San Antonio FC and Carter Manley will try to claim another win against MLS opposition as they face Houston Dynamo FC in the Round of 32 of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC
The 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup reaches the Round of 32 this week as San Antonio FC takes its giant-killing act on the road to square off with another top-flight in-state foe. Elsewhere, there are also a pair of two high-profile all-USL Championship clashes for a place in the next round as Louisville City FC visits Detroit City FC and Sacramento Republic FC hosts Phoenix Rising FC.
Here’s a look ahead to the action featuring the five remaining USL Championship clubs.
Venue: Keyworth Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Detroit City FC will play host to Louisville City FC on Tuesday night in the first meeting between the clubs since the Second Round of the 2016 Open Cup as the hosts look to become the first side to defeat LouCity in a competitive outing this season. Louisville enters on a 12-game undefeated streak in all competitions after taking a 4-0 win on the road against Atlanta United 2 last Wednesday night in its most recent USL Championship outing. The visitors needed a penalty shootout to advance through to the Round of 32 in the Open Cup, however, as United States U-19 international Joshua Wynder scored the decisive goal in the 10th round against St. Louis CITY 2 at Lynn Family Stadium on April 20.
Louisville also needed a penalty shootout to get past Detroit City – then in the amateur ranks – six years ago as the underdogs earned a 1-1 draw after extra time at Lynn Stadium on the campus of the University of Louisville. Two players from that contest should feature this time around in LouCity’s Paolo DelPiccolo and DCFC’s Nathan Steinwascher remain part of their clubs, with Steinwascher and his teammates having sprung one of the results of the Third Round in a 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew at Keyworth Stadium on April 19. Maxi Rodriguez scored both goals as the hosts rallied to victory that night, and Detroit City is currently undefeated on home turf overall this season, giving LouCity a potential challenge as it seeks to match its deepest run in the tournament in club history to the Quarterfinals in 2018.
Venue: PNC Stadium
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
San Antonio FC will head to Houston on Wednesday night looking for a repeat performance of its thrilling victory against Major League Soccer opposition a round ago as it faces a Dynamo side that has struggled in the league since narrowly advancing in the Open Cup on April 19 for its most recent win. San Antonio claimed its first win in club history against an MLS side on April 20 as a goal by Elliot Collier with nine minutes to go sent its clash with Austin FC to extra time before Carter Manley scored what proved to be the winner in the 96th minute at Toyota Field. SAFC currently sits in second place in the Championship’s Western Conference, and while it is coming off a 3-0 defeat to Phoenix Rising FC on Saturday night, Head Coach Alen Marcina’s side has been in impressive form of late with six consecutive victories prior to that result.
Houston, meanwhile, needed a stoppage-time goal by Sam Junqua to advance past Rio Grande Valley FC in the prior round and has lost its past three league outings since that contest. Included in those results have been defeats to both of the Dynamo’s Texas rivals in Austin FC and FC Dallas, while this past weekend Houston fell 2-0 on the road to D.C. United. The hosts could feature a former USL Championship standout in Tyler Pasher, now in his second season at the club after being transferred from Indy Eleven after his 2020 USL Championship All-League selection. The 2018 title-winners will be hoping to avoid elimination at the hands of another in-state foe.
Venue: Heart Health Park
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
Sacramento Republic FC will try to advance to the Round of 16 in the Open Cup for the third time in its history as it plays host to Phoenix Rising FC at Heart Health Park with the visitors looking to build on a big home victory this past weekend having claimed victory in each of their last two trips to California’s capital. Phoenix arrives having earned a 3-0 win against San Antonio FC on Saturday night at Wild Horse Pass that saw Greg Hurst score a pair of goals and goalkeeper Ben Lundt post a seven-save shutout. Hurst also proved key in sending Phoenix to the Round of 32 for the first time since its inaugural season in 2014 as his goal with nine minutes to go earned the side a 2-1 victory against New Mexico United in the prior round.
Sacramento also needed a late goal to advance on April 21 as Rodrigo Lopez scored from the penalty spot deep in second half stoppage time to earn a 2-1 win against USL League One club Central Valley Fuego FC at Heart Health Park. Republic FC is undefeated on its home turf so far this season, with the lone blemish coming in its last outing against New Mexico United, a 0-0 draw last Wednesday night. Sacramento grabbed another late win on Sunday afternoon in its most recent outing, though, as Maalique Foster scored in the 88th minute against the New York Red Bulls II for a 1-0 win. After falling twice to Phoenix at Heart Health Park a season ago, having previously gone without a win in its prior seven visits, Sacramento will be eager to return to the home dominance it held in the series previously and continue its Open Cup run.