Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes have announced that the two Western Conference combatants will start their paths towards qualification for the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, April 14 in an opening round MLS Play-in contest. kick-off from Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. - where the two sides will meet less than three weeks prior in their 2010 MLS First Kick season opener - is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. MT, with the match slated to air exclusively in Utah on KALL 700 Sports. Tickets for the April 14 contest range from $20-$50 and can be purchased by calling 800-225-2277 or by logging on tosjearthquakes.com.
The April 14 meeting will mark the second time the two sides will meet in U.S. Open Cup qualifying action, the Claret-and-Cobalt dispatching San Jose by a 4-0 margin in an opening Play-in round affair on April 30, 2008, at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Real Salt Lake has a 2-3-0 record in five previous qualifying matches for U.S. Soccer's national championship since MLS was limited to eight representatives in the competition beginning in 2007.
When combining those Play-in contests and its 2005 and 2006 appearances in the tournament proper, Real Salt Lake has an all-time record of 3-5-0 across U.S. Open Cup play. The Utah side failed to improved upon that mark last season, when it dropped a 1-4 result at Seattle Sounders FC in their MLS Play-in opening round match-up on April 28 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
This year, nine MLS teams will battle it out for the two available qualifying spots in an effort to join the six teams - Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, and defending tournament champion Seattle Sounders FC - that automatically qualified via their point totals from the 2009 MLS regular season.
MLS Play-in Bracket for 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Game A: Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls
Game B: New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union/New York Red Bulls winner
Game C: Real Salt Lake at San Jose Earthquakes - April 14 @ 8:00 p.m. MT - Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Game D: Colorado Rapids at Kansas City Wizards
Game E: FC Dallas at D.C. United
^Game F: Game B winner vs. Game D winner (winner qualifies), home team TBD
^Game G: Game C winner vs. Game E winner (winner qualifies), home team TBD
Games A-E: Games to be completed by the end of April
^ Games F-G: Games to be completed by the end of May