Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2016 US Open Cup Match Preview
CHICAGO FIRE VS. COLUMBUS CREW SC
TOYOTA PARK, Bridgeview, Illinois
US Open Cup, Round of 16
June 28, 8:30 pm ET (YouTube)
Two old Midwest rivals meet up in the 2016 US Open Cup's Round of 16 on Tuesday, as Columbus Crew SC try to overcome the Chicago Fire's long-running hoodoo over them in the historic knockout tournament.
How They Got Here
Columbus reached this stage by demolishing the Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-0 at Ohio State's Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in the Open Cup's Fourth Round. The Fire had to sweat a great deal more in their meeting with NASL opposition, as extra time and a penalty-kick shootout were required to decide their marathon match vs. Indy Eleven.
The Fire have one of MLS's proudest traditions of Open Cup success with four titles (1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006) and six appearances in the final. Crew SC won the 2002 edition and finished as runners-up in 1998 – where they lost to Chicago – and 2010, but have not reached the quarterfinals (last eight) in the past six years.
Chicago have utterly dominated their Great Lakes near-neighbors in this tournament, a rough past that Crew SC will be eager to overcome on Tuesday.
#CrewSC is 0-5 vs. Chicago in Open Cup games, including the final in 1998.— Shawn Mitchell (@smitchcd) June 27, 2016
Who Will Play?
While these two teams are currently propping up the foot of the MLS Eastern Conference standings together, they seem to be approaching the Open Cup a bit differently. Chicago started nearly a full-strength lineup vs. Indy, while Gregg Berhalter made significant changes to his first-choice XI in the rain-soaked defeat of the Rowdies.
Berhalter told reporters on Monday that backup goalkeeper Brad Stuver will start the remainder of the club's USOC games, adding that new acquisition Dilly Duka isn't yet ready for match action (Duka has previously played for both Crew SC and Chicago).