U.S. Soccer

Round of 16 Match Between FC Cincinnati and Chicago Fire on June 28 to be Broadcast on ESPN2

CHICAGO (June 23, 2017– U.S. Soccer announced that the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match between FC Cincinnati and Chicago Fire on Wednesday, June 28 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and streamed on the ESPN App. Kickoff will be at 8 p.m. ET.  

Division II club FC Cincinnati of the United Soccer League (USL) advanced to the Round of 16 with a 1-0 win in the Fourth Round against Division I outfit Columbus Crew SC of Major League Soccer (MLS), which drew a competition crowd of 30,160 at Nippert Stadium, an Open Cup record for a non-Final game. A Division I team, Chicago Fire progressed with a win over USL’s Saint Louis FC by the same 1-0 scoreline.

The winner of the Round of 16 game between FC Cincinnati and Chicago Fire will travel to face the winner of Miami FC (NASL; Division II) and Atlanta United (MLS), with the Quarterfinal round taking place between July 7-16.


Click to download printable bracket.

Since their inaugural season in 1998, Chicago Fire have compiled a 42-14-5 record in Open Cup play while, FC Cincinnati have a 4-1-0 tournament record in their two years of existence. Chicago has reached the Semifinal round 12 times and the Final six times. Additionally, the Fire have hoisted the Open Cup trophy four times – 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2006. 

The 2017 U.S. Open Cup is the 104th consecutive installment of the single-elimination Cup competition. It is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and the world's third-longest-running open soccer tournament.

2017 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 (June 27-28)

Date

Game

Time

Venue

June 27 FC Dallas (MLS) vs. Colorado Rapids (MLS)
7 p.m. CT
WATCH
Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
June 28 Houston Dynamo (MLS) vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
5:30 p.m. CT WATCH
BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
June 28 New England Revolution (MLS) vs. D.C. United (MLS) 7:30 p.m. ET WATCH
Jordan Field (Harvard University); Boston, Mass.
June 28 Miami FC (NASL) vs. Atlanta United FC (MLS) 7:30 p.m. ET WATCH
Riccardo Silva Stadium (Fla. International Univ.); Miami, Fla.
June 28 New York Red Bulls (MLS) vs. Philadelphia Union (MLS)
8 p.m. ET
WATCH
Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
June 28 FC Cincinnati (USL) vs. Chicago Fire (MLS) 8 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Nippert Stadium (Univ. of Cincinnati); Cincinnati, Ohio
June 28 San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) 7:30 p.m. PT WATCH
Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
June 28 LA Galaxy (MLS) vs. Sacramento Republic FC (USL) 7:30 p.m. PT WATCH
StubHub Center Track Stadium; Carson, Calif.

Quarterfinals (July 7-16)

Date

Game

Time

Venue

TBD New England Revolution (MLS) vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)/Philadelphia Union (MLS) winner TBD Jordan Field (Harvard University); Boston, Mass.
   -or-
TBD D.C. United (MLS) vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)/Philadelphia Union (MLS) winner TBD Maryland SoccerPlex; Boyds, Md.
TBD Miami FC (NASL) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL)/Chicago Fire (MLS) winner TBD Riccardo Silva Stadium (Fla. International Univ.); Miami, Fla.
   -or-
TBD Atlanta United FC (MLS) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL)/Chicago Fire (MLS) winner TBD Fifth Third Bank Stadium (Kennesaw State Univ.); Kennesaw, Ga.
TBD Houston Dynamo (MLS) vs. FC Dallas (MLS)/Colorado Rapids (MLS) winner TBD BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
   -or-
TBD Sporting Kansas City (MLS) vs. FC Dallas (MLS)/Colorado Rapids (MLS) winner TBD Children's Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan.
TBD San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)/Sacramento Republic FC (USL) winner TBD Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
   -or-
TBD Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)/Sacramento Republic FC (USL) winner TBD Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.

Semifinals            Aug. 8-9
Final                      Sept. 20

Read more
U.S. Open Cup Jun 23, 2017

Solignac and a Touch of Class

Many strikers claim to love all goals the same. It’s like parents with their children, aware of their blessings and eager not to play favorites. But still, sometimes – every now and then – a certain goal brings a special kind of smile. Luis Solignac of Chicago Fire wore one of those smiles after one of those goals in the last round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. 
“It surprised me when I turned and saw the ball dipping into the goal,” said the 26-year-old Argentine striker, tall and powerful and hitting his best form since arriving in Major League Soccer two years ago. “But I meant to do it. It was my intention to put the ball on goal. Of course, the outcome and the intention aren’t always the same. This time the outcome was much, much better than I expected.”
Read more
U.S. Open Cup Jun 23, 2017

Melia: Kansas City’s Pool Shark

“Stability? In sport?” chuckled goalkeeper Tim Melia, a wry edge in his voice, when asked about his new lease on professional life at Sporting Kansas City. “What’s that?” 

He might be the best keeper in Major League Soccer on current form, racking up 10 shutouts this season alone. But that doesn’t mean the SKC No.1 takes anything for granted. “You’re only as good as your last game,” admitted Melia, a man who earned his first starting gig in the American top-flight at the ripe old age of 29. “I know that more than the next guy because of all I’ve been through.”  

 

An agile shot-stopper with an eye for quick breaks, the Long Island native paid his dues in the lower leagues with Rochester Rhinos before Real Salt Lake drafted him in 2010. And of course, there at the top of the pyramid, it was all money, comfort and the professional dream. Happily ever after, right? Not quite.

From Chivas to the Pool
He was released from his contract after barely a full year in Utah and quickly landed one of the worst gigs in MLS: back-up at Chivas USA. He made six appearances for the ill-fated club and conceded 12 goals, an average of two per game. It’s one of those stats that’s a damned lie, a reflection more on the now-defunct club’s mismanagement than Melia’s chops between the posts. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, when Chivas went belly up in 2014, Melia ended up in MLS’ goalkeeper pool – where no one wants to be at age 28. He was a gun-for-hire, a back-up who’d travel to fill a hole. “It’s not the situation I wanted to be in,” he said, remembering his days without a home. He was a body, quite literally, making up the numbers, on contract with the league but not with a team. “But it was my reality.”

Melia took a novel approach to climb out. “I treated every stretch where I got in front of an MLS coach as a straight-up trial,” he said of those days having earned only a handful of starts and watching his dream die slowly. “I was pretty intense about it. I went all out. I did whatever needed doing – shagging balls or putting myself in front of hundreds of shots.”

 

Then-LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena allowed Melia to practice with his squad, affording the keeper at least a modicum of stability between Pool loans. “I just went across the hall, changed my shirt and trained with the Galaxy,” said Melia, who talks about the ins and outs of the game as you would expect, like someone who watched closely and paid attention to the details. “I put everything into it.”

Once he flew across the country only to have a coach change his mind when he arrived with a bag in hand and bleary-eyed. For a competitor like Melia, a pro in his bones desperate for a chance, it was cruel. He considered hanging up his gloves for good. But he pushed on. And when Sporting had a need in 2015, all three of their keepers down to injury, they put a call in for Melia. He packed another bag – maybe it was already by the door from last time out – and made his way to Kansas City.

He got his chance this time. For real. He pounced on the opportunity offered by coach Peter Vermes. His talent, determination and attitude – honed through the hard times – were obvious. It might be a trick of the eye, but Melia seems to hold the ball a little tighter and smother it more completely than other keepers, careful not to let the chance he’d waited so long for slip through his fingers. He was named the league’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2015, a sideways honor he scoffs at, and is in the hunt for both an MLS and U.S. Open Cup crown this year. 

A Place to Call Home
He’s expansive when talking about what it means to play at home. There’s genuine gratitude when conversation turns to the fans at Children’s Mercy Park. “It’s huge. You sleep in your own bed and train at your own field,” he said. “You keep your own routine. And then you get a little bit of extra energy from the fans and it makes all the difference. You drop these fans into the equation and it’s a recipe for perfection.”

It’s not just the fans, who chant his name, a name few knew two years ago, who’ve come to love Melia. He’s earned the respect of his teammates, which can’t be too hard when you concede one goal in your last six home games – over 540 minutes of soccer. “Unbelievable,” center-back Matt Besler said of Melia, while coach Vermes once called his go-to man: “The Hulk.”

Melia admits to having a special place in his heart for for the Open Cup. He won the competition in 2015, his first year in KC. “For a guy who became a starter so late in his career, I got my chances to play in the Open Cup,” he said about the dark days when an Open Cup outing was a hint of light in a life of anonymity. “If you played well and got a result, you could make more minutes for yourself. I love the tournament. There’s opportunities in it.”

He also likes having it all on the line. “Open Cup games are the kind where you just have to do anything to get through,” said Melia, now 31 and lynchpin of the league’s meanest defense. “It doesn’t matter if you win 5-4 or 1-0 or on penalties, you just need to win. It’s five games to a trophy and here at SKC we take that very seriously.

Sporting Kansas City face Houston Dynamo – currently their closest chasers in the Western Conference – on the road in the next round. “They’re quick on the counter and good at home – they haven’t lost at their place yet this season,” said Melia, rattling off the scouting report on his next opponent in the Cup’s Round of 16. He won’t be fazed by a quick road trip and he knows, with one more win – pretty or ugly, it’s back to home sweet home for the Quarters.

Read more
U.S. Open Cup Jun 22, 2017

The Great Eight Rd. IV: Fall Guy, False Starts & a Sip of Solignac

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is known for its magic moments. And the Fourth Round of the competition, now in its 104th year, tossed up a good few of those between June 13 and 14. Take a look back at eight moments of note from 16 games, where Djiby Fall rose again, a young Argentine was smoother than fine wine and three Major League Soccer sides trudged off with faces long and heads bowed.

Cupsets Come in Threes
At its core, the Open Cup is about upsets. It’s that magic and romance people talk about, the chance to take on your supposed betters and show them who you are. That’s precisely what USL sides FC Cincinnati and Sacramento Republic plus NASL league-leaders Miami FC did on Wednesday, drawing all the headlines and big smiles with wins over top-flight opponents. FC Cincinnati did the improbable in front of a record home crowd, showing 2002 Open Cup champs Columbus Crew who’s boss in Ohio – for one night at least. And while that was a 1-0 squeaker, Miami and Sacramento roared to routs, unfazed by the glare of the spotlight and the long shadow cast by Goliath. Stéfano Pinho scored them all in Miami’s 3-1 hammering of Orlando City and Sacramento Republic shared the goals around in a 4-1 battering of Real Salt Lake.

A Final Dream for Christos
When Mamadou Kansaye’s free-kick hit the back of D.C. United’s net, the Maryland SoccerPlex exploded. Thousands turned out to support Christos FC, amateur dreamers from the outskirts of Baltimore who lit up the 2017 Open Cup with possibilities and dreams and goosebumps and wonder. The players, fresh and formal in newly donated kits that replaced the t-shirts and mismatched shorts they wore into the Fourth Round, knew right where to go. All XI starters, plus the subs’ bench and technical staff, raced to a little hill behind the goal to share the moment with founding members and long-haulers of the Christos FC brotherhood, family and friends who’d made the trip to dreamland with their boys. It was 1-0 to Christos over D.C. United for a brief moment at least, and the players took their time jogging back and soaking in the moment. The goal didn’t hold up. They lost 4-1, but it’s not the score we’ll remember about these men in green and their big dream.   

Smooth Solignac
His name is elegant, and you should remember it. Solignac sounds like something ordered in a restaurant on the Champs-Elysées to help digest the finest meal you’ve ever eaten. And the goal young Luis spun in mid-air out of nothing but audacity and panache, was of the rarest vintage. His Chicago Fire were goalless on the road against a motivated Saint Louis FC when a hopeful nothing of a cross floated in toward the Argentine. It was a little behind him, without much pace. He had a defender right in his face. Not to worry, though. He spun, turned his back to goal and flicked the ball with his heel in mid-air while on the full volley. It rose in the warm night and turned down like a head falling to a pillow before nestling in the back of the net. It was the only goal that came in a game of grit and thunder and earnest effort. It was a moment of light in the dark, and it was all it took.

Minnesota’s Firsts to Forget
They say you never forget your first time. Minnesota United, one of 2017’s Major League Soccer expansion teams, will want to forget theirs. Lots of them. After losing their first ever MLS game 5-1 on the road to Portland Timbers in March of this year, they returned to lose their first-ever home game 6-1 a week later. And now, in their first U.S. Open Cup game as a top-flight side, they were hammered to the tune of 4-0 at the hands of three-time Cup holders Sporting Kansas City. They say time heals all wounds, so let’s get a heavy dose of time out to Minnesota stat.

Cincinnati’s Fall Guy
Magic Cup runs require magic Cup goals. FC Cincinnati’s Djiby Fall scored the only one of the match in the Queen City side’s 1-0 win over Columbus Crew in front of more than 30,000 fans at Nippert Stadium – a record for a non-Final Open Cup game. And every one of those fans must have thought they had deja vu when the Senegalese striker rose a little higher than his marker to nod the ball into the back of the net. It was his third goal – and his third match-winner – in as many Cup games for the Ohio club that can believe in miracles now with a magic man drawing nothing but winning cards from the deck. Up next, and at home again, is Chicago Fire. The four-time Open Cup champs would do well to keep an eye on Cincinnati’s Fall guy. 

 

The Sons Also Rise
If you were only half-watching, you’d think it was 20 years ago. A young man with the surname Harkes and another one named Lassiter stepped out on the pitch to make huge impacts for their MLS teams. Ian Harkes, son of former U.S. National Team captain and D.C. United legend John, scored to help see off never-say-die Christos FC. And over on the west coast, Ariel Lassiter, still just 22 and known as ‘Goal Puppy’ also scored. His dad Roy, known in his playing days as the ‘Goal Dawg’ was MLS’ top scorer in 1996, and he would have been proud to call his boy’s strike his own. It’s worth mentioning too, there was a Radosavljević on the bench for St. Louis FC, patiently waiting for a chance from his dad and coach Preki (Radosavljević Sr.). 

Caps, Gowns and a Pro Debut
The kit-men for Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers had to log overtime to print new numbers and names on jerseys. Both sides used squads comprised largely of reserves in their game on Tuesday, a watered-down version of a usually vibrant local derby. The Sounders brought up nine second-team players while the Timbers a full eleven. Sounders’ 18-year-old midfielder, Sam Rogers, got his first professional start on the day, but he couldn’t go out and celebrate with the rest of the squad after the 2-1 win. He had finals the next day – three of them – at Ballard High School. He got his yearbook in the morning and played the full 90 that night. There’s no rest in the youngster’s immediate future, either, as graduation’s just a few days off and, by the looks of it, a successful career in soccer is looming. 

 

Open Cup Courtside
It’s safe to say that the 2017 installment of the Open Cup is getting noticed.  Featured regularly on SportsCenter and all across a wide array of major media outlets, we’re seeing stars of soccer and beyond turn up in the stands too. Cincinnati native and young U.S. Women’s National Team standout Rose Lavelle was among the 30,000-plus in Cincinnati – she’ll be there again for the Round of 16 game against Chicago Fire. Heather O’Reilly, another star of the women’s game, was in attendance for North Carolina FC’s loss to Houston Dynamo, while in St. Louis, local heroes Tim Ream and Men’s Youth National Team favorite Josh Sargent were spotted. Over in Sacramento, former Laker legend and GM of the local NBA Kings, Vlade Divac, was seen courtside too. Pitchside. Whatever.

Read more
U.S. Open Cup Jun 16, 2017

U.S. Soccer Announces Round of 16 Draw for 2017 U.S. Open Cup

CHICAGO (June 15, 2017) – U.S. Soccer unveiled the Round of 16 pairings and hosts as well as the potential Quarterfinal matchups for the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Thursday. With the Round of 16 Bracket set, all remaining teams will know their potential path to the tournament Final. The Round of 16 will be played on Tuesday, June 27 and Wednesday, June 28.

A total of 13 Fourth Round winners from Major League Soccer (Division I) were joined by three Division II sides, Miami FC from the North American Soccer League and FC Cincinnati and Sacramento Republic from the United Soccer League. These 16 clubs were divided into four geographic regions ahead of the Draw: Central, East, South, and West. Teams were then randomly selected and placed into brackets according to the order they were drawn in their region.

The winners that advance from the upper bracket in each region will host the Quarterfinals from July 7-16. Following the Quarterfinals, a concluding Draw will take place (date TBD) to determine the hosting scenarios for the tournament Semifinals and Final.


Click to download printable bracket.

Thursday’s Draw was conducted at U.S. Soccer House in Chicago, with U.S. Soccer Development Council member Ivaldo Basso serving as the official Draw assistant. 

2017 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 (June 27-28)

Date

Game

Time

Venue

June 27 FC Dallas (MLS) vs. Colorado Rapids (MLS)
7 p.m. CT
WATCH
Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
June 28 Houston Dynamo (MLS) vs. Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
5:30 p.m. CT WATCH
BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
June 28 New England Revolution (MLS) vs. D.C. United (MLS) 7:30 p.m. ET WATCH
Jordan Field (Harvard University); Boston, Mass.
June 28 New York Red Bulls (MLS) vs. Philadelphia Union (MLS) 7:30 p.m. ET WATCH
Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
June 28 Miami FC (NASL) vs. Atlanta United FC (MLS) 7:30 p.m. ET WATCH
Riccardo Silva Stadium (Fla. International Univ.); Miami, Fla.
June 28 FC Cincinnati (USL) vs. Chicago Fire (MLS) 7:30 p.m. ET WATCH
Nippert Stadium (Univ. of Cincinnati); Cincinnati, Ohio
June 28 San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) 7:30 p.m. PT WATCH
Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
June 28 LA Galaxy (MLS) vs. Sacramento Republic FC (USL) 7:30 p.m. PT WATCH
StubHub Center Track Stadium; Carson, Calif.

Quarterfinals (July 7-16)

Date

Game

Time

Venue

TBD New England Revolution (MLS) vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)/Philadelphia Union (MLS) winner TBD Jordan Field (Harvard University); Boston, Mass.
   -or-
TBD D.C. United (MLS) vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS)/Philadelphia Union (MLS) winner TBD Maryland SoccerPlex; Boyds, Md.
TBD Miami FC (NASL) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL)/Chicago Fire (MLS) winner TBD Riccardo Silva Stadium (Fla. International Univ.); Miami, Fla.
   -or-
TBD Atlanta United FC (MLS) vs. FC Cincinnati (USL)/Chicago Fire (MLS) winner TBD Fifth Third Bank Stadium (Kennesaw State Univ.); Kennesaw, Ga.
TBD Houston Dynamo (MLS) vs. FC Dallas (MLS)/Colorado Rapids (MLS) winner TBD BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
   -or-
TBD Sporting Kansas City (MLS) vs. FC Dallas (MLS)/Colorado Rapids (MLS) winner TBD Children's Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan.
TBD San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)/Sacramento Republic FC (USL) winner TBD Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
   -or-
TBD Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)/Sacramento Republic FC (USL) winner TBD Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.

Semifinals            Aug. 8-9
Final                      Sept. 20

Read more
U.S. Open Cup Jun 15, 2017
×