by Neil Morris
A visit from the defending Major League Soccer champion awaits the winner of the Carolina RailHawks and Carolina Dynamo match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup next Tuesday, May 21 in Cary.
This is but one of the potential U.S. Open Cup third round pairings and venues announced Wednesday by U.S. Soccer. Should the RailHawks defeat the Dynamo next Tuesday, they will host the L.A Galaxy the following Wednesday, May 29 at WakeMed Soccer Park. It would be the second consecutive year the RailHawks and Galaxy will have faced each other for the Open Cup in Cary—last year, the RailHawks upset the Galaxy in the third round of the Open Cup. If the Dynamo downs the RailHawks, the Galaxy will visit Macpherson Stadium in Browns Summit, N.C. on May 29.
Of course, every NASL, USL Pro and other lower division participant remaining in the tournament must still handle the business of advancing beyond next Tuesday’s second round. However, several other intriguing MLS matchups await the winners.
A victory over the USL PDL’s Laredo Heat means the Fort Lauderdale Strikers hosts FC Dallas. The San Antonio Scorpions stands to earn a return visit from the Houston Dynamo, which the Scorpions defeated in last year’s tournament. With a win over VSI Tampa next week, the Tampa Bay Rowdies would host the Seattle Sounders, the three-time U.S. Open Cup champions from 2009-11. Minnesota United FC would visit Sporting KC in the third round, and the Atlanta Silverbacks travels to Utah to face Real Salt Lake.
On the USL Pro side, if the Charlotte Eagles defeat the Seattle Sounders U23s next week, Charlotte will host the Chicago Fire the following week. Other possible USL Pro third round matches include D.C. United at Richmond Kickers, New England Revolution at Rochester Rhinos, Philadelphia Union at Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC, and San Jose Earthquakes at Charleston Battery.
The RailHawks and Dynamo take the field next Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park.