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Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Previews – Tuesday, April 19

By Staff, 04/18/22, 4:25PM EDT


A South Florida rivalry begins, plus returns to former stomping grounds for SD Loyal’s Donovan, Toros’ Cabrera in Third Round

San Diego Loyal SC Head Coach Landon Donovan will lead his side against the LA Galaxy in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - a tournament the U.S. soccer legend won in the Galaxy's colors in 2005 - on Tuesday night. | Photo courtesy San Diego Loyal SC

The Third Round of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup opens on Tuesday night with a prime collection of contests that include the start of a South Florida rivalry, and familiar faces in San Diego Loyal SC’s Landon Donovan and Rio Grande Valley FC’s Wilmer Cabrera returning to face their former clubs with an eye on an upset and place in the Fourth Round of the tournament.

Here’s a look ahead at the night’s contests featuring USL Championship sides.

Miami FC vs. Inter Miami FC

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: Riccardo Silva Stadium
Broadcast: ESPN+

One of the most anticipated contests since the draw was made, the Miami Clasico will see Miami FC play host to Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami CF with hopes of emulating its giant-killing run during the 2017 edition of the tournament. Miami advanced to the Quarterfinals five years ago as it earned victories against both Orlando City SC on the road and Atlanta United FC at home before finally bowing out. Miami FC is in solid form currently, having earned consecutive victories in the USL Championship after a 2-0 win against Hartford Athletic on Saturday night that saw Kyle Murphy and Romeo Parkes find the net. Inter Miami has also won consecutive games in the league after an impressive 1-0 victory against Seattle Sounders FC at Lumen Field on Robbie Robinson’s goal late in the first half. While Tuesday night will mark the first meeting between the clubs, the two coaching staffs will be well acquainted, with current Miami FC Head Coach Anthony Pulis having worked as an assistant for IMCF Head Coach Phil Neville last season.

FC Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: TQL Stadium
Broadcast: ESPN+

Two former rivals in the USL Championship will square off for the first time in the Open Cup when Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC heads to visit current Major League Soccer club FC Cincinnati, which held the upper hand when the teams squared off over three seasons between 2016-18. FCC went 4-0-4 overall when the clubs met in the Championship, but the lack of Hounds victories belied some memorable contests between the sides that included a 2-2 draw at Nippert Stadium in 2018 in which Pittsburgh twice took the lead before Cincinnati rallied to earn a point on Kenney Walker’s goal with 12 minutes to go. Cincinnati is currently in 12th place in the Eastern Conference this season with two wins from seven games but earned a 0-0 draw against Atlanta United FC this past weekend in Georgia under new Head Coach Pat Noonan. The Hounds, meanwhile, suffered their first defeat of the campaign in a 1-0 loss on the road against Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday and will be hoping for a sharper attacking display as the side tries to defeat an MLS opponent for the first time in the tournament in club history.

Detroit City FC vs. Columbus Crew

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Keyworth Stadium
Broadcast: ESPN+

Detroit City FC will face Major League Soccer opposition for the first time in the Open Cup in club history when it welcomes the Columbus Crew to Keyworth Stadium for an anticipated sellout for the hosts. DCFC advanced to the Third Round of the Open Cup for the first time in its history with a 3-0 victory against the Michigan Stars two weeks ago as Matt Lewis scored a pair of goals. That result mirrored the side’s strong league form that has seen it go undefeated in its last five outings after a 1-0 win at home to Birmingham Legion FC on Friday night. DCFC has had several key figures emerge both returning and new in its squad, with goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher (3 shutouts, 0.50 GAA), Maxi Rodriguez (1 goal, 1 assist) and Antoine Hoppenot (3 goals, 1 assist) leading the way. The Crew, by contrast, have lost three games in a row after a 2-0 defeat at home to Orlando City SC on Saturday, and have been held scoreless in all three outings. Columbus advanced to the Round of 16 when the tournament was last held, defeating the Championship’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the Fourth Round, and will be eager to avoid elimination in the Third Round for the first time since 2012.

Birmingham Legion FC vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Birmingham-Southern College
Broadcast: ESPN+

Birmingham Legion FC will once again head on the road from its usual home of Protective Stadium as it plays host to South Georgia Tormenta FC on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College with a chance to advance to the Fourth Round of the tournament for the first time in its history. Legion FC fell to Louisville City FC at this stage three years ago when the tournament was last played and is starting to put the pieces together for a new-look attack that has shown promise in recent weeks. Birmingham advanced out of the Second Round with a 3-1 victory against Southern States SC that saw Prosper Kasim, Bruno Lapa and Marlon each find the net, and since then new arrival and former United States international Juan Agudelo has also scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win against Hartford Athletic on April 10. Legion FC will face USL League One side Tormenta FC for a place in the next round, with the Georgia side still looking for its first win of the league season two games in. Tormenta FC upset Championship opposition in the prior round, however, as Arthur Bosua scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against the Charleston Battery, and Birmingham will want to be careful to avoid the same fate. 

FC Dallas vs. FC Tulsa

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Broadcast: ESPN+

FC Tulsa will head to Texas as it tries to claim its first result on the road this season against an FC Dallas side that has lost only once so far this campaign. Tulsa advanced to the Third Round of the tournament two weeks ago with a victory against local amateur side Tulsa Athletic at ONEOK Field when early goals by Brian Brown and Ronald Rodriguez were enough to take a 2-1 victory. Since then, however, the side has fallen twice in league play, including a 3-1 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rowdies this past Saturday at Al Lang Stadium that saw JJ Williams score his fourth goal of the campaign. The two sides met in the Open Cup when Tulsa reached the Fourth Round in 2017 when Dallas took a 2-1 victory as a late own goal sunk the visitors on that occasion at SMU’s Westcott Field. The clubs have had past interactions beyond the Open Cup as well; both current FC Dallas starters Jesus Ferreira and Brandon Servania went on loan with Tulsa early in their careers, with Ferreira now a regular for the United States Men’s National Team and tied for the MLS lead with five goals this campaign.

Houston Dynamo FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: PNC Stadium
Broadcast: ESPN+

Rio Grande Valley FC will face its former partner club as it takes on Houston Dynamo FC looking to spring a surprise against the MLS side. The Toros are looking to build on a 1-0 victory in the league on Friday night against the New York Red Bulls II that saw Frank Lopez scored the decisive goal. The Cuban forward has been key for the Toros this season with five goals in all competitions, including the first goal in the side’s 2-1 victory against USL League One side North Carolina FC in the prior round. Led by Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera, the Toros will also bring back some familiar faces to PNC Stadium, with Cabrera, midfielder Juan David Cabezas and goalkeeper Tyler Deric all having played for the Dynamo in the past. In 2018, Cabrera was on the sideline and Cabezas in midfield when the Dynamo claimed the Open Cup for the first time, but now they’ll be hoping to upset a Houston side that has made a good start to the campaign under new Head Coach Paulo Nagamura. Currently undefeated at home (2-0-3), the Dynamo were held to a 0-0 draw by the Portland Timbers on Saturday in their most recent outing. The hosts could include some former Championship standouts on Tuesday night with 2020 All-League selection Tyler Pasher and three-time All-League selection Daniel Steres part of the Houston squad.

LA Galaxy vs. San Diego Loyal SC

Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Dignity Health Sports Park
Broadcast: ESPN+

Former LA Galaxy legend and current San Diego Loyal SC Head Coach Landon Donovan will visit the stadium that hosts his statue at Dignity Health Sports Park for SD Loyal’s first official game against MLS opposition in club history. Donovan claimed the Open Cup in 2005 with the Galaxy as a player, part of an illustrious career with the side now led by his former teammate Greg Vanney on the sidelines. SD Loyal will be hoping to rebound from its first home defeat of the season on Saturday night, a 5-2 loss to USL Championship Eastern Conference leader Louisville City FC that saw both Andrew Carleton and Kyle Vassell find the net but the side struggle defensively against the perennial Championship contenders. Vassell has now scored five goals in the league this season, good for second in the early race for the Golden Boot. The Galaxy, meanwhile, played to a 0-0 draw against Chicago Fire FC on Saturday to maintain its place in third in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference standings. There could be a chance that SD Loyal sees some familiar faces from its 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy II on the opening day of the Championship season, though, with seven of the visiting starters in that contest at Torero Stadium currently on First Team contracts. 

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