Quest for the quarterfinals begins with four contests Tuesday | US Open Cup Match Preview
The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Round of 16 kicks off on Tuesday with four of the round's eight games. With MLS teams making up 14 of the 16 remaining teams, the USL's Charlotte Independence will play Tuesday and the NASL's New York Cosmos will play Wednesday.
Tuesday's games start with an I-95 rivalry game between the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, rivals in the regular season and in the Open Cup over the years. Charlotte, the lowest-division team remaining in the tournament, will travel to face the Chicago Fire, while Orlando City continue their first Open Cup run as an MLS club against Columbus Crew SC. Leaving the Eastern Time Zone, the Houston Dynamo host the Colorado Rapids to round out the night's action.
WATCH U.S. OPEN CUP ON YOUTUBE
U.S. Soccer owns the broadcast rights to US Open Cup matches - including matches involving MLS teams. Tuesday's games are not part of the MLS LIVE or Direct Kick packages. U.S. Soccer is offering most matches on YouTube. See the schedule below to watch US Open Cup matches.
Philadelphia Union vs.
Tuesday, June 30, 7 pm ET
PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
CHESTER, Pa. – Heading into their fifth game in two weeks, the injury-ravaged Union are certainly fatigued.
But with a long break coming up following Tuesday’s matchup with D.C. United, the Union plan to throw everything they have at one of their top rivals in their quest to return to the Open Cup final.
“We’re going to play to win,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “It’s a competition I take very seriously and this club takes seriously.”
The good news for the Union is that D.C. United have played just as many games in that stretch and have to follow Tuesday’s game with a cross-country trip to Seattle.
But even if D.C. coach Ben Olsen decides to rest some of his regulars, Curtin still expects a stiff challenge from the Eastern Conference’s first-place club.
“Regardless of who they put out, they have a deep team, they have a winning team and they have a mentality they can beat anybody,” the Union coach said. “Confidence goes a long way in this game and they’re going to be a confident team.”
D.C. United's quest for a fourth U.S. Open Cup title continues on Tuesday evening as the Black-and-Red travel north for a round of 16 encounter with the Philadelphia Union.
Currently in the middle of their busiest road stretch of the year, United's depth will once again be tested. Look for United head coach Ben Olsen to continue to rotate his squad, leaning on players who haven't seen a ton of regular-season action and folding in a few savvy veterans like midfielder Markus Halsti.
“We're going to continue to use everybody – hopefully guys will continue to step up and do what they've been doing all year,” Olsen said of his gameplan.
Orlando City vs.
Columbus Crew SC
ORLANDO – Adrian Heath said he will pick a full-strength lineup for Orlando City SC’s third meeting of the season with burgeoning rivals Columbus Crew SC in their US Open Cup clash on Tuesday night.
The Lions have targeted the Cup as a priority in their debut season, hence Heath has told all his men to be ready for action against an opponent they already know well from two incident-packed league games – featuring two red cards.
Fullback Rafael Ramos is an injury doubt, meaning former US U-18 star Tyler Turner stands by, while in-form striker Cyle Larin has reported for duty with Canada’s Gold Cup squad, leaving either Pedro Ribeiro or Carlos Rivas – who scored a penalty kick hat trick in Orlando's shootout win in the previous round – to carry the load up front.
-- SIMON VENESS
Columbus Crew SC may go into Tuesday's Open Cup matchup with Orlando City SC heavily outgunned.
The hosts have had nearly a full week off, while Columbus played two matches last week including a trip to Salt Lake City for a late Saturday night game.
"It's a little challenging," head coach Gregg Berhalter said. "We've had a stretch of some travel, some issues with heat, altitude and a midweek game. But we're sorting through it; we'll be fine."
And while a likely reserve-heavy Crew SC lineup will have to deal with a fully rested Orlando City squad, Berhalter isn't blaming scheduling.
"At this stage, it is what it is," he said. "You don't make excuses for the group. You keep plugging away, having a good attitude, working hard and focus on the process."
-- ANDREW KING
Chicago Fire vs.
Tuesday, June 30, 8:30 pm ET
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop revealed Mike Magee could be set for his first start since returning from injury on Tuesday when the Charlotte Independence roll into town for their US Open Cup Round-of-16 clash at Toyota Park.
Magee has been eased gently back into action since recovering from hip surgery last September, and having impressed with a late cameo in the Fire’s 1-0 loss against D.C. United last Wednesday, the 2013 MLS MVP could feature against the USL side, who were surprise 1-0 winners against the New England Revolution in the last round.
“There’s a good chance he’ll start; I think it could be a good game for Mike,” Yallop said on his Monday conference call. “He’s played one USL game [on loan] with Saint Louis FC, and I think he looked sharp and dangerous when he came on [against D.C.]. Maybe not quite at his best, but Mike’s a goal scorer and a good player, so I want to get him back in there as quick as I can, and a good time is probably tomorrow. Unless something happens overnight, he should be starting.”
Houston Dynamo vs.
Tuesday, June 30, 9 pm ET
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
The Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo will meet for the second time at BBVA Compass Stadium this season and for the first time ever in US Open Cup competition when the two sides clash Tuesday night in the Round of 16.
Both teams enter the match desperate for a result, each coming off of back-to-back 2-0 road losses in MLS regular season competition. Colorado will be looking to wrap up their current three-game road trip on a high note following losses to Orlando City SC and Sporting Kansas City.
“It’s massive,” said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “I think a win will not just boost the morale of the group but moving further on in the US Open Cup is something I think we can pump really hard for and continue to progress towards.”
HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo are looking for a shot in the arm.
A pair of 2-0 losses have them seeking consistency on both sides of the ball, and they’re hoping a US Open Cup battle with the Colorado Rapids can help them find it.
Head coach Owen Coyle said Sunday that he will continue to use the tournament to see players in need of minutes. He also pointed to a likely start for 19-year-old Colombian striker Mauro Manotas, who’s impressed with his play in a reserve role. A question mark will be rookie winger Rob Lovejoy, who left Friday’s match after 29 minutes with a right hamstring injury.