If Sporting Kansas City gets past Orlando City SC next week and advance to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup, that match will be held at Livestrong Sporting Park on June 5. The opponent would be the winner of the Colorado Rapids-Tampa Bay Rowdies match.**Those with good memories know the perils of speculating wins against USL Pro teams in the Open Cup.
U.S. Soccer announced the pairings and locations on Wednesday. Match-ups are based on geography when feasible and hosts are determined by random selection among clubswho have applied to host and meet minimum venue requirements.
[Emphasis mine; I culled that wording from the Sporting Kansas City website. Don't ask me what it means, I find it completely opaque.]
The Sporting-Orlando game is next Tuesday. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Livestrong Sporting Park. Tickets start as low as $13 and are currently on sale at Ticketmaster or LSP Box offices. All Sporting Kansas City season ticket members will receive a ticket to this match and all other Open Cup home matches through the quarterfinals.
Why does this all matter, you might be asking. Well, winning the U.S. Open Cup is the easiest way to earn qualification to the CONCACAF Champions League. Also, the Seattle Sounders have won it the past few years.
• In other Sporting news, the reserve squad took out the Kansas City Brass this afternoon 4-0. It will be a good warmup, as a reserve-heavy squad is likely to face Orlando.
Dom Dwyer led the way with two goals for Sporting while Luke Sassano and Soony Saad bagged the others.
Sporting's lineup: Jon Kempin; Michael Harrington, Michael Thomas, Konrad Warzycha, Kevin Ellis; Peterson Joseph (Kyle Miller*), Lawrence Olum, Luke Sassano; Korede Aiyegbusi (Soony Saad), Dom Dwyer, Jacob Peterson.
Interesting to see Thomas and Waryzcha (both naturally midfielders) playing central defense. Peter Vermes moved Warzycha to defense earlier this year and seems to be doing the same with Thomas.
• This Sunday against San Jose, Sporting are likely to be without only Graham Zusi (who is away on national team duty). Kei Kamara and Roger Espinoza are expected to leave after the game.