USOC: MLS teams could face long trips in draw shakeup
NEW YORK — When MLS teams enter the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at the third-round stage this year, many may find themselves travelling cross-country after a radical shake-up to the tournament format.
With the results of Wednesday's draw, only five MLS sides will have the luxury of hosting their opening match in the tournament, whereas five out of the six NASL teams in the tournament will be guaranteed to host an MLS outfit, if they make it to Round 3.
Three teams who look almost certain to rack up significant air miles are the Seattle Sounders (who are looking for their fourth straight Open Cup title), Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy, who may face away trips to the Atlanta Silverbacks, Wilmington Hammerheads and Carolina RailHawks, respectively.
The big difference between this year’s competition and previous years is that there is no longer a bidding process to determine which team will host the games. There was instead a more formal draw, which has landed lower-division sides with the real possibility of hosting many MLS opponents, up until the semifinal stage.
For the full bracket, click here.
US OPEN CUP THIRD ROUND (Ties to be played on Tuesday, May 29)
Houston Dynamo (MLS) at Laredo Heat (PDL): Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex; Laredo, Texas; 8:30 pm ET OR at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL): Heroes Stadium; San Antonio, Texas; 8:30 pm ET
Chicago Fire (MLS) at Michigan Bucks (PDL): Ultimate Soccer; Pontiac, Mich.; 7:30 pm ET OR Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO) at Chicago Fire (MLS): Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.; 8:30 pm ET
KC Athletics (USASA)/Orlando City Soccer Club (USL PRO) Winner at Sporting Kansas City (MLS): LIVESTRONG Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.; 8:30 pm ET
D.C. United (MLS) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO): Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.; 7 pm ET OR Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC (USASA) at D.C. United (MLS): Maryland SoccerPlex Stadium; Boyds, Md.; 7:30 pm ET
Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO)/Chicago Fire PDL (PDL) Winner at Columbus Crew (MLS): Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio; 7:30 pm ET
Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO)/El Paso Patriots (PDL) Winner at FC Dallas (MLS): FC Dallas Stadium; Frisco, Texas; 8:30 pm ET
Fresno Fuego (PDL)/Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) Winner at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS): Cagan Stadium, Stanford University; Stanford, Calif.; 10:30 pm ET
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL)/Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO) Winner at Philadelphia Union (MLS): PPL Park; Chester, Pa.; 7:30 pm ET
Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) at New England Revolution (MLS): TBD; Time TBD OR New England Revolution (MLS) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO): Hershey Park Stadium; Hershey, Pa.; 7 pm ET
Reading United AC (PDL) at New York Red Bulls (MLS): Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.; 7 pm ET OR New York Red Bulls (MLS) at Charleston Battery (USL PRO): Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.; 7:30 pm ET
Chivas USA (MLS) vs. Ventura County Fusion (PDL); TBD; Time TBD OR Chivas USA (MLS) at Los Angeles Blues (USL PRO): Titan Stadium, Cal State Fullerton; Fullerton, Calif.; 7 pm
PSA Elite (USASA) at LA Galaxy (MLS): The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.; 7:30 pm PT OR LA Galaxy (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL): WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.; 7:07 pm ET
Colorado Rapids (MLS) at Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL): Al Lang Stadium; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Tuesday, May 29 at 7:30 pm ET OR Jacksonville United (NPSL) at Colorado Rapids (MLS): Dick's Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.; 7 pm MT
Cal FC (USASA) at Portland Timbers (MLS): JELD-WEN Field; Portland, Ore.; 10:30 pm ET OR Portland Timbers (MLS) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO): Legion Sports Park; Wilmington, N.C.; 7 pm ET
Seattle Sounders (MLS) at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL): Atlanta Silverbacks Park; Atlanta, Ga.; 7:30 pm ET OR Georgia Revolution (NPSL) at Seattle Sounders (MLS): Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.; 10 pm ET
Real Salt Lake (MLS) at Minnesota Stars FC (NASL): National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.; 8:30 pm ET OR Des Moines Menace (PDL) at Real Salt Lake (MLS): Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah; 9 pm ET