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Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Previews – Wednesday, April 26

By Staff, 04/25/23, 6:44PM EDT


Nine Championship clubs square off with MLS competition, with the night set to feature some notable rivalries

Louisville City FC will head to face rival FC Cincinnati in the Third Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup looking with hopes of springing a surprise at TQL Stadium. | Photo courtesy Em-Dash Photography / Louisville City FC

The Third Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup concludes on Wednesday night with 15 USL Championship clubs in action, including nine clubs who will be hoping to deliver an upset against top-flight opposition as teams from Major League Soccer enter the tournament for the first time and a pair of contests between notable current USL Championship rivals on the slate.

Here’s a look ahead to all the action.

FC Cincinnati vs. Louisville City FC

Venue: TQL Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Stream: B/R Football

The Lowdown: One of the best rivalries in the United States will be rekindled as Louisville City FC heads to face Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati in the first meeting between the sides in the Open Cup since the 2019 tournament. Cincinnati needed an extra time winner on that occasion to advance in a Fourth Round clash at Nippert Stadium, but the hosts have grown impressively on the field in the past two years under Head Coach Pat Noonan. Currently sitting in second place in MLS’s Eastern Conference, FCC has won six of its nine regular season games to this point, including a 2-1 win against the Portland Timbers last time out on Saturday night. LouCity also sits in second place in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference and is undefeated in its last four games across all competitions as its heads north. The foundation of the club’s recent run of form has been an airtight defense which has posted four consecutive shutouts, including a 0-0 draw with Championship Eastern Conference leader the Charleston Battery this past Saturday. Having held the edge in the series when the two clubs were both part of the Championship, LouCity will be looking to spring a surprise and upset its first MLS opponent since 2018, when it defeated the New England Revolution on the way to the Quarterfinals.

Spotlight Players
FC Cincinnati – Arquimides Ordonez:
The 19-year-old Guatemalan was a key player in his country advancing to the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup with five goals at the Concacaf U-20 Championship and could get a run-out here after two appearances in MLS so far this season.

Louisville City FC – Joshua Wynder: The 17-year-old recent United States Men’s National Team will have plenty of eyes focused on him as he faces top-flight opposition after an impressive performance against Nashville SC last year.

Loudoun United FC vs. Flower City Union

Venue: Segra Field
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Stream: Eleven Sports

The Lowdown: Loudoun United FC will try to continue its positive recent run as it plays host to Flower City Union, which has made an up-and-down start to its 2023 campaign as it arrives at Segra Field. Loudoun moved up to fourth place in the Championship’s Eastern Conference on Sunday afternoon as Zach Ryan and Panos Armenakas both found the net in a 2-0 victory against Oakland Roots SC, marking a third consecutive victory across all competitions for the side. Ryan has scored five goals in league play so far this campaign, putting him second in the Championship’s early Golden Boot race, leading an attack that has notched nine goals overall. Flower City has suffered consecutive defeats to start the league season, meanwhile, falling 1-0 to Chattanooga FC this past Saturday night, but the side did take a 3-1 victory to advance past USL League Two side Manhattan SC on April 4 in the Open Cup as Stephen Elias scored twice before halftime. As both teams look to continue their runs, Loudoun will be aiming to avoid the upset on its home turf.

Spotlight Players
Loudoun United FC – Wesley Leggett:
The young forward scored the winner in extra time to send Loudoun through to the Third Round against North Carolina FC and has since notched his first goal in the league this season.

Flower City Union – Alioune Diakhate: The former Indy Eleven forward was also on target in the Open Cup for the Union against Manhattan SC and brings a good level of experience to his current squad.

Atlanta United FC vs. Memphis 901 FC

Venue: Fifth Third Bank Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Stream: B/R Football

The Lowdown: Memphis 901 FC will look to build on its first league win of the season as it heads to face Atlanta United FC with some familiar faces in tow. Memphis delivered its best display so far under new Head Coach Stephen Glass on Saturday night as Bruno Lapa, Graham Smith and Nighte Pickering all found the net in a 3-0 victory at Rio Grande Valley FC to provide a boost of confidence for the squad. Glass is one of four 901 FC figures with ties to Atlanta, having previously coached Atlanta United 2 in the USL Championship and served as interim Head Coach for Atlanta United FC during the 2020 season. He’s joined by midfielder Laurent Kissiedou and forward Phillip Goodrum and Luiz Fernando, all of whom played within the organization and notably at Fifth Third Bank Stadium for ATL UTD 2, where Wednesday night’s game will be played. The 2019 Open Cup winner, Atlanta enters off a dramatic 2-1 victory against Chicago Fire FC this past Saturday that saw an own goal in the ninth minute of second-half stoppage time left the side into third place in MLS’s Eastern Conference. ATL UTD advanced comfortably at this stage of the tournament last year before being eliminated in the Round of 32, now Memphis will get its chance to deliver an upset.

Spotlight Players
Atlanta United FC – Miguel Berry:
The former San Diego Loyal SC loanee has made seven appearances so far this season in Atlanta and would be looking for his first goal of the season if offered a chance to start.

Memphis 901 FC – Laurent Kissiedou: The Ivorian has notched one goal and one assist so far this season for 901 FC and will be among the players hoping to prove something against his former club.


Venue: Riccardo Silva Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Stream: CBS Sports Golazo Network

The Lowdown: Miami FC will play host to Inter Miami CF for a second consecutive year in the Open Cup with the Miami Clasico rivals having encountered differing fortunes over the past weekend. Miami FC claimed its first league win of the campaign in the USL Championship as a pair of early goals by Christian Sorto and Paco Craig paved the way to a 4-1 victory against Las Vegas Lights FC at Riccardo Silva Stadium. The result saw Miami record more goals than it had in six prior league contests, with Claudio Repetto and Joaquin Rivas scoring their first goals of the season. Inter, meanwhile, suffered a 1-0 defeat to Houston Dynamo FC for a sixth consecutive defeat in league action. IMCF has not found the net in its last three games overall and has scored only twice since opening the season with consecutive victories. Head Coach Phil Neville’s side claimed victory when it last visited Miami FC a season ago, however, as Leo Campana scored the winner with seven minutes to go. After a tense contest last season, Miami FC will be hoping to turn the tables this time around.

Spotlight Players
Miami FC – Paco Craig:
The veteran center back will be a key figure for the hosts on the back line, but Craig has also shown his qualities on set pieces this season with a pair of goals to lead the team.

Inter Miami CF – Leo Campana: The Ecuadorian has made two appearances this season, including a start against Houston on Saturday night, and could need to play hero again as IMCF’s attack looks for a spark.

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Houston Dynamo FC

Venue: Al Lang Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Lowdown: The Tampa Bay Rowdies will face an MLS club on its home turf in the Open Cup for the first time in more than a decade when it plays host to a Houston Dynamo FC side that has made a positive start to the 2023 season under new Head Coach Ben Olsen. The Rowdies are looking for improvement as they return home, on the other hand, with the side having won just once so far in the regular season campaign after a 1-0 defeat at San Diego Loyal SC at Torero Stadium. Tampa Bay has scored only five goals in the league but did advance comfortably to this round of the Open Cup with a 2-0 victory against USL League Two club NONA FC as Lucky Mkosana and JJ Williams found the net. Houston has scored 10 goals in eight outings this season but is undefeated in its last three games after a 1-0 victory against Inter Miami CF this past Saturday as center back Daniel Steres found the net. The Dynamo advanced to the Round of 16 last season, while having last won the tournament in 2018, and will be hoping to avoid the face of Seattle Sounders FC in 2013 when Georgi Hristov scored the only goal of a 1-0 victory for the Rowdies the last time they hosted a top-flight opponent on home soil.

Spotlight Players
Tampa Bay Rowdies – Lucky Mkosana:
The veteran forward has found ways to deliver in the Open Cup in his career. With the Rowdies needing an attacking spark, the Zimbabwean could be the one to provide it.

Houston Dynamo FC – Griffin Dorsey: The right-sided player has notched one assist this season and could get an opportunity to start after sitting for the Dynamo’s last two contests in MLS.

Columbus Crew SC vs. Indy Eleven

Venue: Field
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Stream: YouTube

The Lowdown: Indy Eleven will try to find a turnaround in form as it heads to face Major League Soccer competition for the first time since 2016 with Columbus Crew SC sitting comfortably in the Eastern Conference despite a setback in its most recent outing. Indy suffered its third consecutive loss in league play on Saturday night as Monterey Bay F.C. took a 3-2 win at Michael A. Carroll Stadium despite breakthroughs for Solomon Asante, Sebastian Guenzatti and Aodhan Quinn for the hosts. The Boys in Blue’s recent run is a switch from a three-game undefeated streak to start the season, but the success of Asante (goal+assist) and Guenzatti, who scored his first league goal for his new club, offers some hope for improvement. Columbus suffered a 1-0 defeat to Charlotte FC to lose for the first time in five outings on Saturday, but under new Head Coach Wilfried Nancy the hosts will be eager to avoid another Cupset after falling at this stage to the USL Championship’s Detroit City FC. Indy, meanwhile, will be hoping for a historic performance after losing in extra time to the Crew when they met 10 years ago and in a penalty shootout to Chicago Fire FC two years later in their prior to chances to take on MLS opposition.

Spotlight Players
Columbus Crew SC – Philip Quinton:
The 23-year-old has made six appearances this season and scored once and could make a return to the lineup for a first start in a month.

Indy Eleven – Cam Lindley: The Indiana native has recorded 11 chances created this season and will be looking for a breakthrough on the scoresheet to help the Boys in Blue to a historic result.

Birmingham Legion FC vs. Chattanooga FC

Venue: Alabama Soccer Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Stream: YouTube

The Lowdown: Birmingham Legion FC will look to build on a positive result last time out as they return home to face a Chattanooga FC side that is undefeated in its early season. Legion FC took a 2-1 victory against Orange County SC on Saturday night as goals by Juan Agudelo and Enzo Martinez rallied the side from a first-half deficit before goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg made a key late save. The result moved Legion FC into third place in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference, snapping a two-game losing streak, as both Agudelo and Martinez scored their first league goals of the season. A former United States international, Agudelo also bagged a pair of goals for Birmingham in its Second Round victory against USL League One club Chattanooga Red Wolves SC earlier this month and will be hoping for more of the same against Chattanooga FC, which enters having yet to concede a goal in four games this season. CFC took a 1-0 win against Flower City Union this past weekend as Richard Dixon converted a penalty kick having previously scored at least three goals in each of its prior three outings.

Spotlight Players
Birmingham Legion FC – Juan Agudelo:
The veteran forward will be looking to continue a positive run of recent form and help Legion FC into the Fourth Round of the tournament for the first time in its history.

Chattanooga FC – Markus Nagelstad: The forward has scored twice in league play this season and also found the net in CFC’s 4-1 win against the Des Moines Menace of USL League Two in the prior round of the Open Cup.

Nashville SC vs. San Antonio FC

Venue: Geodis Park
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Stream: B/R Football

The Lowdown: Defending USL Championship title holders San Antonio FC will head to face a strong Nashville SC side aiming to spring a surprise for a second consecutive Open Cup. San Antonio played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night against Phoenix Rising FC in its most recent outing, but produced a high-energy performance that delivered a season-high with 19 shots and nine shots on target at Toyota Field. SAFC has lost just once so far this season, with its defensive unit having performed solidly while allowing only four goals in seven league outings. The visitors will be hoping to replicate a 2-1 victory against Austin FC at this stage a season ago when Carter Manley scored the game-winner in extra time and will face a Nashville side that has also gone winless in its last three outings while winning only once in its last five. NSC played to a 1-1 draw this past weekend against Los Angeles FC as Hany Mukhtar found the net for his third goal of the season to go with three assists, a sign of how essential the 2022 MLS Most Valuable Player has been to his side’s attacking success.

Spotlight Players
Nashville SC – Laurence Wyke:
The former Tampa Bay Rowdies defender has yet to make his First Team debut for Nashville but could get the opportunity here as the hosts potentially rotate their lineup.

San Antonio FC – Cristian Parano: The Argentine playmaker had a lively performance against Phoenix at the weekend, finding the net from the penalty spot, and will need to try and drive SAFC’s attack again.

New Mexico United vs. Phoenix Rising FC

Venue: Isotopes Park
Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET
Stream: YouTube

The Lowdown: USL Championship rivals New Mexico United and Phoenix Rising FC will square off for a third time in the Open Cup after both safely advancing to the Third Round, but both will be looking to get in the win column as Rising FC enters on a five-game undefeated streak in all competitions. Phoenix played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at San Antonio FC as Danny Trejo scored his third goal of the season and goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo notched an eight-save performance to allow the visitors to hold on at Toyota Field. Rising FC is now 2-0-3 over its last five outings, including a 1-0 win against Greenville Triumph SC of USL League One in the Open Cup Second Round on April 5, but the drawn contests have left Phoenix in eighth place in the Western Conference after six outings. New Mexico has also struggled for consistency and fell 2-1 to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at Weidner Field on Saturday night in its most recent outing despite taking the lead through Santi Moar early in the second half. Wednesday night will mark the first Open Cup game hosted at Isotopes Park, however, and with United on a four-game home undefeated streak dating back to last season the hosts will be hoping to reverse last year’s loss to Rising FC in Phoenix.

Spotlight Players
New Mexico United – Greg Hurst:
The Scottish forward scored six goals for Phoenix last season before his offseason transfer to New Mexico and could get a chance to square off with his most recent former club here.

Phoenix Rising FC – Henry Uzochukwu: The Nigerian winger has notched a pair of assists in six appearances so far this season and may prove a thorn in the side of United’s back line.

Sacramento Republic FC vs. Oakland Roots SC

Venue: Heart Health Park
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET

The Lowdown: Sacramento Republic FC will try to continue its undefeated start to the season – and the road toward another deep run in the Open Cup – as it plays host to USL Championship rival Oakland Roots SC for the first meeting in the tournament between the clubs. Sacramento continued its strong start to the season on Saturday night with a 1-0 win against Detroit City FC at Heart Health Park as Luis Felipe Fernandes’ early goal proved decisive. Republic FC had to salvage a dramatic victory to advance through the Second Round of the tournament, however, as Russell Cicerone and Zeiko Lewis both scored twice in a 5-4 victory against amateur club Crossfire Redmond in the last round, a contest that marked the only game in which Sacramento has conceded multiple goals so far this season. Oakland heads to face its rival off the back of consecutive defeats after falling 2-0 to Loudoun United FC on Sunday afternoon in Virginia, but the side has had bright moments so far this season including a 3-0 win against Indy Eleven on April 8 that marked its last victory. After advancing comfortably 3-1 against El Farolito FC in the last round, Roots SC will be hoping to advance to the Fourth Round for the first time in its history.

Spotlight Players
Sacramento Republic FC – Luis Felipe Fernandes:
The central midfielder is tied for the club lead with four regular season goals so far and proved a hero in Sacramento’s cup run last season with crucial goals along the way to the Final.

Oakland Roots SC – Dariusz Formella: The former Republic FC forward has two goals and two assists so far this season and could provide some attacking threat for the visitors at his former stomping grounds.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Diego Loyal SC

Venue: Starfire Stadium
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET
Stream: B/R Football

The Lowdown: San Diego Loyal SC will try to spring an Open Cup surprise against one of the most successful clubs in the tournament’s modern era in Seattle Sounders FC with the visitors aiming to take their home form on the road to Startfire Stadium. SD Loyal has posted a perfect record at home this season, earning a 1-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Sunday afternoon to move into second place in the Championship’s Western Conference, but the side is yet to win on the road in three contests so far, most recently playing to a 1-1 draw at New Mexico United on April 15. The Sounders, meanwhile, are 4-0-1 at home so far this campaign to sit in second place in MLS’s Western Conference, and with four Open Cup titles to their name the hosts will be aiming to begin their quest for a first title since 2014 in some style. Seattle has been led this season by United States forward Jordan Morris with eight goals, and while he is unlikely to feature the depth Seattle has in its squad will give San Diego’s combination of youth and experience a major hurdle to overcome.

Spotlight Players
Seattle Sounders FC – Obed Vargas:
The 17-year-old midfielder has made five appearances so far this season in Major League Soccer and could be in line for a start here in the center of the park.

San Diego Loyal SC – Ronaldo Damus: The Haitian international has scored twice since his arrival in San Diego but has gone without a goal in the past four outings, a run he’d certainly like to break out of.

Las Vegas Lights FC vs. Real Salt Lake

Venue: Cashman Field
Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET

The Lowdown: Las Vegas Lights FC will host Major League Soccer opposition for the first time in its history in the Open Cup as Real Salt Lake comes to Nevada off a big victory last time out. Lights FC is looking to rebound from its first loss of the season on Sunday evening as it fell 4-1 to Miami FC after a sequence of four consecutive drawn games to start the season. This will serve as Lights FC’s first game at Cashman Field this campaign, though, with the side having advanced with a 4-0 victory against the LA Force earlier this month in which Las Vegas native Azriel Gonzalez found the net twice before both Justin Ingram and Erick “Cubo” Torres bagged goals. RSL enters having claimed a 3-1 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night as second-half goals by Jefferson Savarino and Carlos Gomez saw the hosts pull away on home turf. RSL has now won two of its last three outings, but has averaged conceding 2.1 goals per game this campaign, something Lights FC will be hoping to take advantage of.

Spotlight Players
Las Vegas Lights FC – Erick “Cubo” Torres:
The former Mexico international has scored two goals in six appearances since joining Lights FC and would surely love to make a big impression against a top-flight squad.

Real Salt Lake – Maikel Chang: The Championship’s former all-time leader in assists has made six appearances for RSL this season, starting three, and has notched one assist and seven chances created.

Portland Timbers FC vs. Orange County SC

Venue: Providence Park
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
Stream: CBS Sports Golazo Network

The Lowdown: Orange County SC will try to produce its first upset of a top-flight squad as it heads to face Portland Timbers FC with the hosts heading home after a setback on the road last time out. Portland suffered a 2-1 defeat to FC Cincinnati on Saturday night in Ohio as Dairon Asprilla’s second-half goal wasn’t enough to spark a comeback at TQL Stadium. The Timbers are currently 10th in MLS’s Western Conference and have won twice at home so far this season, with one of those a rollicking 4-1 victory against rival Seattle Sounders FC. Orange County has also struggled for consistency so far this campaign and fell 2-1 against Birmingham Legion FC this past Saturday at Championship Soccer Stadium. The visitors have alternated wins and losses in their last four outings, however, and after cruising past Capo FC 5-0 in the prior round will be hoping their young talent including United States U-19s winger Korede Osundina and veteran such as former Timbers player Brent Richards can deliver a surprise on the road.

Spotlight Players
Portland Timbers FC – Marvin Loria:
The Costa Rican attacker has sat the past two contests for the Timbers but has made five appearances this season and could get the chance to break out for his first goal of the season.

Orange County SC – Milan Iloski: The 2022 Championship Golden Boot winner has three goals and one assist so far this season to lead the club and will hope to carry that form into a major opportunity to shine.

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