Timbers to face Utah in U.S. Open Cup

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers will play the Utah Blitzz in the third round of the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, June 30 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. (Pacific).

Portland qualified for the U.S. Open Cup for the first time in franchise history after defeating Seattle 3-1 on aggregate goals in early May. The tournament, which runs concurrent to the Timbers season, features 40 teams from three professional leagues and two amateur leagues in a bid to determine the top team in American soccer.

The Timbers, who earned a bye through the first two rounds of the tournament, will take on Utah following its 3-0 victory over the Sacramento Knights on Tuesday evening.

A member of the Pro Soccer League, Utah holds a 2-0 series advantage, beating the Timbers twice in 2001.

Former Timber Fadi Afash leads the Blitzz with four goals after being released from Portland during training camp prior to the season. Afash scored 22 goals during his two years in Portland.

The match will be broadcast live on KZNY AM-1010 and on KRMZ AM-1150 in Spanish. Both broadcasts will be carried over the Internet on OregonLive.com.

The U.S. Open Cup, which is recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. Within the U.S. Open Cup framework, teams compete in one of the following four categories: professional outdoor Division I (Major League Soccer), Division II (A-League) or Division III (USL Professional Soccer League); or Amateur Division (USL Premier Development League & U.S. Adult Soccer Association).

The U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament, with drawn games being decided by two 15-minute sudden death (“Golden Goal”) overtime halves. If neither team scores during the two overtime halves, the winner is decided on penalty kicks. The team that advances the furthest from each level except Division I earns a $10,000 cash prize. The runner-up takes home $50,000, while the champion collects $100,000. The winner also will have the team’s name engraved on the historic Dewar Cup.

2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule
Qualifying - Ends May 23*
Pairings Announcement - May 25
First Round - June 2 & 8 Eight USASA regional qualifiers vs. eight PDL teams
Second Round - June 15 First Round winners vs. six USL PSL, two A-League teams
Third Round - June 30 Second Round winners vs. two MLS, six A-League teams
Fourth Round - July 20 Third Round winners vs. remaining eight MLS teams
Quarterfinals - Aug. 4 Fourth Round winners
Semifinals - Aug. 24 & 25 Quarterfinal winners
Final - Sept. 22 Semifinal winners

*Qualifying for USASA Region III does not end until May 31

Composition of participating teams:
10 Major League Soccer
8 A-League
16 USASA (8 PDL, 8 regional qualifiers)
40 Total Teams

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