Through three rounds of action, the U.S. Open Cup has left supporters with countless storylines to follow. Noise complaints, winning streaks by amateur teams, obscure CBA rules—the tournament is off to a memorable (and chaotic) start.
To get you caught up on all the action, we compiled the tournament’s top storylines ahead of the fourth round of play:
1. Timbers, Sounders to continue heated Open Cup rivalry
The first time the Timbers and Sounders squared off in the U.S. Open Cup, both teams competed in the USL. On Tuesday, the two teams will meet for the seventh time in tournament history, continuing a long-standing rivalry in MLS and Open Cup play.
This feud hit its peak in 2015, when Clint Dempsey ripped up referee Daniel Radford’s notebook during a match that saw three Sounders players sent off (the club lost another to injury, and ultimately finished the match with seven men). The year before, the Sounders beat the Timbers en route to the U.S. Open Cup crown.
Tuesday’s matchup, which kicks off at 10:30 p.m. ET, will open a new chapter in this storied rivalry.
Read more in this article from Sounder at Heart.
2. Pitch invader files noise complaint during first-round matchup
During a first-round match between amateur side Tartan Devils FC and fourth-division team Derby City FC, play stopped when a disgruntled neighbor stepped onto the field and complained about the match’s noise level. Apparently, the drum-banging and bell-shaking Derby City supporters had made it difficult for the neighbor’s children to sleep.
Eventually, the officials sorted through the situation, and play continued. Derby City ultimately lost in penalty kicks.
Read more, and watch the encounter, in this article from SB Nation.
3. Revolution to host its former USL affiliate
Revolution fans knew the day might come. And when the Rochester Rhinos (USL) beat GPS Omens (an amateur club from Boston), it became official: the Revs would host its former USL affiliate in round four of the U.S. Open Cup.
Earlier this year, Rhinos Head Coach Bob Lilley called an unofficial end to the Rochester-New England partnership, though the Revs have, to this day, remained quiet on the matter. Lilley went on to describe the challenges that arose during the affiliation, including long travel distances and poor communication.
Now, Lilley’s team will have a chance to take down the Revs when the two teams meet at Providence College on Wednesday.
Read more in this article from The Bent Musket.
4. Team that “doesn’t train or practice” to face D.C. United
Christos FC, an adult soccer club that competes in the Maryland Major Soccer League, has beaten the odds and advanced to the fourth round of the Open Cup. The only amateur team left in the tournament, Christos opened its account by beating Fredericksburg FC, a fourth-division squad, 3-0. Christos then took out the Richmond Kickers (USL). And finally, Christos used a GoFundMe campaign—and money from each of its players—to travel to Chicago, where the team won a third-round matchup with Chicago FC United (USL PDL).
The best part? Christos founder and general manager Jody Haislip told thecup.us that his team “doesn’t train or practice.”
On Tuesday, Haislip’s club will continue its Cinderella run during a matchup with D.C. United.
Read more in this article from the Baltimore Sun.
5. Obscure CBA rules keep two players from suiting up for Real Salt Lake
Mike Petke had visions of playing Real Monarchs midfielder Sebastian Velasquez and forward Chandler Hoffman during Real Salt Lake’s first Open Cup match. But that won’t happen.
According to a rule found in the collective bargaining agreement between MLS and its Players Union, players who sign a short-term Standard Player Agreement must be 25-years old or younger. And of course, Velasquez and Hoffman, who have scored a combined 11 goals for the Monarchs this season, are both 26.
Needless to say, RSL’s taxing start to the season has extended into the U.S. Open Cup.
Read more in this article from RSL Soapbox.
6. Atlanta United to play first-ever Open Cup match against own affiliate
Atlanta United has a clean slate in U.S. Open Cup play. The expansion side has never featured in the tournament and, in 2017, will look to get off on the right foot.
Standing in its way will be the Charleston Battery, Atlanta United’s own USL affiliate. The Battery defeated Jacksonville Armada (NASL) to advance to the fourth round.
The matchup will serve as the second time this year that Atlanta has faced its affiliate side. In that match—a preseason outing in the Carolina Challenge Cup—Atlanta winger Tito Villalba scored a game-winner at the death. Can Charleston get revenge on Wednesday?
Read more in this article from Dirty South Soccer.
7. Fire loanees push Tulsa Roughnecks into the fourth round
The Roughnecks, Chicago’s USL affiliate, has never competed against an MLS side in the U.S. Open Cup. That will change this week, when Tulsa meets FC Dallas at Southern Methodist University.
Fire loanees Joey Calistri and Collin Fernandez led the way for the Roughnecks in round three, scoring critical goals in a shootout against San Antonio FC (USL). Tulsa won five of its seven matches in May, and will need a little more of that magic come Wednesday, when the team takes on the defending Open Cup champs.
Read more in this article from Hot Time in Old Town.