Minnesota United learned today that they will be taking on Sporting Kansas City in the fourth round of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup. A coin toss determined that Kansas City will host the cup tie. If either team is able to win five games, including the championship game, they will automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.
Due to the proximity of teams and the logistics of scheduling, MNUFC and Sporting KC seem destined to be paired up often in this tournament over the coming years. Due to the fact that not many lower division sides qualify for the tournament from the Midwest, there’s little chance of Minnesota United meeting up with a lesser team in their first round of play in the future. This is particularly unfortunate for both sides as 13 other MLS teams will play against lower division sides for their first game.
The domestic competition should provide both sides with an opportunity to play some of their younger and unproven players. Loons loanee Joe Greenspan seems like a lock to start against Kansas City, barring any unforeseen circumstances, seeing that he’s been in fantastic form with Pittsburgh.
June 14th’s game will be the third time that Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United have met in the Open Cup in the past four years. The two teams squared off at the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine last season, where Chilean striker Diego Rubio scored the game-winner in extra time. Christian Ramirez also scored that night from the penalty spot and there was a total of 11 yellow cards handed out by the referee.
One potential positive of these two teams matching up frequently in this competition is the possibility of a rivalry developing. The two teams played a chippy affair back on May 7th which left Bobby Shuttleworth with a broken nose.
If you’re looking for more information on the Open Cup, Nate Siems did a fantastic piece earlier today which highlighted a few noteworthy games and future matchups.
What do you think of the matchup against Sporting Kansas City? Are there any players you’d like to see get a run out in the game? Let us know in the comments below.