Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC will host an opponent from Major League Soccer for the first time since 2015 when it welcomes Columbus Crew SC to Highmark Stadium in the Round of 16. | Photo courtesy Chris Cowger / Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Birmingham Legion FC and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC were each drawn at home in the Round of 16 of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Thursday afternoon, with Legion FC in line to host should it advance to the Quarterfinals of the historic tournament in two weeks.
Legion FC will play host to Major League Soccer’s Charlotte FC at Protective Stadium, while the Hounds will face Columbus Crew SC at Highmark Stadium. The Round of 16 is scheduled to be held on May 23 and 24, with full schedule details to be announced shortly.
Birmingham’s clash with Charlotte will be Legion FC’s first against a club from Major League Soccer in the Open Cup in club history. Currently sitting in second place in the Championship’s Eastern Conference, the side swept past Memphis 901 FC in the Round of 32 on Wednesday night as Enzo Martinez had a goal and assist alongside a goal apiece for Tyler Pasher and Juan Agudelo.
Now in his second season with Legion FC, Martinez has achieved cult hero status in Charlotte’s soccer scene having previously competed for the Charlotte Independence, where he was twice nominated for the Championship’s Most Valuable Player award. The veteran playmaker has recorded 64 goals and 40 assists in the Championship during his career, while players like Pasher, Agudelo and others bring extensive experience to this clash.
Birmingham Legion FC and Enzo Martinez will play host to Charlotte FC in the Round of 16 of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup later this month. | Photo courtesy Madeline Oliver / Birmingham Legion FC
Pittsburgh will host an opponent from MLS for the first time since 2015 when it hosted D.C. United at Highmark Stadium in a 3-1 defeat after extra time. The Hounds claimed just their second victory against a top-flight opponent in club history on Tuesday night, with the side’s 1-0 win against the New England Revolution its first in 22 years and a first on the road with the result coming at Gillette Stadium.
Currently in sixth place in the Championship’s Eastern Conference, the Hounds have been led this season by forward Albert Dikwa, who is tied for the league-lead with seven goals. The side also recently re-acquired midfielder Danny Griffin to join Kenardo Forbes and Robbie Mertz in its midfield corps, with Griffin scoring the decisive goal against the Revolution in just his second game back with the squad.
2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Round of 16
Tuesday, May 23
Inter Miami CF vs. Nashville SC, 7:30 p.m. ET, DRV PNK Stadium
New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET, Red Bull Arena
Houston Dynamo FC vs. Minnesota United FC, 8:30 p.m. ET, Shell Energy Stadium
Los Angeles FC vs. LA Galaxy, BMO Stadium, 10:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, May 24
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs. Columbus Crew SC, 7 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium
Birmingham Legion FC vs. Charlotte FC, Protective Stadium 8 p.m. ET
Austin FC vs. Chicago Fire FC, 9 p.m. ET, Q2 Stadium
Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake, Dick's Sporting Goods Park, 10 p.m. ET