If they can get past Real Salt Lake in next week's U.S. Open Cup semi-final, the Timbers will host the Cup Final against the winner of DC United vs. the Chicago Fire here at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers play next Wednesday in Salt Lake.
The right to host the Open Cup Final has been a clear indicator of who will walk away with the trophy. Since the inception of Major League Soccer, the home team has won the Open Cup Final eleven of fifteen times (in 1997 the final was held on neutral ground).
Interestingly, D.C. opted not to bid for the right to host the final, given the possibility of a small turnout and a high cost to actually host the final.
US Soccer's press release:
PORTLAND TIMBERS OR REAL SALT LAKE TO HOST
2013 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP FINAL
Coin Flip to Determine Host Took Place Earlier Today at U.S. Soccer Federation Headquarters;
Semifinals Will Take Place on Aug. 7
CHICAGO (July 30, 2013) - The winner of the semifinal match between the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake will host the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. The location of the championship match was decided today after a coin flip at the headquarters of the U.S. Soccer Federation in Chicago. (Watch the official coin flip)
If Portland defeats Salt Lake in its semifinal match on Aug. 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the Open Cup Final will be played on Sept. 24 at JELD-WEN Field. If Salt Lake wins the semifinal, the championship will be played on Oct. 1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Portland and Salt Lake have never advanced to an Open Cup Final, which means the championship will be hosted in a location for the first time.
Bill Starshak, a Chicago-based member of U.S. Soccer Supporters Club, was the independent witness and flipped the coin in front of various U.S. Soccer staff in the trophy room of Soccer House.
In the other semifinal on Aug. 7, the four-time Open Cup champion Chicago Fire hosts two-time champion D.C. United. Chicago has a pair of wins over D.C. United in the MLS regular season, a 2-0 win on June 2 and a 4-1 victory on July 20.
Chicago is 6-2 in semifinal appearances while D.C. United is 4-4 in the round. The Fire beat D.C. 3-0 in the semifinals of the 2006 edition of the Open Cup, and would go on to win the tournament.- ussoccer.com -