Open Cup Fifth Round Preview: New York Derby highlights round of 16

IMAGE, USSOCCER.COM

by RYAN BRISTER
MLS Writer

Sixteen teams, fourteen of which play in MLS, remain in this year’s edition of the U.S. Open Cup. For the first time, the bracket has been set for the remainder of the tournament; teams know what their routes to the final will entail. One of these teams will win four more games and lift the trophy in September.

Philadelphia Union vs. DC United, Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The geographic nature of the Open Cup’s set-up produces a short trip, if not a rivalry match to start off the fifth round. The Union and United have both reached the final in the last two years, but that’s about where the similarities between the two clubs end. DC has the best record in MLS, while the Union have languished near the bottom. Still, they’ve split their two games this season.

Orlando City SC vs. Columbus Crew SC, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

For the first time as an MLS side, Orlando will host an Open Cup match at the Citrus Bowl. The Crew make the trip to Florida, the longest journey for any team in the fifth round. Columbus won the first meeting between these clubs, but the more recent game in Orlando ended in a 2-2 draw.

Chicago Fire vs. Charlotte Independence, Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.

The last remaining USL side has to head north again, this time to Chicago. Charlotte reached the fifth round with a 1-0 win on an excellent goal against the New England Revolution. They have a 4-4-4 record in USL play this season, and most recently played a draw against Richmond on Friday night. The Fire have been on the bottom of MLS this season, and haven’t played since a Wednesday night loss to DC.

Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids, Tuesday at 9 p.m.

The first time Houston and Colorado faced each other this year, it ended in a scoreless draw. At least there will be penalties to prevent the same from happening tonight. Both teams suffered 2-0 losses on the road this weekend, and they’re currently ninth and 10th in the Western Conference.

New York Red Bulls vs. New York Cosmos, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

With one derby taken care of, the Red Bulls now have to turn their focus to hosting another. They’ll be seeking revenge for an embarrassing 3-0 defeat last year at Shuart Stadium against the Cosmos. For the Red Bulls, it will be their fifth game in 16 days. It will be just the second game in that span for the Cosmos, who haven’t played since their victory in penalties over NYCFC. Whether that will manifest as rest or rust will be interesting to see.

Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas, Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.

Like the Red Bulls, SKC has the ability to go all the way to the final before playing a road game. They’re expecting another large crowd for Wednesday night’s game against Dallas. The Hoops had a rough night the last time they were in Kansas City; they lost 4-0 and went down to 10 men in the process.

Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers, Wednesday at 10 p.m.

This is another match where the regular season meeting resulted in a scoreless draw. The Timbers enter tomorrow night’s match on a high after their 4-1 win over on Seattle on Sunday. But though RSL has struggled this season, Rio Tinto Stadium is never an easy place to play. Timbers owner Merritt Paulson was publicly upset about the fact that the Timbers will be on the road again, while Salt Lake has hosted both Open Cup matches.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.

A few trends would seem to favor the Earthquakes heading into this California Clasico. You might recall how they dispatched the Galaxy 3-1 on Saturday night. LA has yet to win away from home this season. And historically, Bruce Arena hasn’t given the Open Cup his full attention with the Galaxy. But anything is possible over 90 minutes, and the Galaxy are certainly capable of better than their Saturday performance would suggest.


As was the case with previous rounds, none of these games will be televised nationally. The majority, however, will have streams available online. Those will be available on U.S. Soccer’s Youtube page.