The winner of Louisville City FC's May 31 U.S. Open Cup game at FC Cincinnati will host Major League Soccer competition in the knockout tournament's Fourth Round to be played on or around June 14, U.S. Soccer announced Thursday. A coin toss determined home sides.
Should LouCity advance, the Columbus Crew would be the only MLS team to visit Slugger Field other than former club affiliate Orlando City SC, which played a friendly there in August 2015.
The FC Cincinnati matchup looms first at Nippert Stadium, where back on April 22 the sides played to a 1-1 draw. LouCity fans can purchase tickets in the away section by using the code "LOUISVILLE17" at this link, or by calling (513) 977-KICK.
A 9-0 win Wednesday over Tartan Devils Oak Avalon in the U.S. Open Cup's Second Round advanced LouCity to a Third Round game against FC Cincinnati, which topped AFC Cleveland by a 1-0 score.
FC Dallas last fall extended a 17-year streak of MLS teams winning the U.S. Open Cup. But lower-division clubs often score upsets, and in 1999, the Rochester Rhinos became the most recent USL member to win the tournament.
LouCity met MLS competition in the 2015 U.S. Open Cup, its debut appearance, and took the Chicago Fire to overtime on the road before falling 1-0.
This year, the winner will receive $250,000, a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions’ League and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in U.S. team sports. The runner-up will earn $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $15,000 cash prize.
An American champion has been crowned for 103 consecutive years dating back to 1914. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor United States soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.