The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today that the Chicago Fire will host MLS Cup Champions Colorado Rapids in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Play-In at Bradley University’s Shea Stadium on Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 PM CT in Peoria, Illinois.
Tickets for the U.S. Open Cup qualifying game between the Fire and Rapids will be $20 for reserved seating in the Shea Stadium grandstand and $15 for general admission seating on the grass berms. A limited number of $10 general admission tickets will be available to Bradley University students, faculty and staff at a maximum of two per person. Tickets will go on sale at 9:00 AM CT on Wednesday, March 16 at the Renaissance Coliseum box office, all TicketMaster outlets and online at www.BradleyBraves.com.
The Chicago Fire and Section 8 are in the process of arranging travel for Section 8 Chicago to-and-from Shea Stadium for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifying match. The details will be announced at a later date.
The Fire won a coin flip for the opportunity to host the Rapids in the play-in round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the oldest annual team tournament in U.S. sports history and among the oldest soccer tournaments of its type in the world.
The Fire has taken pride in competing in the U.S. Open Cup, and its results reflect that mindset. Since 1998, the Fire have racked up an impressive 25-9-2 record in Open Cup play, which has helped the squad reach the semifinal round on seven out of 13 occasions and the tournament’s final five times. The 2006 title marked the ninth time a team from Chicago won the Open Cup and made the Fire one of five teams to capture the crown at least four times in the tournament’s nearly century-long history.
Bradley University previously served as the host to a 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifying game between the Fire and Crew, drawing a sold-out, Shea Stadium record crowd of 3,829 fans. Chicago pulled out a 3-2 win in double overtime on a 116th-minute goal by Andy Herron to qualify for the tournament’s main draw. The Fire went on to advance to the quarterfinals, losing to eventual champion D.C. United.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which is recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 95 consecutive years dating back to 1914. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor long-time soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.