2015 US Open Cup Round 5 preview: Another Big Apple clash highlights Day 2 of Round of 16 (video links)

Posted by | June 30, 2015
Can the Red Bulls avenge last year's loss to the Cosmos or will the NASL spring champions complete the Big Apple sweep? Photo: Dennis Schneidler/Delaney B. James Sports Photography)

Can the Red Bulls avenge last year’s loss to the Cosmos or will the NASL spring champions complete the Big Apple sweep? Photo: Dennis Schneidler/Delaney B. James Sports Photography)

The Fourth Round, the annual highlight of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is in the books, and only two lower division teams survived to reach Round 5. With 14 of the 16 teams hailing from Major League Soccer, that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of drama for the Fifth Round, which will be split, four games each, between Tuesday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 1.

On Tuesday, four Major League Soccer teams advanced to the Quarterfinals. A 10-man Philadelphia Union overcame a 1-0 deficit to knock off DC United. The Union advance to the Quarterfinals where they will either host the New York Cosmos or travel to the New York Red Bulls for their next game.

One of the two lower division clubs fell as the USL’s Charlotte Independence couldn’t hold on to a 1-0 lead and eventually fell to the Chicago Fire 3-1 on the strength of two Mike Magee goals. The Fire will host Orlando City in the Quarterfinals after the Lions handed the Columbus Crew their first-ever shutout in US Open Cup play, 2-0. Kaka made his Open Cup debut and scored a goal while Carlos Rivas scored to move into a tie for the tournament lead with four goals.

And finally, after a nearly three hour weather delay to start the match, the Houston Dynamo edged the Colorado Rapids 1-0 to book a place in the round of eight for the first time since 2009.

Today, the opening game is a rematch many in the New York area have waited for. The New York Red Bulls, who just finished thumping New York City FC in league play, are hoping to avenge last year’s upset loss to the New York Cosmos at Red Bull Arena. Last year, the Cosmos dominated the Red Bulls 3-0. Next up, FC Dallas will travel to Sporting Park to take on 2012 champion Sporting Kansas City as Dallas aims for their first Open Cup title since 1997. Another matchup between two clubs who have been close to winnning their first Open Cup title will take the first at Rio Tinto Stadium when Real Salt Lake hosts the Portland Timbers. The game is a rematch of the 2013 Semifinals when RSL beat the Timbers 2-1 in the same stadium. The round will conclude with the California Classico with the San Jose Earthquakes hosting the Los Angeles Galaxy. The two clubs are fierce rivals, but in Open Cup play, it’s been dominated by the Galaxy as they have never been eliminated by the Quakes in four all-time meetings (3-0-1, 1-0 PKs).

All of the games will be streamed online, with some teams providing radio broadcasts in addition to video streams. You can also follow all the action on TheCup.us LIVE SCORES PAGE where you can get the latest scores and jump between live video and you can join the conversation with a Twitter feed of all the #USOC2015 tweets.

Scroll down for previews of every Round 5 game:

MORE LINKS:

LIVE SCORES: Round 5 (with video)

NEWS:
Clint Dempsey’s ‘referee abuse’ gets two-year or six-game US Open Cup ban from US Soccer (video)
2015 US Open Cup bracket is set: Round of 16 draw revealed, potential hosts for Semifinals

2015 US Open Cup bracket

2015 US Open Cup Schedule/Results

2015 Meet the Underdogs series

2015 stat leaders (Goals/Assists/Points)

TheCup.us Player of the Round winners

The First Cup series (1913/14)

TheCup.us 2.0 launches | The origin of TheCup.us

Twitter (#USOC2015) | Facebook | Flickr | Reddit

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New York Cosmos Open Cup records
Overall: 3-1-1 (1-0 PKs) | Away: 0-1-0 | vs. MLS: 1-1-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 2-1 in OT at Philadelphia Union of MLS in Round 5)
Best finish: 2014 Fifth Round (Lost 2-1 in OT at Philadelphia Union of MLS)

New York Red Bulls Open Cup records
Overall: 16-16-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 7-5-0 | vs. Div. 2: 5-5-0
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 3-0 at New York Cosmos of NASL in Round 4)
Best finish: 2003 Runner-up (Lost 1-0 vs. Chicago Fire in Final)

IF RED BULLS WIN … they will host Philadelphia Union (July 15)
IF COSMOS WIN … they will play at Philadelphia Union

LIVE VIDEO: NEW YORK COSMOS AT NEW YORK RED BULLS (7:30 p.m. ET)

HOW THEY GOT HERE …

New York Cosmos
Round 3: 3-0 win vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
Round 4: 2-2 draw (4-3 PK win) vs. New York City FC (MLS)

New York Red Bulls
Round 4: 3-0 win vs. Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)

By Romulo Vieira

Can the Red Bulls avenge last year's loss to the Cosmos or will the NASL spring champions complete the Big Apple sweep? Photo: Dennis Schneidler/Delaney B. James Sports Photography)

Can the Red Bulls avenge last year’s loss to the Cosmos or will the NASL spring champions complete the Big Apple sweep? Photo: Dennis Schneidler/Delaney B. James Sports Photography)

UPDATE: USSF announced that if the New York Cosmos eliminate the New York Red Bulls, the Philadelphia Union would be the host in the Quarterfinals.

The New York Derby between MLS side New York Red Bulls and NASL side New York Cosmos promises to be one of the fiercest games of the Fifth Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The two sides met last year in the fourth round of the tournament. The Cosmos comfortably beat their New York rivals 3-0 at Shuart Stadium. Striker Mads Stokkelien netted two goals and Alessandro Noselli scored the other. Last years’ Fourth Round clash between these two teams was the first meeting between the two teams.

This year the Cosmos will probably have to play a tougher game. This time the Red Bulls are playing at home and they will be using their starters like they did against the Atlanta Silverbacks in the Fourth Round.

To reach the Fifth Round the Cosmos began with an easy 3-0 victory in Round 3 over the PDL’s Jersey Express. Next, the Cosmos faced another New York opponent when they took on MLS newcomers New York City FC. The Cosmos rallied from a 2-0 second half deficit and after the match finished extra time tied at 2-2, the Cosmos won an exciting penalty kick shootout with goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer making three saves in a 4-3 win.

Being a MLS team, the Red Bulls began play in Round 4. In their clash against the Atlanta Silverbacks they were able to dominate the game and win at home easily by a scoreline of 3-0.

This will be a special game for Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese. When the Red Bulls were the Metrostars in MLS’ inaugural season, he scored the first goal in Metrostars history. He played three seasons with the Metrostars and scored a total of 44 goals for the club. Club captain Carlos Mendes also has a strong connection to the MLS team. Carlos played for both the Metrostars and Red Bulls. He spent a total of seven seasons with the organization appearing in a total of 146 games for the club, the second-highest in club history.

The Red Bulls will be confident going into this game having beaten NYCFC for the second time this season with a score line of 3-1 away from home. They currently find themselves in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The team has won their last two games and is going to want to keep the momentum going.

The last time the Cosmos stepped onto the field was for their fourth round encounter against NYCFC. It will be interesting to see how the team will look going up against a side that has been inactive for the last couple of weeks.

Both teams will be looking to their best to stay alive in a tournament neither team has ever won. This time around the Red Bulls will field a more experienced team as they continue to take this tournament seriously after so many years of fielding reserve teams. The Cosmos will have another opportunity to show again they can keep up with their MLS counterparts in New York.

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FC Dallas Open Cup records
Overall: 27-15-5 (4-1 PKs) | Away: 11-9-2 (2-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 8-10-3 (2-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Drew 1-1, Lost 4-3 in PKs vs. Philadelphia Union of MLS in Semifinals)
Best finish: 1997 US Open Cup champions

Sporting Kansas City Open Cup records
Overall: 18-12-4 (2-2 PKs) | Home: 13-7-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 5-7-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 3-1 vs. Portland Timbers of MLS in Round 5)
Best finish: 2004, 2012 US Open Cup champions

WINNER WILL … host Houston Dynamo

LIVE VIDEO: FC DALLAS AT SPORTING KC (8:30 p.m. ET)

HOW THEY GOT HERE …

FC Dallas
Round 4: 4-1 win vs. Oklahoma City Energy (USL)

Sporting Kansas City
Round 4: 1-0 win vs. Saint Louis FC (USL)

By Matthew DeWitt

Sporting Kansas City: 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup champions. Photo: Steve Olson | SoccerSTL.net

Sporting Kansas City: 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup champions. Photo: Steve Olson | SoccerSTL.net

“Lack of goals” has not been a term used when describing Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas’ meetings this year.

If the 2015 league matchups between Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas could be an indicator for what is to expect come Wednesday night, the fans crammed into Sporting Park will be treated to a high-scoring affair.

In the previous two meetings this season, Dallas and Kansas City have combined for eight goals. Dallas produced a 3-1 win in front of a home crowd on March 14, while Sporting’s home win on May 29 ended in a lopsided score, 4-0.

Sporting’s win in May came in the midst of eight-match unbeaten streak. KC lost the dominant stretch on a late goal at Real Salt Lake on June 21, but bounced back with a 2-0 home win against Colorado on June 27.

Inside of Sporting Park this season, the home side is undefeated, boasting a record of 6-0-3. This could be pivotal for the 2004 and 2012 Open Cup champion if they plan on adding a third Open Cup to their trophy case. The winner of this match will host the Houston Dynamo in the Quarterfinals. If they advance to the final four, they would host that game as well.

The Texans have produced a win streak of their own shortly after that 4-0 loss in Kansas, starting with a 4-1 win over Oklahoma City Energy (USL) in their Open Cup opener. David Texeira and Michael Barrios each scored twice to propel Dallas to the win on June 16. OKC drew a goal back late, but the hosts – played at TCU’s Garvy-Rosenthal Stadium in front of a standing room only crowd – held on for the victory.

Despite winning just one US Open Cup title (1997), FC Dallas is one of the most consistent teams of the Modern Era. They have finished runner-up twice (2005, 2007) and have the second-most quarterfinal appearances (14) of any time in the history of the tournament. Only St. Louis’ Kutis SC (17) has more.

This will be Dallas’ second straight Open Cup game against Sporting or a team with Sporting ties. The team FC Dallas dispatched in the Fourth Round, Oklahoma City Energy, is the United Soccer League affiliate of Sporting KC.

While the affiliate team was bounced from the competition, Sporting took down Missouri-based Saint Louis FC. The USL side STLFC held strong until Sporting’s Graham Zusi nodded home the game’s only goal in the 70th minute. Zusi’s goal moved him into a tie for sixth on the all-time scoring list for the club with three goals. His chances at moving forward will be delayed, as he recently received a call-up for the United States Men’s National Team Gold Cup roster.
In addition to Zusi being unavailable, Sporting’s Marcel De Jong will be joining the Canadian National Team for the Gold Cup. He’ll be joined by FC Dallas teammates Tesho Akindele and Kyle Bekker in the Canadian camp.

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Portland Timbers Open Cup records
Overall: 13-9-1 (0-1 PKs) | Away: 8-4-0 | vs. MLS: 3-5-1 (0-1 PKs)
As MLS: 6-3-0 | Away: 3-2-0 | vs. MLS: 3-2-0
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 3-1 in OT at Seattle Sounders of MLS in Quarterfinals)
Best finish: 2013 Semifinals (Lost 2-1 at Real Salt Lake of MLS)

Real Salt Lake Open Cup records
Overall: 7-6-0 | Home: 7-3-0 | vs. MLS: 1-3-0
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 2-1 at Atlanta Silverbacks of NASL in Round 4)
Best finish: 2013 Runner-up (Lost 1-0 vs. DC United in Final)

WINNER WILL … host San Jose Earthquakes or Los Angeles Galaxy

LIVE VIDEO: LA GALAXY AT SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (10:30 p.m. ET)

AUDIO OPTIONS: ENGLISH RADIO | SPANISH RADIO

HOW THEY GOT HERE …

Portland Timbers
Round 4: 3-1 OT win at Seattle Sounders (MLS)

Real Salt Lake
Round 4: 2-1 win at Seattle Sounders 2 (USL)

By Zach Smith

This 2013 US Open Cup Semifinal match featured two teams that have never reached the final four. Real Salt Lake won 2-1. Photo: Real Salt Lake

This 2013 US Open Cup Semifinal match featured two teams that have never reached the final four. Real Salt Lake won 2-1. Photo: Real Salt Lake

It’ll be strength versus strength Wednesday night when the Portland Timbers travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lake in Round 5 of the 2015 US Open Cup.

Portland has one of the best away records in the Open Cup (8-4-0 all-time), while Salt Lake is one of the better home sides in recent tournament history (7-3-0). RSL ended Portland’s best tournament run in 2013 with a 2-1 win in the Semifinals to earn the club’s first trip to the Final where they lost to DC United.

The winner will host either LA Galaxy or San Jose Earthquakes in the Quarterfinals.

Portland and RSL played to a scoreless draw in the opening game of the MLS regular season this year, and are two of the nine US-based MLS teams that have never lifted the Open Cup.

The noise around the Timbers’ first game in the tournament seemed deafening at times. By now the story is clear, Seattle captain Clint Dempsey ripped up the referee’s notebook and was handed a massive Open Cup suspension.

But what gets lost in all the hullaballoo surrounding the last game is that Portland played well for the last 30 minutes against the vastly undermanned Sounders. And, for the most part, they’ve looked better in league play ever since, clawing their way to third place in the Western Conference somewhat inconspicuously.

Portland romped against those very same Sounders — minus Dempsey — 4-1 Sunday at home in front of a raucous crowd thanks to two goals from Fanendo Adi, one from Rodney Wallace and and absolute beauty by Darlington Nagbe.

Real Salt Lake’s journey to this stage was far less stressful. They needed second half goals from Joao Plata and Javier Morales to overcome a 1-0 halftime deficit and beat USL’s Seattle Sounders 2 in Round 4.

RSL’s most recent league game ended 2-2 with 10 men at home against Columbus Crew SC Saturday night. Salt Lake gave up a lead twice before Jordan Allen was sent off with less than 15 minutes to go.

This will be Nat Borchers’ first time back at Rio Tinto Stadium since being traded to the Timbers last December. In six years with Salt Lake, Borchers scored 10 goals and is one of just four players with more than 200 appearances for RSL. He was a stalwart on the back line of the team that won MLS Cup in 2009 and got to the final in 2013.

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Los Angeles Galaxy Open Cup records
Overall: 24-12-1 (1-0 PKs) | Away: 7-10-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 10-7-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 1-0 in OT at Carolina RailHawks of NASL in Round 5)
Best finish: 2001, 2005 US Open Cup champions

San Jose Earthquakes Open Cup records
Overall: 11-8-6 (3-3 PKs) | Home: 4-4-2 (1-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 0-5-3 (0-3 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Drew 1-1, Lost 4-1 in PKs at Seattle Sounders of MLS in Round 5)
Best finish: 2004 Semifinals (Lost 1-0 at Kansas City Wizards of MLS)

WINNER WILL … play at Portland Timbers or Real Salt Lake

LIVE VIDEO: LA GALAXY AT SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

HOW THEY GOT HERE …

Los Angeles Galaxy
Round 4: 6-1 win vs. PSA Elite (USASA)

San Jose Earthquakes
Round 4: 2-2 draw (6-5 PK win) vs. Sacramento Republic (USL)

By Evan Ream

Photo: LA Galaxy

Photo: LA Galaxy

Apparently MLS Rivalry Week is continuing into the US Open Cup as the San Jose Earthquakes will partake in their second California Classico in just five days as they host the Los Angeles Galaxy Wednesday at Avaya Stadium in the Fifth Round of the Open Cup.

Over the weekend, the Earthquakes defeated their biggest rivals 3-1 in front of 50,000 fans at Stanford Stadium in a comeback victory where U.S. international Chris Wondolowski scored the winning goal of the game.

But Wednesday’s game was almost a different version of the California Classico, as the Earthquakes trailed the USL’s Sacramento Republic FC in the Fourth Round 2-0 with just 16 minutes left.

The San Jose Earthquakes celebrate their 6-5 penalty kick shootout win over the Sacramento Republic. Photo: John Todd | Isiphotos | San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes celebrate their 6-5 penalty kick shootout win over the Sacramento Republic. Photo: John Todd | Isiphotos | San Jose Earthquakes

And then Wondo was Wondo, scoring a brace in five minutes to eventually take the game to penalty kicks where the more experienced Earthquakes prevailed.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy advanced to Round 5 by beating PSA Elite, the final amateur team left in the competition, by a 6-1 scoreline.

Irish international Robbie Keane tallied a hat trick for LA, while fellow forward Gyassi Zardes managed the winning goal in what was a surprisingly strong lineup fielded by head coach Bruce Arena.

The winner of Wednesday’s game will face the winner of Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers in the quarterfinals later in July.

While the Galaxy have won the title twice – in 2001 and 2005 – the Earthquakes have never won the Open Cup. The farthest in the competition they have ever gotten was the Semifinals in 2004. In many of those years, it was the Galaxy that have gotten in the way. The Earthquakes have yet to eliminate the Galaxy in Open Cup play (0-3-1, 0-1 PKs), and have never defeated a MLS opponent in the tournament.

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UPDATE: Union overcome early red card, rally to beat DC United 2-1 (video)

DC United Open Cup records
Overall: 31-11-4 (2-2 PKs) | Away: 9-7-2 (2-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 10-7-2 (0-2 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 1-0 at Rochester Rhinos of USL PRO in Round 4)
Best finish: 1996, 2008, 2013 US Open Cup champions

Philadelphia Union Open Cup records
Overall: 7-3-2 (2-0 PKs) | Home: 6-2-1 (1-0 PKs) | vs. MLS: 2-3-1 (1-0 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 3-1 in OT vs. Seattle Sounders of MLS in Final)
Best finish: 2014 Runner-up

WINNER WILL … play at New York Red Bulls or New York Cosmos in Quarterfinals

LIVE VIDEO: DC UNITED AT PHILADELPHIA UNION (7 p.m. ET)

HOW THEY GOT HERE …

DC United
Round 4: 3-1 win at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)

Philadelphia Union
Round 4: 0-0 draw (3-1 PK win) vs. Rochester Rhinos (USL)

By Michael Berton

Nick DeLeon (18) of DC United pulls the ball away from Raymon Gaddis (28) of the Philadelphia Union during Tuesday's US Open Cup match. Photo: Tony Quinn | DC United

Nick DeLeon (18) of DC United pulls the ball away from Raymon Gaddis (28) of the Philadelphia Union during the 2012 US Open Cup match. Photo: Tony Quinn | DC United

When it comes to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, the result of any given match-up so often comes down to motivation.

Take the Philadelphia Union for example. A struggling team last season that had just fired its manager, the Union were highly motivated to make their season count. They nearly did just that, making a run to the Final, only to lose to the Seattle Sounders in extra time.

On the other side last season was DC United. Vying for the top spot in MLS, DC United opted to rest starters in the Fourth Round against the Rochester Rhinos, leading to a 1-0 upset loss.

The two teams face one another on Tuesday in Philadelphia in much the same position as in 2014. DC United leads MLS by three points and has an 11-point cushion at the top of the Eastern Conference. With eight games in July, DC has regularly been rotating its lineup. This Open Cup Fifth Round matchup is sandwiched between a 0-0 draw against Toronto FC and an upcoming trip to Seattle.

The Philadelphia Union, on the other hand, are seventh in the Eastern Conference, but are third-to-last in all of MLS in points per game. Philadelphia is coming off a 2-2 draw with the Montreal Impact, but gets a short break before a July 11 match with the Portland Timbers.

If Open Cup results were contingent on talent, DC would seem to have the advantage, but which team will be more motivated come Tuesday? The Union are desperate for a trophy, using that as motivation in last year’s tournament. They struggled in the Fourth Round against Rochester though, only sneaking out a penalty kick victory after a scoreless draw after 120 minutes.

DC is in the hunt for what it might consider more important trophies, but a comfortable lead in league play means coach Ben Olsen might have some wiggle room when it comes to his starting lineup. DC United managed to get past the Pittsburgh Riverhounds by a 3-1 score in Round 4.

The Union and DC United split a pair of meetings this season, each earning a victory in its home stadium. On May 17, the Union snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the league leaders 1-0. Just two weeks later, on May 30, DC gave up an early goal, but came back to win 2-1 at RFK Stadium in Washington.

The Union entered the US Open Cup for the first time in 2012, and now in their fourth year, this will be their third meeting with United. Both games were played at the Maryland Soccerplex with the Union winning the first meeting 2-1 in extra time in 2012, and DC getting revenge the following year on their way to winning the tournament.

So who will be more motivated? Will it be a Philadelphia team still searching for its first trophy, or bringing an Open Cup title to the city for the first time since 1966, or will it be MLS leaders DC United, looking to add to its already illustrious trophy cabinet? Find out on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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UPDATE: Kaka scores in debut as Orlando City hands Columbus Crew first-ever shutout loss (video)

Columbus Crew Open Cup records
Overall: 21-12-2 (0-2 PKs) | Away: 7-6-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. MLS: 9-9-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 4-2 in OT at Chicago Fire of MLS in Round 5)
Best finish: 2002 US Open Cup champions

Orlando City SC Open Cup records
Overall: 12-6-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 9-1-0 | vs. MLS: 2-6-0
As MLS: 0-0-1 (1-0 PKs) | Home: 0-0-0 | vs. MLS: 0-0-0
Last entry: 2014 (as USL PRO) (Lost 5-2 at Colorado Rapids of MLS in Round 4)
Best finish: 2013 Quarterfinals (Lost 5-1 at Chicago Fire of MLS)

WINNER WILL … play at Chicago Fire or Charlotte Independence in Quarterfinals

LIVE VIDEO: COLUMBUS CREW AT ORLANDO CITY (7:30 p.m. ET)

HOW THEY GOT HERE …

Columbus Crew
Round 4: 3-1 win at Richmond Kickers (USL)

Orlando City SC
Round 4: 4-4 draw (8-7 PK win) at Charleston Battery (USL)

By Brian Venard

Photo: Charleston Battery

Photo: Charleston Battery

As the field in the 2015 US Open Cup continues to wither down in size, the odds of this matchup became more and more likely to happen. Orlando City SC and the Columbus Crew are sure to be up in arms about another chance to bring this budding rivalry outside of league play.

In both of the meetings between these two sides, there has been some bad blood and aggressive play, so there will surely be more of that on Tuesday.

Adam Bedell scored a pair of goals in the Columbus Crew's 3-1 win over the Richmond Kickers. Photo: Brian L. Zimmerman | Richmond Kickers

Adam Bedell scored a pair of goals in the Columbus Crew’s 3-1 win over the Richmond Kickers. Photo: Brian L. Zimmerman | Richmond Kickers

The Crew made it to the Fifth Round with a convincing 3-1 road victory over the Richmond Kickers with rookie Adam Bedell leading the way with a pair of goals. Meanwhile, Orlando City barely escaped the Fourth Round with a penalty kick shootout win over the Charleston Battery (USL). After Carlos Rivas became the first player in the Modern Era to score three penalty kick goals, the Lions lost a 4-2 lead in extra time, and won the shootout 8-7.

Orlando City are going to have to put in a much better performance Tuesday evening if they want to get past the 2002 US Open Cup champions. While Orlando has had plenty of success prior to joining MLS this year (12-6-0 overall, with two wins over MLS opponents), the Crew have struggled in recent years. Since finishing as runner-up in 2010, they have failed to win multiple games in a tournament in each of the last four years (2-5-0).

Orlando City will obviously have to have a good performance by Kaka in the attacking third (if he starts), but they will also need a strong performance by Donovan Ricketts in front of the net, as the Crew will be throwing men forward, led by Federico Higuain, in an attempt to punish Orlando City’s aggressive keeper.

The Citrus Bowl is expecting a big midweek crowd to see if the bad blood will carry over into Open Cup play.

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UPDATE: Mike Magee returns to spark Chicago Fire to end Charlotte Independence’s cup debut, 3-1 (video)

Charlotte Independence Open Cup records
Overall: 3-0-0 | Away: 2-0-0 | vs. MLS: 1-0-0
Last entry: N/A (First entry)
Best finish: N/A (First entry)

Chicago Fire Open Cup records
Overall: 35-12-3 (2-1 PKs) | Home: 21-1-1 (0-1 PKs) | vs. Div. 3: 10-1-1 (0-1 PKs)
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 6-0 at Seattle Sounders of MLS in Semifinals)
Best finish: 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006 US Open Cup champions

WINNER WILL … host Columbus Crew or Orlando City SC

LIVE VIDEO: CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE AT CHICAGO FIRE (8:30 p.m. ET)

HOW THEY GOT HERE …

Charlotte Independence
Round 2: 4-1 win vs. Upward Stars (NPSL)
Round 3: 1-0 win at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
Round 4: 3-1 win at Richmond Kickers (USL)

Chicago Fire
Round 4: 1-0 OT win vs. Louisville City (USL)

By Jeff Engelhardt

Chicago Fire's Fourth Round hero Quincy Amarikwa has been traded to San Jose. Photo: Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire’s Fourth Round hero Quincy Amarikwa has been traded to San Jose. Photo: Chicago Fire

Charlotte Independence will look to continue their dream run in the US Open Cup Tuesday when they head to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., to play one of the tournament’s most successful clubs in the Chicago Fire.

Off to a 4-4-4 start in their inaugural season in the USL, the Charlotte Independence unexpectedly have carried the third division’s flag into the Fifth Round of the Open Cup after a shocking 1-0 victory against the heavily-favored New England Revolution in Boston on June 17. As the lone USL team remaining in the tournament, Charlotte earned the $15,000 tournament prize money.

The Fourth Round victory is part of a four-game unbeaten streak for the Independence, who are coming off a 2-1 victory against the Charleston Battery and a scoreless draw against the Richmond Kickers that was cut short Friday because of heavy rain.

Charlotte will look to continue its unexpected run with help from scoring leaders Ryan Finley and Jorge Herrera, both of whom have been integral in the team’s Open Cup run. Finley notched the lone goal against NASL side Carolina Railhawks in the Third Round to secure Charlotte’s first-ever road win. Herrera followed up that performance with the club’s most famous goal to date, striking a curling effort to the back corner to put away the Revolution.

Bilal Duckett (Left, #15), Jorge Herrera (Right, #10) and Patrick Slogic (Rear) of Charlotte Indepedence celebrating Herrera’s goal against the New England Revolution. Photo: Elise Amendola, AP

Bilal Duckett (Left, #15), Jorge Herrera (Right, #10) and Patrick Slogic (Rear) of Charlotte Indepedence celebrating Herrera’s goal against the New England Revolution. Photo: Elise Amendola, AP

Herrera was named TheCup.us Player of the Round for his efforts against New England and joined the likes of Taylor Twellman, Jason Kreis, and Herculez Gomez with seven career goals in the Open Cup. His seven career tallies rank him second among all Division 3 players in the Modern Era.

Contrary to Charlotte’s dream run, the Chicago Fire are mired in nightmare form, losing four straight MLS games with only the 1-0 extra time Fourth Round Open Cup victory against Louisville City FC offering a taste of victory in the month of June.

The Fire survived a 120-minute affair with the expansion USL side after Quincy Amarikwa connected with a header in the 116th minute to secure the 1-0 victory over Louisville. The Fire will be without the Fourth Round hero after the club traded Amarikwa to the San Jose Earthquakes last week.

In Open Cup competition, the Fire boast an impressive 21-1-1 home record and a 10-1-1 record against Division 3 opponents. But the Fire will still be depleted and looking for answers Tuesday after suffering a 1-0 loss to DC United on June 24 to extend their league losing streak to four games.

Chicago’s big-money, offseason acquisition Shaun Maloney will be out of action after hurting his back against Louisville City. Dynamic speedster David Accam could also be sidelined with a lingering hamstring tweak and the versatile Joevin Jones had to leave Wednesday’s contest because of illness.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will go on to host the winner of the Columbus Crew and Orlando City.

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UPDATE: After nearly three-hour delay, Houston Dynamo edge Colorado Rapids to return to Quarterfinals (video)

Colorado Rapids Open Cup records
Overall: 11-14-0 | Home: 5-1-0 | vs. MLS: 4-5-0
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 2-1 vs. Atlanta Silverbacks of NASL in Round 5)
Best finish: 1999 Runner-up (Lost 2-0 vs. Rochester Raging Rhinos in Final)

Houston Dynamo Open Cup records
Overall: 8-7-1 (0-1 PKs) | Home: 6-2-0 | vs. MLS: 1-5-0
Last entry: 2014 (Lost 3-2 in OT vs. FC Dallas in Round 5)
Best finish: 2012 Fourth Round (Lost 2-1 in OT vs. Charlotte Eagles of USL Pro)

WINNER WILL … play at FC Dallas or Sporting KC

LIVE VIDEO: COLORADO RAPIDS AT HOUSTON DYNAMO (9 p.m. ET)

AUDIO OPTIONS: ENGLISH RADIO | SPANISH RADIO

HOW THEY GOT HERE …

Colorado Rapids
Round 4: 4-1 win vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)

Houston Dynamo
Round 4: 2-0 win vs. Austin Aztex (USL)

By Justin Jerkins

Photo: Houston Dynamo

Photo: Houston Dynamo

There is a mutually shared feeling between the Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo. It is a feeling of frustration as both teams sit in the bottom two slots of Major League Soccer’s highly competitive Western Conference. Halfway through the season, both are several points outside the playoffs with less and less time to make a move.

Part of that frustration is tied to the teams’ poor form in recent matches. In each of their last five fixtures, the lone victory belongs to the Dynamo from nearly a month ago. These teams enter Tuesday’s Fifth Round Open Cup match after road losses – Colorado posted a quiet 2-0 defeat at Sporting Kansas City while Houston recorded a disjointed 2-0 loss to intrastate rivals FC Dallas. This upcoming match serves as an opportunity for one team to regain a little bit of confidence heading into the tough remainder of the MLS season.

Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle has signaled that observers will see another youthful lineup similar to the one that dispatched Austin Aztex from the Fourth Round on June 17. That means more playing time for midfielders Leonel Miranda and Alex who combined skillfully to twist Austin’s defenders in and around the box. Miranda even notched the game-winning goal in that 2-0 victory against Austin, earning him MLS minutes since.

Colorado have also witnessed the breakout of a rookie in the Fourth Round. Defender Joseph Greenspan earned his first start in a 4-1 trouncing of the USL’s Colorado Springs Switchbacks in which Greenspan also netted the game-winning goal for the Rapids. Since then, he’s appeared in two league matches – both of them losses.

DIllon Serna scored two goals and assisted on another in the Rapids' 4-1 win over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. Photo: John Babiak

DIllon Serna scored two goals and assisted on another in the Rapids’ 4-1 win over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. Photo: John Babiak

These two clubs have faced each other in league play back in late March for what resulted in a listless and uneventful scoreless draw in Houston. Colorado have since gone on to tally six more ties for what stands as a league-high nine draws from 17 matches this season.

Both clubs are not only seeking their first US Open Cup title, but they are looking to snap a bad string of results in the tournamnet. The Houston Dynamo have reached the Semifinals twice (2006, 2009), but since they advanced to the final four in 2009, they haven’t won multiple games in a single tournament, including not qualifying for the competition in 2011.

On the other side, the Rapids lost the US Open Cup Final to the Rochester Raging Rhinos in 1999 and since then they have competed in the tournament 11 times. Not once during those 11 seasons have they won more than a single game, which is a Modern Era record the club would rather not have. Whoever wins on Tuesday will win that elusive second straight game and will advance to the Quarterfinals.

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