After a full week of Major League Soccer, the U.S. Open Cup makes its return as the quarterfinals will reveal who will are contenders and who are pretenders. Here is a breakdown of each matchup.
Seven Major League Soccer clubs and one United Soccer League club remain in the United States’ domestic cup competition. The U.S. Open Cup appears to be wide open in terms of a favorite to lift the trophy.
At the moment, it appears that a club from the Western Conference will likely lift the trophy. But all four that remain from the west have a legitimate chance of becoming the champions, which makes it a tough race to call.
On Wednesday, all four quarterfinals will take place across the span of six hours. Here’s a quick breakdown of each matchup.
Orlando City Vs Philadelphia Union – 7:00 PM
Two of the current bottom dwellers in the Eastern Conference table will battle for a spot in the semifinals. Orlando City had a massive result on Saturday that might signal a late rally to catch up and make a push for the playoffs. They should take this match very seriously as the Open Cup might be the one competition this season where they can find success.
The Philadelphia Union, much like Orlando, should be focusing on this competition as their playoff hopes are in limbo and this offers a very real opportunity to win a trophy.
Chicago Fire Vs Louisville City – 8:30 PM
The flag bearers for the USL, Louisville City, are looking to repeat their fellow league members Cinnicianti FC’s success from last year’s competition. Their opponents, the Chicago Fire, should be in a prime position to advance and might be on their way to the final if they draw either Orlando or Philadelphia in the semifinal.
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Houston Dynamo Vs Sporting Kansas City – 8:30 PM
A tough match awaits for defending champions Sporting Kansas City. The Houston Dynamo pose a potent offensive threat and will be looking to use it to their advantage against a defense that has given up 11 goals in their last four matches.
SKC will have to shake off their recent MLS woes in the hope that they can repeat as champions of the domestic cup. A win here could also help give SKC a springboard to regaining confidence in the league.
LAFC Vs Portland Timbers -10:30 PM
This is by far the most intriguing match of the four, especially since Los Angeles FC and the Portland Timbers played just three days prior. On Sunday, a scoreless draw left much to be answered about how this quarterfinal matchup will play out. Expect both clubs to give 100% and produce a thrilling match.
The winner of the competition may very well come from this quarterfinal. Both LAFC and the Timbers have had terrific seasons thus far and have not shown any signs of slowing down in their respective forms.
It is a great slate of quarterfinals. The U.S. Open Cup is reaching its latter stages, where the stakes are high and the dreams of a trophy are slowly realised. This is where it matters most, and that only makes these games even more exciting.