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Published on 06/09/2009 6:16 am   (Last Updated 06/09/2009 6:16 am)
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Thunder Begins US Open Cup 2009 Campaign Tuesday Hosting Nebraska 402
Minnesota Thunder News Release
Blaine, Minn. (June 08, 2009) -- Minnesota is the heavy favorite in the first round of the US Open Cup when they square off against Nebraska 402. 402 (which is a Nebraskan area code) is an amateur team that comes from the USASA league and they were able to survive a “Win and You’re In” game to qualify. The game will be played at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Tuesday, June 9, at 7:05 p.m.

All tickets for the match will only be $5. For individual tickets to the game please visit or for group tickets call the Thunder office at 651.294.4664.

The Minnesota Thunder gets a fresh start in the annual Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. USL records and standings are irrelevant in the tournament as all of the teams start on the same level. The Thunder is pitted against an USASA amateur team, Nebraska 402, for the opening round.

Nebraska made it in the tournament with the help of former Thunder player Johnny Torres’ hat trick in the qualifying game against RWB Adria. With this win, 402 were able to secure their spot in the US Open Cup and be the first team from Nebraska since 1997 to participate in the tournament.

Defender/midfielders Kevin Friedland and Rich Costanzo will not be playing in tomorrow’s tournament game due to injuries. Friedland is out because of his hamstring and Costanzo has a dislocated elbow.

“I know our season hasn’t started off well, but in terms of the Open Cup, it is like you are playing on two different teams in two different leagues,” said Thunder goalkeeper Nic Platter. “It is an opportunity to play against high level competition and it will be an exciting cup for everybody. I think we will do really well and we are moving in the right direction.'

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