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Shorthanded Fire Advance to Final of 2000 U.S. Open Cup with Overtime Win Over Los Angeles; Wolff Provides Winning Goal in 112th Minute


CHICAGO (Thursday, August 24, 2000) - The Chicago Fire are headed to the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championship match on Oct. 22 after Josh Wolff's golden goal in the second period of overtime gave the Fire a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday night. The Chicago Fire will have a chance to make U.S. Open Cup history by becoming the first MLS team to win two U.S. Open Cup championships and possibly the first MLS team to "do the double" twice (1998) - win both U.S. Open Cup and the MLS Cup in the same season.

The East semifinal between the NY/NJ MetroStars and Miami Fusion will be played on Sept. 12 at Mitchel Field in Uniondale, N.Y. (kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET). Tickets will go on sale early next week and can be purchased via all TicketMaster outlets or by calling 888/4-METROTIX (888/463-8769).

The MetroStars will be without the services of both of their regular goalkeepers in the semifinals - Tim Howard will be in Australia with the U.S. Olympic Team and Mike Ammann is out for the season after a collision with Tampa's Mamadou Diallo. In accordance with Open Cup rules, the MetroStars will have to select a goalkeeper who has not played in a 2000 Open Cup match for another professional team this year.

The MetroStars-Fusion semifinal match will be televised live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol. In addition Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol will televise the final on Oct. 22.

A pro-Galaxy crowd of 7,124 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif., where treated to a thrilling match in last night's semifinal between the Fire and Galaxy. The Fire suffered a blow in the 51stminute when defender Carlos Bocanegra received a red card, forcing the Fire to play with 10 men for the remainder of the match. The Galaxy's Cobi Jones struck first in the 79th minute but the Fire responded five minutes later when Ante Razov tallied his third goal of tournament to even the score, 1-1. In the 112th minute of overtime, U.S. Open Cup leading scorer Josh Wolff netted the golden goal, his sixth goal of the tournament, off a DaMarcus Beasley shot.

The venue for the U.S. Open Cup final will be played at the home of one of the two finalist and will be determined following the East semifinal match on Sept. 12.

Dating back to 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in the United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the U.S., the annual U.S. Open Cup is an 87-year-old-single-elimination tournament based on similar competitions played across the world concurrent with domestic league action.

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