Columbus Crew SC will host USL Championship side Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the fourth round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The draw for the fourth round was announced on Thursday with the Crew in the Mid-Atlantic pool with fellow Major League Soccer sides D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union. The Black & Gold got the luck of the draw, not only getting to host the fourth-round game but also getting the USL Championship side instead of facing another MLS club.
The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest national soccer competition in the United States. This year marks the 106th edition of the single-elimination tournament. Last year, 97 clubs contested the tournament from the two major leagues (Major League Soccer and United Soccer League) as well as amateur competitors.
This knockout competition dates back to the 1913-14 year, previously known as the National Challenge Cup.
Since the league’s inception in 1996, MLS has dominated the Open Cup. No lower division side has won the tournament since the Rochester Rhinos took home the cup in 1999. The last lower tier club to reach the cup final was the Charleston Battery in 2008. The Bethlehem Steel and Maccabi Los Angeles are the two clubs with the most Open Cup titles. Both have five titles each.
Columbus has won the U.S. Open Cup title once in 2002, defeating the LA Galaxy 1-0 in front of the team’s home fans at MAPFRE Stadium. The Crew has played in the final of the U.S. Open Cup two other times, losing to the Chicago Fire 2-1 in 1998 and by the same score to the Seattle Sounders in 2010. Both of those games were on the road.
The last time Columbus failed to qualify for the U.S. Open Cup was in 2008. In each of the last two seasons, the Crew has failed to make it past the fourth round of the tournament. The Black & Gold were eliminated by then USL side FC Cincinnati 1-0 at Nippert Stadium in 2017 and fell in penalty kicks to the Chicago Fire last year after a 2-2 draw.
The game between the Crew and the Riverhounds will be played on Tuesday, June 11th at 7:00 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium.