US Open Cup First Round set

USL teams will host 14 of 16 First Round matches
 
CHICAGO, IL -- US Soccer has announced the first round pairings for the 2007 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The first round features 32 teams from USL-1, USL-2, PDL and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) ranks. The first round will be played on Tuesday, June 10, with the winners facing off in the second round on June 24.
 
Pairings for the opening round were determined by blind draw.
 
Eight USASA squads will participate in the first round of the Open Cup, with the N.Y. Pancyprian Freedom (Astoria, N.Y.) taking on the Real Maryland Monarchs (USL-2), Boston Olympiakos traveling to the Western Mass Pioneers (USL-2), the AAC Eagles (Chicago) hosting the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL-2) and RWB Adria (Chicago) facing the Rochester Rhinos (USL-1). Texas-based ASC New Stars (Houston) will travel to the Charleston Battery, Arizona Sahuaros (Phoenix) play host to the Seattle Sounders (USL-1) and Hollywood United will travel to the Portland Timbers (USL-1).
 
The PDL is also represented by eight teams in the first round as the Brooklyn Knights travel to the Carolina RailHawks (USL-1), the Fredericksburg Gunners will face the Richmond Kickers (USL-2), the Michigan Bucks will host the Cleveland City Stars (USL-2) and the St. Louis Lions travel to St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Thunder (USL-1). In the South, the Austin Aztex will host the Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1) and the Bradenton Academics (PDL) stay in state to play at the Miami FC Blues (USL-1). The Yakima Reds (Yakima, Wash.) will travel to Harrisburg to battle the City Islanders (USL-2) and the Los Angeles Legends host Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL-2).
 
First Round Pairings 
 
 
Teams
Venue
Time (local)
Brooklyn Knights (PDL) at Carolina RailHawks (USL-1)
WakeMed Park
7:30 p.m.
NY Pancyprian Freedom (USASA) at Real Maryland Monarchs (USL-2)
Maryland SoccerPlex
8 p.m.
Fredericksburg Gunners (PDL) at Richmond Kickers (USL-2)
SportsBackers Stadium
8 p.m.
Boston Olympiakos (USASA) at Western Mass Pioneers (USL-2)
Lusitano Stadium
7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL-2) at AAC Eagles (USASA)
Benedictine University
7:30 p.m. 
Cleveland City Stars (USL-2) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)
Ultimate Soccer Arena
7:30 p.m. 
St. Louis Lions (PDL) at Minnesota Thunder (USL-1)
National Sports Center
7 p.m.
RWB Adria (USASA) at Rochester Rhinos (USL-1)
PAETEC Park
7:30 p.m. 
Atlanta Silverbacks (USL-1) at Austin Aztex (PDL)
Dragon Stadium
7:30 p.m. 
ASC New Stars (USASA) at Charleston Battery (USL-1)
Blackbaud Stadium
7:30 p.m. 
Clearwater Galactics (USASA) at Charlotte Eagles (USL-2)
Charlotte Christian School
7 p.m.
Bradenton Academics (PDL) at Miami FC Blues (USL-1)
Tropical Park
8 p.m.
Seattle Sounders (USL-1) at Arizona Sahuaros (USASA)
Grand Canyon University
7:30 p.m.
Yakima Reds (PDL) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2)
Skyline Sports Complex
7 p.m.
Crystal Palace Baltimore (USL-2) at Los Angeles Legends (PDL)
Cougar Athletic Stadium
7:30 p.m. 
Hollywood United (USASA) at Portland Timbers (USL-1)
PGE Park
7 p.m.
 
Two league powers will be squaring off in arguably the marquee match of the First Round. In just their second year in the USL Second Division, the Cleveland City Stars have lost only two of their 26 regular season contests. They will face the Michigan Bucks, who have reached the PDL Final the past two years, winning the title in 2006. Both clubs are also affiliated with the Columbus Crew.
 
It is a second straight difficult draw for the Bucks, the most successful PDL team in the history of the tournament. Last year Michigan drew the defending USL-2 champion Richmond Kickers and suffered their only winless tournament result in seven appearances, falling 4-2 in Virginia. Cleveland were also eliminated by the Kickers last year, losing 1-0 in the Second Round after a 4-0 First Round victory over the Kansas City Brass.
 
The Richmond Kickers of the USL Second Division will be facing a club they are very familiar with in the Fredericksburg Gunners, who play against the Kickers organizations PDL and W-League teams and are coached by former Kicker player Cristian Neagu.
 
The Atlanta Silverbacks will face the PDL side of future 2009 USL-1 rival Austin Aztex in the Lone Star state, where they were eliminated last year in penalties by FC Dallas.
 
Applications to host and hosting proposals received from each club determined Open Cup home teams. Teams will be hosting matches through the quarterfinals of the tournament, with possible venue sites for the second round to be announced next week. The eight MLS clubs qualifying for the 2007 Open Cup proper enter the competition in the third round to face the winners from the second round. The Division I teams will be added to the tournament bracket based on geographical considerations after the first round is completed.
 
At stake in the tournament is $180,000 in prize money broken down as follows: $100,000 to the champion, $50,000 to the runner up and $10,000 to the team that advances deepest into the tournament from each of the Division II, Division III and amateur levels. The winner of the tournament will earn a berth into the CONCACAF 2009-10 Champions League.
 
The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, the US Soccer Federation’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
 
2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
June 12 - First Round - 32 lower division teams enter tournament
June 26 - Second Round - 16 Round 1 winners face off
July 1 - Third Round - Round 2 winners face eight MLS teams
July 8 - Quarterfinals - Round 3 winners
Aug. 12 - Semifinals - Quarterfinal winners
Aug. 24 - Final - Semifinal winners
 
Composition of participating teams:
8 Major League Soccer
8 United Soccer Leagues First Division
8 United Soccer Leagues Second Division
16 Amateur (8 USL Premier Development League, 8 USASA regional qualifiers)
Total Number of Teams: 40
Total Number of Games: 39