Cup was renamed the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to honor the long-time soccer supporter and pioneer. Hunt was one of the sport's first major ownership figures and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
In the night's match featured on a Fox Sports World & Fox Sports World Español broadcast, the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Nashville Metros, 5-0, as two Nashville players saw the red card late in the second half as the Metros' frustration showed in their rough play.
Fox Sports World, which broadcast the semifinals and championship game last year, will add several more U.S. Open Cup matches to its television schedule in 2001, which now includes Wednesday night's second round game, along with two quarterfinal match-ups, both semifinals and the final.
Last year's Open Cup "Cinderella" team, the Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL) were on the wrong side of revenge as the New England Revolution took out their frustrations on their guests by a 7-1 final. Last year, the Bucks posted a 1-0 upset of the Revolution in the Second Round before falling to the Miami Fusion - the tournament's eventual runners-up - in the Round of 16 in a sudden-death penalty kick shootout.
The Revolution weren't the only team to put up big numbers on offensive end as three other teams post six or more goals. The 1996 Open Cup Champions, D.C. United, led the way with an 8-0 win over the New Jersey Stallions (D3). United forward Abdul Thompson Conteh posted a hat trick while five of his teammates scored one goal each in the route. In a match played nearby, the Richmond Kickers (A-League) posted a 7-2 win over the Reading Rage (D3). On the opposite side of the country, the Central Coast Roadrunners (PDL) held the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) in check for the first half, before the Earthquakes offense shook things up with six second-half goals for a 6-0 win.
The El Paso Patriots (A-League) beat the Chico Rooks (D3) to advance to face another A-League squad, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, in the Round of 16. The five teams representing the D3 Pro League went winless in the round.
After the slate of 14 matches tonight, only one match of the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round remains, an A-League intra-league affair scheduled for Monday, July 2, as the 1999 U.S. Open Cup Champion Rochester Raging Rhinos host the Hershey Wildcats. Regardless of the result of that match, the A-League will send seven teams to the Round of 16, joining eight MLS sides and the PDL's Seattle Sounders Select.
The Round of 16 is scheduled for Wednesday, July 11, with home teams, venues, and kickoff times to be determined.
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%SECOND ROUND RESULTS
June 27 - Chico Rooks (D3) 3 @ El Paso Patriots (A-League) 4
June 27 - Colorado Rapids (MLS) 0 @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds (A-League) 2
June 27 - Seattle Sounders (A-League) 0 @ Kansas City Wizards (MLS) 4
June 27 - San Diego Flash FC (A-League) 0 @ Chicago Fire (MLS) 3
June 27 - Utah Blitzz (D3) 0@ Milwaukee Rampage (A-League) 2
June 27 - San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 6 @ Central Coast Roadrunners (PDL) 0
June 27 - Nashville Metros (A-League) 0 @ Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) 5
June 27 - Seattle Sounders Select (PDL) 3 @ Dallas Burn (MLS) 2
June 27 - NY/NJ MetroStars (MLS) 1 @ Charleston Battery (A-League) 4
June 27 - Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL) 1 @ New England Revolution (MLS) 7
June 27 - Carolina Dynamo (D3) 1 @ Columbus Crew (MLS) 5
June 27 - Miami Fusion (MLS) 4 vs. Uruguay S.C. (USASA Reg. III) 0
June 26 - Tampa Bay Mutiny (MLS) 2 @ Connecticut Wolves (A-League) 3
June 27 - Reading Rage (D3) 2 @ Richmond Kickers (A-League) 7
July 2 - Rochester Raging Rhinos (A-League) vs. Hershey Wildcats (A-League)
June 27 - New Jersey Stallions (D3) 0 @ D.C. United (MLS) 8
%=macroPart|font/arialBlue2=%THIRD ROUND MATCH-UPS (Hosts, Venues & Times to be Determined)
July 11 - El Paso Patriots (A-League) vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (A-League)
July 11 - Kansas City Wizards (MLS) vs. Chicago Fire (MLS)
July 11 - Milwaukee Rampage (A-League) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
July 11 - Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) vs. Seattle Sounders Select (PDL)
July 11 - Charleston Battery (A-League) vs. New England Revolution (MLS)
July 11 - Columbus Crew (MLS) vs. Miami Fusion (MLS)
July 11 - Connecticut Wolves (A-League) vs. Richmond Kickers (A-League)
July 11 - Winner of Match #19 vs. D.C. United (MLS)