Top Stories

U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round Preview (Day One)

Timbers San Jose MLS 1 (USA TODAY Sports)

The fourth round of the 2016 U.S. Open Cup gets underway Tuesday evening, as Major League Soccer teams come into the fray.

In Portland, the only all-MLS match of the round takes place as the Timbers host the San Jose Earthquakes. Elsewhere, the Colorado Rapids will face an in-state rival in a rematch of last year’s Fourth Round matchup, while Real Salt Lake will look to end the Wilmington Hammerheads’ impressive run. Meanwhile, the LA Galaxy play amateur side La Maquina FC to cap off the night.

Here’s a quick look at Tuesday’s Open Cup matches (all times Eastern):


This matchup is an exact replica of the 2015 game between the two sides, when the Rapids recorded a 4-1 victory to advance. In that match, Pablo Mastroeni fielded his young guns and reaped the rewards. The Switchbacks may return to Dicks Sporting Goods Park with a vengeance this year, though. The Rapids haven’t lost in their last nine games, but their USL counterpart boast an unbeaten run of six matches.

Rapids fans should be on the lookout for two players on their opposing side: Martin Maybin and Mike Seth. The 24-year-old Maybin has five goals for the Switchbacks this season, while Seth has been on fire with three goals and assists in his last seven games. Expect Mastroeni to once again field a young side, as the manager deals with his key performers being unavailable through injury or national team duty. A highlight for the night could be Marco Pappa’s return to play after over a month out through an MCL sprain.


Real Salt Lake fans may be treated to some new faces from academy players on Tuesday night, when the team hosts the Wilmington Hammerheads in domestic cup action. One would expect to see the experienced Jamison Olave, who hasn’t featured recently, leading a backline of youngsters in the fourth round matchup. Head Coach Jeff Cassar has expressed an interest in prioritizing the tournament, but he may be managing his attackers minutes as  they host the reigning MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers on Saturday.

This game will mark the first time the Hammerheads have played RSL since July 2011, when the home team won 2-0 in Open Cup play. Brazilian Bruno Caldini Perone is one name to watch out for in this one, as the center back has four goals this season. Linking play and attempting to give the Hammerheads a fare share of possession will be 21-year-old standout midfielder Mael Corboz, who has recorded four assists and a goal this year. The Hammerheads scored twice in the first five minutes to win their Third Round match against Miami FC, but don’t expect a team with the composure of RSL to come out so mentally unprepared.


This matchup could be important for the Portland Timbers’ season moving forward, helping Caleb Porter get some minutes for a few of his men that have been out of the lineup through form or injury as of late.

Recent acquisition Darren Mattocks could have the chance to really settle in at his new club with a strong performance at home here, while defensive utility players such as Jack Barmby and Chris Klute could also benefit. Also be on the lookout for Timbers 2 players, such as the 2015 USL Rookie of the Year Kharlton Belmar and Michael Gallagher.

San Jose just lost to the Timbers on the road two weeks ago, after Liam Ridgewell connected with a Diego Valeri cross to put the home side up before going down to 10 men for the second half. Expect talented youngsters Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson to have an impact on this one.


The LA Galaxy are likely to field a number of fringe players as they host amateur side La Maquina FC in this match. But with the Galaxy, even fringe players have names and track records that most American soccer fans have knowledge of. Bruce Arena can put out a number of homegrown players, from Jose Villarreal and Oscar Sorto to the speedster Bradford Jamieson IV and  Jack McBean.

The name to know for La Maquina is Edwin Barboa, a 33-year-old striker that has extensive professional experience and two titles in Mexico.


Leave a Comment