US Open Cup: Six MLS teams start cup quest on Tuesday night | Matchday Preview
The US Open Cup fourth round moves into its third day of four, and six more MLS teams begin their quest for the cup on Tuesday night. The Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers are all at home, while D.C. United must hit the road. You can check out outlooks for games below, and be sure to check back on MLSsoccer.com for more US Open Cup previews and headlines and another preview article on Wednesday. Fans will also be able to find MatchCenters, live updates and links to streams on game night.
Philadelphia Union - Harrisburg City Islanders
Tuesday, June 17, 7 pm ET
PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
Watch Live Online
CHESTER, Pa. – Jim Curtin is about to get his first true coaching test.
A week after being named Philadelphia Union’s interim manager following the firing of John Hackworth, Curtin will lead Philly against the Harrisburg City Islanders in the fourth round of the US Open Cup on Tuesday at PPL Park.
“This club needs a trophy,” Curtin said. “There’s only two that you can lift, and that’s one of them, so we’re going to take it very seriously.”
- Get more Union headlines at PhiladelphiaUnion.com
Curtin admitted Tuesday’s game will be “tricky” because the City Islanders are Philadelphia’s USL PRO affiliate and rode the strong play of Jimmy McLaughlin and Richie Marquez other players on loan from the Union to a 4-2 win over the Baltimore Bohemians in the third round.
But after discussing the matter with Harrisburg head coach Bill Becher, Curtin said that no Union players will suit up for the City Islanders (McLaughlin and Marquez also cannot play for Philly, since they are cup-tied to Harrisburg, but Cristhian Hernandez and Pedro Ribeiro, who have not played for Harrisburg in the Open Cup, could be eligible for Philadelphia).
“In my mind, if Jimmy McLaughlin scores two goals to knock the Philadelphia Union out of a major competition, why set yourself up for something like that?” Curtin said. “It’s silly.”
Rochester Rhinos - D.C. United
Tuesday, June 17, 7:05 pm ET
Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester, N.Y.
Watch FREE on DCUnited.com
D.C. United will begin defense of their improbable 2013 US Open Cup title on Tuesday evening when they travel north for a clash with the USL PRO Rochester Rhinos.
United's 2013 title was a rare bright spot in a historically bad season: D.C. actually won more games in Open Cup play (four) than they did during their entire MLS campaign (three). Things have changed considerably in 2014 – United currently sit atop the Eastern Conference after a midweek victory over the Montreal Impact.
- Learn more about United's rich Open Cup history at DCUnited.com
D.C. enter the match in relatively good health, though a few question marks remain. Center back Jeff Parke (foot), striker Eddie Johnson (ankle) and Chris Korb (hamstring) are all questionable for Tuesday's encounter.
The two sides have met in USOC play on four separate occasions – including the 1996 title game – with United emerging victorious in every match. Rochester – the only non-MLS side to have won the Open Cup since the league's inception – are coming off a 1-0 loss this past weekend at the hands of Arizona United SC, which left them tied for fourth in the USL PRO table.
Columbus Crew - Indy Eleven
Tuesday, June 17, 7:30 pm ET
FIrstEnergy Stadium, Akron, Ohio
Watch FREE at TheCrew.com
Tuesday's matchup between the Columbus Crew and Indy Eleven marks the MLS side's return to action for the first time since the end of a grueling stretch of three games in eight days between May 31 and June 7.
After a full week off, when Crew players and coaches said they would be spending some time away from the sport, the team faces NASL expansion side Indy, who beat Crew affiliate USL PRO side Dayton Dutch Lions in the third round of the Cup.
- Get the latest Columbus Crew headlines at TheCrew.com
Columbus are the home team, but the match will be played at the University of Akron's stadium. The Crew lost to the Chicago Fire in the fourth round of last year's tournament and only reached the third round of the previous two competitions. It is the first Open Cup participation for Indy Eleven, in their first season.
FC Dallas - San Antonio Scorpions
Tuesday, June 17, 9 pm ET
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas enter the fourth round of the US Open Cup on Tuesday looking for a chance to shake off an up-and-down first half of their MLS season and start a run at a championship.
Winners in 1997, Dallas have traditionally taken the competition seriously. With their hot start of the MLS season now significantly cooled, they have good reason to try to make the most of the knockout tournament.
“Oscar [Pareja, head coach] has stressed it so much,” said FCD defender Stephen Keel. “Our owner’s name is on the trophy. This is the game, all eyes are on tomorrow night.”
FC Dallas host fellow Texans, the San Antonio Scorpions of the North American Soccer League. San Antonio enter the game having done well in the spring season of the NASL, finishing three points shy of the short-season championship. The Scorpions feature former FC Dallas forward Eric Hassli and Josue Soto, who played for Southern Methodist University before having stints in MLS with the Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA.
“The competition is going to be very difficult tomorrow,” Pareja said on Monday. “It’s a team that we respect a lot.”
Dallas reached the USOC quarterfinals last season, their run highlighted by a 3-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo before losing to the Portland Timbers 3-2.
Colorado Rapids vs. Orlando City
Tuesday, June 17, 9 pm ET
Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Tuesday night’s Lamar Hunt US Open Cup fixture against Orlando City might be a chance for Colorado Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni to give veterans Edson Buddle, Vicente Sanchez and Gabriel Torres a run after returning from injury.
With the trio all missing several games prior to the World Cup break but now fit to return, Mastroeni may give each of them a chance for the home encounter against the USL PRO side.
“It could be,” Mastroeni said on Friday of the possibility of playing the trio in the Rapids’ first US Open Cup home match since 2007. “Moving forward, I want to make sure that we have [good partnerships] intact before we start deviating from that in terms of lineup changes.”
Tuesday night’s fixture pits the Rapids against the team that knocked them out of the competition last year. The soon-to-be MLS side won 3-1 at the Citrus Bowl last May on the back of a second-half brace from Dom Dwyer.
Should the Rapids win, they would host the Atlanta Silverbacks next week. Atlanta defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1 on a last-gasp, second half injury-time winner this past Saturday night.
Portland Timbers vs. Orlando City U-23s
Tuesday, June 17, 10:30 pm ET
Providence Park, Portland, Ore.
Watch Live Online
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers will welcome Rodney Wallace back to the mix in Tuesday’s US Open Cup game against the Orlando City U-23s.
Wallace, who underwent surgery in December after suffering an ACL tear in Portland’s Western Conference Championship of the MLS Cup Playoffs last year, has been slowly reintegrating himself with the team for the past several weeks. He made two rehab appearances and scored a goal while on loan with USL PRO side Arizona United last week.
“We’re looking to start him and have a good run, so great opportunity and everything has gone as planned,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter told the media on Sunday.
Wallace scored seven goals last year in a breakout season for the Timbers and will likely be one of the few first-choice players to get a run against the Orlando City PDL side. Although Porter noted that as many as 20 players on Portland’s roster have started games.
“By no means will it be a second group,” he said.
– DAN ITEL