Angelo Rodriguez, Darwin Quintero - Minnesota United - closeup
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

US Open Cup quarterfinals are set: Early preview for each match

Just like that, merely 10 days since MLS teams entered the competition and two rounds later, the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals are set. With just eight teams left, it's time to start dreaming of that trophy presentation.

The path to the final is set, too, as the winners from the first two listed will face each other in the semifinals, ditto for the second two matchups. The venue, however, is yet to be determined. A draw on July 11 will decide who the host is. 

Orlando City SC vs. NYCFC

One of two MLS vs. MLS matchups in the quarterfinals, Orlando City host NYCFC. When these two face off, it's usually a good game. 

Both have used previous rounds to flex their squad depth, with Orlando giving more chances to young strikers Santiago Patino and Benji Michel, the latter of which scoring the first of two Orlando extra time goals to see Lions past the New England Revolution last round.

As for NYCFC, as you may have heard, Keaton Parks has gotten his first two starts and took full advantage, with a brace in round four then an assist against D.C. United. Will both teams revert to lineups most often used in MLS play?

Atlanta United vs. Saint Louis FC

Speaking of young players breaking out in this tournament, Brandon Vazquez has helped carry ATL UTD to this stage. He's tied for the tournament-lead with four goals. 

They'll face one of two USL Championship sides to continue their Cinderella run to this stage, as Saint Louis FC have eliminated both Chicago Fire and FC Cincinnati. Having scored all three of their goals over those games on headers (two of which set-pieces), Atlanta will have to be ready for an aerial raid. 

Minnesota United vs. New Mexico United FC

Expect goals. 

Perhaps the two teams responsible for some of the most exciting games in the Cup this year, Minnesota and New Mexico meet at Allianz Field in what looks to be a shootout. Darwin Quintero has used the Open Cup to return to his best form, with four goals over two games, while Kevaught Frater, Santi Moar and Devon Sandoval lead a potent NMU attack.

LAFC vs. Portland Timbers

It's hard to get any bigger than the defending Western Conference champions against the Supporters' Shield leaders.

Already a strong team bringing back essentially the entire team that made it to MLS Cup final last year, no one should want to play the Portland Timbers with the form Brian Fernandez is in.

The club-record signing has seven goals in five games, scoring in every single one. Sebastian Blanco is firmly in form while you know the greatness that comes whenever Diego Valeri and Diego Chara are in the lineup. This is a dangerous team.

One team who you don't want to play right now, either? LAFC. In fact, they went to Portland and spoiled Providence Park's grand re-opening on June 1. WIll it be revenge for Portland or more dominance of the same from a dominant 2019 LAFC side?


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