The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) announced the 13 Third Round matchups that will determine who gets to take on MLS in the Fourth Round.
Two amateur clubs are guaranteed to reach the Third Round, and both drew intriguing potential matchups. The winner of Boston City FC vs. GPS Omens could possibly go to Rochester to take on the Rhinos, who are still the only non-MLS team since 1996 to win the Open Cup. And LA Wolves, who take on fellow amateur club Chula Vista FC in the second round, could be in for a home rematch against Orange County SC. The Wolves last year became the third consecutive amateur team to take Orange County out of the competition.
Rematch potential abounds in the third round. Harrisburg City and Reading United have played each other every other year since 2009. Standing in Reading’s way are the New York Cosmos, who have managed a win against an MLS team in each of their three Open Cup appearances.
Further down the Eastern Seaboard, a de facto Carolina Cup will conclude as the winner of the Carolina Dynamo/North Carolina FC game takes on the winner of the Charlotte derby between the Independence and the Eagles. Except for the Independence, all four North Carolina teams have made it to at least the Quarterfinals. Even further south, the Charleston Battery may get a chance to avenge their 3rd-round extra time loss to Jacksonville Armada last year.
Other interesting potential matchups include a USL rivalry bout between FC Cincinnati and Louisville City, a battle of MLS expansion hopefuls in Indy Eleven vs. Saint Louis FC, and an all-Nevada affair between Anahuac FC and Reno 1868 FC.
Host determinations were made by coin flip on Friday. All pairings are listed below:
|Miami FC/South Florida Surf (would not host Tampa Bay Rowdies)
||Tampa Bay Rowdies (would host against South Florida Surf)/Jacksonville Armada U-23
|Miami United FC/Jacksonville Armada
||Atlanta Silverbacks/Charleston Battery
|Richmond Kickers/Christos FC (would not host Pittsburgh Riverhounds)
||Chicago FC United/Pittsburgh Riverhounds (would host Christos FC)
|Carolina Dynamo/North Carolina FC
||Charlotte Eagles/Charlotte Independence
|Rochester Rhinos/FC Motown (would not host Boston City FC)
||GPS Omens/Boston City FC (would host FC Motown)
|Reading United AC/New York Cosmos (would not host Ocean City)
||Ocean City Nor’Easters (would host New York Cosmos)/Harrisburg City Islanders
|Michigan Bucks/Indy Eleven
||FC Wichita/Saint Louis FC
|FC Cincinnati/AFC Cleveland
||Tartan Devils Oak Avalon/Louisville City FC
|San Francisco Deltas/Burlingame Dragons (would not host Fresno)
||Fresno Fuego (would host Burlingame)/Phoenix Rising FC
|Tulsa Roughnecks FC/Oklahoma City Energy U-23 (would not host San Antonio)
||Dutch Lions FC/San Antonio FC (would host OKC U-23)
|OSA FC/Reno 1868 FC (would not host Sacramento)
||Sacramento Republic FC (would host Reno)/Anahuac FC
|LA Wolves FC/Chula Vista FC
||FC Golden State Force/Orange County SC
|Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC/FC Tucson
||OKC Energy FC/Moreno Valley FC