FC Cincinnati will face Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the Quarterfinals of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, June 6 at TQL Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and tickets are available at FCCincinnati.com/Tickets or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK).
The winner of Tuesday’s fixture will advance to the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals on Wednesday, August 23 against the winner of Wednesday’s Birmingham Legion FC – Inter Miami CF matchup.
FC CINCINNATI vs PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC – TUESDAY, JUNE 6, 2023 – 7 p.m. ET – TQL STADIUM
Stream: Bleacher Report Football YouTube channel and on the B/R app (Free)
Broadcast Talent: Mike Watts (play-by-play), Devon Kerr (analyst)
Radio: ESPN 1530
Radio Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst)
Wednesday’s matchup will be the 11th all-time matchup between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh dating back to the Orange and Blue’s USL era. FC Cincinnati are 6-0-4, including 3-0-2 in Cincinnati.
The matchup marks the second-straight season Cincy host Pittsburgh in the Open Cup. The Orange and Blue won last year’s fixture in the Third Round, 2-0, after an extra time brace from Álvaro Barreal in a four-minute span. All-time in the Open Cup, Cincinnati are 2-0-0 against their rivals from the Steel City.
SCOUTING PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS (6-2-5, 23 PTS, 2ND EASTERN CONFERENCE, USL CHAMPIONSHIP)
The Riverhounds arrive in the Queen City in exceptional form, having won four straight and are unbeaten over their last six USL Championship outings. Including Open Cup competition, the Riverhounds are unbeaten in nine straight. Pittsburgh hold the second spot in the Eastern Conference standings and trail the Charleston Battery by just one point.
Pittsburgh booked their ticket to the Quarterfinals with Open Cup wins against the New England Revolution and Columbus Crew and look to knock off a third MLS side Tuesday night.
The Riverhounds could be without their star forward Albert Dikwa, who has been dealing with an injury suffered against the Crew in the Round of 16. Dikwa, who scored to eliminate Columbus, shares a co-lead in the USL Championship golden boot race with nine goals across 11 matches.
And if Dikwa is ultimately ruled out for the Riverhounds on Tuesday, Arturo Ordoñez, who operates out of central midfield, is the next best option for Pittsburgh. Ordoñez has three goals this season, scoring in three-straight matches. Another forward, Edward Kizza, was shown red at the tail end of the Columbus match and is suspended for Tuesday night.
Historically, Pittsburgh have been one of the most dominant defensive sides in the USL Championship and 2023 has been no different. The Riverhounds have conceded just 11 goals in 13 matches, trailing only Sacramento Republic in that department.
Bob Lilley stands as one of the most experienced active coaches in North America, with over 25 years in the U.S. and Canada. Lilley has been with the Riverhounds since the 2018 season, leading Pittsburgh to a 62-21-33 record over that span.
FC CINCINNATI NOTES
ON SHORT REST – Tuesday will mark the ninth time since the start of the 2022 season that FC Cincinnati will play on two days rest. Under Pat Noonan, FC Cincinnati are 6-0-2 when playing a game just three days following another.
Tuesday will be the third game for Cincinnati in under a week. The Orange and Blue will look to go a perfect 3-0-0 over the stretch.
COMING DOWN THE STRETCH OF A BUSY STRETCH – Tuesday marks FC Cincinnati’s seventh of eight games in 25 days from May 17 to June 10.
The stretch is polar opposite from 2022. Last season, FCC was in a break at this time, with three weeks between road games at CF Montréal (May 28) and Philadelphia Union (June 18).
THE FORTRESS – TQL Stadium will play host to the 12th home match for FC Cincinnati this season. FC Cincinnati are an unblemished 11-0-0 when playing at home this season.
FC CINCINNATI IN THE CUP – With no U.S. Open Cups held in 2020 and 2021, Wednesday’s Round of 32 matchup will mark the eighth U.S. Open Cup fixture for FCC since joining MLS in 2019.
In both 2019 and 2022, FC Cincinnati won their first game – in 2019 against Louisville City FC and last season against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC – but fell in their second game of the competition.
This year, FC Cincinnati are already in match four in the competition. After earning wins against Louisville City FC and New York City FC at home, and then defeating the New York Red Bulls in a penalty shootout, the Orange and Blue need just three more wins to become champions of the 108th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition.
THE HISTORY IN THE CUP – Including USL, the Orange and Blue are 11-4-3 all-time in the U.S. Open Cup. Most notably, FC Cincinnati made a semifinal run in 2017, gaining national acclaim. The run included a win against the Columbus Crew in the Fourth Round, a penalty shootout win against the Chicago Fire in the Round of 16, and another victory over Miami FC in the Quarterfinals. FCC fell after extra time to the New York Red Bulls in the Cup Semifinals in front of a sellout crowd of 33,250 fans at Nippert Stadium.
OPEN CUP PEDIGREE – FC Cincinnati’s current squad has had prior success in the U.S. Open Cup. Head Coach Pat Noonan won three U.S. Open Cups in his playing career (New England Revolution, 2007; Seattle Sounders, 2010 and 2011) while Alec Kann and Brandon Vazquez were part of Atlanta United’s cup run in 2019. Vazquez scored four goals in the competition that season.