While Columbus Crew SC were busy dispatching of the defending MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders 3-0 on Wednesday evening, there was another important soccer game occurring in the state of Ohio.
FC Cincinnati knocked rivals Louisville City FC out of the U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 win at Nippert Stadium to setup a match with the Black & Gold in the tournament’s fourth round.
Crew SC players were jubilant in the locker room following the big win over the Sounders, but when informed that Cincinnati was the Open Cup opponent, the smiles grew even bigger.
“I think it’s nice,” Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter said on Thursday of the Open Cup matchup. “It’s nice to be able to compete against someone in your home state.”
The win marks the furthest the second-year club has made in the Open Cup and the first meeting between the two Ohio teams.
“We’re thrilled to host the Columbus Crew in the next round,” FC Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch told the Cincinnati Enquirer following his team’s victory. “This game is very, very unique. You ride the waves at times and we’re going to keep going with it. We’re still a young club, but it’s obvious as to where our club wants to go in the future but we’re looking forward to hosting the Crew in the coming weeks.”
Despite never meeting on the field, a rivalry, based mostly on boasting about attendance numbers, has already developed between the two clubs, so much so that it has reached as high as Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt.
6.14.17. Mark it down. First Ohio Derby. #CrewSC— Anthony Precourt (@APrecourt) June 1, 2017
The fourth-round affair will be played on Wednesday, June 14 at Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati hosts due to a coin flip made when the matchups were announced.
Berhalter and his team are excited to travel the 116 miles southwest to experience the soccer renaissance that is going on in the Queen City.
“They’ve been doing a good job of getting fans there,” he said of FCC. “I’m sure it’s not going to be a problem getting more fans there for the Open Cup game and I think it’s going to make for a great atmosphere.
“At the end of the day, if we can give American soccer fans this atmosphere and this intensity in games, that’s what’s going to bring them back. I think it’s a positive thing for soccer.”
Tickets for this match are set to go on sale to the general public beginning Tuesday at 9 a.m.
The winner of the “Ohio Derby” will move on to the Round of 16 of the Open Cup. A draw will take place June 15 to determine the next opponent and that game will occur around June 28.