Rapids to Host California Victory Tonight in US Open Cup!

COMMERCE CITY CO ( - The Colorado Rapids have learned their opponent that they will host in the next round of the oldest sports tournament in the USA the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Your Rapids will face off against the California Victory of the USL's 1st Division who managed a 1-0 extra-time win over the Minnesota Thunder in their last Open Cup match to set up a meeting against the Rapids.
The match will be played at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Tuesday July 10; kickoff will be at 7:00pm MT.
The match will feature specially-priced general admission seating with tickets priced at just $10 for adults and $5 for kids 16 and under. Adult Colorado Rapids season ticket holders can purchase tickets for a specially-discounted price of only $7.
Tickets for the Rapids vs. Victory match are available at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Box Office at kiosks at Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods locations or online by clicking here.
Colorado Rapids season ticket holders should call (303) 825-GOAL for more information about their seats for the match.
The winner of the Rapids vs. Victory match will advance to face the winner of the MLS Chivas USA vs. the USL-1 Seattle Sounders match. This game will be played the week of August 6 at a venue to be determined based on who advances. To view the complete bracket for the 2007 US Open Cup click here.
The game between California and Minnesota featured both teams finishing the match with just nine men and the Victory had winning goal-scorer Ricardo Sanchez sent off for an inappropriate goal celebration.
Minnesota looked to start Tuesday's game much like Sunday's -- with an early goal through Brian Farber -- but Victory 'keeper Eric Reed did well to gather the shot and spare his team another nightmare start.
The home-side had a basket full of opportunities to go ahead in the first half but the Victory kept it simple and defended in numbers. Farber looked most likely to score with one shot hitting the post and another ricocheting off the crossbar.
California had first-half chances through Juan Epitié -- who returned to the fold having been on African Cup of Nations duty -- as well as Luis Aguilar and Sanchez who somehow blasted over from mere yards.
But the drama really began to unfold in the second half. California's Cameron Dunn was ejected in the 50th minute for a second bookable offense but the field was leveled in the 79th minute when Minnesota's Jeremiah Bass was also ejected following a second caution.
Though the Vics had the upper hand late in the second half the match remained scoreless and went into extra time.
It was during the first period of extra-time that Sanchez struck his first goal for the Victory -- a punishing 20-yard free-kick that the Mexican midfielder had been threatening to bury all season.
But his celebration a copy of Nigerian Finidi George's infamous "dog and fire hydrant" celebration drew the ire of the Minnesota supporters -- and ultimately the referee -- who ejected Sanchez for his efforts.
Minnesota later had substitute Ansu Toure ejected with a straight red for tussling with Jose Retiz. In all the game saw nine yellow cards and four red.
With both sides physically and emotionally drained deep into extra-time Victory head coach Glenn Van Straatum had to bring on reserve goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek as an outfield player to ensure the Vics could hold on for the win.
California will be happy to return home after an eventful road trip that saw them pick up just two points in the league from three games. But Tuesday's win adds an exciting new dimension to their tough season now that the opportunity to play giant-killer against an MLS team has become a reality.
"The Open Cup match is a big game for us for two reasons head coach Van Straatum had said earlier in the week. "Firstly we need to redeem ourselves following Sunday’s defeat and secondly it will give us an opportunity to play an MLS team. That’s something that is very important for our franchise."
Dating back to 1914 the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest sports competition in the United States and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all amateur and professional teams in the United States the annual Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an 87-year-old single-elimination tournament.
In a nutshell the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is very similar to domestic cup competitions popular throughout Europe South America and the rest of the world. Cup competitions which usually run simultaneously with a country's league season are open in the early stages to any club that can qualify giving local amateur teams a chance to compete against the best teams a country has to offer.
In 1996 D.C. United became the first MLS team to capture the title defeating the Rochester Raging Rhinos 3-0 in the final. The Dallas Burn followed suit in 1997 denying United back-to-back titles with a 1-0 win over D.C. in penalty kicks in the championship game. In 1998 it was the expansion Chicago Fire capturing the trophy defeating the Columbus Crew 2-1 in extra time. Since then a variety of teams have conquered the Cup including A-League teams.
The 87-year-old Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament was renamed in 1999 to honor Lamar Hunt the long-time soccer pioneer and former owner of Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards who passed away in 2006.
Colorado Rapids All-Time Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup history and results:
1996: Advanced to semifinal round
Defeated: Kansas City Wizards (3-2)
Lost t Rochester Raging Rhinos (0-3)
1997: Lost in third round
Lost t Chicago Stingers (1-2)
1998: Lost in qualification round
Lost to Miami Fusion (2-3)
1999: Advanced to championship game
Defeated: Seattle Sounders (1-0) Tampa Bay Mutiny (1-0) Charleston Battery (3-0)
Lost t Rochester Raging Rhinos (0-2)
2000: Lost in third round
Lost t Richmond Kickers (0-3)
2001: Lost in third round
Lost t Pittsburgh Riverhounds (0-2)
2002: Advanced to quarterfinal round
Defeated: Charleston Battery (1-0)
Lost t Dallas Burn (0-1)
2003: Advance to quarterfinal round
Defeated: Kansas City Wizards (3-2)
Lost t Chicago Fire (1-2)
2004: Lost in fourth round
Lost t Dallas Burn (0-3)
2005: Lost in fourth round
Lost t Minnesota Thunder (1-4)
2006: Advanced to quarterfinal round
Defeated: Real Salt Lake (1-0)
Lost t LA Galaxy (3-1)
Defeated: Real Salt Lake (2-1) in qualifying match