Real Salt Lake will host the Wilmington Hammerheads in US Open Cup action

US Open Cup Logo

So RSL has found out who they will face in the 3rd round (first round that the 8 MLS teams have taken part in) of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, you know the US version of the FA Cup, well kinda.  8 teams from the various divisions of soccer around US have qualified to face MLS competition in the Open Cup, for Real Salt Lake that means the Wilmington Hammerheads will come to Rio Tinto for a match on Tuesday, June 28th.  This match is not part of your RSL season tickets but the team is making it very affordable for fans to get tickets (and lots of them) for this match.

If you are a RSL season ticket holder, you can get tickets for $5.00.  Yes that means any of the general seating (means no suites) are available for an incredible low price, but even if you don't have season tickets you are still able to get a screaming deal as the price jumps to just $10.00 for you.

Now some of you may be saying to yourself, who cares about the Open Cup?  I don't blame you but the reality is that it is the easiest path back to Champions League action. In fact the winner of this 3rd round match up will advance to the Quarterfinals, and for RSL that would mean a match with either FC Dallas or Orlando City SC on July 12th.  That match would be at Rio Tinto Stadium if Orlando City SC wins or at Pizza Hut Park if FC Dallas wins.  I also say this is a great chance to bring your friends or family out to a match without having to spend a lot of money, it should be an exciting match as RSL head coach Jason Kreis has said the team will be out to win the tournament this year and get back to the Champions League.

after the jump you can check out the official communication from RSL about the match:

REAL SALT LAKE TO HOST WILMINGTON HAMMERHEADS IN NEXT TUESDAY'S LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP 3RD ROUND CONTEST

RSL to Host First Official U.S. Open Cup Contest Since 2006;

Team Seeks U.S. Soccer's National Championship as Springboard Back to CONCACAF Champions League 

SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, June 22, 2011) - Real Salt Lake has learned next week's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup opponent, with the Claret-and-Cobalt drawing USL PRO side Wilmington Hammerheads, which ventured on the road last night to rebound from an 0-2 deficit against the Charlotte Eagles and won on a 3-2 overtime decision in 120 minutes. Real Salt Lake will host the Third Round contest at Rio Tinto Stadium next Tuesday, June 28, with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m. MT

Winning the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - U.S. Soccer's National Championship tournament - would offer Real Salt Lake a road back to the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, the continental club championship that just eluded the Utah side this past spring. Participation in MLS Cup 2011 on November 20 or claiming the MLS Supporters' Shield (regular season) title would provide alternate routes for qualification into the 2012/13 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League. 

Tickets for RSL's debut in the 98th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are currently on-sale to the public, with tickets in all general seating areas at Rio Tinto Stadium costing just $5 for current Real Salt Lake Season Ticket Holders and only $10 for the general public. Real Salt Lake Season Ticket Holders are reminded that no U.S. Open Cup contests are included in their 2011 ticket package

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an annual, single-elimination competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, with a "closed bid" process determining the host teams in each round. For the first time in club history, Real Salt Lake enters the 2011 competition as one of six automatic MLS qualifiers to receive passage to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup's Third Round (Round of 16), doing so as a result of its finish in the top six of last year's MLS regular season standings. 

This year's tournament proper kicked off on Tuesday, June 14, with 16 First Round matches contested across the country, and 13 of those games won by the home side. The 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup continued with seven games yesterday and another today in the tourney's Second Round, with the eight teams that emerge matching up against MLS opponents in the Third Round on June 28/30. The U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals will be held July 12/13, followed by the two Semifinal Round games on Aug. 30/31 and the Final on Oct. 4/5. 

This year's appearance in the U.S. Open Cup proper marks RSL's first since 2006, the final season in which all MLS teams automatically entered the competition's earlier rounds. For the last four consecutive years, RSL was forced to try and earn its spot in the domestic tournament as one of at least nine Major League Soccer sides fighting for the two "play-in" positions allocated to America's top-flight division. 

The 2011 champion will earn a $100,000 cash prize, while the runner-up will collect $50,000. The top Division III (USL PRO) and Amateur Division clubs (USL PDL, USASA & NPSL) will each receive a $10,000 prize (no Division II teams are participating in the 2011 U.S. Open Cup as the North American Soccer League did not obtain provisional sanctioning in time to be included). The winner also will have the team's name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, the oldest trophy in American team sports that is housed in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. The tournament has crowned a champion for 97 consecutive years dating back to 1914. 

For more information on the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, visit www.USsoccer.com or www.TheCup.us.

I hope to see you there as it should be a fun night of soccer action.

OFF MY SOAPBOX

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