The third round of the U.S. Open Cup begins next Wednesday with NASL teams coming into play. Wednesday night, the USL joined the action. Several MLS affiliates beginning their potential cup runs. With the second round concluding Wednesday night, here are your third round matchups.
After the second round, 11 of the 20 MLS affiliates, including Columbus Crew SC's Austin Aztex, will take on either an NASL team or another team from previous rounds. After the third round is when 17 MLS teams will come into play, but not without a few rules from the USOC.
U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) May 21, 2015
The most important part of that is the first sentence in the second bullet point:
Pairings will be arranged to prevent the possibility of a lower division team playing against a parent club (e.g. Portland Timbers 2 [USL] will not be pitted against the Portland Timbers [MLS], should both teams be in the competition in the same round) except for the final.)
Teams will not be facing their parent club, which could be a major conflict of interest. Plus, let's face it, if you are playing your parent club, you're going to let them win to move on to the next round. With that being said, your Crew SC will take on the winner of the Jacksonville Armada/Richmond Kickers. With 17 MLS teams competing, here are the rest of the games in the fourth round:
- Sporting Kansas City will host the winner of Minnesota United/@Saint Louis FC
- San Jose Earthquakes will host the winner of Chula Vista/Sacramento Republic
- LA Galaxy will host the winner of PSA Elite/VC Fusion
- Colorado Rapids will host winner of Colorado Springs Switchbacks/Real Monarchs
- Philadelphia Union will host winner of Rochester Rhinos/City Islanders
- Orlando City SC will play winner of Charleston Battery /FTL Strikers
- Chicago Fire will host winner of Indy Eleven/Louisville City
- FC Dallas will host winner of OKC Energy/Tulsa Roughnecks
- D.C. United will travel to winner of Pittsburgh Riverhounds/Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Columbus Crew SC will travel to winner of Jacksonville Armada FC/Richmond Kickers
- New York Red Bulls will host winner of Chattanooga FC/Atlanta Silverbacks
- New York City FC will play winner of Jersey Express/New York Cosmos
- New England Revolution will host the winner of Charlotte Independence/Carolina RailHawks FC
- Real Salt Lake will host winner of Sounders FC 2 vs Portland Timbers FC 2
- Houston Dynamo will host the winner of San Antonio Scorpions/Austin Aztex
- The 2 MLS teams drawn together are the Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers FC
The fourth round of the Open Cup will be a fun round to watch. It is fitting that the Sounders will face off with the Portland Timbers in last year's quarterfinal rematch. Columbus will travel to the winner of Jacksonville Armada and the Richmond Kickers and the Austin Aztex have a chance to travel to Houston to take on the Dynamo. It will certainly be an interesting round and could have a few lower level teams defeat MLS clubs.