Timbers to host U.S. Open Cup match at PGE Park on July 12

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers have won their bid to host the third round of the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at PGE Park, it was announced today.

The Timbers will host the match on Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. against the winner of the second-round contest between the Seattle Sounders and the Salinas Valley Samba on June 29.

"We're very excited to be selected as a host venue for the third round," Timbers general manager Jim Taylor said. "It really doesn't matter who we're playing in the third round, because whether it's the Samba or the Sounders, you don't get to the third round unless you have a very competitive club, and both of those teams will battle hard.

For Timbers fans, my guess is they'd love nothing more than going head-to-head with our archrival, Seattle. Ultimately, you want to advance on with hopes of hosting an MLS team or two at PGE Park, and that's exactly what we intend to do, but it starts by beating either Salinas or Seattle."

Portland earned a bye in the first two rounds of the tournament after finishing 2004 as A-League regular-season champions.

The Timbers defeated Seattle 3-1 in a two-game, aggregate-goal series that qualified them for the U.S. Open Cup in 2004, defeating Utah in the third round before falling to Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes at PGE Park before a crowd of 10,622.

Tickets, which go on sale June 27, start at $11, with a variety of group discounts available by calling the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the U.S. 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 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.

At stake in the in-season 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 in the tournament from each of the Division II, Division III and amateur levels.

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 (USL D1) or Division III (USL D2); or Amateur Division (USL Premier Development League & U.S. Adult Soccer Association).

For more information, log on to www.usopencup.com.