Previews: US Open Cup Quarterfinals
Columbus Crew (MLS) vs. Charleston Battery (USL-2)
7:30 pm ET, Tuesday, July 6, 2010 – Columbus Crew Stadium – Columbus, Ohio
Follow the match: www.charlestonbattery.com / WJKB 950 AM
At Stake: A place in the US Open Cup semifinals to be played on a date between Aug. 31-Sept. 1 against the Harrisburg City Islanders or D.C. United.
Open Cup History: Tuesday will mark the first ever Open Cup meeting between the two sides. Columbus are in pursuit of its second Open Cup title in club history (2002) and fourth Open Cup semifinal appearance. Charleston, finalists in 2008, are looking to knock off a ninth MLS team in their Open Cup history.
Columbus Snapshot: The leaders of the MLS Eastern Conference are coming off a second straight league victory. Saturday’s 2-1 home win came against the rival Chicago Fire and featured the return of right back Frankie Hejduk after the defender sat out of five league matches due to injury. Forward Steven Lenhart, who scored the winner for the Crew against the Rochester Rhinos in the Open Cup Round of 16, should be well rested after coming in as a sub on the weekend.
Charleston Snapshot: The Battery, which lost to the Richmond Kickers over the weekend, sit in first place in the USL-2 (Third Division) and will feel good about their chances after ousting the Chicago Fire via a penalty kick shootout in the Round of 16 at Toyota Park. Having advanced to the US Open Cup final two years ago, Charleston are dreaming of hosting a potential shock semifinal match-up against fellow Third Division side Harrisburg. Crew manager Robert Warzycha says he expects the same defensive display that the Battery used to stifle the Fire in a scoreless 120 minutes last week.
Houston Dynamo (MLS) vs. Chivas USA (MLS)
8:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, July 6, 2010 – Robertson Stadium – Houston, Texas
Follow the match: MatchCenter play-by-play on MLSsoccer.com
At Stake: Both MLS teams reached this quarterfinal stage after 1-0 home wins over tough USSF Second Division opposition. The winner of Tuesday’s match will advance to the Open Cup semifinals to face either the LA Galaxy or Seattle Sounders FC. A Goats victory could set up a succulent LA derby match-up in a winner-take-all semifinal.
Open Cup History: This is the first ever meeting between these two clubs in Open Cup play. While Chivas USA have never made it to the semis in club history, the Dynamo are seeking a spot in the final four for the third time in five years. Houston should enter with a bit of confidence, having swept the Goats in MLS play in 2010 with 3-0 and 2-0 shutouts at Robertson Stadium and at The Home Depot Center, respectively. The Dynamo are 8-0-3 in their last 11 against Chivas USA in all competitions, and the two sides will also face off in SuperLiga play in less than two weeks.
Houston Dynamo Snapshot: Houston will have a few additional days of rest after playing their most recent MLS match on Thursday in a 1-1 draw in Toronto. Attacking midfielder Brad Davis did not travel to Toronto due to a hip flexor injury and will likely not see minutes in the Open Cup. Joseph Ngwenya, who will be suspended for weekend league play after picking up a red card against Toronto FC, can be expected to feature prominently.
Chivas USA Snapshot: Chivas USA have never won at Houston in club history. The Goats stopped a different streak – six straight MLS losses – in securing a 1-1 home tie against the expansion Philadelphia Union in league play on Saturday. The squad, which was boosted by the return of World Cup veteran Jonathan Bornstein, played on their heels for most of the second half against Philly. Chivas USA 21-year-olds Gerson Mayén and Yamith Cuesta had solid outings in the win against Austin Aztex in the Round of 16 last week and should see Open Cup action again.