Top Stories

U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 Preview: LAFC hosts Galaxy, and more


The 2023 U.S. Open Cup field is down to 16 teams with several All-MLS showdowns coming this week.

California rivals Los Angeles FC and the LA Galaxy square off for the second-consecutive edition of the tournament, with both on opposite ends of the league table. LAFC is flying high this spring while the Galaxy have struggled for majority of the season.

FC Cincinnati makes the trip to Harrison, New Jersey on Tuesday to face off with the New York Red Bulls. Troy Lesesne’s squad are riding a four-match unbeaten streak heading into U.S. Open Cup play while FC Cincinnati has won four-straight matches of their own.

Elsewhere, the Columbus Crew and Charlotte FC will visit lower-league opposition this week with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Birmingham Legion both playing as hosts.

Here is a closer look at this week’s U.S. Open Cup schedule:

LAFC vs. Galaxy

Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET

Los Angeles FC has gotten the better of its in-state rivals on the last three head-to-head encounters and Steve Cherundolo’s squad will be seeking to extend that run Tuesday night.

LAFC are unbeaten in their four matches across all competitions, recently defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in MLS action. Denis Bouanga has two goals scored over that span while Carlos Vela delivered a 95th minute winner over the weekend. Cherundolo called on several youth players in the last round of the competition but might pull out his big runs for a rivalry showdown.

The LA Galaxy can’t seem to find any consistency this spring, losing each of their last two matches. Despite eliminating the Seattle Sounders in the Round of 32, Greg Vanney’s men have been up-and-down for majority of 2023. Memo Rodriguez scored twice in the last round while Dejan Joveljic and Chicharito remain key attacking threats.

New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati

Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET

FC Cincinnati and the New York Red Bulls meet for the first time in 2023 with both teams riding strong form coming into Tuesday’s showdown.

Troy Lesesne’s squad have won three of their last four matches in all competitions, while also posting three clean sheets along the way. Omir Fernandez has scored two goals over that span, including the winner in a 1-0 Round of 32 triumph over DC United. Cory Burke and Andres Reyes are also among the recent goalscorers for the Red Bulls while Carlos Coronel has been strong in net.

FC Cincinnati have won four-straight matches in all competitions, including a dramatic 3-2 Hell is Real derby result over the Columbus Crew last Saturday. Luciano Acosta has been key over this recent winning streak, scoring four goals including two against the Crew on Saturday. Brandon Vazquez delivered the winning strike against NYCFC in the Round of 32.

Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Columbus Crew

Wednesday7:00 p.m., ET

One of the two USL vs. MLS matches comes from Pittsburgh as the host Riverhounds welcome the Columbus Crew to Highmark Stadium.

Bob Lilley’s squad are riding a six-match unbeaten run coming into Tuesday’s match, which included the elimination of the New England Revolution in the Round of 32. Albert Dikwa leads the team with nine goals in USL play and could be a threat to get after the Crew backline. Daniel Griffin scored the winning goal at Gillette Stadium two weeks ago.

The Columbus Crew rolled past Loudoun United 5-1 in the Round of 32, but will receive a tougher test on the road in Pittsburgh. Wilfried Nancy’s squad fell 3-2 to FC Cincinnati on Saturday despite fighting back from a two-goal deficit. Several young players have featured in the Open Cup this season including Max Arfsten, Mo Farsi, and Isaiah Parante. All three could be relied on once again this week.

Birmingham Legion FC vs. Charlotte FC

Wednesday- 8 p.m. ET

Birmingham Legion FC may have advanced to the Round of 16, but will need to shake off some worrying league form if they want to eliminate Charlotte FC on home soil.

Tom Soehn’s squad have only won one of their last five matches in all competitions, a 3-0 shutout victory over Memphis 901 FC in the Round of 32. Outside of that, Birmingham has conceded two goals or more in each of its last four league defeats. Former MLS striker Juan Agudelo could be called on to get after Charlotte FC’s backline while Enzo Martinez has five goals to his name in USL action this campaign.

Charlotte FC’s recent winning run came to an end on Saturday after a 2-1 home loss to Nashville SC. Christian Lattanzio’s men struck first at Bank of America Stadium before conceding a brace to reigning MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar in the eventual home defeat. Kamil Jozwiak has two goals in the Open Cup this spring while Enzo Copetti and Karol Swiderski have also found the back of the net.

Here is a full schedule of this week’s U.S. Open Cup action.


Inter Miami CF vs. Nashville SC – 7:30 p.m. ET

New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati – 7:30 p.m. ET

Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United – 8:30 p.m. ET

LAFC vs. LA Galaxy – 10:30 p.m. ET


Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs. Columbus Crew – 7 p.m. ET

Birmingham Legion FC vs. Charlotte FC – 8 p.m. ET

Austin FC vs. Chicago Fire – 9 p.m. ET

Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake – 10 p.m. ET

Leave a Comment