The US Open Cup is Back: Union draws Orlando in Round of 32

US Open Cup
ATLANTA, GA Ð AUGUST 27: The Open Cup trophy prior to the start of the US Open Cup final match between Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United FC on August 27th, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

The US Open Cup is back in 2022! It’s the first time that the historic tournament has run since 2019. The open-style tournament allows any American team that qualifies the chance to win the Cup. Amateur sides and various professional teams from across the different leagues in the USA compete in single-elimination style for the chance to lift the prestigious trophy. Today, the round of 32 matchups was set, the Philadelphia Union drew an away match at Orlando City SC. Let’s look at how we got here, and who is still fighting for the Cup!

US Open Cup
ATLANTA, GA Ð AUGUST 27: The Open Cup trophy prior to the start of the US Open Cup final match between Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United FC on August 27th, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

The US Open Cup is Back!

Over the past few nights, 64 teams battled it out to make it out of the third round of the US Open Cup. This was the first round with MLS teams; 17 of them entered in this round, and for some, it was their only match of the tournament. Columbus, Chicago, Salt Lake, and Austin were all knocked out by lower division sides. As the tournament moves to the round of 32, 21 teams from MLS will represent, including the Philadelphia Union.

The Round of 32 Regional Groups

Philadelphia, New York City, New England Nashville, Kansas City, Colorado, Portland, and Seattle all enter the tournament in the round of 32. With this, the US Open Cup created regional groups in which to draw the rounds matchups. One of each of the eight was placed in these regional groups and the remaining three teams were winners from round three. The regional groups are:

Northern Atlantic

  • New York City (MLS)
  • DC (MLS)
  • New York (MLS)
  • Rochester NY (MLS Next Pro)

Southern Atlantic

  • Philadelphia (MLS)
  • Miami (MLS)
  • Orlando (MLS)
  • Southern Georgia (USL League 1)

South

  • Nashville (MLS)
  • Atlanta (MLS)
  • Charlotte (MLS)
  • Richmond (USL League 1)

East Central

  • New England (MLS)
  • Detroit City (USL Championship)
  • Cincinnati (MLS)
  • Louisville City (USL Championship)

North Central

  • Colorado (MLS)
  • Northern Colorado (USL League 1)
  • Minnesota (MLS)
  • Union Omaha (USL League 1)

South Central

  • Kansas City (MLS)
  • Dallas (MLS)
  • Houston (MLS)
  • San Antonio (USL Championship)

Northern Pacific

  • Seattle (MLS)
  • Sacramento (USL Championship)
  • Phoenix (USL Championship)
  • San Jose (MLS)

South Pacific

  • Portland (MLS)
  • California United (National Independent Soccer Association)
  • Los Angeles (MLS)
  • LAFC (MLS)

These groupings are certainly interesting, and they set who can play whom in the Round of 32, and the Quarterfinals of the 2022 Open Cup. 

The Round of 32 matchups

With the groups set, the team’s Round of 32 matches were drawn early this afternoon, here are the results of the draw

  • New York City vs Rochester
  • DC vs New York
  • Orlando vs Philadelphia
  • Miami vs South Georgia
  • Nashville vs Atlanta
  • Richmond vs Charlotte
  • New England vs Cincinnati
  • Detroit City vs Lousiville City
  • Union Omaha vs Northern Colorado
  • Minnesota vs Colorado
  • Houston vs San Antonio
  • Kansas City vs Dallas
  • Sacramento vs Phoenix
  • Seattle vs San Jose
  • LAFC vs Portland
  • California United vs Los Angeles

The majority of the matchups pit MLS sides against one another, and lower-level teams against one another. The times and dates for the matches were just realeased by the US Open Cup; al lthe games will be played on Tuesday May 10, and Wednesday May 11. It’s honestly a bit of a shame that there won’t be many matches of lower league vs MLS sides. With that being said, the matches are intriguing and present the remaining sides with visions of lifting the historic Lamar Hunt US Open Cup trophy.

Union draws Orlando in Round of 32

The Philadelphia Union will open their 2022 US Open Cup campaign on the road at Orlando City SC. This is about as tough of a mtachup the Union could’ve been handed in this draw. They will go to Orlando just two days after playing at LAFC in league play; Philly heads to Orlando staright from Los Angeles as kickoff for that match will be Tuesday May 10 at 7pm. Orlando are no pushovers right now. They are just behind the Union in the eastern conference standings in seconf place. The matchup should be onewhere both sides give it their all, as both have strong teams and the ambition to compete for trophys in 2022.

While the Union will likely not treat this game as a winnible one with only backups and second team players, they will still go after this trophy. The Union and thie manager Jim Curtin have been to the US Open Cup final three times since 2014, and have fallen short of lifting the Cup all three times. Could 2022 be the year that they are able to finally win this distinguished tropghy?

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Mandatory Credit: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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