U.S. Soccer has announced the possible venues for the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, which will take place Tuesday, Oct. 4, between the two semifinal winners. CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash., Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., and Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, are all potential hosts for the Final.
The 2011 Open Cup finalists will be determined Tuesday, Aug. 30, beginning when the Chicago Fire (MLS) hosts the Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) at 7:30 p.m. CT at Toyota Park. That same day, FC Dallas will travel to Washington State to face the two-time defending champion Seattle Sounders at 7 p.m. PT at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Wash.
If Seattle defeats FC Dallas, the Sounders will host the final regardless of the result of the other match. If FC Dallas wins and Richmond Kickers defeat Chicago, the Final will take place at Pizza Hut Park. If Chicago beats Richmond and Dallas defeats Seattle, the finalists will square off for the championship at Toyota Park.
The Sounders are the first team since 1984 with a chance to win three consecutive U.S. Open Cup titles since the New York Pancyprian-Freedoms won back-to-back championships in 1982 and 1983. The New York Greek-Americans (1967-69) are the only team to have been crowned Open Cup champions three years running.
For the first time in the modern professional era of the competition (since 1995), all four semifinalists in the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are previous champions. The winner of the 2011 event will earn a $100,000 cash prize, while the runner-up will collect $50,000.
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 97 consecutive years dating back to 1914.