Wed., Sept. 6, THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif. (7:30 p.m. PT)
The Los Angeles Galaxy are bidding to become the first team to repeat as U.S. Open Cup champion since the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms performed the feat in 1982-83. While they've never met Houston Dynamo in the Open Cup, the Galaxy held sway over the San Jose Earthquakes when the club was located in northern California: the teams met four times (all in the quarterfinals), and the Galaxy won on each occasion, including a year ago.
THE MATCHUP: This is the first time the clubs have met in the U.S. Open Cup. ... But the Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes had a rich history in the U.S. Open Cup. Four times they met - and the Galaxy got the best of their northern rivals each time. L.A. won 2-0 in the quarterfinals in 2000, then 10-9 in a penalty shootout in the 2001 quarters after a 1-1 draw. They met again in the 2002 quarterfinals, the Galaxy taking a 1-0 victory through an extra-time equalizer, then a year, Los Angeles won 2-1 at Spartan Stadium in the quarters, the only competitive loss on their home field suffered by the Quakes all season. ... This season, the Galaxy and Dynamo have met three times, with each team winning once with one draw. On June 3 at Robertson Stadium, Dynamo got a late goal to dramatically snatch a 2-1 win against the Galaxy, in what would turn out to be Steve Sampson's final match in charge of the defending MLS Cup champion (De Rosario 22; Robinson 85 - Wolyniec 45). ... Three weeks later, they played to a scoreless draw at The Home Depot Center, then on Aug. 9 in Houston, a Santino Quaranta dipping volley in the 69th minute was the difference as L.A. took a 1-0 win. ... They will meet again in four days time in league play at The Home Depot Center.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
2006 OPEN CUP: It took 120 minutes to do it, but the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-1 win on Aug. 23 in Carson in the quarterfinals. Goals by Clint Mathis for Colorado and Quavas Kirk for the Galaxy, both in the opening 45 minutes, forced extra time to decide the match. Landon Donovan scored just minutes into the first extra period, then added an insurance goal in the second to give the Galaxy a hard-fought victory. ... Here's Yallop's team: Kevin Hartman, Chris Albright, Ugo Ihemelu, Troy Roberts, Ante Jazic, Quavas Kirk (Tyrone Marshall 11), Nathan Sturgis, Peter Vagenas, Santino Quaranta (Cobi Jones 67), Cornell Glen (Landon Donovan 37), Herculez Gomez (Alan Gordon 77). ... The Galaxy put an end to the Cinderella run of amateur side Roma FC of Dallas with a 2-0 victory on Aug. 1 at The Home Depot Center's Track & Field Stadium. Quavas Kirk scored his first professional goal in the first half, then Alan Gordon finished off the game with an opportunistic goal in the second half.
IN THE OPEN CUP: The Galaxy have reached the U.S. Open Cup Final three times in the last five years, winning in 2001 but losing the following year, before winning the Dewar Trophy for the second time last year in a 1-0 victory against FC Dallas. ... The Galaxy began their run by dumping out stadium-mates Chivas USA in a 5-2 triumph, then bounced the San Jose Earthquakes out for the fourth time ever, surviving going a man down midway through the second half to hold on for a 2-1 victory. The Galaxy put an end to the Cinderella run of the USL First Division Minnesota Thunder with a 5-2 semifinal victory, then in the final, Herculez Gomez scored the game's only goal in the 25th minute - his sixth in four Open Cup matches - to give the Galaxy their second Open Cup championship. ... Just once have the Galaxy been dumped out of the Open Cup in their opening match - in 2005, when they 1-0 to the Minnesota Thunder (A-League) in the fourth round. It snapped a run of five consecutive appearances where they reached at least the semifinals. ... The Galaxy have lost just five times in 25 Open Cup matches - two of those coming against Columbus Crew, once in the quarterfinals in 1999, and once in the 2002 final. The other two losses both came to the Chicago Fire, in the semifinals in both 2000 and 2003.
2006 OPEN CUP: In the quarterfinals, Dynamo continued their dominance against FC Dallas with a 3-0 win Aug. 23 at the Carl Lewis Sports Complex. Eddie Robinson scored in the first half, while Alejandro Moreno and Chris Wondolowski added insurance in the second half. ... Here's Kinnear's team: Pat Onstad - Eddie Robinson, Kevin Goldthwaite, Ryan Cochrane (Chris Aloisi 74), Kelly Gray, Chris Wondolowski, Brad Davis (Dwayne De Rosario 58), Alejandro Moreno, Stuart Holden, Wade Barrett (Marcus Storey 81), Adrian Serioux (Patrick Ianni 67) ... In the club's first-ever Open Cup match, Houston Dynamo advanced with a 4-2 victory against the Carolina Dynamo of the PDL (fourth tier). Alejandro Moreno scored a pair of goals four minutes apart in the first half, then when Ronald Cerritos made it 3-0 on 58 minutes, the match seemed over. But Wells Thompson and Randi Patterson scored 10 minutes apart to pull the Carolina Dynamo within one, but Eddie Robinson headed home eight minutes from time to put the game away.
IN THE OPEN CUP: This is the first-ever appearance for the Houston club in the U.S. Open Cup. But many Houston Dynamo players have considerable U.S. Open Cup experience, nearly all with the San Jose Earthquakes, who had a distinguished record in the competition. ... The Earthquakes entered the Open Cup on eight occasions, and seven times reached at least the quarterfinals. However, they advanced beyond that stage just one time - in 2004, when they lost 1-0 to the Kansas City Wizards in the semifinals.