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Mariners qualify for U.S. Open Cup

May 23, 2004 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

Virginia Beach, Virginia -- The win over Atlanta Saturday night and a loss by Milwaukee in aggregate goals to Minnesota also Saturday night, gave the Mariners the final A-League wildcard slot in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Virignia Beach will enter the competition in the second round scheduled for completion by June 15.

The A-League is awarded eight berths in the tournament, five primary berths and three secondary berths. Initial qualifying for the Cup matched the Mariners up with the Richmond Kickers in home and home matches to start the 2004 season. Richmond and the Mariners tied in Richmond 1-1 and the Mariners fell to Richmond at home 2-0. Richmond advanced as a primary qualifier based on aggregate goals 3-1.

Virginia Beach continued to hold hope of qualifying since three wildcard slots remained open; those slots are awarded based on possible points in games played. Milwaukee was eliminated because they did not have enough games played, having played only two, and the final Open Cup berth came down to Seattle and Virginia Beach. With the win over the Silverbacks, Virginia Beach enters the competition having more points than Seattle (Mariners, 2-2-2, 8 points; Seattle, 0-2-1, 1 point). Virginia Beach will begin Open Cup play in the second round. Other teams entering in the second round include the Syracuse Salty Dogs (A-League), Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Pro League), Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro League), Utah Blitzz (USL Pro League), New Hampshire Phantoms (USL Pro League), Western Mass Pioneers (USL Pro League), and the Harrisburg City Islanders or San Diego Guachos (USL Pro League).

The A-League primary qualifiers who will enter the competition in the third round are Atlanta, Portland, Richmond, Minnesota and Rochester. Charleston lost to Atlanta in preliminary qualifying but advanced as the defending A-League champion. Syracuse, like the Mariners, qualified as a wildcard and will enter in the second round.

Pairings will be announced on May 24.

Dating back to 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in United States soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the United States, the annual U.S. Open Cup is a 90-year-old single-elimination tournament.

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Trivia

The biggest rout in the third round of the Tournament since 1995 came in 2003, when the Virginia Beach Mariners defeated the Carolina Dynamo 5-0. Dante Washington and Roland Aguilera both scored twice for the Mariners.

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