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Heat Announced as Domestic Cup Hosts

Heat Announced as Domestic Cup Hosts

Laredo to feature U.S. Open Cup 2nd Round Match

LAREDO, Texas – For the third consecutive year, the Laredo Heat will host at least one domestic cup game at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex. U.S. Soccer announced the format for the U.S. Open Cup on Thursday, listing the Premier Development League’s Heat as the hosts of a May 14 second-round match against the winners of the Colorado Rovers and Red Force.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match will kick off at 8 p.m., three days before the Heat open their PDL regular season in the Mid-South Division. The Heat will host the Houston Dutch Lions at 8 p.m. at the TAMIU Soccer Complex on May 17.

Laredo is one of 19 PDL teams to qualify for the 101st edition of the tournament, which features 80 teams – an increase from the then-record 68 that took the field last year.

Last season, the Heat finished second in the Mid-South with a 10-4-4 record in all competitions – including two U.S. Open Cup matches and two playoff matches. The Heat concluded the season as Southern Conference Finalists, the PDL equivalent of the Elite Eight.

The Heat hold an All-time Open Cup record of 2-2-1 (0-2 in PKs) after falling in the third round last year to the North American Soccer League’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers on penalty kicks.

The expansion results in both the largest number of amateur teams (42) in the tournament proper — exceeding the previous record of 34 set last year — as well as the largest contingent of pro clubs (38, surpassing last year’s record of 34), with all Division I, II and III professional sides participating for the third consecutive year.

An additional record for the competition will see 24 second-round matches played, exceeding the previous high of 18 in a single round (2013 first round).

A new feature will be the prospect that many pro teams will have to play an early-round Open Cup match on a weekend date, a first in the competition’s modern era. This scheduling opportunity for fourth round games June 14-15 is the result of a league break Division I (Major League Soccer) and II (NASL) clubs will take during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 100 consecutive years.

This year’s winner will earn $250,000 and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize.

D.C. United is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won its third tournament title (following triumphs in 1996 and 2008) after a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1, 2013.

In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt. It is the American equivalent of other domestic cups like England’s Football Association Cup or Spain’s Copa del Rey.

About the PDL

The top developmental men’s league in North America, the 2014 PDL featured 64 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world.

For additional information on the tryouts, sponsorship opportunities, tickets, the Heat Club Card and the Laredo Heat Soccer Club, please contact the Heat Front Office at (956) 723 – 4700; visit our website at www.laredoheatsc.com , LIKE us on Facebook www.facebook.com/laredoheatsoccer or Follow Us on Twitter @LaredoHeatSC.