NEW YORK - The Houston Dynamo won Monday's coin flip to earn the right to host a US Open Cup play-in game against Sporting Kansas City in April in the 2011 edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, one of eight outcomes determined by a coin flip at League headquarters to decide the host sites for a number of the USOC’s early matches.
The winner between Houston and Kansas City will host the winner of D.C. United-Philadelphia/New England.
Sporting Kansas City will seek to qualify for the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as one of ten MLS clubs vying for the two play-in berths available for the 98th edition of the domestic tournament. The following six MLS teams are automatic qualifiers in 2011, based on their finish in the 2010 regular season standings: Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders.
All MLS clubs will join the competition in the third round, scheduled to begin on June 28th, 2011, followed by the quarterfinals on July 12th, semifinals on August 30th and the championship on October 4th. Full details on the 2011 format and schedule can be found at TheCup.US.
The U.S. Open Cup has been held annually since 1914 and is named after Lamar Hunt, original owner of Sporting Kansas City from 1995-2006. Like recent editions, the 2011 U.S. Open Cup will be a single-elimination tournament, with games tied after regulation extended by two 15-minute overtime halves. If a winner is not determined in overtime, advancement will be determined by kicks from the penalty spot.
The 2011 champion will earn a $100,000 cash prize, while the runner-up will collect $50,000.
Kansas City won the U.S. Open Cup in 2004, defeating the Chicago Fire 1-0 on a golden goal by striker Igor Simutenkov off a free kick in the 95th minute at Arrowhead Stadium on September 22nd, 2004. Goalkeeper Tony Meola earned the shutout and current Sporting players Davy Arnaud and Jack Jewsbury were both in the Starting XI.
USOC results determined Monday (first team listed will host, seeding in parenthesis):
Game A: (10) Portland Timbers vs. (8) Chivas USA
Game B: (9) D.C. United vs. (7) Phialdelphia Union
Game C: (2) San Jose Earthquakes vs. Game A winner
Game D: Game B winner vs. (6) New England Revolution
Game E: (4) Chicago Fire vs. (1) Colorado Rapids
Game F: (5) Houston Dynamo vs. (4) Sporting Kansas City
Game G: Game C winner vs. Game E winner
Game H: Game F winner vs. Game D winner