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Chicago Fire Defeat L.A. Galaxy, 3-1, to Win Fourth U.S. Open Cup Title


• Jaqua, Herron & Thiago Strike to Lead Fire to Fourth Title in Nine Years
• 93-Year-Old Tournament Sees Fire Become Fifth Four-time Champion

BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (September 27, 2006) – The Chicago Fire defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-1, to lift the historic Dewar Cup trophy and claim the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S .Open Cup championship. The Fire scored twice in the first 16 minutes behind goals from Nate Jaqua and Andy Herron, before icing the game late on a goal by Thiago in the 88th minute. The lone Galaxy goal came courtesy of Alan Gordon in the 52nd minute.

The victory for the Fire marked their fourth U.S. Open crown in the past nine years, helping to further stamp their modern day dominance on the tournament. Only four other teams have won the 93-year-old tournament as many as four times, with the most recent team to accomplish the feat being Los Angeles Maccabee S.C. back in 1978.

The first Fire goal came on a free kick into the area from Justin Mapp in the ninth minute. C.J. Brown skied in the area to get a head on the ball, knocking it down for Andy Herron to take shot on goal that deflected across the goal mouth to a wide open Nate Jaqua to easily head home.

Mapp and Herron were also involved in the second goal, with Mapp dribbling deep into the right corner and whipping a left-footed cross into the penalty area in the 16th minute that Herron expertly headed home.

The second-half opened with a flurry for the Galaxy, resulting in an Alan Gordon goal in the 52nd minute. After a couple of strong saves from Fire goalkeeper Matt Pickens, it was Gordon who slammed home his own rebound from six yards out to give the Galaxy life.

Despite some consistent pressure in the second half, and a 12-6 shot advantage, the Galaxy couldn’t get the second goal before Thiago iced the match for the Fire in the 88th minute. Thiago’s goal came after Tony Sanneh broke free down the left flank, and waited until the last possible moment to expertly slide a pass into the area past L.A. goalkeeper Kevin Hartman for the speedy second-half sub to slam home.

The previous Fire U.S. Open Cup titles came in 1998, 2000 and 2003. The match was televised nationally on Fox Soccer Channel and played in front of 8,151 fans at Toyota Park in the Chicagoland area.

ABOUT THE LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP: Dating back to 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, the annual U.S. Open Cup is a 93-year-old single-elimination tournament. In a nutshell, the U.S. Open Cup is very similar to domestic cup competitions popular throughout Europe, South America and the rest of the world. Cup competitions, which usually run concurrent with a country's league season, are open in the early stages to any club that can qualify, giving local amateur teams a chance to compete against the best teams a country has to offer. 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.

HISTORY OF THE DEWAR CUP: One of the oldest trophies in United States team sports history, the Dewar Cup was donated to the American Amateur Football Association in 1912 by Sir Thomas R. Dewar, a British distiller, sportsman and philanthropist during a AAFA (now United States Amateur Soccer Association) visit to London prior to the 1912 Olympics. The trophy was originally purchased for $500 and given in the hope of promoting soccer in the United States and in the name of Anglo-American friendship. The trophy was officially adopted as the U.S. Open Cup trophy prior to the Brooklyn Field Club's inaugural championship in 1914 in Pawtucket, R.I. The trophy was retired in 1979, but was refurbished by the USASA in 1997 and was presented to the 1997 and 1998 U.S. Open Cup winners, before returning to the National Soccer Hall of Fame where it resides permanently in Oneonta, N.Y.

-- Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Game Report --

Match-up: Chicago Fire vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Date: September 27, 2006
Competition: 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – Championship Match
Venue: Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Illinois
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Attendance: 8,151
Weather: 59 degrees, cloudy

Scoring Summary:
                          1    2    F

Chicago Fire   2    1   3 
L.A. Galaxy       0    1   1

CHI – Nate Jaqua (Andy Herron) 9th minute.
CHI – Andy Herron (Justin Mapp) 16.
LAG – Alan Gordon (unassisted) 52.
CHI – Thiago (Tony Sanneh) 88.

Lineups: 
CHI: 18-Matt Pickens; 2-C.J. Brown, 20-Tony Sanneh, 25-Gonzalo Segares; 8-Diego Gutierrez, 12-Logan Pause, 21-Justin Mapp (10-Thiago, 86), 23-Ivan Guerrero; 11-Nate Jaqua, 17-Chris Rolfe (Jim Curtin, 91+), 26-Andy Herron (32-Dasan Robinson, 82)
Subs not used: 1-David Mahoney, 3-Calen Carr, 4-Leonard Griffin, 16-Brian Plotkin
Head Coach: Dave Sarachan 

L.A.: 22-Kevin Hartman; 4-Ante Jazic, 5-Chris Albright, 14-Tyrone Marshall, 15-Ugo Ihemelu (7-Herculez Gomez, 77); 8-Peter Vagenas, 13-Cobi Jones (23-Quavas Kirk, 72), 17-Paulo Nagamura; 10-Landon Donovan, 21-Alan Gordon, 25-Santino Quaranta
Subs not used: 1-Steve Cronin, 3-Stefani Miglioranzi, 6-Josh Gardner, 16-Kyle Veris, 19-Michael Enfield
Head Coach: Frank Yallop

Stats Summary:
CHI/LAG

Shots: 13/14
Saves: 2/3
Corner Kicks: 2/6
Offside: 1/1

Misconduct Summary:
LAG – Chris Albright (caution) 25th minute.
CHI – Matt Pickens (caution) 52.
LAG – Paulo Nagamura (caution) 52.
CHI – Diego Gutierrez (caution) 59.
LAG – Santino Quaranta (caution) 71.
LAG – Alan Gordon (caution) 75.
CHI – Diego Gutierrez (caution) 90.
CHI – Diego Gutierrez (ejection) 90.

Officials:
Referee: Terry Vauhgn (USA)
1st Asst.: Chris Strickland (USA)
2nd Asst.: Richard Eddy (USA)
Fourth Official: Michael Kennedy (USA)

Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Tony Sanneh

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