Fire downs Galaxy 3-1 to win fourth U.S. Open Cup
Thursday, September 28th 2006, 8:49 am
News On 6
BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (AP) _ Nate Jaqua and Andy Herron scored in the first 16 minutes to lead the Chicago Fire over the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 for their fourth U.S. Open Cup.
Thiago sealed the win for the Fire in the 88th minute on a Tony Sanneh pass, ensuring Chicago became only the fifth team to win the title four times.
Alan Gordon scored in the 51st minute for Los Angeles, which was trying to become the first team since 1982-83 to win back-to-back Open Cup titles.
The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest team sports tournament in the United States, dating to 1914 without interruption, open to all pro and amateur teams like England's FA Cup.
Either Chicago or Los Angeles has made the Open Cup final every year since 2000, but had never played the other. This was finally a chance to see who was best. Chicago had three titles, winning in its inaugural season of 1998, and again in 2000 and 2003. Los Angeles won in 2001 and last year.
Playing on their home field, the Fire quickly took control of the game. They put pressure on Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman several times in the opening minutes, finally breaking through in the 10th.
C.J. Brown got the ball off a free kick from Justin Mapp and headed it toward the goal. It fell short, but Herron sneaked in from behind and crossed to Jaqua, who headed it into the back of the net for the goal
Six minutes later, the Fire scored again. Justin Mapp had the ball, but was spun around by a Galaxy defender. He kept control of the ball, though, and crossed it to Herron, who split two defenders and buried it into the far corner of the net.
It was Herron's fourth goal in this year's Open Cup, tying him for the lead with three other players.