Wizards begin defense of U.S. Open Cup title August 3 against Des Moines Menace

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The reigning U.S. Open Cup Champion Kansas City Wizards will begin defense of their title on Wednesday, August 3rd when they host the PDL's Des Moines Menace in the 4th round of the 2005 U.S. Open Cup. The match will kickoff at 7:00 p.m. CT at a venue to be announced in the next few days. Tickets will be General Admission and are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (15 and under).

The Wizards and seven other MLS teams enter the tournament in the fourth round on August 3rd, joining eight other teams from MLS, USL Divisions 1 & 2 and PDL that have advanced through the field. Des Moines earned the right to face the Wizards in the Quarterfinal round following their 5-1 upset win over the Atlanta Silverbacks (USL1) last night in Atlanta.

Kansas City captured the 2004 U.S. Open Cup title in dramatic fashion, beating the Chicago Fire 1-0 in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium in September 22, 2004. Forward Igor Simutenkov's freekick in the 95th minute pierced through the Fire defensive wall and deflected off goalkeeper Henry Ring before settling in the back of the goal.

The Wizards earned a berth in the 2004 U.S. Open Cup Final by claiming a 4-1 road win against the Atlanta Silverbacks in the 4th round of the tournament, followed by back-to-back shutout wins at home against fellow MLS opponents the Dallas Burn and San Jose Earthquakes in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. During their four games of the 2004 tournament, the Wizards outscored their opponents 10-1 en route to their first Open Cup title in franchise history.

Dating back to 1914, the 91-year-old U.S. Open Cup is the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States and is among the oldest in the world. The tournament is open to affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, and is single-elimination format. Pairings, dates and kickoff times for the Quarterfinals will be announced at a later date. Log on to www.kcwizards.com or www.ussoccer.com for the latest scores and information on the 2005 U.S. Open Cup.

At stake in the tournament is $180,000 in prize money broken down as follows: $100,000 to the champion, $50,000 to the runner up and $10,000 to the team which advances deepest in the tournament from each of the Division II, Division III and amateur levels. The U.S. Open Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation's National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. It is the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world.