The road to the U.S. Open Cup title may very well go through Seattle again.
Should the Seattle Sounders defeat the San Jose Earthquakes in Tuesday's Open Cup quarterfinal, the three-time defending tournament champions would host the semifinal match against either Chivas USA or USL Pro's Charlotte Eagles at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash. After a random hosting selection process was used through the quarterfinals, hosting rights for the semifinals reverted back to the blind bidding process of past years, one that the Sounders have used to their advantage during their Open Cup dominance.
If the Earthquakes, who host the quarterfinal at Kezar Stadium, end the Sounders' run, then they will host the semifinal against either Chivas or Charlotte at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Earthquakes won the only meeting in league play between the two sides so far this season, getting a 1-0 result at CenturyLink Field on March 31.
On the other side of the bracket, the Philadelphia Union are also in line to host a semifinal match at PPL Park, if they can get by USL Pro affiliate club Harrisburg City Islanders. The only way Sporting Kansas City, which faces winless USL Pro side Dayton Dutch Lions, can host the semifinal is if the Union fall to Harrisburg.
Here are all of the potential pairings and host sites for the Open Cup semifinals:
U.S. OPEN CUP SEMIFINAL PAIRINGS (games either July 10 or 11)
Sporting Kansas City/Dayton Dutch Lions at Philadelphia Union
Harrisburg City Islanders at Sporting Kansas City
Dayton Dutch Lions at Harrisburg City Islanders
Chivas USA/Charlotte Eagles at Seattle Sounders or San Jose Earthquakes
U.S. OPEN CUP QUARTERFINALS (all games June 26)
Philadelphia Union vs. Harrisburg City Islanders, 7:30 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Dayton Dutch Lions, 8:30 p.m.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders, 10:30 p.m.
Chivas USA vs. Charlotte Eagles, 10:30 p.m.
What do you think of the potential semifinal host sites? Which four teams do you see progressing to the semifinals? Do you think Seattle will repeat, or do you see the Earthquakes knocking them off?
Share your thoughts below.