A rivalry expected to rest until later this summer will renew May 31 when Louisville City FC travels to play FC Cincinnati in a Third Round U.S. Open Cup game at Nippert Stadium, site of a heated 1-1 draw last month that saw star Cincinnati striker Djiby Fall sent off late for a tackle on LouCity defender Kyle Smith.
The United Soccer League suspended Fall six games for his actions after receiving the card, but the forward will be eligible throughout the Open Cup, a single-elimination knockout tournament.
“For me, I don’t care about which team we’re going to play or something like that,” Fall said. “For me, the most important thing is for me to just be on the pitch and do what I like to do.”
Fall’s overtime goal lifted FC Cincinnati over defending NPSL champion AFC Cleveland in a Second Round game Wednesday night. LouCity played to a much wider margin in its 9-0 victory over Tartan Devils Oak Avalon, an amateur side from Pittsburgh.
The winner of LouCity at Cincinnati will host Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew in June.
“Obviously,” said FC Cincinnati coach Alan Koch, “I’ve only coached one game against Louisville, and I don’t really have to think too far back as to how I felt during that game and after that game. When the day comes that we get to play against them, we’ll be very, very excited to play against them.”
LouCity will host FC Cincinnati on July 15 and Aug. 12 at Louisville Slugger Field in the final two legs of the USL regular-season series.
• A keeper: LouCity goalkeeper Tim Dobrowolski earned the United Soccer League’s Save of the Week for a double deflection during last Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, the USL announced Thursday.
Dobrowolski posted back-to-back saves early in the second half to keep the Rowdies scoreless at that point. Darwin Jones fired one at the goal off a short corner kick that Dobrowolski turned away. The keeper then denied the rebound attempt from Joe Cole.
This is Dobrowolski’s second Save of the Week honor after earning his first of the season in Week 5 for a save against FC Cincinnati’s Matt Bahner.
Dobrowolski earned 46 percent of a fan vote, with the remaining going to Seattle Sounders FC 2’s Tyler Miller (38 percent) and OKC Energy FC’s Cody Laurendi (16 percent).
• On the map: LouCity went international in the wake of the Tampa Bay loss, which saw the Rowdies move ahead in the second half just a sideline reporter was explaining how Dobrowolski buys bagels for his teammates after shutouts.
The Guardian, out of the United Kingdom, picked up what they called “glorious” commentary from there.
As Tampa Bay’s striker curled a shot pasted Dobrowolski, they announced, “GEORGI HRISTOV WILL NOT ALLOW THE BAGELS!”
“He takes the bagels off the scoreboard,” the announcer continued.
LouCity walked away with a defeat, but Dobrowolski posted a bagel next time out when the boys in purple nabbed their 9-0 Open Cup win Wednesday night.
• Other Open Cup matches: With all games set for May 31, 14 USL clubs other than LouCity and FC Cincinnati advanced through to the Third Round. Here’s the schedule:
Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. GPS Omens (Mass.), 7 p.m. ET, Capelli Sport Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) vs. Charleston Battery (USL), 7 p.m. ET, Southern Oak Stadium; Jacksonville, Fla.
FC Cincinnati (USL) vs. Louisville City FC (USL), 7 p.m. ET, Nippert Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio
Reading United AC (PDL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL), 7:30 p.m. ET, Exeter Township; Reading, Pa.
North Carolina FC (NASL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL), 7:30 p.m. ET, Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
Miami FC (NASL) vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies (USL), 7:30 p.m. ET, FIU Stadium; Miami, Fla.
Chicago FC United (PDL) vs. Christos FC (Md.), TBD, home team TBD
Michigan Bucks (PDL) vs. Saint Louis FC (USL), 7:30 p.m. ET, Ultimate Soccer Arenas; Pontiac, Mich.
Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL) vs. San Antonio FC (USL), 8 p.m. ET, Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium; Tulsa, Okla.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL) vs. OKC Energy FC (USL), 9 p.m. ET, Weidner Field; Colorado Springs, Colo.
Phoenix Rising FC (USL) vs. San Francisco Deltas (NASL), 10:30 ET, Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex; Scottsdale, Ariz.
L.A. Wolves FC (Calif.) vs. Orange County SC (USL), 10:30 p.m. ET, Azusa Pacific University Soccer Field; Azusa, Calif.
Sacramento Republic FC (USL) vs. Reno 1868 FC (USL), 10:30 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park; Sacramento, Calif.