U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals: A Look Ahead

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By Wednesday night, the U.S. Open Cup field will be narrowed down to four teams.

Only one of the eight remaining teams is a non-MLS competitor, as the Richmond Kickers is the last representative of U.S. Soccer's the lower tiers. They'll have the task of doing something no MLS team has been able to do yet — beat Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. The other MLS teams remaining are Chicago, New York, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Los Angeles and Seattle.

With the winner of the tournament guaranteed entry into the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League, there's much on the line when the teams take to the field Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here's a closer look at the four quarterfinal matchups:

CHICAGO FIRE vs. NEW YORK RED BULLS

When: Tuesday, 6 p.m. (NOTE: First kick got moved ahead by two hours from its originally scheduled time)

Where: Toyota Park

How to watch: Live stream at Chicago-Fire.com

What to watch for: The Red Bulls are bringing a reserve-laden side to the match despite the club's trophy case being rather barren. The Fire, meanwhile, are going full throttle, knowing very well that this may be the club's best opportunity for silverware and a CCL spot this season. Chicago has won the Open Cup four times and would tie the record for most titles if it can turn its 2011 run into a championship.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY vs. RICHMOND KICKERS

When: Tuesday, 8:30 p.m.

Where: Livestrong Sporting Park

How to watch: Live stream at SportingKC.com

What to watch for: The Kickers are the lone non-MLS team left in the competition, and they run into a Sporting KC side that's been unbeatable since Livestrong Sporting Park opened. SKC has also managed to beat its last two Open Cup opponents by a combined score of 8-0. Richmond, meanwhile, is no stranger to this stage, reaching the quarterfinals for the fifth time. The Kickers topped the Columbus Crew, 2-1, in the Round of 16 on the strength of an 85th-minute goal from Matthew Delicate.

FC DALLAS vs. REAL SALT LAKE

When: Tuesday, 9 p.m.

Where: Pizza Hut Park

How to watch: Live stream at FCDallas.com

What to watch for: The two Western Conference powers clashed just three days ago, with RSL coming out on top, 2-0. Nick Rimando and Alvaro Saborio won't be available for RSL, which could tilt the scales a bit in FCD's favor. Both clubs have aspirations of reaching the CCL, and winning the Open Cup would pave the easy route to doing so.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS vs. LOS ANGELES GALAXY

When: Wednesday, 10 p.m.

Where: Starfire Sports Complex

How to watch: Live stream on SoundersFC.com

What to watch for: The two-time defending champion Sounders will look to put away its MLS nemesis while maintaining its hope for a three peat. While Los Angeles got the better of Seattle in the MLS postseason last season, Seattle topped the Galaxy in the quarterfinal round of the Open Cup last year.

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Who do you see winning the quarterfinal matchups?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Sporting Kansas City, U.S. Open Cup. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals: A Look Ahead

  1. The Dude says:

    NY is playing only backups, Backe didn’t travel, and Petke and Carl Robinson are in charge…. If Chicago loses this match (with their A team), then something is serioulsy wrong in the universe.

  2. Will says:

    Kickers!!!

  3. jonk says:

    Some serious fixture fatigue at play in that Richmond/KC matchup. Richmond is halfway through 4 games in 8 days while KC is in the middle of 3 in 7 (like the other MLS teams, I imagine). I imagine KC has more depth to handle that.

  4. irishapple21 says:

    RBNY fans are really pissed off that the team decided not to take this tournament seriously. And the club wonders why the NY area is so apathetic to the Red Bulls.

  5. JesseMT says:

    Really pulling for Chicago tonight; teams that disrespect the competition should get beat if there’s such a thing as karma. Would love to see Richmond win just so the lower division has teams in it. I hope the NASL teams are back to being Cup-eligible next year.

    I think Rimando might be missed; I could see RSL-FCD going to PKs. Sounders will probably win too – curious what lineup Arena brings on the trip.

    LA usually doesn’t try too hard in this either, but hey at least Arena’s actually going. Sheesh.

  6. JesseMT says:

    Maybe the supporters there could organize some sort of pre-game protest at an upcoming match? It will take something to show the club that the fans care.

  7. Jerem says:

    Rooting for Chicago and Dallas tonight. RBNY do not deserve to win this game. Hopefully they will be embarrassed by Chicago. It would be cool to see Richmond pull off the upset as well, but I’m not sure they will be able to take down KC.

  8. Fred Garvin says:

    Arena has sent his b squad to play SSFC reserves 3 times this year at Starfire.. Although a good opportunity for both coaches to sniff out strategy I believe Arena is fully aware of the stakes

  9. lprevolution says:

    Maybe the supporters could show up to a US Open match.

  10. lprevolution says:

    Its MLS’s fault that this tournament is not taken seriously. Part of that fault is, of course, the great marketing of the MLS cup. However, USC and the Supporters Shield, and even the Champs League are certainly rashes on the thin skin this young league has.

    One solution I like is to have a Cup Season like the Apertura in Chile. US Open Cup could be October – December. And have the MLS play league February (Early March) through September. This keeps teams commited to tournament play, ie. Sounders, and keeps them in form for Champs league.

  11. boosted335 says:

    good 1 !

  12. Steven says:

    NY has zero trophies. Why is Backe pissing away an opportunity to actually win something?

  13. MG says:

    I don’t think the criticism of the Red Bulls is fair at all. With an MLS schedule that has many teams playing t wo games a week along with the international friendlies in England which will help the exposure of MLS there is no space for Open Cup play. If the league wants the tournament to be taking seriously they should have weeks off for Cup play similar to England. However that is unlikely as the league does not even respect international dates.

  14. JesseMT says:

    Last year he called the tournament a ‘distraction,’ so I’m just not sure he cares. That said, I think the Sounders and Galaxy will have about the same type of lineup – mostly reserves with 3-4 starters sprinkled in.

  15. EN says:

    You do realize that the USOC is run by the USSF, right?

    MLS has little incentive to market it.

  16. jonk says:

    Please explain to me how RBNY playing in-season friendlies in England is helping MLS exposure.
    Anyway, yes, the criticism is fair as they shouldn’t be emphasizing friendlies over cup games. Cup games in England are mid-week as well but the difference is they don’t have nearly the same travel requirements week in and week out.

  17. JesseMT says:

    Scheduling friendlies in ENGLAND in the middle of the season is honestly completely ridiculous. As much as it helps MLS get ‘exposure,’ I think it makes us look like a Mickey Mouse outfit that doesn’t take it’s football seriously. I think we go overboard on the friendlies stateside too, but I guess that’s just me.

    And hey, even if Red Bull has some fixture congestion, at least the COACH could go. It’s not like he’s suiting up and running around for a full 90 twice a week.

  18. MG says:

    Whether you agree with the friendlies or not you cannot deny it gives the league good exposure to better competition in Europe. Also, if the Red Bulls play well and show they are a strong side it may show some European player that the option of playing in MLS is not a bad one.

  19. Jeremy says:

    in the eyes of most NYRB supporters it’s a mistake and massive annoyance. He doesn’t get that the trophy and seeing the team play in the CCL is so much more meaningful than the silly eastern conference crown.

  20. JesseMT says:

    Do you guys thinking fans in NY would care about Concacaf Champions League football? There are really three sure ways to get in – MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, and Open Cup.

    Open Cup takes three games to win. Maybe NY will go on a run and win Supporters Shield, but I doubt it. MLS Cup is more games against tougher opponents than Open Cup.

    So essentially what I’m hearing is that it’s ok that the club hold the Champions League aspirations of the supporters and players hostage for higher attendance at the Cup match. Absurd.

  21. Jeremy says:

    actually the “supporters”, groups that is, are the only ones who DO show up for USOC match.

    A massive TIFO or open letter from all 3 SGs to the FO would be great.

  22. Jeremy says:

    So if you had the chance to play in the emerates cup or have probably a 50/50 shot at playing in the CCL (through winning the USOC) which one would you take.

    Interested to see some answers.

  23. dan says:

    b/c the MLS Supporters Shield is what really matters.

  24. dan says:

    Arena has proven he can out-coach Sigi any day of the week. The problem is Sigi takes the Open Cup very seriously and Arena doesn’t. Don’t be surprised to see an A team Sounders there against a B team Galaxy. Sux since I’d like to see all teams take it seriously now

  25. jonk says:

    That would be a horrible cost-benefit ratio and I guarantee they’re not playing a mini-tournmanent in England because they think 1) the middle of a grueling season is a good time to give their players some extra competition and/or 2) because they want to lure some Euro guys over.
    It’s money and exposure for Red Bull the company, dude. Players in Europe know the level of play in MLS: The ASG has been in its current format for several years, there are already friendlies happening every year and you can watch MLS games on tv over there.

  26. mistadobolina says:

    great idea.. move all USOC to the MLS offseason! also have a true open format where every MLS/NASL/USL/etc. team is automatically in the tournament.. no more qualifications..

  27. JesseMT says:

    11 points back with more than half the season gone, and in not-so-great form. Good luck with that.

  28. Yinka Double Dare says:

    If you can get your butt down to Toyota Park ASAP (kickoff in about 30 minutes), tickets and parking are free for the game due to the changed kickoff time.

  29. Jerem says:

    Did he out-coach Sigi when they drew 0-0 last week? Did he out-coach Sigi when they got their asses handed to them in the Open Cup last season? The Sounders fielded mostly reserves last year and still won while Arena made excuses about the field and scheduling and all sorts of nonsense. Pull your head out buddy.

  30. ManicMessiah says:

    Red Bulls only brought 14 players to Chicago.

  31. Matt (NEF) says:

    Nothing better than free pro soccer. Means more BEER!

  32. john.q says:

    that won’t convince the casual fans to come out to the arena. no amount of angry tifos will.

    i don’t get the arguing over the us open cup vs. the emirates cup. the emirates cup is over two weeks away. the following us open cup match is over 3 weeks after that.

    todays match is the 4th match in 11 days. the starters need a break.

  33. sailor says:

    Anyone know where exactly on the chigago-fire.com site one can find the live stream? thanks.

  34. TBrodie says:

    Where on Chicago-Fire.com does one find the video stream?

  35. mistadobolina says:

    wow USL is terrible at scheduling! what is there 8 teams or something? how do you do this?? USL/NASL should look at the USOC as their major ticket, seeing what happened to Puerto Rico and Montreal in recent years..

  36. Kejsare says:

    It is backwards to call it Open Cup and most teams must “qualify” beforehand. 7 single elimination games for four MLS teams? Think they really will try their luck at winning all of those?

  37. john.q says:

    there is no conflict between the US Open Cup and the Emirates Cup. i said this in a post above.. the emirates cup is over 2 weeks away. the following US Open Cup game is over 3 weeks away after that.

    there is a full MLS google calender out there but the url is way too long to post here. you will see that the schedule clears up for rbny after july.

    next potential scheduling f-up is at the end of august. the rbny-lag game is 2 days before the us open cup semis.

  38. Tristen says:

    uh, no

  39. Final says:

    arena blows

  40. ViperLAG says:

    How about we just blowup the USSF.
    It is a joke anyhow.