US Open Cup: Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy begin quest as 4th round wraps up | Matchday Preview
The US Open Cup fourth round moves into its final day, with the remaining five MLS teams kicking off their quest for the cup on Wednesday. The New England Revolution and LA Galaxy will hit the road to face USL PRO opposition, while the Chicago Fire, Sporting KC and Seattle Sounders are all at home. You can check out outlooks for games below, and be sure to check back on MLSsoccer.com for more US Open Cup previews and headlines. Fans will also be able to find MatchCenters, live updates and links to streams on game night.
Richmond Kickers - New England Revolution
Wednesday, June 18, 7 pm ET
City Stadium, Richmond, Va.
Watch FREE on RevolutionSoccer.net
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Coming off of league play on the heels of back-to-back 2-0 defeats, the New England Revolution are looking to Wednesday’s US Open Cup matchup against the Richmond Kickers as an opportunity to get back to their winning ways.
“After a loss you want to get out there as fast as you can,” coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “I don’t think those loses sat real well with us.”
Heaps plans to use a blended lineup, mixing his normal starters with some reserves that have been eager to hit the pitch.
That group will not only be challenged by stopping a Richmond side that historically sinks MLS clubs, but also the weather, which is expected to reach 100 degrees on Wednesday.
“You have to be mindful of that,” said Heaps of the heat. “Our gameplan, that doesn’t change, except for maybe where and how long we pressure for.”
New England defeated the Kickers, 3-0, in their only prior meeting in USOC play back in 2008.
Chicago Fire - Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Wednesday, June 18, 8:30 pm ET
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.
Watch FREE on Chicago-Fire.com
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Assistant coach C.J. Brown insists the Chicago Fire will be taking their US Open Cup fourth-round clash with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds seriously as the Fire return to a tournament that has brought them considerable success in the past.
Brown, a four-time winner of the Lamar Hunt trophy between 1998 and 2006 with the club, believes Chicago will be fully focused on the game against the USL PRO side, who have former Fire striker Collins John in their ranks.
“We take it serious,” Brown told Chicago-Fire.com. “It’s been one of the trophies that we have always tried to put in our trophy case, I’ve obviously been a part of all the championships which has been great. We’ve still got that drive and any chance you get to be in a championship, you get to win a cup or tournament you take it serious. We will be taking it serious, we want to go as far as we can and we want to win the cup.”
Reigning MLS MVP Mike Magee, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, is expected to be in head coach Frank Yallop’s plans after returning from the mid-season break in good shape and having taken a full part in training since last Friday.
Central midfielders Alex and Logan Pause are also back in training, although Patrick Nyarko (ankle) and Gonzalo Segares (ankle) are both still out.
Sporting KC - Minnesota United FC
Wednesday, June 18, 8:30 pm ET
Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.
Watch Live Online - TBA
While many MLS clubs use their first US Open Cup matches as opportunities to give younger players some experience – and Sporting have done so in the past as well – that's hardly the case this year as they get set to host the NASL's Minnesota United FC.
Manager Peter Vermes usually uses a different keeper for non-MLS play, meaning Andy Gruenebaum could see his first minutes in goal after his offseason trade from Columbus. Nearly everyone else on Sporting's roster has seen meaningful match action already this year, though, as injuries and international absences have thinned the roster.
“That's got to give all the guys confidence,” fullback-turned-center back Kevin Ellis said after a recent training session. “It's got to give our coaching staff confidence, our fans confidence. We're playing three competitions again this year, and you've got to like us in those games.”
Seattle Sounders - PSA Elite
Wednesday, June 18, 10 pm ET
Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila, Wash.
Watch FREE on SoundersFC.com
The unofficial first half of the season could not have gone much better for the Seattle Sounders. At 10-3-2, they are seven points clear of their closest pursuers in both the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield races and they’ve lost just one of their last 11 matches.
But the Sounders lineup that takes the field against amateur side PSA Elite at Starfire Soccer Stadium will likely only have a passing resemblance to the one that built that record.
DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey are in Brazil with the United States national team, Obafemi Martins has been given some time off and head coach Sigi Schmid has talked about trying to get a break for some of his veterans that have had a heavier workload, so guys like Osvaldo Alonso, Chad Marshall and Stefan Frei, among others, may not start.
At the same time, Schmid has reiterated that the Sounders’ intend to do their best to win the Open Cup for a fourth time and is well aware that starts against a highly motivated team of “college all-stars.”
“This is the game of their lives,” said Schmid, who has led the Sounders to a 15-1-2 record in the Open Cup. “It’s a really big contest. It’s important for us to put out a good team, but also make sure that some of our guys that have played a lot of minutes get some rest as well.”
Arizona United SC - LA Galaxy
Wednesday, June 18, 10:30 pm ET
Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria, Ariz.
Watch FREE on ArizonaUnited.com
The LA Galaxy are aiming for their first US Open Cup victory since 2011 when they visit Arizona United on Wednesday night, and figure to use a much better side than they did the past two years – third-round losses to the Carolina RailHawks, who await the victor.
There's still the Arizona heat to deal with – temperatures figure to be in the 90s at kickoff – and a decent opponent that the Galaxy know to some extent.
The Galaxy II, LA's USL PRO-based reserve team, played Arizona United to a 1-1 draw in April and visit again Saturday for the second of four regular-season meetings. Three Cup-eligible players (Chandler Hoffman, Raul Mendiola, Oscar Sorto) played in the first meeting.
Arizona United has more than a dozen players who have been on MLS rosters, including five on loan from MLS clubs, but not all of them are participating in the Open Cup campaign.
"We're aware of the team ...," Arena said. "[They have] guys with some good experience, they're going to be playing on a small field, they're going to be playing in conditions that they're certainly more used to than we are."