Fire to Face Richmond Kickers Tomorrow in U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal
CHICAGO, IL - The Chicago Fire (4-8-7, 19 pts.) will continue its quest for back-to-back Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles tomorrow evening when it travels to Richmond, VA to take on the A-League's Richmond Kickers (13-7-3, 42 pts.) in a quarterfinal match-up in the 91st edition of the nation's oldest soccer tournament. The Fire-Kickers match will be held at the University of Richmond Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT. Fire fans worldwide can hear the live audio broadcast of the match online at the team's official website, www.Chicago-Fire.com. While the defending U.S. Open Cup champion Fire is in pursuit of a remarkable fourth Dewar Trophy in just its seventh year of existence, Chicago will not be the only team tomorrow night at the University of Richmond Stadium gunning to hoist the Open Cup trophy again. The Kickers hold the claim of winning the last U.S. Open Cup in the pre-MLS era of American soccer by emerging as the victors of the competition in 1995.
Chicago Fire ACE/Tru-Fit Injury Report
Gray, Kelly - L high ankle sprain - probable
Marsch, Jesse - R ankle cartilage damage - out
Razov, Ante - R ankle bone spur - out
Whitfield, Evan - lower abdominal strain - out
Winner of Fire-Kickers to Face A-League's Rochester or Charleston in Semifinals
U.S. Soccer announced yesterday the semifinal pairings for the 91st edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The victor of tomorrow's Chicago Fire - Richmond Kickers quarterfinal match will advance to the tournament semifinals, where it will face the winner of the Charleston Battery - Rochester Raging Rhinos quarterfinal match, which is being contested tomorrow at Frontier Field in Rochester, NY. Should Rochester win that contest, the Rhinos will host the Fire for the second time this year at Frontier Field on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m. CT. If the Battery can pull off the upset, it would travel to Chicagoland to face the Fire at its former home of Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium (formerly Cardinal Stadium) in Naperville, IL on Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Fire to Put Undefeated Quarterfinal Record on the Line
By winning its first match in the 2004 edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Fire might just have cleared its biggest hurdle in the tournament. On the four previous occasions it has won its opening contest, the Fire reached the semifinals of the competition by going 3-0-1 in the quarterfinal round. The Fire's lone draw in the competition came in the 1998 Quarterfinal Round, when Chicago and the San Jose Earthquakes finished 120 minutes of soccer deadlocked 1-1 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. The Fire would advance to the semifinals thanks to a 4-3 victory in the penalty kick round.
Buete and Whitfield to Stay Behind
Midfielder Scott Buete and D/M Evan Whitfield will not make the Fire's trip to Virginia for Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal contest against the Richmond Kickers. Buete, a rookie out of the University of Maryland who has started in three of the Fire's last five MLS contests, is suffering from a bout of food poisoning and will not be available in time for the team's trip on Tuesday. Whitfield continues to nurse a lower abdominal strain and will continue his rehab from the injury in Chicago this week.