SANDY, Utah (Monday, July 13, 2015) – Real Salt Lake’s road to the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup continues TUESDAY with a Quarterfinal matchup against MLS rival LA Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium, with kickoff at 8:00 p.m. MT. Tickets remain on sale at RealSaltLake.com as well as the Stadium box office, open daily at 10:00 a.m. MT.
This weekend, the Galaxy (8-6-7, 31 points) introduced their newest player, former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, in a 2-1 exhibition win over Mexican power Club America. The Galaxy are led by perennial MLS standout Robbie Keane and veterans Juninho, A.J. de la Garza and Robbie Rogers, among others, who have Bruce Arena’s Galaxy side currently placing fourth in the extremely competitive MLS Western Conference.
RSL – with a record of 9-5-2 all-time in home elimination games – advanced to this stage by virtue of its 2-0 home victory over Portland Timbers FC on July 1, while the Galaxy won 1-0 on the road in San Jose against the Earthquakes on the same date. RSL and the Galaxy – co-owner’s of current five-year streaks of 15 wins and 50+ points – are nearly perennial MLS Cup Playoff rivals, meeting in MLS Cup 2009, the 2011 Western Conference Finals and the 2013 and 2014 West Semifinals, but have never before competed in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The winner of Tuesday’s RSL-LA Quarterfinal will travel to face the July 21 Kansas City-Houston victor in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal – currently slated for August 11. The winner of that game will have a chance to host the September 30 LHUSOC Final against whichever team emerges from the other side of the all-MLS bracket, as Chicago/Orlando and Red Bulls/Philadelphia remain in contention to advance.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. LA Galaxy U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal
• Coverage Begins: 8:00 p.m. MT
• Web Stream: RealSaltLake.com or YouTube.com/USsoccer – Bill Riley & Brian Kamler
• English Radio: ESPN700 AM (8:00 p.m. MT) – Bill Riley & Brian Kamler
• Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM / 1600 AM – Nelson Moran & Fernando Hortal
• Online: The @RealSaltLake and @opencup / @usopencup Twitter Feeds provide updates
RSL is 5-1-6 across all competitions so far this season at its Sandy venue, including a pair of home wins in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Since the beginning of 2008, RSL boasts a 91-19-39 mark in its last 149 home games (all comps) in that span, during which it has outscored opponents by 160 goals (270/110), with a 73-14-36 reg. season mark (221/90), 6-1-1 CCL record (17/5), 5-2-2 playoffs (11/4) and 7-2-0 in the Open Cup (20/10).
RSL made its deepest run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup back in 2013, winning a series of coin flips and advancing to host the 100th Final in tourney history, dropping an 0-1 decision at home to D.C. United, missing out on a CONCACAF Champions League berth. Later that season, RSL lost a penalty-kick shootout in MLS Cup 2013, becoming the only team out of 11 all-time to have advanced to both the USOC and MLS Cup Finals, but winning neither.
Dating back to 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, the annual U.S. Open Cup is a 100-plus-year-old single-elimination tournament. In a nutshell, the 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 concurrent with a country’s league season, are open in the early stages to any club that qualifies, giving local amateur teams a chance to compete against the best teams a country has to offer.
In 1999, the U.S. Open Cup was renamed the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to honor the long-time soccer supporter and pioneer. Hunt, who died in 2006, was one of the sport’s first major ownership figures in the United States and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. His family continues to operate FC Dallas in Major League Soccer.
The winning team of the U.S. Open Cup has its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy, which has been permanently retired and remains at U.S. Soccer House in Chicago. At present, Seattle Sounders FC are the reigning Open Cup champion after defeating the Philadelphia Union to claim the 2014 title - the Sounders’ fourth in the last six years.
In leagues like the English Premier League, Serie A in Italy and the Bundesliga in Germany, cup competitions are prestigious tournaments waged between countries’ strongest teams such as Manchester United, AC Milan and Bayern Munich, and smaller teams like the amateur French side Calais that made it to the finals of the 2000 Coupe de France only to fall to defending champions Nantes on an injury time penalty kick. Watford F.C. in England, was another small-time club that hit it big in 1984 by making it all the way to the F.A. Cup Final. Unfashionable Chesterfield of the Second Division (the third flight in England) advanced to the semifinals of the 1997 F.A. Cup in England before finally losing. And the U.S. has seen its share of Cinderella runs, the most recent of which saw amateur side Cal FC advance past two professional clubs (Division III USL Pro side Wilmington Hammerheads and Division I MLS team Portland Timbers) on its march to the Round of 16 in 2012.
The winner of each country’s domestic cup competition, in addition to taking home the prize money, is automatically placed into a tournament to compete against neighboring countries’ cup winners.