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U.S. Open Cup's Fourth Round to Conclude on Wednesday, Aug. 2


The U.S. Open Cup’s Fourth Round action concludes Wednesday with six key match-ups to be played across the country. The first fixture pits two teams that share the same name, as Houston welcomes Carolina into Robertson Stadium in the battle of the Dynamos. This Open Cup game will kick off at 5:30 p.m. CT and will prelude a match featuring Salvadorian champion Aguila and Honduran champion Club Olimpia Deportivo as part of a double-header. The Orange, as the home town team is referred to, will make their first-ever appearance in the U.S. Open Cup. Their counterpart, the Carolina Dynamo, looks to bounce back from their recent USL playoff departure and build on their successful 2006 Open Cup run. Carolina’s PDL player of the year candidate Randi Patterson has enough pace and scoring ability to give any defender nightmares.

Paetec Park is the site of the highly anticipated Northeast region match between the Rochester Rhinos, the only non-MLS USOC champions since 1996, and the New England Revolution. After past Open Cup meetings, the star studded Revolution are familiar with the strength of the Rhinos and will have to arrive ready for battle. Rochester will have more than one threat to contain, as Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey and Pat Noonan can all provide the Revolution with offensive firepower. This match-up, slated for 7:30 p.m. ET at Paetec Park, could be the most intriguing of the Fourth Round.

FC Dallas returns to the Open Cup after falling, 1-0, in last year’s championship to the Los Angeles Galaxy. They will be welcomed by the Charleston Battery into Blackbaud Stadium in what could be a very dangerous fixture for FC Dallas. Charleston has everything to play for and a victory could potentially allow the Battery to host a Quarterfinal Round match. The Battery’s Ben Hollingsworth has already tallied three goals so far this tournament and looks to add to that on Wednesday. On top of that, two current Battery players, Gavin Glinton and Lazo Alavanja, have ties connecting back to MLS action with Dallas.

The Wilmington Hammerheads host the New York Red Bulls in North Carolina on Wednesday night. New York has previously had trouble playing against lower division teams in the Open Cup, losing on three different occasions. With the loss of leading goal-scorer Jean Philippe Peguero, the Red Bulls’ attack must quickly find new firepower. This match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET at Legion Sports Complex in Wilmington.

The next Fourth Round Open Cup fixture features two of the last three winners of the Dewar Cup trophy, the Kansas City Wizards and Chicago Fire. These Eastern Conference MLS foes have gone 1-1-1 in this year’s season series and are currently fighting for a playoff berth. The return of MNT players Eddie Johnson, Josh Wolfe and Jimmy Conrad to the lineup has not helped the Wizards regain their early season success when they won four out of their first five league matches. The Fire’s Open Cup resume includes an all-time cup record of 20-5-2 with three Open Cup titles. Chicago will host its first USOC match at the brand new Toyota Park in Bridgeview. With each team thoroughly understanding the importance of the Open Cup tradition, expect two inspired sides in search of yet another Dewar Cup.

In the final fixture for the Open Cup Fourth Round, Real Salt Lake plays host to the Colorado Rapids. Real Salt Lake enters their second cup match after a come-from-behind 2-1 upset victory vs. league giant DC United. Colorado’s balanced attack yields four players who scored four or more goals this year. The Rapids’ consistency has propelled the club to the top half of the MLS’ Western standings. Will spirited RSL be able to ride their recent momentum past the oncoming Rapids?

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