Fire could face big, hostile crowd in next U.S. Open Cup match

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: