The quest continues to become the first North American Soccer League team to capture the historic Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as the two remaining NASL sides aim to knock off their Major League Soccer opponents at the Fourth Round stage (Round-of-16) on Wednesday.
The NASL action in the centennial edition of the U.S. Open Cup begins at 7pm ET when the Carolina RailHawks, who are coming off a 2-0 win over defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy in third round, look to eliminate their second consecutive California-based MLS side when they host Chivas USA at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The current NASL leaders Carolina, the first NASL club to reach the Open Cup Fourth Round for a second consecutive year, are looking for revenge against a Chivas USA club that eliminated them last year in the same fourth round by a 2-1 score, in Cary, N.C.
“It’s a short turn around after an exciting victory on Saturday, but we returned right back to work to prepare for the U.S. Open Cup,” said RailHawks coach Colin Clarke. “Chivas USA have had a lot of changes over the past couple weeks, so it’s important for us to get off to a quick start in front of our home crowd and put together a quality 90 minutes.”
If successful in their giant-killing quest, the RailHawks will earn a trip to face either Real Salt Lake (MLS) or Charleston Battery (USL PRO) on June 26, in the Quarterfinals.
Elsewhere, the reigning NASL champion Tampa Bay Rowdies head to the West Coast to take on the Portland Timbers of MLS in Fourth Round action at JELD-WEN Field at 10.30pm ET / 7.30 pm PT.
The Rowdies, who eliminated the three-time Open Cup champions Seattle Sounders FC in a stunning 1-0 third round victory thanks to a Georgi Hristov goal, will be searching for their first quarterfinal berth and a trip to Texas to meet the MLS winner of the FC Dallas-Houston Dynamo encounter on June 26.
“We are going to Portland with the intention of reaching the quarterfinals,” commented Rowdies head coach Ricky Hill. “They are on a great run currently, but these cup matches are different than the rest. At the end of the night, there will be a winner and we are hoping we can stun their crowd and come back to Tampa Bay with a win.”
The eight Fourth Round winners will process to the Quarterfinals set for June 26 and the eventual tournament winner in October will be one of the four U.S. representatives at the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League.
Did You Know?
This is only the second year the NASL teams are competing at the U.S. Open Cup and so far they have outscored opposition 45 to 32 in 25 games … Carolina RailHawks is the only NASL side to reach the fourth round in back-to-back years (2012, 2013) … Prior to 2012, RailHawks reached the 2007 Open Cup Semifinals only to lose a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime encounter to the eventual champion New England Revolution (MLS) … Tampa Bay and Portland are facing each other for the first time since the previous 1982 NASL era as the Timbers swept the two-game regular season encounters … The last meeting was a 5-0 loss for the Rowdies on August 8, 1982 in Portland.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Fourth Round Games Featuring NASL teams
CD Chivas USA (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
Wednesday, June 12, 7:15 p.m. ET
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Portland Timbers (MLS)
JELD-WEN Field; Portland, Ore.
Wednesday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. PT
Third Round Results
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0 FC Dallas 2
Real Salt Lake 3 Atlanta Silverbacks 2 AET
Carolina RailHawks 2 Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 Seattle Sounders FC 0
Second Round Results
Carolina RailHawks 3 Carolina Dynamo 1
VSI Tampa Bay 1 Tampa Bay Rowdies 2
Georgia Revolution 2 Atlanta Silverbacks 3
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1 Laredo Heat 1 (Strikers won 7-6 PK)
San Antonio Scorpions 2 FC Tucson 2 (FC Tucson won 4-3 PK)
Minnesota United FC 0 Des Moines Menace 1
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