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South Jersey Soccer:
Allied SC Baltimore to visit Barons in Lamar Hunt US Open Cup First Round

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

By John Thompson
South Jersey Barons Correspondent

The South Jersey Barons will face amateur side Allied SC from Baltimore in the first round of the 2004 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Allied SC compete in the USASA (United States Adult Soccer Association) league. The first round of the cup pairs PDL teams with USASA teams. Should the Barons advance they will have a home game against Syracuse in the second round.

The Barons qualified for the Open Cup with a 3-0-1 record in its qualifying games. This has been the best start by a Barons team in the clubs short history. Wins over Brooklyn (5-0), Jersey Falcons (2-1), defending nationals champions Cape Cod (1-0) and a tie with Albany (1-1) put the Barons top of the PDL Eastern Conference Open Cup Qualifying.

167 teams set out to win the Open Cup and with the field narrowed down to 40 teams the competition really begins. PDL and USASA teams battle it out in the first round. Eight A-League teams are then added to the draw in the second round. The Eight M.L.S. teams are then thrown into the hat for the third round of play.

Geographical pairings and host proposals received from each club determined match-ups, as they will through the quarterfinals of the tournament. Possible pairings for the third round will be announced after the completion of the first round.

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 Lamar Hunt 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. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

Barons Head Coach Dan Christian has experienced the Open Cup in his playing days with the Barons. "The Open Cup has over 100 years of history, if you need any incentive to play hard then the prospect of playing an MLS team at home in the third round should be enough.

"We have shown in our first four games that we have a chance to do well this year. Keeping the momentum going will be hard as everyone wants to knock you from top the top spot in the league. The Open Cup will be and exciting distraction from the league and a cup game can go either way. We know little about Allied SC but we won't be taking them lightly, I expect us to be fired up for this game."

The Barons game against Allied SC will be played on Wednesday June 2nd, 2004 at Winslow High School in Tarnsboro, New Jersey. Game time is 6.00pm.

Photos provided by John Thompson

Head Coach Dan Christian

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