FC Cincinnati advanced to the 3rd Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after Wednesday night’s win over AFC Cleveland. Their next opponent in the Annual multi-division tournament will be USL rival Louisville City FC. On Thursday morning, US Soccer released a pairing list for match-ups in the US Open Cup 4th Round. The winner of FC Cincinnati/Louisville was drawn against MLS opponent Columbus Crew SC. This sparked a wide array of reactions on social media from criticism of Crew’s hosting preference, to which USL team Columbus fans would rather play.
US Soccer stated that host sites would be determined by coin flip at 12:30 EST and in what came as a shock, the winner of FC Cincinnati vs. Louisville City FC will host Columbus. This isn’t the firct chance FCC could play Crew SC. In the 2016 Open Cup, FC Cincinnati was tied with Columbus, but fell away to the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the round prior. The biggest difference this season is that The Black & Gold could end up playing at Nippert vs. the potential to travel to Columbus.
— U.S. Open Cup (@opencup) May 18, 2017
The chance to face Columbus in Cincinnati is an opportunity all fans in our city would enjoy. The Massive faithful have routinely diminished FC Cincinnati and our fans at every turn. Are the chances of an upset unlikely? Perhaps, but the chance to line up vs. the perceived “premier club” in our region doesn’t come along often.
With this opportunity comes another challenge. Us fans must show up and cheer on FCC in two weeks as they face Louisville City on May 31st. Nearly 13,000 people showed up for Wednesday night’s match, but many of these were season ticket holders which had this match included in their packages. The match on the 31st will not be a part of those packages and fans must purchase these tickets at face value. We need as many people as possible to provide a quality atmosphere for our rivals.
The match on the 31st will also feature the return of Djiby Fall vs. Louisville. The words of LCFC coach James O’ Connor led to the suspension of the striker on accusations that the lead man bit an LCFC player. Djiby is still suspended until the June 10th USL match, but is eligible to play in the US Open Cup. The Senegalese striker notched the winning goal in the 117′ Wednesday night and a return to face Louisville will be a juicy headline.
Of course, the Magic of the Cup can take our club to an amazing moment if the Orange & Blue do defeat O’Connor’s boys in the 3rd Round. The USL rivalry could provide an exciting match and with the correct result could breed a chance to form a new rivalry among the oldest MLS club and potentially a future one.
Bottom line. If we don’t show up and help FC Cincinnati vs. Lousiville, we may not get our chance with the Black & Gold. I’m sure many of our readers have cheered for Columbus at a time, but I hope that we are able to get the opportunity to look at them as an enemy for 90 minutes. This match up could undoubtedly help grow the sport in our region and get several newcomers to Nippert. The cup can always breathe new life into struggling clubs and I hope it can help FCC!
Onwards to the Cup!