Paper Slips and Coin Flips: How the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal draw went down

A play-by-play of the quarterfinal Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup draw

CHICAGO, Ill. -- The U.S. Soccer Federation once again invited me back to Soccer House in downtown Chicago Wednesday to serve as a witness for the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal draw.

With the tournament pairing down each round, the proceedings get shorter and less complicated but there were still some interesting tidbits on display.

Once again I was joined by U.S. Open Cup Competition Secretary Paul Marstaller and Competition Assistant Amy Prestinario as well as a member of the Federation’s communications staff who served as the official coin flipper.

READ: How the Third Round U.S. Open Cup draw was done

The tools at play were a U.S. map featuring the remaining teams, a bicentennial silver dollar as well as the return of paper slips and envelopes which were absent for the fourth round draw a few weeks ago.

Only two of the 16 teams left in the tournament, Chivas USA and Tampa Bay Rowdies, did not apply to host a quarterfinal game. This comes in to play a little bit later.

Marstaller placed just one pairing based on geography this time with the D.C. United/Philadelphia Union winner set to face the New England Revolution/New York Red Bulls winner. Heads and tails were assigned alphabetically based on the host teams for the fourth round.

Heads Tails
D.C. United/Philadelphia Union* New England Revolution/New York Red Bulls

The coin landed on heads meaning the D.C./Philly winner will host the quarterfinal matchup against the winner of New England/New York.

READ: How the fourth round U.S. Open Cup draw was done

Following that, Marstaller stated that none of the remaining six matchups had a logical geographic pairing, meaning the rest would be placed via random selection.

The six matchups were assigned letters A-F alphabetically based on the fourth round host team. See the table below…

Letter Matchup
A Carolina RailHawks/Chivas USA
B Chicago Fire/Columbus Crew
C FC Dallas/Houston Dynamo
D Portland Timbers/Tampa Bay Rowdies
E Real Salt Lake/Charleston Battery
F Sporting Kansas City/Orlando City

The six envelopes were then stuffed individually with letters A-F and then vigorously shuffled. After each envelope was pulled, Marstaller reshuffled the remaining envelopes and asked me to confirm that it had been done to proper satisfaction.

Prestinario pulled the first four envelopes and the matchups were placed numerically through placements 1-4.  

READ: U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal pairings

Because Chivas USA and Tampa Bay did not apply to host, once the fifth pairing came up, Carolina/Chivas USA was automatically placed against Real Salt Lake/Charleston and FC Dallas/Houston against Portland/Tampa Bay to prevent the possibility of two teams that did not apply to host from potentially meeting in the quarterfinals.

See the table below to understand the draw order:

1 (F) Sporting Kansas City/Orlando City 4 (B) Chicago Fire/Columbus Crew
2 (E) Real Salt Lake/Charleston Battery 5 (A) Carolina RailHawks/Chivas USA^
3 (D) Portland Timbers/Tampa Bay Rowdies^ 6 (C) FC Dallas/Houston Dynamo

The flips were then done with the teams on the left being assigned heads and the teams on the right being assigned tails. I've starred the coin flip winners below:

Heads Tails
1 (F) Sporting Kansas City/Orlando City 4 (B) Chicago Fire/Columbus Crew*
2 (E) Real Salt Lake/Charleston Battery* 5 (A) Carolina RailHawks/Chivas USA
3 (D) Portland Timbers/Tampa Bay Rowdies 6 (C) FC Dallas/Houston Dynamo*

For those counting at home, heads and tails each came up twice in this draw unlike the fourth round in which heads came up seven out of eight times.

Once again, that was it.

A special thanks once again to U.S. Soccer for continuing to allow the Open Cup draw to be witnessed and written about. 

Click Here to buy tickets for the Fire's Fourth Round USOC match vs. the Columbus Crew (Wednesday June 12th, 7:30pm Toyota Park)