The 1998 U.S. Open Cup champion Chicago Fire will take on the Los Angeles Galaxy tonight (Aug. 23) at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif., in the West semifinal match. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT and fans can purchase tickets by calling 877/3-GALAXY (877/342-5299).
Both semifinal matches 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.
In the East semifinal match, the MetroStars will be making their third appearance in the Open Cup semifinals in four years. However, the MetroStars have yet to make an appearance in the finals of the tournament with both previous semifinal losses coming to Major League Soccer teams (Dallas Burn and Columbus Crew). The Miami Fusion on the other hand are making their first-ever appearance in the semifinals and head into the match with the most goals scored (11) and allowed (6) of the four semifinal teams in this years Open Cup.
The MetroStars, Fire and Galaxy are all playoff bound and will have the chance to be part of an elite group of teams that have "done the double" - won both the U.S. Open Cup and the MLS Cup in the same season. Miami are on the verge of making the playoffs and their fate will be determined in their up-coming regular season matches. Since the inception of MLS in 1996, two of the four U.S. Open Cup champions have "done the double," the 1998 Chicago Fire and 1996 D.C. United teams.
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.
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, the owner of the Kansas City Wizards and Columbus Crew of MLS and the owner of the Dallas Tornados of the old NASL, was one of the sports first major ownership figures and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.