CHICAGO (May 24th)- The full draw for the 2018 US Open Cup was revealed on Thursday morning after the third round wrapped up on Wednesday night. The Fourth Round acts as the round of 32, and incorporates the lowest levels who have advanced with MLS teams. It is the first round where MLS teams are incorporated. The Round of 32 will take place on June 6th. Here are the draws:
New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC
The Hudson River Derby headlines the matchups in this round, as the best rivalry matchup in the early round. NYCFC will be “on the road” as RBNY play host in this matchup.
Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting KC
Real Salt Lake will host defending champions, Sporting KC in their fourth round matchup. This match has actually served as the main rivalry game for Sporting KC and their fans for the last decade. A good Western Conference Rivalry game, and a 2013 MLS Cup rematch will serve as one of the juicier matches in the fourth round.
Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew
This is the third of the four MLSvMLS matchups in the fourth round. Chicago will play host to the Crew, in a nice battle of longtime MLS foes. With the future of soccer in Columbus in the air, the Fire could potentially be looking at their last time being drawn in the same region with Columbus.
Portland Timbers FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
The Timbers are riding a high and will face the much maligned San Jose Earthquakes. The Timbers will be licking their chops as they should feel happy they escaped having to face the Sounders for what feels like the first year in a while. The ‘Quakes however, will have to come up big if they are to repeat their Semi-Final run from last time out.
Minnesota United FC vs. FC Cincinnati
Last year’s deep run, lower division darling will go on the road to start off, taking on Minnesota. An interesting second matchup in the “North Central Region” but we’ll look to see what happens here. I’d put this matchup on “cupset” watch.
Louisville City FC vs. New England Revolution
This one screams “cupset” for me. The reigning USL champs will take on the Revs, who don’t have a good history in this tournament. MLS teams who traveled to lower division opponents last year didn’t have the best luck, so “The Revs are on watch.”
Nashville SC vs. Colorado Rapids
Nashville SC will play host to the Rapids in another great cupset bid. The Rapids have been struggling incredibly lately, and Nashville has had a good opening run in the USL. The Rapids, having to go on short rest, across the country, to play on a baseball field just doesn’t scream ideal for them.
Houston Dynamo vs. North Texas Rayados
The Rayados might just be this year’s Christos FC. The amateur side from North Dallas will face off against the Dynamo, whose run in 2017 didn’t make it past the round of 16, thanks to Sporting KC.
D.C. United vs. North Carolina FC
D.C. United were able to handle Christos FC before, and they should be quite able to handle North Carolina FC. But, with DC’s current form, all bets are off.
San Antonio FC vs. FC Dallas
Another solid Texas Matchup, as FC Dallas travels down to the Alamo. FC Dallas will be looking to start another run, and San Antonio FC will be looking to play upset. This shouldn’t be too difficult of a situation for Dallas to get a result, but San Antonio is good.
Philadelphia Union vs. Richmond Kickers FC
The Union would like to get a nice cup run going again, and while Richmond have looked impressive lately, the Union should be able to handle a lower division side at home.
LA Galaxy vs. FC Golden State Force
Ahhh another amateur cup darling! Zlatan will have a new meal? Who knows. But FC Golden State has taken care of business up until this point. But the LA Galaxy stand in the way. Thats a tough one.
Miami United vs. Orlando City
Another deep run team, (sort of) as Miami United FC return in the form of an NPSL squad. But now, they face off against a stronger Orlando City team. They’ll be without Yotun, who will be out with the Peru squad in the World Cup, but should be able to take care of business.
Los Angeles FC vs. Fresno FC
LAFC make their first forray into the US Open Cup as their current iteration. Fresno FC will be also make their debut in the tournament as part of the USL. The Frank Yallop led team will be looking to stake it’s own West Coast Claim.
Atlanta United FC vs Charleston Battery
This is actually a fun matchup, as the Battery are led up front by an Atlanta United Loanee, Gordon Wild. Atlanta United will play their first home matchup in the tournament, and are hoping to go after their first trophy. Will they fall to another lower division team? This should be an intriguing one though.
Sacramento Republic FC vs Seattle Sounders FC
The Sounders will travel to Sacramento, where they lost in a preseason game with their full squad. SRFC have yet to make a deep run, but the now perennial USL power will be looking to get their first big “cupset” on the board and take off on a long run to the cup.