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Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 Previews – Wednesday, May 22

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 05/21/24, 5:25PM EDT

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Indy, Detroit clash in all-USL Championship showdown, Rowdies, Rising face MLS opposition


Indy Eleven and Detroit City FC will square off for the second time this season on Wednesday night with a trip to the Quarterfinals of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on the line. | Photo courtesy Matt Schlotzhauer / Indy Eleven

The Round of 16 in the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup wraps up on Wednesday night with three games that see the round’s lone all-USL Championship clash and the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Phoenix Rising FC take on MLS opposition for a place in the Quarterfinals.

Here’s a look ahead at the action.

Indy Eleven vs. Detroit City FC

Venue: Michael A. Carroll Stadium
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Broadcast: USLSoccer.com/watch

The Lowdown: Indy Eleven and Detroit City FC will each take aim at reaching the Quarterfinals of the Open Cup for the first time in their histories in a rematch of a notable early-season matchup in the USL Championship campaign.

Detroit rallied to take victory on a late winner by Maxi Rodriguez when it visited Indy in March, but since an up-and-down start the Boys in Blue have found their form and enter Wednesday night’s contest on a five-game winning streak. This past Saturday the side ran away with a 4-1 victory against Hartford Athletic as both Jack Blake and Augustine Williams scored their fifth goals of the league campaign to solidify Indy’s position in the top four in the Eastern Conference.

Le Rouge, on the other hand, have cooled off marginally since a five-game winning streak to start the regular season having taken draws in each of their past two contests. Detroit played to a 1-1 draw against defending Championship title holder Phoenix Rising FC at home in its last outing on May 11 as Ben Morris scored his second goal of the season to keep the side in third place in the Eastern Conference.

DCFC produced one of the results of the Round of 32 to reach this stage, however, advancing past defending Open Cup title winner Houston Dynamo FC 10-9 in a penalty shootout after rallying twice to earn a 3-3 draw at Shell Energy Park. By contrast, Indy had a relatively comfortable time in taking a 2-0 victory against fellow Championship club San Antonio FC to advance to the Round of 16 for the first time in its history, and now will be hoping to turn the tables from earlier this campaign.

Spotlight Players
Indy Eleven – Aedan Stanley:
The left-sided defender is having a career season already playing as a wingback and has a Championship-high six assists this season while having recorded 22 successful crosses at a 22.9 percent success rate.

Detroit City FC – Maxi Rodriguez: The attacking midfielder has recorded three goals and three assists in the Championship and scored decisive goals in DCFC’s prior two Open Cup contests, including the equalizer in the Round of 32 clash with the Dynamo two weeks ago.

Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Dallas

Venue: Al Lang Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: USLSoccer.com/watch

The Lowdown: The Tampa Bay Rowdies will try to advance to the Quarterfinals of the Open Cup for the first time in their history as they welcome two-time title winner FC Dallas to Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Rowdies are coming off an emphatic 5-0 victory against FC Tulsa that saw forward Manuel Arteaga and center back Forrest Lasso each record a pair of goals and forward Cal Jennings notch a goal and assist as the side put together its most complete performance of the season. Tampa Bay will be without Arteaga on Wednesday night, however, as the Venezuelan forward serves a one-game suspension after being sent off for two cautionable offenses in the Round of 32 against Birmingham Legion FC.

Tampa Bay advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2013 by defeating fellow Championship club Legion FC 6-4 after extra time in a contest that saw Arteaga score twice in the additional 30 minutes after Jennings had notched a hat trick in the opening 90 minutes before a late defensive collapse allowed Birmingham to tie the game in second-half stoppage time.

FC Dallas arrives in Florida having played to a 1-1 draw against Texas rival Houston Dynamo FC on Saturday night to continue a three-game undefeated streak in all competitions. Currently sitting in 12th place in MLS’s Western Conference, the side took a 1-0 win against Championship side Memphis 901 FC as 2023 USL League Two Player of the Year Logan Farrington scored his first goal for the club after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Spotlight Players
Tampa Bay Rowdies – Cal Jennings:
The 2023 All-League First Team selection was a First Round draft pick by FC Dallas in 2020 but not offered a contract, and has since recorded 57 goals in the Championship’s regular season across four-plus campaigns.

FC Dallas – Sebastian Ibeagha: The 2017 USL Championship Defender of the Year for San Antonio FC, Ibeagha has made 10 appearances for the side this season in MLS and will try to help close down the Rowdies’ attack.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC

Venue: Starfire Stadium
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast: USLSoccer.com/watch

The Lowdown: Phoenix Rising FC will try to continue its deepest run in the Open Cup against one of the tournament’s modern-era powers with Seattle Sounders FC pursuing its fifth title in the tournament in the past 15 years.

Phoenix advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time with a 2-1 victory against fellow USL Championship club North Carolina FC as 19-year-old Italian midfielder Giulio Doratiotto scored his first goal in the professional ranks to win the contest in extra time. The result was part of a current five-game undefeated streak across all competitions for Rising that continued this past weekend with a 2-0 win at home to Miami FC as Fede Varela and Edgardo Rito scored first-half goals to secure victory.

Wednesday night’s contest will mark Phoenix’s first contest against an MLS opponent in the Open Cup since its inaugural season in 2014 when it advanced to the Fourth Round before falling to the LA Galaxy.

The Sounders, meanwhile, played to a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night as Jordan Morris’ early goal was cancelled out by a stoppage-time penalty kick by the Whitecaps’ Ryan Gauld. Currently sitting in 10th place in MLS’s Western Conference, the Sounders advanced past Louisville City FC in a penalty shootout in the Round of 32 after the sides played to a 2-2 draw at Starfire Stadium. Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Thomas proved the hero, scoring the winner in the eighth round after making a save to open the set at Starfire Stadium.

Spotlight Players
Seattle Sounders FC – Danny Musovski:
The former USL Championship standout found the net for the Sounders against LouCity in the prior round and has notched a goal and assist in 13 appearances in MLS this season.

Phoenix Rising FC – Renzo Zambrano: The veteran midfielder has produced a solid start to the season and helped upset the Sounders on the road in the Cup in his past travels, starting in a 2-1 victory for the Portland Timbers FC in the 2019 edition of the tournament.

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