Open Cup: MLS teams hit road Saturday to preserve perfect record in 4th round | Matchday Preview
The US Open Cup fourth round continues this weekend, and this year, that means 16 US-based MLS teams are making their debuts in the competition. The fourth-round games are spread between June 11, 14, 17 and 18. Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA and the New York Red Bulls are the teams in action on Saturday, and you can check out outlooks for games below. Be sure to check back on MLSsoccer.com for more US Open Cup previews and headlines.
Saturday, June 14, 7:30 pm ET
Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Atlanta
Watch FREE on RealSaltLake.com
Real Salt Lake are limping into Atlanta winless in their last four MLS games (0-2-2) and missing a number of players. In addition to captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando, on duty with the USMNT in Brazil, the Claret-and-Cobalt are without midfielder Ned Grabavoy (hip flexor), defender Carlos Salcedo (illness), forward Álvaro Saborío (foot surgery) and several other players working their way back from injuries.
Despite his shorthanded roster, RSL head coach Jeff Cassar insists the Open Cup is a priority for his team.
“It's a chance for us to get back to [the CONCACAF] Champions League,” he told reporters earlier this week. “We've also got to be mindful of our players, though. It's on turf. Guys have had to play a lot of extended minutes – more than we wanted them to, due to injuries.”
The Silverbacks aren't coming into Saturday's match at the top of their game, either. They finished the spring season in a three-way tie for sixth place in the 10-team NASL and are 1-3-1 in their last five league matches. They did, however, beat the NPSL's Chattanooga FC, 5-0, to advance to meet RSL.
RSL, who made it to the USOC final last year before being upset by D.C. United, barely beat Atlanta in 2013. Playing at home, the match went to overtime before Salt Lake claimed a 4-3 win.
Saturday, June 14, 8 pm ET
WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.
Watch FREE on CDChivasUSA.com
Chivas USA have been more effective on the road than at home this year, grabbing at least a point in four of their six away matches in league play. That could be a confidence boost for the Rojiblancos this Saturday when they face the RailHawks in Cary, N.C., where they were eliminated from the US Open Cup last year shortly after the firing of enigmatic coach José Luis “El Chelís” Sánchez Solá.
This will mark the sides’ third meeting in as many years; Carolina advanced with a 3-1 victory in last season, and the Goats won in 2012. The RailHawks will put their 21-game home unbeaten streak on the line.
“The good thing about us is that when we play away, we’re good,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters last week. “We played away [Sunday] and it was good. It was the team we know and the team we still need to see more often.”
Saturday, June 14, 8:30 pm ET
James M. Shuart Stadium, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.
Watch FREE on USSoccer.com (Game of the Round)
Click here to get the latest from the Cosmos and Red Bulls ahead of their historic Open Cup clash.