Miami FC, San Diego Loyal SC, Detroit City FC and Orange County SC are among the 10 USL Championship teams looking to notch a Cupset against Major League Soccer opposition in the Third Round of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
There’s no tournament in American professional sports as unique as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Nowhere else do teams from different tiers of their professional spheres compete against each other, each vying to claim the title while also seeking to prove they belong against their higher-tier opposition.
It’s what’s made the tournament so compelling in the past, and why this week’s Third Round will be a must-see for fans across the country. Each of the past four editions of the tournament between 2016 to 2019, at least one lower-division club has advanced to the Quarterfinals of the tournament, with the USL Championship’s New Mexico United and Saint Louis FC the most recent to capture the imagination of the country with their Cupsets against MLS opposition.
This week there are 10 teams from the USL Championship who’ll get the chance to emulate the clubs that have come before them and deliver a Cupset over an MLS opponent to advance to the Fourth Round next month. What we’d like to know is, which one do you think has the best chance to pull that off?
Could it be Miami FC – a Quarterfinalist in 2017 – as it gets its long sought-after clash with Inter Miami CF at Riccardo Silva Stadium. The combination of a Head Coach in Anthony Pulis who’s done this before in Saint Louis and the hype surrounding the game is enticing.
How about Orange County SC as it heads to face Los Angeles FC? What would happen if Cubo Torres scores the winner at Banc of California Stadium for the visitors, then reveals a Chivas USA jersey underneath his OCSC colors?
Then there’s Detroit City FC as it gets its first official game in club history against a top-flight opponent when the Columbus Crew come to Keyworth Stadium? DCFC is undefeated at home this season, and the Crew were victims of one of the most memorable Cupsets in recent memory in the first Hell is Real Derby against then-USL Championship side FC Cincinnati in 2017.
Or, what might be in terms of narrative the biggest potential Cupset of the round as Landon Donovan and his San Diego Loyal SC side head to face the LA Galaxy. Can the Galaxy legend turned SD Loyal Head Coach and his squad turn over the club that built a statue of him outside the venue they’ll play at on Tuesday night?
Ten teams, one big opportunity. Who’s it going to be?