Photo courtesy Mark Guthrel / Saint Louis FC
CHICAGO – Four USL clubs could welcome MLS opposition in the Fourth Round of the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with a handful of potential rematches also on the cards, following the completion of the draw on Thursday morning at U.S. Soccer House.
The Charlotte Independence, Saint Louis FC, Rochester Rhinos and Louisville City FC were all drawn to host MLS opponents should they advance through their Third Round matchups on June 1, with the Independence again slated to face the New England Revolution, a side they upset 1-0 in last year’s fourth round. The Independence will visit the Carolina RailHawks in the Third Round.
Saint Louis FC, meanwhile, would welcome 2015 Open Cup champion Sporting Kansas City to World Wide Technology Soccer Park should it defeat Minnesota United FC in two weeks, with the club’s memorable trip to Children’s Mercy Park last year fresh in many memories.
Louisville City FC would get a rematch with the Chicago Fire should it take victory against Indy Eleven, while 2015 USL Champions the Rochester Rhinos would get to host the New York Red Bulls should it defeat the Lansdowne Bhoys.
Regional matchups dotted the remainder of the draw, with the Richmond Kickers set to visit D.C. United should it take victory against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, and the Harrisburg City Islanders set to visit the Philadelphia Union with a win against Chattanooga FC. The Charleston Battery, after being handed re-entry into the tournament due to an ineligible player, would get the chance to take on former USL rival Orlando City SC should they take victory against Jacksonville Armada FC.
OKC Energy FC would have the chance to face FC Dallas for a second consecutive season with a win against Rayo OKC, while Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC would meet the Colorado Rapids with a win against Arizona United SC in the only all-USL contest of the Third Round.
Newcomers San Antonio FC and FC Cincinnati would get the chance to take on regional MLS competition with Third Round victories, with SAFC set to visit the Houston Dynamo if it defeats the PDL’s Des Moines Menace, and Cincinnati set to visit Columbus Crew SC should it get past the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Elsewhere, Sacramento Republic FC has the chance to earn a visit to Seattle Sounders FC with a victory against the PDL’s Kitsap Pumas, while Wilmington Hammerheads FC would visit Real Salt Lake for the second time with a win against The Miami FC in the Third Round. The Hammerheads visited Rio Tinto Stadium last in 2011, when the MLS side took a 2-0 victory.
2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Fourth Round Draw
Wednesday, June 15
LA Galaxy (MLS) vs. LA Wolves FC (USASA) or La Maquina (USASA)
Philadelphia Union (MLS) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) or Chattanooga FC (NPSL)
D.C. United (MLS) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL) or Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
Columbus Crew SC (MLS) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL) or Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)
Louisville City FC (USL) vs. Chicago Fire (MLS)
or Chicago Fire (MLS) vs. Indy Eleven (NASL)
Saint Louis FC (USL) or Minnesota United FC (NASL) vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
FC Dallas (MLS) vs. OKC Energy FC (USL)
or Rayo OKC (NASL) vs. FC Dallas (MLS)
Houston Dynamo (MLS) vs. San Antonio FC (USL) or Des Moines Menace (PDL)
Colorado Rapids (MLS) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL) or Arizona United SC (USL)
Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) vs. Sacramento Republic FC (USL) or Kitsap Pumas (PDL)
Portland Timbers (MLS) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)
New York City FC (MLS) vs. New York Cosmos (NASL) or Jersey Express (PDL)/New York Pancyprian Freedoms (USASA)
Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)
or New York Red Bulls (MLS) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys (USASA)
Jacksonville Armada FC (NASL) vs. Orlando City SC (MLS)
or Orlando City SC (MLS) vs. Charleston Battery (USL) – Host to be determined
Real Salt Lake (MLS) vs. Wilmington Hammerheads FC (USL) or The Miami FC (NASL)
Charlotte Independence (USL) or Carolina RailHawks (NASL) vs. New England Revolution (MLS)