Last year, the Chicago Fire had three home games en route to a U.S. Open Cup semifinal. To make a semifinal this year, the Fire will have to get through three road games.
Wednesday at Saint Louis FC was the first road win, but the Fire learned on Thursday morning that potentially two more road games await.
The draw was held by U.S. Soccer in Chicago and the Fire will face a potentially daunting or enticing (or both) match in the Round of 16. The Fire will head to FC Cincinnati, a USL team which just beat the Columbus Crew in front of 30,160 fans on Wednesday. The match will be played June 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.
Cincinnati has emerged as a prime candidate for MLS expansion with big crowds since the club debuted last year. FCC averaged over 17,000 fans per home game last year, more than the Fire have drawn in any season at Toyota Park.
If the Fire advance, they will play the winner of Miami FC (an NASL team which beat Orlando on Wednesday) and Atlanta United FC, hosted by Miami. The winner of that match will also host the quarterfinal against the winner of the Fire and Cincinnati.
Here is the full draw for the remaining 16 teams in the U.S. Open Cup:
MLS soccer is coming back this summer.
The league announced a plan to have all 26 MLS clubs resume play on July 8 with a league-wide “MLS is Back Tournament.”
The games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World, without fans in the stands.
Here’s how it will work:
Clubs can arrive in Orlando to begin training on June 24. Then a group stage will begin July 8 followed by a knockout stage, starting July 25.
There will be six groups, three for each the Western and Eastern Conferences. The group stage draw will occur on June 11 at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Each team will play three group stage matches, and the results from those games will count in the 2020 MLS regular season standings.
Then the top two teams from each group, plus the four best third-place finishers will advance to the knockout stage. That stage starts with a round-of-16, followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and then the championship game. The championship game will be played on August 11.
In case of a tie at the end of regulation in the knockout stage, games will proceed directly to a penalty kick shootout.
The winner of the tournament will earn a berth in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League.
At the conclusion of the tournament, MLS will resume its regular season followed by the MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup.
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Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the cancelation of three marquee 2020 events in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 MLS All-Star Game, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup have all been canceled, the league announced Tuesday. Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif. was set to host the All-Star game on July 29, and MLS said the 2021 event is now expected to take place at the same venue.
MLS will resume negotiations with LIGA MX with hopes of squaring off in the 2021 exhibition match.
The second annual Leagues Cup tournament was set to occur between July and September, featuring top MLS and LIGA MX teams. The two leagues canceled the event in a joint decision and plan to play the tournament next year.
Similarly, MLS and LIGA MX jointly canceled the Campeones Cup, which features the reigning MLS champion against the LIGA MX's Campeón de Campeones winner. The 2020 event was scheduled for Aug. 12 at CenturyLink field, home of Seattle Sounders FC. It will return in 2021.