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Previewing Wednesday's early Fourth Round US Open Cup matchups

It’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup time for Major League Soccer teams and all 20 United States-based teams are in Fourth Round action on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s early matchups – you can also check out previews for the 8 and 8:30 pm ET kick offs, as well as the late kick offs.

Columbus Crew SC vs. Chicago Fire (7 pm ET)

In the first of four All-MLS Fourth Round games, Columbus Crew SC host the Chicago Fire in the sixth all-time U.S. Open Cup meeting between the Eastern Conference rivals. The first showdown occurred in the 1998 Final, which the Fire won in extra-time, 2-1. The last encounter was in the 2016 Round of 16 with Chicago also winning 2-1 on a David Accam brace.

Only Seattle Sounders FC-Portland Timbers and the New England Revolution-Rochester Rhinos have met more times in the Open Cup — seven times apiece.

A year ago, both teams were eliminated by FC Cincinnati — Crew SC 1-0 in the Fourth Round and Chicago on penalties in the Round of 16.

New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC (7:30 pm ET)

For the second straight year, the New York Derby will be played out in the U.S. Open Cup. The first steps of the New York Red Bulls march to the 2017 Final — their second appearance in the championship game — was a 1-0 defeat of NYCFC in Harrison with Danny Royer scoring the lone goal.

The Red Bulls went on to beat the Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution and FC Cincinnati before falling to Sporting Kansas City in the Final.

NYCFC have never won in the U.S. Open Cup, suffering back-to-back defeats to the New York Cosmos before last year’s loss in Harrison.

Miami United FC vs. Orlando City SC (7:30 pm ET)

Orlando City SC’s deepest U.S. Open Cup run has been to the quarterfinals twice, as a USL team in 2013 and again as an MLS side in 2015, and each time the Lions fell on the road to the Chicago Fire.

A year ago, Orlando City SC lost to NASL side Miami FC, 3-1, in the Fourth Round.

Miami United FC, the lone team remaining in the competition from the NPSL, defeated FC Kendall, Miami FC 2 and the Jacksonville Armada, 2-0, to reach the Fourth Round. Tomas Granitto and Nicholas Gorobsov scored five minutes apart in the first half in the Third Round victory.

Orlando are 8-0-0 all-time against an open division team in the U.S. Open Cup.

Atlanta United vs. Charleston Battery (7:30 pm ET)

In a second straight Fourth Round meeting, Atlanta United will host the Charleston Battery at Fifth-Third Bank Stadium.

Following a nearly three-hour weather delay, Brandon Vazquez struck for the late winner for the Five Stripes in a 3-2 victory over Charleston a year ago. Atlanta would lose to Miami FC, 3-2, in the Round of 16.

Charleston, which have beaten MLS teams nine times in 23 all-time U.S Open Cup meetings, defeated South Georgia Tormenta FC and then Elm City Express by identical 1-0 scorelines to reach the Fourth Round.

FC Cincinnati vs. Minnesota United FC (7:30 pm ET)

A future MLS showdown will take place Wednesday at Nippert Stadium as FC Cincinnati, who last week were awarded an expansion franchise, will host Minnesota United FC in the Fourth Round.

Jimmy McLaughlin scored in the first half and Lance Laing and Daniel Haber found the back of the net one minute apart in the second half as FC Cincinnati beat the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 3-1, in the Third Round.

A year ago, FC Cincinnati were the story of the U.S. Open Cup, defeating Columbus and Chicago on a march to the semifinals where they’d race out to a 2-0 lead against the New York Red Bulls, before falling 3-2 in extra-time in front of a home crowd of 32,250.

Minnesota, meanwhile, were trounced by eventual champion Sporting Kansas City, 4-0, in the Fourth Round at Children’s Mercy Park. Including their days as an NASL side, the Loons have never advanced past the Fourth Round.

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Chicago
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