As the 2016 U.S. Open Cup hits the quarterfinals on Wednesday night, a lone NASL side looks to continue its improbable run while seven MLS teams look to book their places in the final four.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers will attempt to reach the semifinals as the NASL team faces the Chicago Fire. Meanwhile, three all-MLS clashes take place to decide the rest of this year’s field, including a Texas Derby showdown at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Here’s a quick look at Wednesday’s Open Cup matches (all times Eastern):
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (MLS) vs. PHILADELPHIA UNION (MLS), 7:30 p.m.
Through all their struggles in 2016, the Revolution currently hold a playoff position in the Eastern Conference and Jay Heaps’ group is coming off of a big win over the New York Cosmos in the Round of 16. Teal Bunbury’s brace helped guide the Revs into the quarterfinals, while Kei Kamara also tallied for the road team.
First it was Roland Alberg that made a name for himself in this season’s tournament against the Harrisburg City Islanders, then Chris Pontius put in a great performance of his own against the New York Red Bulls. The Union have traditionally played well at the U.S. Open Cup, finishing runners’ up in two straight years.
CHICAGO FIRE (MLS) vs. FORT LAUDERDALE STRIKERS (NASL), 8:30 p.m.
Since entering this year’s tournament, the Fire have been involved in two closely-contested matches. Head coach Veljko Paunovic and co. needed penalties to knock out Indy Eleven in the Fourth Round, before the Fire disposed of the Columbus Crew behind David Accam’s brace in the Round of 16.
Three straight extra time results have the Strikers in the quarterfinals, and the NASL side looks to make the Fire their next victim on Wednesday. On the stroke of heading into a penalty shootout in the Round of 16, Strikers forward PC netted the game-winning goal to knock out Orlando City in the 120th minute.
HOUSTON DYNAMO (MLS) vs. FC DALLAS (MLS), 8:30 p.m.
Mauro Manotas has made his mark during the U.S. Open Cup, most recently netting two goals against Sporting KC in the Round of 16. With the Dynamo buried at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, Wade Barrett’s side will look to build momentum against one of MLS’ top sides and possibly enter the semifinals.
FC Dallas is hot and there aren’t many signs of the team slowing down. Despite playing over the weekend and facing another difficult matchup against the Colorado Rapids in league play on Saturday, Oscar Pareja has enough depth to put out a strong side to compete against the Dynamo.
LA GALAXY (MLS) vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (MLS), 10:30 p.m.
The Galaxy reached the Round of 16 by way of a controversial referee decision, but Bruce Arena’s men continued onto the path of possibly hoisting the title when the side defeated the Portland Timbers last round.
While the Sounders have had a disappointing season, Sigi Schmid’s team can temporarily mend their wounds against the Galaxy. Rookie forward Jordan Morris will look to put his stamp on the tournament after netting seven goals in MLS play thus far in 2016.