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2003 U.S. Open Cup complete results

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

2002 U.S. Open Cup complete results

U.S. Open Cup champions

U.S. Open Cup

U.S. Open Cup

Eight teams join the tourney in the third round Wednesday.

(Tuesday, June 29, 2004) -- Two Major League Soccer teams and six from the A-League join the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday with a full slate of eight third-round matches scheduled in the chase for the Dewar Cup.

Four former U.S. Open Cup champions are among the teams that commence play tomorrow.

The eight remaining MLS teams await the third-round winners for the Round-of-16 which will be played between July 14-21.

The Richmond Kickers, of the second-division A-League, won the Open Cup in 1995 and host the Cape Cod Crusaders, the defending champions of the fourth-flight Premier Development.

Forward David Bulow assisted on a first-half goal and scored two after intermission to lead the Crusaders to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Western Mass Pioneers of the third-division Pro Select League in the second round. Bulow, second in the Open Cup with eight points on three goals and two assists, also had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over N.Y. Greek American-Atlas of the United States Adult Soccer Association in the first round.

Although they did not appear in the 2003 Open Cup, the Kickers are riding a three-game winning streak at home in the tournament with their last loss in Richmond coming to MLS's MetroStars in 1997.

The Rochester Raging Rhinos of the A-League are the only non-MLS team to capture the U.S. Open Cup since MLS teams first participated in 1996. The 1999 Open Cup champion hosts the PDL's Chicago Fire Reserves Rochester Raging Rhinos at Frontier Field.

The Fire Reserves are led by Julian Nash, who is tops in this year's tournament with 10 points on four goals and two assists. In the first round, the Reserves bested SAC Wisla (USASA) 5-1 in a Chicago derby played in the western suburbs of the Second City. In the second round, Chicago hit the road and topped the New Hampshire Phantoms (PSL) with a matching 5-1 result.

The Raging Rhinos have a 13-7 overall record in the Open Cup since 1996 and have won a game in seven of the last eight tournaments. For this match, the 100-pound, three-foot tall Dewar Cup will make the journey from the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y., to Rochester. Each team to win the tournament since its inception in 1914 has had its name added to the trophy, which is now retired and resides full-time at the Hall.

Two of the five MLS teams with U.S. Open Cup titles start play tomorrow night. The Columbus Crew hosts the Syracuse Salty Dogs (A-League). The Crew, 2002 Open Cup titlist, is operated by the tournament's namesake and soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

Syracuse advanced to the third round with a 4-2 victory over the South Jersey Barons (PDL) June 21 in a replay of a 1-1 draw six days earlier, a match abandoned after 71 minutes because of inclement weather and darkness. Only six of the 15 players to take the field in the 2002 final for the Crew are still with the team, but forward Jeff Cunningham has five goals and eight assists in 15 Open Cup games in his Columbus career.

The Dallas Burn won the Cup in 1997 and will host the Virginia Beach Mariners (A-League). Both teams left the Open Cup in the fourth round last year with the Mariners falling to D.C. United (MLS) and the Burn being upset by the Wilmington Hammerheads of the PSL.

Virginia Beach opened the 2004 tournament with a 2-0 win over another Dallas area team, the DFW Tornadoes of the PDL. The Burn has an 8-1 record against A-League teams in the Open Cup, while the Mariners have yet to beat an MLS team in four tries.

The defending league champions from the PSL and the A-League face off in another intriguing Cup match with the Charleston Battery (A-League) hosting the Wilmington Hammerheads. The teams met once in the U.S. Open Cup with Charleston coming out on top 2-1 at home on July 6, 1999.

Wilmington advanced to the third round with a 3-0 triumph over the Cocoa Expos (PDL) with all three goals coming in the first half.

The Carolina Dynamo hosts the Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League). Carolina, one of the four PDL teams remaining, advanced with a 5-1 decision over the Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) in the first round and a 4-2 win over the Charlotte Eagles (PSL) in the second round. The Silverbacks, making their third consecutive Open Cup appearance, hope to avoid the upset in North Carolina for the second consecutive year. Last year, Atlanta fell victim to Wilmington 2-1 in the third round.

The Boulder Rapids Reserve, the last of the PDL sides, travels to St. Paul, Minn., to face the Minnesota Thunder (A-League). In its only Open Cup match versus a PDL team, the Thunder lost to the Mid Michigan Bucks in 1999 in Blaine, Minn.

The Rapids Reserve squeaked through to the third round defeating the San Diego Gauchos (PSL) 5-4 in a penalty-kicks tiebreaker after 120 minutes produced no goals. Rapids goalkeeper Luis Robles saved the final penalty kick by San Diego.

The Portland Timbers (A-League) make their first Open Cup appearance with a trip to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Blitzz (PSL). Three first-half Blitzz goals beat the Sacramento Knights (USASA) 3-0 in the second round.

The Blitzz had been knocked out of the Open Cup in the second round for three straight years, including a shocking 4-0 defeat to the PDL upstart Fresno Fuego in 2003.

At stake in the tournament is $180,000 in prize money and the winner having its name etched on the Dewar trophy for an event that has been played since 1914, the oldest American annual team tournament. The champions earns $100,000, $50,000 goes to the runnerup and $10,000 apiece to the teams that advance furthest from the A-League, PSL, and the combined PDL and USASA.


2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
(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)


Third round

Wednesday, June 30

at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City
Portland Timbers (A) vs. Utah Blitzz (PSL), 9:30 p.m.

at James Griffin Stadium in St. Paul, Minn.
Boulder Rapids Reserve (PDL) vs. Minnesota Thunder (A), 8 p.m.

at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.
Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL) vs. Charleston Battery (A), 7:30 p.m.

at MacPherson Stadium in Browns Summit, N.C.
Atlanta Silverbacks (A) vs. Carolina Dynamo (PDL), 7:30 p.m.

at Old Panther Stadium in Duncanville, Tex.
Virginia Beach Mariners (A) vs. Dallas Burn (MLS), 8:30 p.m.

at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Va.
Cape Cod Crusaders (PDL) vs. Richmond Kickers (A), 7 p.m.

at Columbus (Ohio) Crew Stadium
Syracuse Salty Dogs (A) vs. Columbus Crew (A), 7:30 p.m.

at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y.
Chicago Fire Reserves (PDL) at Rochester Raging Rhinos (A), 7:35 p.m.


Second round

Tuesday, June 21

at Winslow (N.J.) High School
Syracuse Salty Dogs (A) 4, South Jersey Barons (PDL) 2 (replay)

Wednesday, June 15

at Pleasant View Field in Boulder, Colo.
San Diego Gauchos (PSL) 0, Boulder Rapids Reserve (PDL) 0
(Boulder advances 5-4 on penalty kicks)

at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City
Utah Blitzz (PSL) 3, Sacramento Knights (USASA) 0

at Winslow (N.J.) High School
South Jersey Barons (PDL) 1, Syracuse Salty Dogs (A) 1, suspended, rain

at Virginia Beach Sportsplex
Virginia Beach Mariners (A) 2, DFW Tornadoes (PDL) 0

at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H.?
Chicago Fire Reserves (PDL) 5, New Hampshire Phantoms (PSL) 1

at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass.
Cape Cod Crusaders (PDL) 3, Western Mass Pioneers (PSL) 2

at Legion Stadium in Wilmington, N.C.
Wilmington Hammerheads (PSL) 3, Cocoa Expos (PDL) 0

at MacPherson Stadium in Browns Summit, N.C.
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) 4, Charlotte Eagles (PSL) 3


First round

Tuesday, June 8

at Pennington Field in Bedford, Tex.
DFW Tornadoes (PDL) 3, Legends FC (USASA) 1

at Cocoa (Fla.) Sports Complex
Cocoa Expos (PDL) 2, Azzurri (USASA) 1 (OT)

Wednesday, June 2

at Rooks Stadium in Chico, Calif.
Boulder Rapids Reserve (PDL) 2, Chico Rooks (USASA) 1

at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane, Wash.
Sacramento Knights (USASA) 2, Spokane Shadow (PDL) 1 (OT)

at Winslow High School in Tansboro, N.J.
South Jersey Barons (PDL) 5, Allied S.C. of Baltimore 0

at Redmond Recreational Complex in Bensenville, Ill.
Chicago Fire Reserves (PDL) 5, SAC Wisla of Chicago (USASA) 1

at Belson Stadium in Jamaica, N.Y.
Cape Cod Crusaders (PDL) 4, N.Y. Greek American-Atlas (USASA) 1

at McPherson Stadium in Browns Summit, N.C.
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) 5, Milwaukee Bavarians (USASA) 1


Fourth round - Tuesday, July 20
Quarterfinals - Wednesday, August 4
Semifinals - Tuesday, August 24 and Wednesday, August 25
Championship - Wednesday, September 22
The field

MLS (10): Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, Dallas Burn, D.C. United, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, MetroStars, San Jose Earthquakes
A-League (8): Atlanta Silverbacks, Charleston Battery, Minnesota Thunder, Portland Timbers, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Raging Rhinos, Syracuse Salty Dogs, Virginia Beach Mariners.
Pro Select League (6): Charlotte Eagles, New Hampshire Phantoms, San Diego Gauchos, Utah Blitzz, Western Massachusetts Pioneers, Wilmington Hammerheads.
Premier Development League (8): Boulder Rapids Reserves, Cape Cod Crusaders, Carolina Dynamo, Chicago Fire Reserves, Cocoa Expos, DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) Tornadoes, South Jersey Barons, Spokane Shadow
USASA (8 berths, 2 to be filled): Allied FC (Baltimore), Azzurri (Dallas), Chico Rooks, Legends FC (Texas), Milwaukee Bavarians, N.Y. Greek-American-Atlas, SAC Wisla (Chicago), Sacramento Knights.

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