Though Atlanta United was ousted from the U.S. Open Cup last month by a lower-division team, the tournament still is very interesting and is reaching the point where MLS teams are starting to care. Now, teams are just three wins away from a trophy and with the Gold Cup break, we will most likely see more first-team players from the MLS squads.
The quarterfinal hosts were determined in the round of 16 draws, which saw teams grouped by region. After this round, another draw will determine the host from the winners.
Here are the matchup rankings based on intrigue.
- Miami FC (NASL) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL), Wednesday, July 12, 7:30 p.m. ET, Riccardo Silva Stadium (Fla. International Univ.)
These are the last two lower-division teams remaining and both have picked off two MLS to reach the quarterfinals. Cincinnati has played in front of raucous crowds at home, but will now have to travel to South Florida to face an incredibly talented Miami FC team. This is first purely for the hunger these two sides have displayed and their desperation to continue. Plus, USL vs. NASL will be a fun Twitter battle to watch, I’m sure.
A Cali Classico featuring one team who recently fired their manager and another struggling to find their identity. Sure, San Jose has seen an uptick in form since Dom Kinnear departed, but will that sustain? It may be hard as three Earthquakes are out for the Gold Cup and LA has looked its best on the road.
These two teams have been able to put it together all season, both in league play and tournament play. FC Dallas is the reigning champs and you’d expect them to start smelling blood in the water. SKC will need to find where their scoring will come from as Dwyer plays for the national team. These are definitely the two best teams remaining, so it’s a shame they had to meet this early.
Red Bulls have bounced two MLS teams to reach the quarterfinals and New England looked quite solid in their first two matches. Because both sit below the playoff line now, you can expect both clubs—especially New England—to see this as their best chance to win a trophy this season.
The matches will be broadcasted online, so check the home team’s website for their live streaming service.