Open Cup

Essentials: FCC at STL in USOC

Next Wednesday, FC Cincinnati will travel to play Saint Louis FC in the Fifth Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Game time is set for 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT) and the game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

How it happened

Last night, FC Cincinnati earned a berth in the fifth round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by virtue of their 2-1, extra-time win over USL Championship side Louisville City FC.

This morning, U.S. Soccer conducted the draw to determine Fifth Round and Quarterfinal match-ups for the oldest cup tournament in the United States. It was streamed live on the U.S. Open Cup Twitter account (@opencup). 

Before the draw, the 17* remaining teams were placed in four-team regional pools, with several clubs – Orlando City SC, Atlanta United FC/Charleston Battery, Minnesota United and Saint Louis FC – placed by coin flip because their locations were nebulous of multiple groups.

(*The Charleston Battery-Atlanta United FC game that was originally supposed to be played in Charleston on Tuesday night was postponed and will now be played in Kennesaw, Ga., Thursday night after field conditions and field availability prevented it from being contested in the Charleston area. The winner of that game will take the formal place in the bracket that was determined Thursday morning.)

The final pools headed into the draw were:

  • East: New England Revolution, New York City FC, Orlando City SC and D.C. United
  • Mideast: FC Cincinnati, Columbus Crew, Saint Louis FC and the winner of the Atlanta United FC-Charleston Battery game
  • Midwest: FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Minnesota United, New Mexico United
  • West: LA Galaxy, LAFC, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes

Each team was drawn, one-by-one into H1, H2, A1 and A2 spots in the bracket. The H1 team – drawn at random – would host not only the fifth-round game, but also the quarterfinal game if it advanced. The H2 team would host the fifth-round game. A1 would travel to H1, while A2 would travel to H2. In the quarterfinals, the winner of the H1-A1 game would host the winner of the H2-A2 fifth-round game.

After the draw, the following bracket was created:

Following the quarterfinals, a new draw will be conducted to determine the hosts for the semifinal-round games.

 FCC’s previous fifth round history

Cincinnati’s previous fifth-round match was arguably the biggest moment of the club’s first three years in USL.

After beating Columbus Crew SC in the first “Hell is Real” derby, Cincinnati hosted the Chicago Fire in nationally televised game on ESPN. The match was eventually decided  by penalty kicks when former goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt famously stopped three penalties.

After advancing, Cincinnati played – and beat – Miami FC in the quarterfinals.

Previous history with Saint Louis FC

The clubs have played five times previously – all coming in USL regular-season play – and FC Cincinnati won four of those matchups.

In 2016, the club beat Saint Louis 2-1 twice during the regular season. They met three times in 2017, with Cincinnati winning on two occasions and drawing the other. FCC’s home opener that season saw Djiby Fall produce a club-record four goals to push the Orange and Blue past STLFC.

The last meeting was a 2-2 draw in St. Louis on Sept. 23, 2017.

Familiar faces

Four current STLFC players played for FC Cincinnati in either 2017 or 2018.

  • Cincinnati-native Matt Bahner (2017-2018)
  • Kadeem Dacres (2017)
  • Kyle Greig (2017)
  • Russell Cicerone (2018)