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Victory off to Colorado for US Open Cup tie

July 9, 2007 - USL First Division (USL-1) - California Victory News Release

SAN FRANCISCO (June 8, 2007) -- The California Victory flies into Colorado Monday in preparation for perhaps the franchise's biggest game yet: a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tie against MLS side Colorado Rapids on Tuesday. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. PST.

En route to the third round of the nation's oldest and most storied soccer competition, the Victory beat the BYU Cougars of the PDL 2-1 before edging fellow USLers Minnesota 1-0 in a dramatic second round match. All cup games have so far been won on the road.

"This is a huge game for us, as both a team and a brand new franchise," said Victory head coach Glenn Van Straatum. "This is an opportunity for us to prove ourselves to fans all over the country."

Though the Victory has struggled in recent weeks and finds itself at the foot of the USL First Division, opponent Colorado has also slumped, scoring just once in its last five games. Most recently the Rapids fell 1-0 to New York, while the Vics endured a 3-0 home defeat to Portland.

Victory midfielder Ricardo Sanchez and defender Cameron Dunn will not travel with the team due to red cards picked up in the previous round.

The winner of this match will go on to face either the Seattle Sounders (USL) or Chivas USA (MLS).

Tuesday's game will be played at Colorado's brand-new, state-of-the-art Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The soccer-specific stadium, which holds over 18,000, was opened in April and this year will host the MLS All-Star game.

The Rapids made headlines recently when it announced a partnership with Arsenal FC of the English Premiership.

The agreement is designed to build the London club's brand in the United States, but also to help improve the quality of the Rapids' soccer through coaching and player development.

Following the game in Colorado, the Victory heads to Portland to play the Timbers twice this weekend: on Friday 13 and Sunday 15. Friday's game will be shown LIVE nationally on Fox Soccer Channel. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. PST.

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