GAMESDAY: US Open Cup, 2nd Round

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Today is a unique day to say the least as we have not one, but two Open Cup matches with local interest to follow today. The Riverhounds are in the suburbs of the Windy City to face Chicago FC United while the Tartan Devils occupy Highmark Stadium to host Louisville City FC. Births into the third round, and maybe a little history, are on the line in matches all across the country this evening. Here’s are quick breakdown of the two ties you should be following…

Chicago FC United vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Martin Stadium – 8PM

The Hounds find themselves on the campus of Northwestern University to try and play spoil to Chicago FC United. The PDL team finds itself in the second round after beating Grand Rapids FC 1-nil, with the lone tally coming by way of an own goal. This way the club’s eighth all-time victory in the Cup, but their first in five years.

In contrast, Dave Brandt’s team will be looking to avoid being dismissed by an amateur side in consecutive years after the Hounds were embarrassed at home by Lansdowne Bhoys FC, 2-nil. The loss proved to be the end of coach Mark Steffens’ tenure with the club, as the next day he was informed he was being let go following that weekend’s league match.

Because of loan agreements with their parent clubs Marshall Hollingsworth, Abuchi Obinwa, and Joe Greenspan will not be available for selection. There also appears to be some doubt as to whether Romeo Parkes will be eligible because of how recently he signed with the Hounds. This should mean we see what the depth of of the roster looks like with some guys potentially seeing their first minutes of the year.

The winner of this tie will face the winner of the Christos FC and Richmond Kickers match. If the Kickers win, the Hounds would be traveling to Virginia for the third round match while Christos FC would be coming Highmark Stadium if they prevail.

Tartan Devils Oak Avalon vs Louisville City FC

Highmark Stadium – 7pm

The Piper’s Pub club team withstood 120 minutes, an irritated neighbor who just wanted her kids to get some sleep, and kicks from the spot against a Kentucky based PDL team to punch their ticket into the second round and the right to host the USL’s Louisville City FC. The Devil’s are riding a wave of interest, as they are the first Pittsburgh based amateur side to win an Open Cup match in 20 years. Can they make even bigger history and grab a pro team scalp and march into the third round?

Tonight, Louisville City will be playing the first of two matches at Highmark Stadium this week, as they will be staying in town to face the Riverhounds in a previously scheduled USL contest Saturday evening. Louisville coach, James O’Connor has hinted that the team will be using its depth over the next four days. The Devils will most likely be facing against some players hungry to get some competitive minutes and propel their club in the third round.

The winner of this tie will face the winner of the FC Cincinnati and AFC Cleveland match. If the Devils and Cincy both win, the third round contest would be in the ‘Natti while a Devils and Cleveland match would be here in Pittsburgh.

The tailgating tonight gets started at 5pm or whenever you get yourself to Highmark. Wear your red and black and get ready to be loud for the pub team off Carson Street. Tickets are only $5 and a good time is ure to be had. If Louisville is going to spend a couple days here, might as well make them feel welcomed straight away, no?