Blaine, Minn. (June 3, 2010) – The NSC Minnesota Stars will compete in the 96th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup starting June 15. Minnesota will host a first round match against the Kansas City Athletics at the National Sports Center in Blaine at 7 p.m. June 15.
This year’s 40 team, single-elimination tournament features eight Major League Soccer teams and nine USSF Division II teams. The winner between Minnesota and Kansas City will play the winner June 22 of the Des Moines Menace and AC St. Louis matchup.
“It’s always a special tournament with all the teams involved in the U.S.,” Stars defenseman Kevin Friedland said. “And getting a home game is usually pretty crucial to moving on and getting results.”
The Stars’ first round opponent, a semi-pro team in the U.S. Adult Soccer Association (USASA), qualified by defeating the ACC Eagles by penalty kicks May 15.
Leagues represented in this year’s tournament include MLS, USSF Division 2, United Soccer League 2, Premier Development League, and USASA.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup dates back to 1914 and is the oldest cup competition in U.S. soccer. It combines different levels of professional and affiliated amateur teams into one competition and the champion of each domestic tournament is placed into a tournament to compete with neighboring country’s winners. The winner of the U.S. tournament also receives a $100,000 prize.
“Lamar Hunt is obviously a big pioneer with soccer in this country,” Friedland said. “It’s the oldest tournament in the country so it’s cool to be a part of.”
In 2009 the Minnesota Thunder advanced to the third round before falling to MLS’ Kansas City Wizards in penalty kicks. Since the MLS began competing in the Open Cup in 1996, an MLS team has won ever year but one: Stars’ fellow Division II Rochester Rhinos won the competition in 1999.
Provided by NSC Minnesota Stars