Real Salt Lake to host potential US Open Cup Semifinal
SANDY, Utah / CHICAGO – A coin flip at US Soccer headquarters earlier today determined that next week’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal winner between Real Salt Lake and the visiting NASL Carolina Railhawks will host either FC Dallas or Portland Timbers FC in the tourney’s Semifinal stage on Wednesday, August 7. RSL has now won four consecutive coin flips (probability – 6.25%), allowing the club to host Atlanta (3-2 W on May 28), Charleston (5-2 W on June 12), Carolina (result TBD June 26) and potentially either Portland or Dallas on August 7.
By virtue of RSL’s come-from-behind, 5-2 victory over the USL PRO Charleston Battery back on June 12, Real Salt Lake is now just six days away from hosting one of four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal Matches at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 p.m. MT next Wednesday. The North American Soccer League’s (NASL) Carolina Railhawks – which have defeated both the Los Angeles Galaxy and CD Chivas USA earlier in the tournament – make their maiden voyage to Utah.
Tickets for the June 26 U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal Match are NOW ON SALE at the Rio Tinto Stadium box offices (open 10a-6p Mon-Sat), at www.RealSaltLake.com, or over the phone at 801-727-2700. While the Carolina #USOC100 match is NOT included in the Real Salt Lake 2013 season ticket package, RSL “PRIDE” Season Ticket Holders can secure their seat location (IF available), and can also purchase additional seats to the match for a preferred price. Visit www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets for more detailed pricing for tickets to the match.
RSL has now advanced to the Quarterfinal stage of the LHUSOC for the third time in the club’s nine-year history, winning its first two games, both at home against minor-league opponents, both needing 120 minutes, by an aggregate scoreline of 8-4, before an average crowd of nearly 14,000. A year ago, RSL was bounced out of the Open Cup in the third-round last year, losing 3-1 to the NASL’s Minnesota Stars in front of a record-setting crowd of 17,212 at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 29, 2012. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s best Open Cup finishes came in 2006 and 2011, when the Utah side advanced to the Quarterfinals of the tournament.
Real Salt Lake is now 8-8-0 all-time in U.S. Open Cup play, scoring 29 goals and conceding 31 in the tournament. RSL is now 5-2-0 against lower division teams in Open Cup action, with both losses coming against Minnesota. Members of the Claret-and-Cobalt have had success in the Open Cup away from RSL, with a trio of active players (MF Khari Stephenson, 2004, Kansas City; MF Ned Grabavoy, 2005, LA Galaxy; DF Abdoulie Mansally, 2007, NE Revolution) winning the title, and six members of the executive/technical staff (President Bill Manning, 1991, Brooklyn Italians; GM Garth Lagerwey, 1997, Dallas Burn; Head Coach Jason Kreis, 1997, Dallas Burn; Assistant Coach Jeff Cassar, 1997, Dallas Burn; Assistant Coach C.J. Brown, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, Chicago Fire; Head Scout Andy Williams, 2003, Chicago Fire) lifting the Dewar Cup a combined 12 times in their illustrious playing careers.
The winner of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be granted a berth in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League tournament. Real Salt Lake competed in the 2010-11 and the 2012-13 editions of the CCL, becoming the first – and still only – MLS club to reach the final in 2011 before falling out of the continental tournament in the Group Stage last October. Participation in MLS Cup 2013 and claiming the MLS Supporters’ Shield as the regular season points leader would provide alternate routes for qualification into the 2014-15 CCL.
Now in its 100th year of competition, the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup is an annual, single-elimination competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. This year’s tournament proper kicked off in April, with 15 first-round matches contested across the country, with 11 of those games won by the home side. The tournament will continue after the Quarterfinals on June 26 with the Semifinals on Aug. 7, and the Final on Oct. 1 or 2 (all sites determined by coin flips).
Along with a berth into the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League, the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup winner will receive a $250,000 cash prize from U.S. Soccer. The runner-up will collect $60,000 and the team that advances the furthest from each lower division league will win $15,000.
The June 26 Real Salt Lake Quarterfinal match concludes a run of seven consecutive home games at Rio Tinto Stadium for Jason Kreis’ club, including four MLS regular-season matches (May 25 1-1 T v CHI; June 1 3-0 W v SJ; June 8 3-1 W v LA; June 22 v SEA) and the three Open Cup contests (May 28 3-2 W v ATL; June 12 5-2 W v CHR and June 26 v CAR). On top of those 7 games in 31 days, Utah’s Rio Tinto Stadium also hosted the critical United States National Team World Cup Qualifier against Honduras on Tuesday, won 1-0 by U.S. before a sold-out crowd of 20,250 – the 17th-largest attendance in the venue’s soccer history – on the road to FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, which kicks off in about one year.