The Fourth Round of the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup kicks off on Wednesday, June 12 with eight games. Four lower division teams are still alive, but only one of them are hosting in a Major League Soccer-dominated schedule. Round 4 is filled with dramatic storylines with every game either being a rivalry from league play or a David vs. Goliath match.
The Carolina RailHawks of the NASL are the lone lower division team to host a match this round, and it should come as no surprise. Since their franchise began in 2007, they have hosted 15 of their 17 Open Cup matches and that trend will continue when they welcome Chivas USA to WakeMed Soccer Park. Orlando City SC (USL Pro) will play their MLS affiliate club, and defending tournament champions, Sporting Kansas City on the road. The other two lower division teams had to make big trips to reach their Fourth Round destinations. The Charleston Battery (USL Pro) will aim for a record 8th MLS upset when they play at Real Salt Lake. While the Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) will visit the Portland Timbers.
ROUND 4 BROADCASTS (All Times Eastern)
Philadelphia Union at DC United (7:00) VIDEO Chivas USA at Carolina RailHawks (7:15) VIDEO NY Red Bulls at New England Revolution (7:30) VIDEO Orlando City SC at Sporting Kansas City (8:30) VIDEO Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas (9:00) VIDEO Charleston Battery at Real Salt Lake (9:30) VIDEO Tampa Bay Rowdies at Portland Timbers (10:30) VIDEO Columbus Crew at Chicago Fire (1:00 – 6/13) VIDEO#USOC100
The local MLS rivalries are in full force for the remaining games. First, DC United hosts the Philadelphia Union at the Maryland Soccerplex for the second year in a row as the Black and Red look to avenge their Fourth Round exit from last year. The Columbus Crew and the Chicago Fire will square off for just the third time in Open Cup play, in what will be a replay of the 1998 Final. It will be an all-Texas battle with FC Dallas playing the Houston Dynamo for the first time since 2006 and finally a Boston vs. New York game being held at Harvard University with the Revolution hosting the Red Bulls. How do you like them apples?
All eight matches are expected to be broadcast online, and you can follow all the action and share your comments on Twitter, using the hashtag #USOC100.
New York Red Bulls (MLS) at New England Revolution (MLS) Soldiers Field (Harvard Univ.) – Cambridge, MA – 7:30 p.m. ET Broadcast: VIDEO Winner plays at DC United or Philadelphia Union
New York Red Bulls Open Cup records Overall: 15-14-1 (1-0 PKs) | Away: 8-8-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 5-7-1 (1-0) Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 AET at Harrisburg City Islanders of USL Pro in Round 4) Best finish: 2003 Final (Lost 1-0 vs. Chicago Fire)
New England Revolution Open Cup records Overall: 11-8-4 (2-2 PKs) | Home: 8-3-2 (1-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 3-5-0 Last entry: 2012 (Drew 3-3 (Lost PKs 4-3) at Harrisburg City Islanders of USL Pro in Round 3) Best finish: 2007 US Open Cup champions
US OPEN CUP HISTORY
Red Bulls: The Red Bulls’ recent Open Cup history has not been very impressive as they have struggled since falling short in the tournament final in 2003. Every since they lost to the Chicago Fire at Giants Stadium that year by a single goal by Damani Ralph, New York has failed to win more than one game in a single tournament. During that span they have been upset by lower division opposition five times, and have failed to defeat an MLS team. The Red Bulls are aiming to win their first trophy in franchise history.
Revolution: New England got a monkey off their back in 2007 when they won their first major trophy with the US Open Cup title. However, aside from that championship, and a runner-up performance in 2001, the Open Cup has not been kind to the Revs. Aside from those two years, the Revolution have only won multiple games in a tournament one time (2008). Something has to give as both teams have losing records against fellow MLS teams. LEAGUE FORM
New York Red Bulls (7-5-4): The Red Bulls are coming off their first loss in their last eight games (5-1-2). The 2-1 defeat at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps on the Saturday following the Third Round was scoreless through the first half with Vancouver giving New York the lead six minutes into the second stanza via a Greg Klazura own goal. The visitors bounced back though for the victory, and New York was idle over the past weekend.
New England Revolution (5-4-5): On a bit of a hot run, the Revolution are 3-0-2 in their last five league games, and have not allowed a goal since the 1-1 draw that started the run. The club was idle the weekend after their 5-1 Third Round road victory against the Rochester Rhinos, but are coming into the Fourth Round off the heels of a scoreless draw at home versus DC United, who are winless in their last 12 games.
This Season: The two clubs have already played twice in league play this season. New York dominated in the first contest to the tune of a 4-1 victory and in New England nearly a month ago exactly, the pair finished in a 1-1 stalemate. Set up by Tim Cahill, Dax McCarty opened the scoring on April 20 just four minutes in and a Brandon Barklage own goal put New England level two minutes later. Barklage made up for the error almost immediately, though, setting up Fabian Espindola in the eighth minute to make it 2-1 until late in the second half. Jonny Steele set up Thierry Henry with eight minutes left and then scored himself after Andre Akpan and Eric Alexander combined to set up the play. After a scoreless first half on May 11 Chris Tierney found Diego Fagundez for the go-ahead goal in the 54th minute, but just like their first meeting, a quick answer was what followed when Akpan and Kosuke Kimura combined to set up Lloyd Sam a minute later for the draw.
——— Philadelphia Union (MLS) at DC United (MLS) Maryland SoccerPlex; Boyds, Md. – 7 p.m. ET Broadcast: VIDEO Winner hosts New England Revolution or New York Red Bulls Philadelphia Union Open Cup records Overall: 4-1-0 | Away: 1-0-0 | vs. MLS: 1-1-0 Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-0 vs. Sporting KC in Semifinals) Best finish: 2012 Semifinals (Lost 2-0 vs. Sporting KC) DC United Open Cup records Overall: 26-10-4 (2-2 PKs) | Home: 20-4-1 (0-1) | vs. MLS: 6-7-2 (0-2 PKs) Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 AET vs. Philadelphia Union in Round 4) Best finish: 1996, 2008 US Open Cup champions US OPEN CUP HISTORY
Philadelphia: After failing to qualify in their first two seasons in MLS, the league did away with qualifying in 2012 and the Union made their first Open Cup run and reached their the final four. They lost to the eventual champion Sporting Kansas City 2-0.
DC United: The two-time Open Cup champions have been one of the powers in the tournament since they entered the tournament for the first time in 1996. United is tied with the Chicago Fire for most semifinal appearances (8), and their 10 trips to the Quarterfinals trails only FC Dallas (12). Their four championship game appearances and 26 tournament wins are second only to the Chicago Fire. If United and the Union go to extra time, the Black and Red will break the Modern Professional Era record with a fifth consecutive extra time game in the tournament.
This game is a complete rematch from last year when the Union knocked off United 2-1 in extra time in the Fourth Round at the Maryland Soccerplex. Antoine Hoppenot scored the game-winner in extra time. LEAGUE FORM Philadelphia Union (6-5-4): While most of the league has had a relatively quiet couple weeks courtesy of the international competition window, the Union have kept themselves busy. In their first match back in league play the Union snatched a late draw on the road against Toronto FC with Jack McInerney scoring the 91st minute equalizer for a 1-1 draw. The following Wednesday Philadelphia used a three-goal blitz in six minutes to down the visiting Columbus Crew 3-0. Brian Carroll kicked the spree off in the 25th and then helped set up Sheanon Williams four minutes later. Sebastien Le Toux, also involved in the second goal, found Conor Casey for the third. Idle from league play for the weekend, the Union come into the Open Cup contest with a 2-0 victory in a friendly against their USL PDL affiliate Reading United AC, who upset third division Harrisburg in this year’s tournament before being eliminated by the New York Red Bulls in the Third Round, 2-0. Chris Albright set up Aaron Wheeler on the half-hour mark and Jimmy McLaughlin helped double the advantage five minutes later when he found Antoine Hoppenot. DC United (1-10-3): Though they have not won since their second game of the season, DC has two draws in their last four games. After narrowly escaping elimination at the hands of Richmond in their scoreless draw and penalty kick tiebreaker, United fell 2-0 on the road in Chicago. A Nick DeLeon own goal nine minutes in put DC on their heels and Mike Magee clinched it in the 85th for Chicago. They rebounded for a scoreless road draw at New England Saturday. Other than DeLeon’s own goal, DC has not scored in the last four combined games. This Season: In their previous meeting this year on April 21, DC tried to rally from two down twice only to come up short in a 3-2 loss at home. McInerney scored the opener seven minutes in courtesy of Casey, who then scored himself four minutes later with the assistance of Danny Cruz. Brandon McDonald and Dwayne DeRosario combined in the 17th to set up Perry Kitchen, but Philadelphia quickly answered back when McInerney restored the two-goal margin in the 26th courtesy of Williams and Amobi Okugo. In the second half Daniel Woolard found Leonard Pajoy, but DC was unable to find the equalizer.
——— Columbus Crew (MLS) at Chicago Fire (MLS) Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill. – 8:30 p.m. ET Broadcast: VIDEO Winner will host: Sporting Kansas City or Orlando City SC Columbus Crew Open Cup records Overall: 19-10-2 (0-2 PKs) | Away: 6-4-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 9-7-1 (0-1 PKs) Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 vs. Dayton Dutch Lions of USL Pro in Round 3) Best finish: 2002 US Open Cup champions Chicago Fire Open Cup records Overall: 29-10-3 (2-1 PKs) | Home: 16-0-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 16-5-1 (1-0 PKs) Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-2 AET at Michigan Bucks of PDL in Round 3) Best finish: 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006 US Open Cup champions
US OPEN CUP HISTORY
Columbus Crew: After declining to enter their first two years in the league, the Crew were a force in the tournament beginning with a run to the Final in 1998 (losing 2-1 in sudden death extra time to the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field), and finally culminating in their first US Open Cup title in 2002. However, after lifting their first major trophy that year, the Crew hit a drought, and one that usually ended in the Fourth Round. The tournament only included a fourth round from 2003-06 before reviving it again in 2012, and in each of those years, the Crew lost to MLS opponents. Three of them in extra time, the other a 4-3 loss to the Metrostars at home. After failing to qualify in 2007 and 2008, they were one-and-done to the Rochester Rhinos in 2009 before turning things around with a run to the Final in 2010. However, after losing 2-1 to the Seattle Sounders that year, their cup form took another dip, losing their opening round game at home in back-to-back years to 3rd Division opponents (Richmond Kickers in 2011, Dayton Dutch Lions in 2012). Both of those upsets were also by a score of 2-1. Chicago Fire: After winning the US Open Cup in their inaugural season in 1998, the Fire set the tone for their approach to the tournament. It has always been a priority for the organization, and the results back that up as the Fire have won four Open Cup titles (1998, 2000, 2003, 2006), but are still hungry for that historic fifth championship. One more Open Cup championship would tie them with Bethlehem Steel and Maccabi Los Angeles for the most tournament wins in the 100-year history of the competition. The club’s list of accomplishments is long as they hold the Modern Professional Era record for most wins (29), most championship game appearances (6), and are tied for second in semifinal appearances (8). They also hold the distinction of being the only team with more than five home games who is undefeated at home in the tournament (16-0-1, 0-1 PKs).
This will be the third time that the Crew and the Fire face off in Open Cup play. They first squared off in the 1998 Final at Soldier Field, which featured some behind the scenes drama that helped grow the rivalry between the two organizations. The Fire won the first meeting 2-1 on a golden goal by Frank Klopas in extra time. The Fire would spoil the Crew’s cup run in 2004 with another 2-1 win in extra time, with Damani Ralph scoring the golden goal this time. Fun fact: The Chicago Fire have never lost a Fourth Round game (4-0-0), while the Columbus Crew have never won one (0-4-0).
LEAGUE FORM Columbus Crew (4-5-5): Since getting by 2-1 against USL Pro Dayton in the previous round, the Crew have played to a draw and a loss. Trailing 1-0 at home against Houston the Saturday after advancing, the Crew were able to claim a point with a 69th minute equalizer from Federico Higuain. A three-goal flurry from Philadelphia last Wednesday was too much for the Crew on the road as they were blanked 3-0, making them winless in their last three league games (0-1-2). The Reserves: The Crew Reserves have been busy since the last round of the tournament, falling 1-0 to Houston’s visiting reserve squad the following Sunday and then playing to a 4-4 draw on the road against USL Pro Dayton in a back-and-forth affair. Kyle Hyland set up Ryan Finley for the lead six minutes in and after falling behind 2-1 Konrad Warzycha made it even again in the 36th. The hosts went ahead again in first half stoppage time with Ben Speas setting up Finley for another equalizer in the 61st followed by Speas connected with Bernardo Anor seven minutes later for a Crew lead that was spoiled in the 89th minute.
Chicago Fire (3-7-3):After losing three straight in league play, things are picking up for the Fire, who are 1-0-2 in their last three league games. They picked up the first draw the weekend before posting their 2-0 Third Round win at USL Pro Charlotte, which featured the debut of recently-traded Mike Magee, who scored the opener. Since then it has been all about Magee. Ahead since the ninth minute the Sunday after advancing courtesy of a DC own goal, the Fire locked up a 2-0 home win with a strike from Magee from minutes from time. On Saturday the Fire rallied from two down at home to earn a 2-2 draw against Portland with Magee pulling them within one in the 68th minute and Dan Paladini tallying the equalizer on an excellent free kick in the 82nd.
This Season:The two sides met earlier this season on April 20 with the Fire taking the win at home by a narrow 1-0 margin. Jalil Anibaba and Austin Berry combined to set up Jeff Larentowicz for the deciding goal with seven minutes remaining.
Orlando City SC (USL Pro) at Sporting Kansas City (MLS) Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan. – 8:30 p.m. ET Broadcast: VIDEO Winner travels to Chicago Fire or Columbus Crew
Orlando City SC Open Cup records Overall: 5-2-0 | Away: 2-2-0 | vs. MLS: 1-2-0 Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-2 at Sporting KC in Round 3) Best finish: Third Round (2011, 2012)
Sporting Kansas City Open Cup records Overall: 16-10-4 (2-2 PKs) | Home: 11-5-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 5-6-1 (1-0 PKs) Last entry: 2012 (Won US Open Cup title) Best finish: 2004, 2012 US Open Cup champions
US OPEN CUP HISTORY Orlando City: In just their third year as a franchise, Orlando City has found success in the US Open Cup, winning five games in three years, including last round’s big moment for the organization, a 3-1 upset of the Colorado Rapids. This will be their fourth match against Major League Soccer, with their first two ending with 3-2 losses on the road to FC Dallas, the last year to eventual champion Sporting Kansas City. With the momentum going, Orlando will get another shot at Sporting KC. Sporting Kansas City: Now a two-time Open Cup champion, things have not always been easy for Sporting Kansas City. After entering in their inaugural season in 1996, they were one-and-done in each of their first three seasons. Then, after not qualifying in 1999, they suffered one of the first upsets to an amateur team when they lost in penalty kicks to the Chicago Sockers of the PDL. It took them until 2001 to get their first tournament win and the following year they were a golden goal away from the final, losing to the Columbus Crew in the final four. After losing their opening game in 2003 to the Colorado Rapids, the Wizards (as they were called back then) went on an impressive run, defeating the Atlanta Silverbacks (A-League) 4-1, and then shutting out three MLS teams (Dallas, San Jose, Chicago) to win their first Open Cup title by only allowing one goal. Only DC United in 1996 had given up fewer goals (none) en route to a title, but they played one fewer game that year. After failing to qualify twice (2007, 2010) and winning just one game before bowing out in 2008, 2009, and 2011, Sporting went on their championship run last year, ending the Sounders’ chance at an unprecedented 4-peat with a penalty kick win in the championship game. LEAGUE FORM Orlando City (10-1-2): The league leaders in USL Pro were idle the weekend after dropping the Colorado Rapids 3-1 in the Third Round but played twice over the past weekend for a pair of nearly identical 2-0 wins. On Friday against visiting Phoenix Jamie Watson scored the opener from the penalty spot in the 29th minute and Dom Dwyer added the second two minutes later. Antigua created some worries on Sunday before Watson again opened the scoring from the spot, this time in the 87th minute. Again, Dwyer scored closely after, tallying in the 90th with the assistance of Watson.
Dwyer and the other Sporting Kansas City loanees – Christian Duke, Yann Songo’o and goalkeeper Jon Kempin – will not be available for the match due to the loan arrangement between the two affiliates.
Sporting KC (6-5-4): The club, 2-0 winners at home versus the PDL Des Moines Menace in the last round, are in the midst of a surprising three-game winless stretch. They went into the previous rounds with a pair of 1-1 draws against Houston and DC but fell 2-1 at home the weekend after advancing to Montreal. Two minutes after the Impact opened the scoring in the second half, Claudio Bieler tied things up in the 49th for Kansas City only to see the Impact net the winner four minutes later. Sporting comes into the Fourth Round after being idle over the weekend. ——— Houston Dynamo (MLS) at FC Dallas (MLS) FC Dallas Stadium; Frisco, Texas – 9 p.m. ET Broadcast: VIDEO Winner hosts Tampa Bay Rowdies or Portland Timbers Houston Dynamo Open Cup records Overall: 6-5-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 2-4-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 1-3-0 Last entry: 2012 (Lost 1-0 at San Antonio Scorpions of NASL in Round 3) Best finish: Semifinals (2006, 2009) FC Dallas Open Cup records Overall: 22-14-4 (2-2 PKs) | Home: 13-5-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 6-9-2 (2-0 PKs) Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-0 at Charlotte Eagles of USL Pro in Round 3) Best finish: 1997 US Open Cup champions US OPEN CUP HISTORY
Houston Dynamo: The Dynamo have experienced a mixed bag of results since launched as a franchise in 2006. Their highlights include two trips to the Semifinals (2006, 2009), but among their seven previous tournament appearances, three times they have been eliminated by a lower division team in the opening round (Charleston Battery twice in 2007 and 2008, and last year at San Antonio Scorpions).
FC Dallas: Dallas is quitely one of the best Open Cup teams in MLS. The only reason they’ve been quiet is because their only Open Cup title came in 1997, a distant memory for many soccer fans. No team has more Quarterfinal appearances (12) than FC Dallas and their seven semifinal appearances is second only to the Chicago Fire and DC United. They reached the championship game in 2005 and 2007, but fell short in both games to the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New England Revolution respectively.
This will be just the second time the two teams will meet in Open Cup play. In their first meeting, Houston prevailed on their home field, 3-0 in the 2006 Quarterfinals. Eddie Robinson, Alejandro Moreno and Chris Wondolowski all scored for the Dynamo. LEAGUE FORM
Houston Dynamo (6-4-4): After a hot start in league play with only two losses in their first 10, the Dynamo have gone winless in their last four (0-2-2). After blanking the USL PDL side FC Tucson in the Third Round the Dynamo played to a 1-1 tie the following Saturday in Columbus for their second straight league draw. Kofi Sarkodie connected with Warren Creavalle in the 31st minute with the Crew finding their equalizer in the second half. The Dynamo were idle over the weekend. The Reserves: The Dynamo Reserves have played twice since the tournament win, picking up a 1-0 road win in Columbus the following Sunday when Alex Dixon set up Brian Ownby in the 29th minute. On Saturday the Dynamo Reserves suffered their second loss of the year to USL Pro Charleston, falling 4-1 on the road with Ownby scoring the lone Houston tally in the 63rd minute when they were already down two. FC Dallas (8-2-4): One of the hottest teams in the league, the club has just one loss in their last dozen games. After winning 2-0 on the road in the Third Round against the NASL Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Texas side travelled to Colorado the following Saturday and rallied twice for a 2-2 draw in a four-goal second half. Atiba Harris put Colorado up in the 56th and 64th with Blas Perez pulling Dallas even in the 61st and 66th minutes courtesy of Marvell Wynne and Jackson, respectively. FCD was idle over the weekend.
This Season: This will be the second time this year the two Texas rivals have met. The previous meeting March 17 in Dallas was a 3-2 thriller that saw the hosts claim the win in the 90th minute when Michel set up Kenny Cooper. Dallas posted a two-goal halftime lead with George John scoring in the 34th and David Ferreira connecting with Andrew Jacobson a minute later. In the second half Sarkodie found Andrew Driver in the 79th and Brad Davis buried a rebound four minutes later to pull even. ——— Chivas USA (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL) WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C. – 7:15 p.m. ET Broadcast: VIDEO Winner plays at Real Salt Lake or Charleston Battery Chivas USA Open Cup records Overall: 7-6-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 5-6-0 | vs. MLS: 1-3-0 Last entry: 2012 (Lost 4-1 at Seattle Sounders in Semifinals) Best finish: Semifinals (2010, 2012) Carolina RailHawks Open Cup records Overall: 12-4-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 12-2-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 3-3-0 Last entry: 2012 (Lost 2-1 vs. Chivas USA in Round 4) Best finish: 2007 Semifinals (Lost 2-1 AET at New England Revolution)
US OPEN CUP HISTORY
Chivas USA: The first five years of Open Cup play for Chivas USA could only be described as a disaster. After a stoppage time goal saved them from an upset loss to the Charlotte Eagles in their first-ever game in 2005, the Goats went on a five-game winless streak. There was a one-sided loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy, but in 2006, they hit rock bottom by becoming the first MLS team to be eliminated by a USASA club when Dallas Roma FC held them scoreless through 120 minutes and defeated them in penalty kicks. The next three years were one-and-done losses to lower division teams (Seattle Sounders twice and Charleston Battery). Lately, the club has shown signs of improvement, reaching the Semifinals in 2010 and in 2012. However, in both of those games, the Sounders, now an MLS franchise, denied them a chance to reach the championship game.
Carolina RailHawks: The RailHawks wasted no time making their presence known in the US Open Cup, as the second division club reached the Semifinals in their inaugural season in 2007. They have won at least one game in every tournament so far, and some might say that they’re assisted by their home fans. The RailHawks, during the era of when teams would have to submit secret bids to acquire hosting rights, were always very aggressive and as a result, they have hosted the vast majority of their tournament games. Since the hosts have begun to be determined by coin flip last year, they remain lucky, as Carolina has hosted their last six games. Overall, the RailHawks have hosted 15 of their 17 all-time Open Cup games and they’ve racked up 12 wins, including three MLS upsets.
These two teams are meeting again on the same field and in the same round. Last year, in Round 4, Carolina lost to Chivas USA 2-1 at WakeMed Soccer Park thanks to a Juan Pablo Angel penalty kick in the 90th minute.
Chivas USA (3-8-2): In the midst of a five-game league losing streak and a winless run of eight games, the California club is coming off of an idle week. After narrowly defeating the LA Blues 2-1 in the Third Round, the goats fell 2-0 at home against the Seattle Sounders in their lone league contest since the last round, giving the Sounders their second strike with a Mario de Luna own goal in the 33rd. They have just one goal to their credit over the course of the five-game skid in league play. The Reserves: After advancing in the tournament the club’s reserve squad picked up a 2-1 victory at home against the Sounders Reserves the following Sunday with Jose Manuel Rivera setting up Caleb Calvert in the 69th and Jose Soto finding Tristan Bowen in the 76th for a two-goal advantage.
Carolina RailHawks (4-3-1): After knocking out the LA Galaxy in the Third Round, the RailHawks have played both of the Florida-based clubs in league play. The following Saturday they travelled to Fort Lauderdale and rallied for a 1-1 draw with Ty Shipalane finding Brian Shriver for the equalizer in the 81st minute. On Saturday at home against Tampa Bay, the RailHawks again needed to come from behind after giving up a late opener in the 87th minute to the Rowdies. Austin da Luz found Cesar Elizondo early in stoppage time and then Shipalane struck the winner deep in stoppage. ——— Charleston Battery (USL Pro) at Real Salt Lake (MLS) Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah – 9:30 p.m. ET Broadcast: VIDEO Winner hosts Carolina RailHawks or Chivas USA Charleston Battery Open Cup records Overall: 25-12-4 (3-1 PKs) | Away: 5-5-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 7-10-3 (2-1 PKs) Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-0 vs. New York Red Bulls in Round 3) Best finish: 2008 Final (Lost 2-0 at DC United) Real Salt Lake Open Cup records Overall: 3-4-0 | Away: 0-2-0 | vs. MLS: 0-1-0 Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 vs. Minnesota Stars FC in Round 3) Best finish: 2011 Quarterfinals (Lost 2-0 at FC Dallas)
US OPEN CUP HISTORY
Charleston Battery: No matter what level of play they have been at, as far as the US Open Cup is concerned, the Charleston Battery are arguably one of the best lower division teams in the country. Their 25 tournament wins are among the best at any level, while they have nine MLS upsets on their resume, which is tied with the Rochester Rhinos for the most in the Modern Pro Era. They have only been upset twice by lower division opponents (2005 – Des Moines Menace, 2011 – Orlando City SC), and just like the Carolina RailHawks, they’ve benefited from a home field advantage. Out of their 41 games, 30 of them have been played at Blackbaud Stadium.
Real Salt Lake: The goal of Real Salt Lake is simple. Find success in the US Open Cup. Since their inaugural season in 2005, they failed to qualify four years in a row (2007-2010), but when they did enter the tournament, they’ve never won more than one game in a single tournament. The effort is there as the organization markets their games, and last year they set an attendance record for the Modern Pro Era for a non-doubleheader/non-final (17,212). But unfortunately for RSL, they were upset 3-1 by the Minnesota Stars of the NASL. LEAGUE FORM Charleston Battery (7-3-2): The Battery have been extremely busy since their 1-0 upset win at home against the San Jose Earthquakes in the last round, going 1-1-1 in USL Pro action over the past two weeks. They fell the Friday after advancing, 2-1 at home, to Harrisburg with the City Islanders rallying after the Battery’s Mike Azira set up Ben Fisk for the opener in the 36th minute. On Wednesday the Battery fell behind 14 minutes in at home against Charlotte, but Nicki Paterson found Haviel Cordoves in the 61st to pull even. Dane Kelly put Charleston ahead eight minutes later only to see the Eagles tie it up in the 89th. They come into the match on the heels of a big 4-1 win against the Houston Dynamo Reserves in inter-league play. Paterson scored in the 18th minute and Jose Cuevas doubled the advantage in the 62nd. Houston tallied a minute later to keep it close, but Quinton Griffith found Cuevas for his second in the 77th and then scored himself in the 90th on an assist from Azira.
Real Salt Lake (8-5-3): Unbeaten in their last four and with only one loss in their last seven, RSL comes into the match with a pair of league wins since their 3-2 overtime thriller against the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks in the Third Round. They blanked visiting San Jose the following Saturday with three first half goals. Javier Morales netted the opener in the 16th minute and combined with Robbie Findley to set up Ned Grabavoy in the 33rd. Five minutes later Findley made it 3-0 as the second half went scoreless. On Saturday RSL made it three straight combined games with three goals, downing the visiting Galaxy 3-1. Findley found Khari Stephenson for the opener a minute before the break and Landon Donovan leveled matters a minute into the second half. Then in the final minutes of the match it was the Morales and Olmes Garcia show. Morales and Kyle Beckerman combined to set up Garcia for the go-ahead goal in the 84th and then he set up Garcia again two minutes into stoppage time to put a stamp on the outcome. The Reserves: The Sunday after advancing in the tournament the RSL Reserves fell at home 2-1 to the Earthquakes Reserves, giving up a lead created when Luis Gil and Yordany Alvarez combined to set up Sebastian Velasquez in the 55th minute.
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Portland Timbers (MLS) JELD-WEN Field; Portland, Ore. – 10:30 p.m. ET Broadcast: VIDEO Winner plays at FC Dallas or Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay Rowdies Open Cup records Overall: 4-2-0 | Away: 3-1-0 | vs. MLS: 1-1-0 Last entry: 2012 (Lost 3-1 vs. Colorado Rapids in Round 3) Best finish: 2012 Third Round (Lost 3-1 vs. Colorado Rapids) Portland Timbers Open Cup records Overall: 8-7-1 (0-1 PKs) | As MLS: 1-1-0 Home: 3-5-1 (0-1 PKs) | As MLS: 1-1-0 vs. Div. 2: N/A Last entry: 2012 (Lost 1-0 AET vs. Cal FC of USASA in Round 3) Best finish: Fourth Round (2004, 2005)
US OPEN CUP HISTORY
Tampa Bay Rowdies: While the team name has been around since the 1970s, this is the first time a Rowdies team has taken part in the US Open Cup. Since they launched in 2010, they’ve won at least one game in each trip to the tournament (The NASL did not take part in 2011). Although those first two wins were both against amateur teams, it took until this year for the Rowdies to earn their first win over a professional team. They defeated nearby VSI Tampa Bay FC of USL Pro 2-1 in Round 2.
Portland Timbers: Like the Rowdies, another NASL name was revived, but it happened much earlier. In 2004, the Portland Timbers were re-born in the A-League (Division 2) and competed at that level until they jumped to MLS in 2011. They had very limited success in the tournament, with only two wins over a professional team, but a silver lining from a fan’s perspective is that one of those wins was against the Seattle Sounders. They suffered their worst loss in 2008 when they were upset on their home field by USASA club Hollywood United. Unfortunately for the Timbers, when they moved up to MLS their first Open Cup game in the top flight, they suffered another loss to a USASA club, falling to Cal FC 1-0 in extra time last year. LEAGUE FORM Tampa Bay Rowdies (3-3-3): After their dramatic 1-0 upset over the visiting Seattle Sounders in the Third Round the Florida club travelled across the continent and earned a point for a scoreless draw against FC Edmonton the following Sunday. On Saturday it looked like another scoreless match was in order before Devin Del Do opened the scoring for the Rowdies in Carolina in the 87th minute. The defending league champions, however, were unable to hold on for the winner, giving up the equalizer and winner in stoppage time to the RailHawks.
Portland Timbers (5-1-8): The Timers have the longest unbeaten streak in the league currently having not lost since their second game of the campaign (5-0-7). The Timbers were idle the weekend after thumping the visiting USL Pro Wilmington Hammerheads, but are coming into the Fourth Round match on the heels of a draw on the road against Chicago. The Timbers built a two-goal lead behind the efforts of Open Cup hero Frederic Piquionne, who netted four in the Third Round. In Chicago he combined headed a long ball from goalkeeper Milos Kocic forward to Diego Valeri for the opener 33 minutes in and then in the 58th minute he found Ben Zemanski for the two-goal lead only to see Chicago rally for the 2-2 draw. The Reserves: Since the last round the Timbers Reserves played to a 4-4 road draw against USL Pro Tampa Bay with goals from Michael Nanchoff (5), Sebastian Rincon (47), Jose Valencia (56) and Sal Zizzo (pen, 68), rallying twice from one goal down and from three down.
Broadcast journalist / sports play by play announcer that created TheCup.us (in 2003) and continues to run the site. Currently works as a producer/host at Michigan Radio, the state's top NPR station. An active member of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association and the North American Soccer Reporters. Proud alum of Temple University and Lansing Community College. Read his work on TheCup.us HERE.