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2003 U.S. Open Cup schedule, results

2002 U.S. Open Cup complete results

U.S. Open Cup champions

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U.S. Open Cup

Ralph's tally gives Fire title 1-0 over MetroStars.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Wednesday, October 15, 2003) -- Striker Damani Ralph scored midway through the second half, powering the Chicago Fire past the MetroStars 1-0 and to its third Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title in six years tonight before 5,183 at Giants Stadium.

The Fire, which also won the Open Cup in 1998 and 2000, became the first MLS team to win the Cup final on the road.

The match was played back and forth with neither team creating many chances on a windy night in the Meadowlands as both goalkeepers combined for just five saves. One of the differences in the game were the Chicago Fire forwards outplaying the MetroStars' strikers. Frontrunners Ralph and Ante Razov combined for as many shots -- seven -- as the entire MetroStars' starting 11, while drawing a combined nine fouls, as compared to the one drawn by Clint Mathis and Andrzej Juskowiak.

The deciding goal came in the 68th minute with Ralph converting an assist from midfielder Evan Whitfield. The ball was played wide right to Whitfield who gathered it in space and dribbled toward goal before slotting a pass to an unmarked Ralph. Ralph drilled a 10-yard shot between MetroStars goalkeeper Jonny Walker and defender Eddie Pope for his second goal of the 2003 Open Cup.

:"We had the advantage of home field tonight, Unfortunately, we couldn't do it," Walker said. "You have to hand it to the (Fire) because they came out and did what they had to do to win the game."

A relatively quiet first half ended with both teams scoreless after being unable to crack the opponents' defense. Chicago earned the first scoring chance when midfielder DaMarcus Beasley dribbled into the center of the field creating space on the left for Razov. Razov's cross skimmed off the crossbar before going out over the far touch line for a throw-in.

The next chance was created by MetroStars defender Edgar Bartolomeu who often overlapped from his left back position in the first half. In the 15th minute, he carried into the top left corner of the box before drilling a shot high and over the crossbar.

The first and only shot on goal in the first half came off the foot of Mathis. As the MetroStars pressed forward, the Fire defense gave the ball away. He gathered the ball 20 yards from goal, but only got a toe on the ball which rolled into the arms of a diving Zach Thornton.

Two minutes later, a long free kick from the MetroStars' Chris Leitch sprang Juskowiak in the center of the penalty area. Before he could collect the bouncing ball, defender Kelly Gray ran him off forcing a weak shot that went well wide of the goal.

Late in the game the MetroStars had three more dangerous chances. In 80th minute, midfielder Amado Guevara's header was grabbed by a diving Thornton while four minutes later, John Wolyniec headed a Leitch cross into Thornton's hands. A final chance came in stoppage time when Guevara drove a free kick from 25 yards out high over the crossbar.


Chicago Fire 1, MetroStars 0

MetroStars Jonny Walker, Chris Leitch, Steve Jolley, Eddie Pope (captain), Edgar Bartolomeu, Richie Williams (Mark Lisi), Ricardo Clark, Eddie Gaven, Amado Guevara, Andrzej Juskowiak (John Wolyniec 69), Clint Mathis (Mike Magee 76). Chicago - Zach Thornton, Kelly Gray, Carlos Bocanegra, Jim Curtin, Orlando Perez (Andy Williams 66), Evan Whitfield, Chris Armas (captain), Jesse Marsch, DaMarcus Beasley, Damani Ralph, Ante Razov.

Scoring:
Chicago - Ralph (Whitfield 68.

Shots: MetroStars 8, Chicago 10. Saves: MetroStars 2, Chicago 3. Corner kicks: MetroStars 2, Chicago 6. Fouls: MetroStars 17, Chicago 16. Offside: MetroStars 3, Chicago 5. Yellow card cautions: MetroStars - Bartolomeu 50, Mathis 58; Chicago - Marsch 16, Williams 89.

Referee: Kevin Stott Assistant referees: Nathan Clement, Craig Lowry. Attendance: 5,183 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Weather: Partly cloudy, 55 degrees, breezy.


Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup schedule, results (all times Eastern):

Key:
MLS - Major League Soccer (first division)
A - A-League (second division)
PSL - Pro Select League (third division)
PDL - Premier Development League (fourth division)
USASA - United States Adult Soccer Association (amateur)

Championship

Wednesday, October 15

at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Chicago Fire (MLS) 1, MetroStars (MLS) 0


Semifinals

Wednesday, October 1

at Yurcak Stadium in Piscataway, N.J.
MetroStars (MLS) 3, D.C. United (MLS) 2

Tuesday, September 23

at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Ill.
Chicago Fire (MLS) 3, Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) 2


Quarterfinals

Wednesday, August 21

at Legion Sports Complex in Wilmington, N.C.
D.C. United (MLS) 1, Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL) 0

at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J.
MetroStars (MLS) 2, New England Revolution (MLS) 1 (2OT)

at Cardinal Stadium in Naperville, Ill.
Chicago Fire (MLS) 2, Colorado Rapids (MLS) 1

at Seahawk Stadium in Seattle
Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) 5, Seattle Sounders (A) 1


Fourth round

Wednesday, August 6

at Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, Md.
D.C. United (MLS) 1, Virginia Beach Mariners (A) 0 (OT)

at Legion Sports Complex in Wilmington, N.C.
Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL) 4, Dallas Burn 1

at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio
MetroStars (MLS) 4, Columbus Crew (MLS) 3

at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass.
New England Revolution (MLS) 2, Rochester Raging Rhinos (A) 1

Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee
Chicago Fire (MLS) 4, Milwaukee Wave United 1

Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS) vs. Fresno Fuego (PDL), 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 5

at Husky Soccer Field in Seattle, Wash.
Seattle Sounders (A) 1, San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 0

North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada, Colo.
Colorado Rapids (MLS) 3, Kansas City Wizards (MLS) 2


Third round

Wednesday, July 23

Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee
Milwaukee Wave United (A) 4, Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) 1

Tuesday, July 22

at Dudley Stadium, El Paso, Tex.
Fresno Fuego (PDL) 5, El Paso Patriots 2

Wednesday, July 16

at National Sports Complex, Blaine, Minn.
Seattle Sounders (A) 1, Minnesota Thunder (A) 0

at Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, Md.
D.C. United (MLS) 2, Pittsburgh Riverhounds (A) 1

at Legion Sports Complex in Wilmington, N.C.
Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL) 2, Atlanta Silverbacks (A) 1

at Virginia Sportsplex in Virginia Beach, Va..
Virginia Beach Mariners (A) 5, Carolina Dynamo (PSL) 0

at Hurley Stadium in Berkeley, Mich.
MetroStars (MLS) 4, Mid Michigan Bucks (PDL) 0

at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y.
Rochester Raging Rhinos (A) 4, New Hampshire Phantoms (PSL) 1


Second round

Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL) 2, Bradenton Academics (PDL) 1
Mid-Michigan Bucks (PDL) 2, Long Island Rough Riders (PSL) 1
New Hampshire Phantoms (PSL) 3, Bridgeport Italians (USASA) 0
New Hampshire Phantoms (PSL) 3, Chesapeake Dragons (PDL) 2 (OT)
Carolina Dynamo (PSL) 2, Raleigh CASL Elite (PDL) 1
Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) 1, Reading Rage (USL-PSL) 0
Fresno Fuego (PDL) 4, Utah Blitzz (PSL) 0


First round

Bridgeport Italians (USASA) 1, Chesapeake Dragons (PDL) 0
D.S. United (USASA) 1, Raleigh CASL Elite (PDL) 4
Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) 2, Des Moines Menace (PDL) 1
Fresno Fuego (PDL) 1, Chico Rooks (USASA) 0
Bye: Bradenton Academics (PDL)
Bye: Mid-Michigan Bucks (PDL)

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