CHARLESTON, SC – Former UNC Greensboro men's soccer players Randi Patterson and Mike Richardson will take to the pitch Tuesday night in the semifinal round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the USL's Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium. The game will be videostreamed streamed for free on USLLive.com.
Charleston battles the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday night in the US Open Cup. Should the Battery knock off fellow United Soccer League's club Seattle, it will progress to its first-ever final of the nation's oldest and most storied soccer tournament. A win will also guarantee a Major League Soccer opponent in the final, with DC United and the New England Revolution meeting in the other semifinal Monday night at RFK Stadium. Blackbaud Stadium could host the championship game on Sept. 22 if the Revolution defeats DC United.
This is the Battery's third semifinal appearance - the most by any USL club since the inception of MLS in 1996 - and the first time it has hosted such a match. In 2004, the Battery lost a final-four fixture at MLS's Chicago Fire in a tight 1-0 OT result. Five years previously it was the Colorado Rapids, another MLS club, who ended the Battery's bid for the championship game with a 3-0 win.
Charleston has already defeated two MLS clubs in the tournament to get to the semifinal round, topping the Houston Dynamo in penalty kicks, 4-3, and FC Dallas by a 3-1 score. Seattle has also topped two MLS clubs, defeating Chivas USA and Kansas City.
Patterson, a forward and former member of the MLS' New York franchise, leads the team with 19 points this season on nine goals and one assist. He has appeared in 24 matches thus far this season between the USL regular season and the Open Cup. He has started 23 times during the campaign.
Richardson, a midfielder, has appeared in 16 matches with 12 starts this season. He leads the team with four assists this season.
This is the Sounders' final US Open Cup tourney as a USL club; next year they make way for the brand-new MLS franchise, Seattle Sounders FC.
Tuesday's game also marks the final time the Sounders play the Battery as a USL franchise (unless the teams meet in the USL1 playoffs). In league play this year the clubs have met three times, with each winning on home turf and playing a third to a tie. Charleston remains in third place in the USL First Division, with Seattle three points behind in fourth.
Seattle is led by Sebastien Le Toux who has notched 10 league goals and five in the U.S. Open Cup (tournament leader); LeToux was named USL First Division MVP in 2007.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the U.S. Soccer Federation's National Championship, and 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.
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 that advances deepest into the tournament from each of the Division II, Division III and amateur levels. The winner of the U.S. Open Cup also receives an automatic berth into the CONCACAF Champions League.
- UNCG -