Chicago Fire vs. Louisville City FC | 2018 U.S. Open Cup Match Preview

ExLink - 07/18/18 - CHIvLOU

Chicago Fire vs. Louisville City FC
U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals

Toyota Park — Bridgeview
July 18 - 8:30 pm ET


After knocking off Atlanta United in front of the largest crowd in U.S. Open Cup history on a Nemanja Nikolic goal in the 54th minute, the Chicago Fire return home for their 14th quarterfinal appearance in club history, good for third most in USOC history.

Louisville City FC became the first team from Kentucky to make the quarterfinals in tournament history by defeating Nashville SC, 2-1, in a battle of USL rivals.

This is the second USOC meeting between Chicago and Louisville City with Quincy Amarikwa netting the extra-time winner in a 1-0 victory in the Fourth Round of the 2015 tournament.

Chicago Fire    

The Fire come into the match off a 3-1 loss at FC Dallas Saturday night.

Carlos Gruezo scored the lone goal of the first half and Kellyn Acosta and Reto Ziegler (PK) struck seven minutes apart to five FC Dallas a commanding 3-0 lead. That came after Drew Conner was sent off for his second bookable offense in the 70th minute.

Brandt Bronico scored a cosmetic goal four minutes from full time or the Fire, who dropped their third straight game.

“We had two difficult games in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open Cup against two really good teams away,” said Nikolic, who has three goals in two USOC matches this year. “We showed great character in these games and the next game on Wednesday will be really important for us, for the club, for the fans. We are prepared and of course our goal is to go to the next round.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Matt Polster (MCL surgery), GK - Patrick McLain (hamstring injury), F - Luis Solignac (left quad injury), D - Grant Lillard (right quad injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Kevin Ellis (undisclosed injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Stefan Cleveland — Drew Conner, Johan Kappelhof Christian Dean, Brandon Vincent, Mohammed Adams, Dax McCarty — Elliot Collier, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Aleksandar Katai — Nemanja Nikolic

Louisville City FC

Louisville City are fourth in the USL’s Eastern Conference with an 8-4-5 record and enter the match following a 2-1 loss to the Charleston Battery at MUSC Health Stadium Saturday night.

The Battery raced out to an early lead when Ataullah Guerra scored inside five minutes on his own rebound and the hosts doubled their advantage when Neveal Hackshaw headed home from close range in the 27th minute.

Louisville City had late life on an own goal by Taylor Mueller, but all hope of a comeback was dashed when Oscar Jimenez was sent off deep in stoppage time.

“We have to learn from this and take action to not let it happen again,” Louisville player-coach Luke Spencer said. “We’re going to reflect on this game, learn from what we can do better, and move forward to Chicago.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: Richard Ballard (stress fracture), Luke Spencer (knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-1-4-1, right to left)
GK: Greg Ranjitsingh — Pat McMahon, Paco Craig, Sean Totsch, Oscar Jimenez — Paolo DelPiccolo — Niall McCabe, Magnus Rasmussen, Devon Williams, Kyle Smith — Cameron Lancaster

All-Time in U.S. Open Cup

  • Overall: Chicago Fire 48 wins, 117 goals … Louisville City SC 5 wins, 16 goals
  • This is the second all-time meeting in the U.S. Open Cup with the Chicago Fire beating Louisville City, 1-0, in the Fourth Round on June 16, 2015