Chicago Fire vs. Ft. Lauderdale Strikers | 2016 US Open Cup Match Preview
CHICAGO FIRE vs. FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS
TOYOTA STADIUM, Bridgeview, Ill.
July 20, 2016 (U.S. Open Cup)
8:30 pm ET (YouTube)
The Chicago Fire have already withstood one scare from a North American Soccer League opponent during their 2016 US Open Cup run. Now they'll face another in Wednesday night's quarterfinal against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. Can they move one step closer to their first trophy in a decade?
Last lower-division men standing
The Strikers are in unfamiliar territory here, having never advanced past the third round in prior Open Cup competitions. They've earned their trip to Toyota Stadium, though, by eliminating two MLS teams along the way. They opened the competition by surviving a penalty-kick shootout against the USL's Richmond Kickers, then took down – in succession, and both times after deadlocks in regulation – D.C. United and Orlando City SC.
Avoiding the upset, Part II
Before then advanced to Wednesday's quarterfinal with a 2-1 win over Columbus Crew SC, needed a shootout to defeat the NASL's Indy Eleven on June 15. In that match, the Fire trailed 1-0 in extra time before David Accam scored in the 111th minute to send the match to penalties.
Strikers midfielder Victor Pineda is no stranger to Chicago, or to Toyota Stadium. Pineda was the Fire's first Homegrown signing in 2010 and spent four seasons with Chicago, though he saw more match time during that tenure while on loan to Indy Eleven. He'll likely be amped up for his Windy City homecoming this week.