Previewing Wednesday's late Fourth Round US Open Cup matches
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 late (from an East Coast perspective) kickoffs:
Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City (10 pm ET)
The four-time and defending U.S. Open Cup champions begin their title defense on the road as Sporting Kansas City meet Real Salt Lake, which lost to D.C. United in the 2013 final. Sporting is tied with the Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders FC for most Open Cup titles among MLS teams.
The Western Conference rivals last met in the competition in 2015, with Sporting beating Real Salt Lake, 3-1, in the Semifinals, with Benny Feilhaber and Krisztian Nemeth scoring five minutes apart to break the deadlock.
Los Angeles Football Club vs. Fresno FC (10 pm ET)
A pair of first-year teams square off at Banc of California Stadium as LAFC host Fresno FC of the USL in the Fourth Round.
While this will be the inaugural USOC match for LAFC, coach Bob Bradley is no stranger to success in the tournament, winning it in 1998 and 2000 with the Chicago Fire.
Fresno FC entered the competition in the Second Round, defeating Orange County FC, 2-0, in extra-time before ousting Sporting Arizona FC, 2-1, in extra-time in the Third Round with Renato Bustamante scoring late in each win.
LA Galaxy vs. FC Golden State Force (10:30 pm ET)
Two-time USOC champions LA Galaxy host the upset-minded FC Golden State Force, the last remaining PDL club remaining in the competition.
The Galaxy won the tournament in 2001 and again in 2005.
FC Golden State Force defeated LA Wolves FC, Orange County SC and Las Vegas Lights FC to reach the Fourth Round. Brazilian striker Allisson Faramilio has four goals in the three wins.
Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET)
The final of four All-MLS Fourth Round matchups pits a pair of Western Conference foes who are going in the opposite direction in league play.
While the Portland Timbers are unbeaten in seven games and are one point behind third place Real Salt Lake, San Jose has just one win in their last 12 and are one point ahead of Seattle Sounders FC and Colorado Rapids for last place in the conference.
This is the fourth all-time USOC meeting between the teams, with Portland claiming a 2-0 win in the 2016 Fourth Round.
Sacramento Republic FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC (11 pm ET)
One of the juggernauts of the U.S. Open Cup, four-time champion Seattle Sounders FC face a tricky Fourth Round match when face host Sacramento Republic FC Wednesday night.
The hosts, who play in USL, defeated San Francisco FC, 3-1, in the Second Round and Reno 1868 FC, 1-0, in the Third Round. The Quails have faced an MLS team in each of their first four USOC appearances, beating Real Salt Lake, 4-1 a year ago.
Seattle, whose 36 USOC wins ranked third in the modern era, lost to San Jose in the Round of 16 a year ago.