The U.S. Soccer Federation announced the potential U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal pairings Saturday afternoon, and the Philadelphia Union would get a home game if they advance that far.
I have written before about how clubs cannot play their minor-league afilliates until the last possible round. U.S. Soccer decided to not enforce that rule in full on the Union and the Harrisburg City Islanders because of the potential travel costs involved.
So the Union and City Islanders could meet in the quarterfinals, instead of a later stage, if they both advance from the fourth round.
Here are the potential quarterfinal matchups. Although nothing official has been said about whether a straight bracket will be used from that point, my hunch is that will not be the case.
There are still some cross-country pairings in the fourth round that could lead to changing the semifinals from what would result from the order of matches listed below.
All games will take place on Tuesday, June 26, and all times listed below are Eastern.
1a. New York Red Bulls (MLS) or Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at Philadelphia Union (MLS): PPL Park/Chester, Pa. (7:30 p.m.)
1b. New York Red Bulls (MLS) or Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at D.C. United (MLS): RFK Stadium/Washington, D.C. (7:30 p.m.)
2a. Michigan Bucks (PDL) or Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) at Sporting Kansas City (MLS): LIVESTRONG Sporting Park/Kansas City, Kan. (8:30 p.m.)
2b. Michigan Bucks (PDL) or Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) at Colorado Rapids (MLS): Dick's Sporting Goods Park/Commerce City, Colo. (9:00 p.m.)
3a. Chivas USA (MLS) or Carolina RailHawks (NASL) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL): Heroes Stadium/San Antonio, Texas (8:30 p.m.)
3b. Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) at Chivas USA (MLS): Home Depot Center Track & Field Stadium/Carson, Calif. (10:30 p.m.)
3c. Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL): WakeMed Soccer Park/Cary, N.C. (7:07 p.m.)
4a. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) or Cal FC (USASA) at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS): Kezar Stadium/San Francisco, Calif. (10:30 p.m.)
4b. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) or Cal FC (USASA) at Minnesota Stars FC (NASL): National Sports Center/Blaine, Minn. (10:30 p.m.)
Side note: I love Kezar Stadium as a soccer setting. I've been there a few times when it's empty and you could not have a more fun location for a soccer game in the Bay Area.
As happy as I am that the Earthquakes are getting their own stadium in Santa Clara, part of me will always wish they had found some way to renovate Kezar into a modern venue instead.