U.S. Soccer announced possible pairings for the 2017 U.S. Open Cup’s fourth round this morning. Atlanta United FC have been paired with the winner of May 31’s Charleston Battery/Jacksonville Armada match and will open competition with MLS’ other U.S.-based teams on June 14. United later won a coin flip that determined the host of the match.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Doug Roberson reported on Twitter that the match will be played at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University. U.S. Soccer has officially confirmed.
#atlutd open cup fourth round game will be played at kennesaw state— Doug Roberson (@DougRobersonAJC) May 18, 2017
It will be part of a busy eight days for Atlanta that sees them involved in two league matches: away against the Chicago Fire on June 10 and home against Columbus Crew SC on June 17.
The potential opponents aren’t surprising since matchups are set to be geographically based if possible. It also means that neither Jacksonville or Charleston will have to travel too terribly far since both cities are roughly a five-hour drive away (minus traffic).
Many wondered what venue the club would use to host the game, since Bobby Dodd Stadium is not contracted to host U.S. Open Cup Matches. The show pitch at Childrens’ Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground (which has a capacity of 2,500) was a theoretical possibility, but Darren Eales has said that the venue would be out of play this year for Cup competition. A couple of options possibly in play were Grady Stadium near Midtown Atlanta or Lakewood Stadium in the southeast part of town, both of which could provide sufficient seating (6,500 and 10,000, respectively). Fifth Third Bank Stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 8,300.