2016 Fourth Round |

2016 US Open Cup Round 4, Day 2 preview: MLS vs. everybody (video, audio links)

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2016-usoc-logo-724-wideAfter the first day of the Fourth Round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup we saw four teams punch their ticket to the Round of 16. Tonight, 12 more teams will join them.

Below, you will find links to our coverage on TheCup.us, as well as previews from all three games on Tuesady, including video and audio links where available. You can get all the latest updates from every game through Twitter, using the hashtag #USOC2016. Use that same hashtag on Instagram to share your US Open Cup-related photos.

#USOC2016 coverage:
* 2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup schedule, results (video/audio links)
* 2016 US Open Cup bracket (TheCup.us)
* 2016 US Open Cup statistical leaders
* 2016 Meet the Underdogs series
* USSF’s new US Open Cup qualifying tournament has challenges to address after year one
Things you should know about the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup
Series of forfeits, teams with ineligible players overshadow 2016 US Open Cup
2016 US Open Cup Round 2 review
* MLS-owned USL teams no longer eligible for 2016 US Open Cup, confirms USSF
* One is enough: NPSL champion New York Cosmos B withdraws from 2016 US Open Cup

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Harrisburg City IslandersHarrisburg City Islanders  
2 : 3
Philadelphia Union    Philadelphia Union
 Talen Energy Stadium - Chester, PA 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

Harrisburg City Islanders Open Cup records
Overall: 17-8-3 (2-1 PKs) | Home: 10-2-3 (2-1 PKs) | Away: 7-6-0 | vs. MLS: 4-5-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 3-1 in OT vs. Rochester Rhinos of USL in Round 3)
Best finish: Quarterfinals (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012)

Philadelphia Union Open Cup records
Overall: 9-3-4 (3-1 PKs) | Home: 8-2-2 (1-1 PKs) | Away: 1-1-2 (2-0 PKs) | vs. Div. 3: 3-0-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Drew 1-1, Lost 7-6 in PKs vs. Sporting KC of MLS in Final)
Best finish: Runner-up (2014, 2015)

Once joined at Philadelphia’s hip as a USL affiliate, the Harrisburg City Islanders will be seeking to establish their independence once and for all with their first US Open Cup win over their in-state rivals after losing twice to the Union in the past four years of the competition.

Harrisburg pits a very respectable 4-4-1 (1-0 PKs) record vs MLS clubs all-time against Philly’s 8-2-0 record since the appointment of Jim Curtin as head coach. Curtin is very familiar with success in the Open Cup, and what it can mean to fans, from his time as a player with the Chicago Fire. Philly also sits at 6-3-5 in league play, while the City Islanders are 4-8-1 in the USL.

Goalkeeper Andre Blake will return to Philly after his Copa America Centenario appearances with Jamaica, but it’s not clear that he’ll be in the lineup. Curtin has suggested that he may make other changes to give time to some of the Union’s youngsters.

Harrisburg will be looking to recover from a three-game losing streak in USL play. Paul Wilson will be seeking to add to his season total 11 points against the Union. His speed will be an asset against Philadelphia, but he won’t be alone as Craig Foster and Cardel Benbow are also known to push defenses with their pace.

Tampa Bay Rowdies Tampa Bay Rowdies   
0 : 4
Columbus Crew    Columbus Crew
 Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium - Columbus, OH 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

Tampa Bay Rowdies Open Cup records
Overall: 5-5-0 | Home: 2-1-0 | Away: 3-4-0 | vs. MLS: 1-2-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 1-0 at Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL in Round 3)
Best finish: 2013 Fourth Round (Lost 2-0 at Portland Timbers of MLS)

Columbus Crew Open Cup records
Overall: 21-13-2 (0-2 PKs) | Home: 12-5-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 7-7-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 2: 5-1-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 2-0 at Orlando City SC of MLS in Round 5)
Best finish: 2002 US Open Cup champion

Last round, the Rowdies triumphed over another Ohio based footballing juggernaut, USL’s upstart FC Cinncinati, at their very own Al Lang stadium. This time around, the Rowdies travel up to the Buckeye state to take on reigning MLS Eastern Conference champion, Columbus Crew. The Crew have suffered a very surprisingly pedestrian season so far this year in the league, especially given last year’s performance. This year they sit on 14 points after 13 games, above only the lowly Chicago Fire in the Eastern Conference standings.

It’s been an abysmal season so far, well summarized by the own field spat between last season’s top scorer Kei Kamara and star midfielder, Federico Higuain, that resulted in the former’s departure in a trade to New England. The US Open Cup offers a form of consolation for the Ohio side. As DC United showcased by an open cup trophy during their historically bad 3 league win season, the cup can be a welcome respite from the league season. If the Crew play their cards right they still can qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League next season by winning the cup. There’s everything to play for.

Tampa Bay on the other hand have been having a good spring season so far this year buoyed by the addition of Joe Cole. Cole, while experiencing his first Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, is no stranger to cup magic. Cole appeared numerous times both in the FA and League Cup over in England for Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa, and Coventry. He’s no doubt hoping to reprise the giant killing mantle that his former club, Aston Villa, carried to the FA Cup final last season. The midfielder’s quality will certainly pose a threat to the out of form Crew, and with luck the Rowdies maybe able to stage an upset. Who knows, in the cup, anything’s possible.

Orlando City SCOrlando City SC  
1 : 0
Jacksonville Armada    Jacksonville Armada
 Southern Oak Stadium - Jacksonville, FL 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

Orlando City SC Open Cup records
Overall: 13-7-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 10-1-0 | Away: 3-6-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Div. 2: 1-0-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 3-1 at Chicago Fire of MLS in Quarterfinals)
Best finish: Quarterfinals (2013, 2015)

Jacksonville Armada Open Cup records
Overall: 1-1-0 | Home: 1-0-0 | Away: 0-1-0 | vs. MLS: 0-0-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 3-0 at Richmond Kickers of USL in Round 3)
Best finish: 2015 Third Round (Lost 3-0 at Richmond Kickers of USL)

Jacksonville needed extra time to knock of USL Charleston Battery, and now will get a intrastate matchup with Orlando City. In that extra time win, both teams scored in the first 25 minutes and then were held scoreless until the game winner in extra time.

Orlando has suffered a rough start of the season, with a 3-3-7 record. Coming off a 2-2 draw with New York City FC, they’ll need more than a draw in this game. Both teams are near the bottom of their respective tables, so this could be an interesting game.

Obviously, emotion will be high for the players of Orlando with the recent events. On the other hand, Jacksonville has a lot to play for as the underdog in this matchup.

New York CosmosNew York Cosmos  
1 : 0
New York City FC    New York City FC
 Fordham University - The Bronx, NY 

BROADCAST: VIDEO (YES Network/One World Sports)
Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

New York Cosmos Open Cup records
Overall: 4-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 4-0-1 (1-0 PKs) | Away: 0-2-0 | vs. MLS: 1-2-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 4-1 at NY Red Bulls of MLS in Round 5)
Best finish: Round 5 (2014, 2015)

New York City FC Open Cup records
Overall: 0-0-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 0-0-0 | Away: 0-0-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 2: 0-0-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Drew 2-2, Lost 4-3 in PKs at New York Cosmos of NASL in Round 4)
Best finish: 2015 Round 4 (Drew 2-2, Lost 4-3 in PKs at New York Cosmos of NASL)

Another battle for bragging rights in New York takes place on Wednesday night as NYCFC host the NY Cosmos at Fordham University. This is a rematch of last year’s dramatic Fourth Round come-from-behind shocker that saw the Cosmos pull out a victory in penalties, and it will also figure into arguments about the relative strength of MLS and NASL.

The NASL just began its summer break after Indy Eleven edged the Cosmos for the Spring Championship. The Cosmos last competitive match was on June 4th, and the side will be looking to reestablish momentum after dropping that contest in a 2-1 decision to the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. Leading scorer Juan Arango (4 G 3A) will lead the attack, while last year’s PK hero, GK Jimmy Maurer, will try to recreate the performance that saw the Cosmos humble their metropolitan rivals.

NYCFC are in their sophomore season in MLS, and if they had performed better in their first year you might call this season a sophomore slump. Instead, rookie MLS coach Patrick Vieira has been working to pull his side out of the basement of the Eastern Conference. He’s had little success at the club’s MLS home, Yankee Stadium, where the Blues have struggled to a 1-3-5 record on the year. Getting away from the House that Ruth built may be what is needed for the team to win.

It’s not clear who Vieira will send out for the Cup battle, but he has plenty of options. David Villa could add to his 10 goals on the season, but the Cosmos will also be watching for crafty Thomas McNamara and speedy Khiry Shelton on offense. If he does not opt for youth, look for Vieira to start newcomer Frédéric Brillant in the backline in front of Josh Saunders.

New York Red BullsNew York Red Bulls  
1 : 0
Rochester Rhinos    Rochester Rhinos
 Rhinos Stadium - Rochester, NY 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

New York Red Bulls Open Cup records
Overall: 17-16-2 (1-1 PKs) | Home: 8-5-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 8-10-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. Div. 3: 4-3-0
Last entry: 2015 (Drew 1-1, Lost 4-3 in PKs vs. Philadelphia Union of MLS in Quarterfinals)
Best finish: 2003 US Open Cup runner-up

Rochester Rhinos Open Cup records
Overall: 36-16-6 (3-3 PKs) | Home: 30-7-4 (2-2 PKs) | Away: 4-9-2 (1-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 8-14-5 (2-3 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Drew 0-0, Lost 3-1 in PKs at Philadelphia Union of MLS in Round 4)
Best finish: 1999 US Open Cup champions

Rochester is one of four remaining USL teams and they are the only ones to host a game in the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup. They have yet to concede a goal this tournament, beating Lansdowne Bhoys in Round 3, 2-0, and demolishing Southie FC in Round 2, 7-0. Obviously, their opponent for this game carries a bit more pedigree.

The New York Red Bulls are in second place in the MLS Eastern Conference, and have scored more goals than any team in the East. They are second in all of MLS in goals scored. While the Red Bulls do have another game this week, it is not until Sunday, and it is a home game against Seattle, giving them an added day of rest and the benefit of being at home. While not every starter will play, it is not unreasonable to think that we could see most of the Red Bulls best players.

Though New York has reached the Semifinals four times and the Final once (2003), they have never won the US Open Cup. However, their opponent has. The Rhinos won the Cup in 1999, becoming the first (and only) non-MLS team to win since the league’s inception in 1996.

New England RevolutionNew England Revolution  
1 : 0
Carolina Railhawks    Carolina Railhawks
 WakeMed Soccer Park - Cary, NC 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

New England Revolution Open Cup records
Overall: 14-11-4 (2-2 PKs) | Home: 10-4-2 (1-1 PKs) | Away: 4-7-2 (1-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 2: 4-1-2 (1-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 1-0 vs. Charlotte Independence of USL in Round 4)
Best finish: 2007 US Open Cup champions

Carolina RailHawks Open Cup records
Overall: 16-7-2 (1-1 PKs) | Home: 16-4-2 (1-1 PKs) | Away: 0-3-0 | vs. MLS: 5-5-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 1-0 vs. Charlotte Indpendence of USL in Round 3)
Best finish: 2007 Semifinals

In a far off road trip for New England they visit NASL side Carolina in one of the longest journeys of round 4. Carolina thrashed Charlotte 5-0 in their last Open cup fixture, but that scoreline doesn’t accurately reflect the game. In fact, 5-0 is incredibly harsh given that the game went to extra time and that they played down to ten men. No matter the method, Carolina made it to round 4 and New England’s 3-7-4 record surely doesn’t strike any fear into the hearts of the players and coaching staff. At the same time New England is no slouch in footballing terms. In fact, almost any MLS club has a sizable advantage over an NASL team in terms of quality. With the likes of Kei Kamara, Fagundez, Agudelo, and Nguyen, New England carry a personnel advantage into this match. Nevertheless, Carolina will travel to Cary carrying the confidence of that last result into this fixture and that’ll make it a great contest.

Ft. Lauderdale advances 4-3 in PKs
Ft Lauderdale Strikers Ft Lauderdale Strikers   
0 : 0
DC United    DC United
 Maryland Soccerplex - Boyds, MD 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

Fort Lauderdale Strikers Open Cup records
Overall: 6-8-3 (2-1 PKs) | Home: 6-3-2 (2-0 PKs) | Away: 0-5-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 0-4-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 3-2 at Charleston Battery of USL in Round 3)
Best finish: Third Round (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

DC United Open Cup records
Overall: 31-12-4 (2-2 PKs) | Home: 22-4-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 9-8-2 (2-0 PKs) | vs. Div. 2: 11-2-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (2-1 loss at Philadelphia Union of MLS in Round 5)
Best finish: 1996, 2008, 2013 US Open Cup champions

The Strikers (NASL) come to DC after an overtime shootout victory over the Richmond Kickers of the USL. After a 1-1 draw in full time, the Kickers weren’t able to convert even once, as Fort Lauderdale blanked them 2-0 in kicks from the mark. The main reason for the PK domination was Diego Restrepo, who saved three of the four shots that the Kickers took to go with his three saves from the rest of the match. A hot keeper is always something that can swing a tournament game, and he will look to keep it up on Wednesday. For his efforts, Restrepo was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round.

As an MLS team, DC United will be making their first appearance in this year’s Open Cup. As three time champions of the tournament, DC is never a team to sleep on, but it is possible they won’t be fielding all their starters. Even after a long MLS league break for the Copa America, DC has to contend with a road game in Houston on Saturday. Holding on to the 6 seed in the eastern conference, which is the last playoff spot, United will undoubtedly need every MLS point they can get. Given the travel and the quick turnaround from a Wednesday game, it is likely that substitutes will be starting.

Sporting Kansas CitySporting Kansas City  
2 : 1
Minnesota United FC    Minnesota United FC
 National Sports Center - Blaine, MN 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

Sporting Kansas City Open Cup records
Overall: 21-12-5 (3-2 PKs) | Home: 16-7-1 (1-0 PKs) | Away: 5-5-4 (2-2 PKs) | vs. Div. 2: 6-2-2 (1-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 US Open Cup champions (Drew 1-1, Won 7-6 in PKs at Philadelphia Union of MLS)
Best finish: 2004, 2012, 2015 US Open Cup champions

Minnesota United FC Open Cup records
Overall: 5-4-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 1-2-0 | Away: 4-2-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 1-2-0
Last entry: 2015 (Drew 1-1, Lost 3-1 in PKs at Saint Louis FC of USL in Round 3)
Best finish: Fourth Round (2012, 2014)

This stage of the tournament is an interesting one for NASL teams, who come in with a lengthy break following this, so have no concerns about playing a game on the weekend like everyone else. For Minnesota this gives them a chance to take out their frustrations at throwing away the 2016 NASL Spring title towards the end of the NASL’s spring season.

Despite that disappointing finish to their Spring Title race, Minnesota do come in to this match on some form, as they managed to beat Miami FC 3-1, and get to remain at home after that home match.

With the Copa America in full swing, Sporting Kansas City have not played a match since their scoreless draw with LA Galaxy on the second of June. But they will have a match on the weekend, unlike Minnesota United, against a strong FC Dallas team. It will be interesting to see how Sporting Kansas City, along with other MLS teams, line up in this match with a well rested side against a Minnesota United side ready to prove its MLS chops.

Chicago advances 4-3 in PKs
Indy ElevenIndy Eleven  
1 : 1
Chicago Fire    Chicago Fire
 Toyota Park - Bridgeview, IL 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

Indy Eleven Open Cup records
Overall: 2-2-0 | Home: 2-1-0 | Away: 0-1-0 | vs. MLS: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 2-0 in OT vs. Louisville City FC of USL in Round 3)
Best finish: 2014 Fourth Round (Lost 2-1 in OT at Columbus Crew of MLS)

Chicago Fire Open Cup records
Overall: 37-13-3 (2-1 PKs) | Home: 23-1-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 13-12-1 (1-0) | vs. Div. 2: 6-3-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 1-0 at Philadelphia Union of MLS in Semifinals
Best finish: 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006 US Open Cup champions

Wednesday’s match between the Chicago Fire and Indy Eleven will be much more than the standard NASL vs MLS match that often occurs in the U.S. Open Cup.

It is a clash of past glory against present glory. It is not a rivalry waged by the players on the field, but rather by the legacy of a single man against himself. Peter Wilt, the architect of both the Chicago Fire and Indy Eleven, will see how his two clubs stack up against each other for the first time.

Wilt was at the helm right away in Chicago as general manager in 1998 when the team unexpectedly won the domestic double, taking the MLS Cup and US Open Cup. The Fire would have their majority of success under Wilt’s tenure through 2005, winning three of their four U.S. Open Cups, a Supporters’ Shield in 2003 and lone MLS title in 1998.

After pursuing a number of other soccer ventures, Wilt resurfaced in a big way with Indy Eleven, helping to create the newest NASL club with MLS potential. While he did not have the immediate success he enjoyed in Chicago, Wilt did see his team reach the top of the mountain again as Indy Eleven won the 2016 Spring Championship in the NASL thanks to an undefeated season.

As Wilt prepares to leave Indy Eleven to launch an NASL team in Chicago, he leaves behind a team on the rise and perhaps poised to make its deepest run in the US Open Cup. To do that, they will have to get their first ever win against an MLS side by toppling Wilt’s old boys at Toyota Park.

The Fire is a far cry from the Wilt-era teams that took the pitch. The Men in Red have followed up the worst MLS season in club history by getting off to the worst 10-game start in club history in 2016. Despite the MLS struggles for the Fire this decade, Chicago remains a difficult out in the US Open Cup.

With two consecutive semifinal appearances and a sterling 26-1-1 Open Cup record at home, Chicago will be a significant challenge for Indy Eleven Wednesday.

The NASL side made it to the Fourth Round this year by avenging the 2015 Third Round loss to Louisville City FC with a 2-1 victory. Indy will likely look to forward Eamon Zayed to produce the magic for an upset against Chicago. The Libyan scored the game-winning goal against Louisville City FC in the Third Round and is fresh off a spectacular hat trick that clinched the NASL Spring Championship.

Indy Eleven also boasts a couple players who could look to make a statement against their old team in defenders Lovel Palmer and Marco Franco as well as goalkeeper Jon Busch. Goalkeeper Keith Cardona got the starting nod in the Third Round, but Busch could get the call against his former team.

Chicago could counter with a first-choice lineup as the team only has two MLS matches in the month of June. First-year coach Veljko Paunovic indicated the Open Cup would be a top priority so club standouts such as David Accam, Jonathan Campbell and Kennedy Igboananike may not get the rest some MLS clubs give to their top players.

Despite the poor start to the season, the Fire is riding a home win against the Houston Dynamo and home draw against the Portland Timbers into Wednesday’s match for some added confidence.

There has to be a loser Wednesday, but it certainly will not be Peter Wilt.

FC Dallas advances 6-5 in PKs
OKC Energy FCOKC Energy FC  
2 : 2
FC Dallas    FC Dallas
 Westcott Field - Dallas, TX 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

Oklahoma City Energy Open Cup records
Overall: 4-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 0-0-0 | Away: 4-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 4-1 at FC Dallas of MLS in Round 4)
Best finish: 2015 Fourth Round (Lost 4-1 at FC Dallas of MLS)

FC Dallas Open Cup records
Overall: 27-16-5 (4-1 PKs) | Home: 16-6-2 (1-1 PKs) | Away: 11-10-2 (2-0 PKs) | vs. Div. 3: 4-2-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 6-2 at Sporting KC of MLS in Round 5)
Best finish: 1997 US Open Cup champions

For the second straight year, FC Dallas and their United Soccer League (USL) affiliate, OKC Energy, find themselves paired together in the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup.

Last year, FC Dallas defeated their lower division affiliate 4-1 with Michael Barrios scoring twice in three minutes in the first half and assisting on a third goal for the Hoops. That match was played on the campus of Texas Christian University (TCU) and this year’s match will also be played on a local college campus; this time at Westcott Field, home of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs. This marks the first time FC Dallas will play a competitive game on SMU’s campus.

OKC Energy got to this point with a dramatic 2-1 extra time victory over inter-city rivals Rayo OKC of the North American Soccer League (NASL). It was the first time the two teams had ever faced off and it was Rayo’s first ever Open Cup match as they are playing in their inaugural NASL season. Energy second half substitute Kyle Hyland managed to get on the end of a cross from fullback Kyle Harris to give the USL side the victory after the teams exchanged late first half goals earlier in the match. Meanwhile, in league play, the Energy fell to Rio Grande Valley 3-0 on Saturday, snapping an eight game unbeaten streak. Unfortunately, that streak was full of draws and OKC find themselves mired in the middle of the USL Western Conference standings at the moment. Only forward Danni Konig has managed to score more than once this season.

After a somewhat slow start, FC Dallas are right back where they expected to be when the season began: at the top of the Western Conference standings. They’re currently tied with the Colorado Rapids, but the Rapids have two games in hand due to the lack of a balanced schedule in MLS. The Hoops will be anxious to for an opportunity just to take the field as MLS is currently on a brief break while the Copa America Centenario plays out across the United States; league play will resume this weekend. Winger Michael Barrios has picked up where he left off in last year’s Open Cup meeting with OKC; he currently leads the team with five goals this season, tied with Tesho Akindele. It’s unclear whether head coach Oscar Pareja will play his preferred starters in order to get them back into game shape or go with the reserves instead. Either way, he does have a few new options available to him including striker Max Urriti, who was acquired this past offseason and currently leads the team with five assists.

The Round of 16 draw will take place on Thursday, June 16 and will determine the fate of whichever team manages to come out on top on Wednesday.

San Antonio FCSan Antonio FC  
0 : 4
Houston Dynamo    Houston Dynamo
 BBVA Compass Stadium - Houston, TX 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

San Antonio FC Open Cup records
Overall: 2-0-0 | Home: 1-0-0 | Away: 1-0-0 | vs. MLS: 0-0-0
Last entry: First entry
Best finish: First entry

Houston Dynamo Open Cup records
Overall: 9-8-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 7-2-0 | Away: 2-6-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 3: 1-0-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 3-1 at Sporting KC of MLS in Quarterfinals )
Best finish: Semifinals (2006, 2009)

Continuing their inaugural tournament run, San Antonio FC will travel in-state for its third US Open Cup match to face the Houston Dynamo of MLS. SAFC defeated the Des Moines Menace (PDL) in Iowa in the Third Round, 2-1. San Antonio had to come back from a 0-1 deficit to advance, their first win this season to come back after being down a goal. Forward Jacques Francois now has three Open Cup goals & an assist in two matches, including two game-winners. In league play, SAFC are sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference with 11 points in 12 matches, coming off a 1-1 draw against Portland Timbers 2.

Houston will be playing their first match of the 2016 tournament against San Antonio. All 17 US-based MLS squads enter in the Fourth Round of the competition. Houston is coming off a 1-1 Texas Derby draw against FC Dallas that was delayed due to heavy rains. The Dynamo currently sit in last place in the Western Conference with 13 points in 14 games. Due to the Copa América break, Houston hasn’t played a match since their June 2 Texas Derby draw.

“It’s an important competition for us,” said Dynamo general manager Matt Jordan. “As an organization and as a team we’re taking the Open Cup very seriously.”

Houston made it to the quarter-finals in the 2015 edition of the tournament where they lost 3-1 to the eventual champions, Sporting Kansas City (MLS). The Dynamo have never won the cup, advancing to the Semifinals twice in 2006 and 2009.

Kitsap PumasKitsap Pumas  
0 : 2
Seattle Sounders FC    Seattle Sounders FC
 Starfire Sports Complex - Tukwila, WA 

Round of 16 draw to take place June 16

Kitsap Pumas Open Cup records
Overall: 5-5-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 3-3-0 | Away: 2-2-1 (1-0) | vs. MLS: 0-1-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 4-2 in OT vs. Seattle Sounders U23s of PDL in Round 2
Best finish: 2011 Third Round

Seattle Sounders Open Cup records
Overall: 34-13-5 (3-2 PKs) | Home: 26-3-2 (2-0 PKs) | Away: 8-10-3 (1-2 PKs) | vs. Amateurs: 9-1-0
Last entry: 2015 (Lost 3-1 in OT MLS in Round 4
Best finish: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 US Open Cup champions
Leading goalscorer:

It’s the giant killers against the giants. It’s David and Goliath. It’s Round 4 of the US Open Cup and it’s the upstart Kitsap Pumas taking on the American soccer colossus that is the Seattle Sounders, a four-time US Open Cup champion. In this in-state affair, the fourth tier Pumas travel to face the Sounders. There’s a world of difference between the two; one team is comprised of amateurs and other employs the former US men’s national team talisman Clint Dempsey. Yet here they are. To get this far, the PDL outfit, Kitsap, upset the favorite and much fancied MLS hopeful, Sacramento Republic FC. That victory constituted an incredible coup for Kitsap, but their path to potential cup glory becomes that much more difficult against Seattle. However, it would be unwise to underestimate Kitsap because ironically, the Pumas already defeated the Sounders, albeit that team being Seattle’s u-23 team. Either way, anything can happen, it’s the magic of the cup. Will it be the minnows from Bremerton or will it be the big boys from the crown jewel of Washington state. Regardless, it’s gonna be a great game.

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