Rapids to visit Tampa Bay Rowdies in Open Cup 3rd Round on May 29

Colorado return to tournament proper for first time since 2007

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Tuesday, May 22, 2012) – The Colorado Rapids will face the Tampa Bay Rowdies next Tuesday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the third round of the 99th Edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Tampa Bay’s 3-0 victory over Jacksonville United in tonight’s second round match determined that the Rapids will travel for their first match in this year’s edition of the U.S. Open Cup.
 
The Tampa Bay Rowdies play in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of professional soccer in the United States, and defeated Jacksonville United of the fourth-tier National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) on Tuesday night. The U.S. Open Cup is an annual knockout tournament open to U.S. Soccer Federation affiliated teams at all levels, from amateur to professional.

Colorado Rapids All-Time Open Cup Results
 
In this year’s new Open Cup format, all 16 Major League Soccer from the United States will join the competition in the third round. This will be the Colorado Rapids’ first time back in the U.S. Open Cup proper since 2007. The club participated in play-in matches in the past four years but did not advance into the actual tournament.
 
Before taking on Tampa Bay, the Rapids host expansion team Montreal Impact in MLS regular season action on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The Rapids have faced a team from Tampa once before in the Open Cup, also in Florida. On August 13, 1999, Colorado defeated the Tampa Bay Mutiny of MLS 1-0 in a Quartefinal match played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay off a 90th minute goal by Jorge Dely Valdez. The Rapids went on to play in their only Open Cup final that year, losing to Rochester 2-0.

The winner of the Rapids-Rowdies match will advance to the fourth round on Tuesday, June 5. The draw to learn the fourth round opponent and host location is expected to be announced by U.S. Soccer later this week.