The San Jose Earthquakes will begin play in the 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, July 14 against the A-League's Portland Timbers at 7 p.m. PT at PGE Park in Portland. The Timbers advanced to the fourth round with a 2-1 win over the Utah Blitzz on June 30. San Jose is making the seventh Open Cup appearance in team history and will be looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the sixth time.
Last season, the A-League's Seattle Sounders eliminated the Earthquakes from the tournament in the fourth round with a 1-0 victory. In 2002, the Quakes fell to the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 in overtime in the quarterfinals. Overall in U.S. Open Cup play, the Earthquakes are 7-6 in their history.
The Timbers are currently in first place in the A-League's Western Conference with an 8-4-0 record (24 pts). Former Earthquakes goalkeeper Josh Saunders and Alan Gordon, the A-League's leading scorer with 11 goals in 12 games leads Portland.
The Earthquakes have played the Timbers once before, losing 2-1 to Portland in an exhibition game on June 4, 2001 at PGE Park. San Jose also played in Portland on May 5, 1998, tying Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara 1-1 at Portland's Civic Stadium on May 5, 1998.
Dating back to 1914 the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt. The tournament is open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, and is a single-elimination format. At stake in the tournament is $180,000 in prize money, with the champion earning $100,000, the runner up $50,000 and $10,000 to the team that advances deepest in the tournament from each of the Division II, Division III and amateur levels.