U.S. Open Cup draw sees Fire, Dynamo, Crew SC begin away from home
The Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo and Columbus Crew SC will open the U.S. Open Cup on the road against lower-division opponents, as the sites for the fourth round were decided on Thursday.
The matchups for the fourth round, to be played in June, are based geographically, and lower-division teams must meet stadium criteria to host MLS clubs.
The Fire could play indoors at the Premier Development League giants Michigan Bucks if the fourth-tier team gets past USL club Saint Louis FC in the third round. The Bucks beat the NASL's Indy Eleven in Wednesday's second round.
There are three games featuring a pair of MLS teams, as the Seattle Sounders host the rival Portland Timbers, New York City FC goes across the river to play at the Red Bulls, and Minnesota United travels to Sporting Kansas City.
The only question of opponents involved the MLS clubs from Texas, with the Houston Dynamo drawn against the winner of the NASL's North Carolina FC and the USL's Charlotte Independence.
Holders FC Dallas will play a home game if the Tulsa Roughnecks beat San Antonio FC, which will host the MLS club if it advances.
In addition to the Michigan Bucks, Reading United and Chicago FC United from the PDL also advanced to the third round on Wednesday. Reading stunned the NASL's New York Cosmos 3-2, while Chicago beat the USL's Pittsburgh Riverhounds 3-1.
They're joined in the third round by fellow amateur clubs L.A. Wolves, GPS Omens of Boston and Christos FC of Baltimore, which beat the USL's Richmond Kickers 1-0.
The tournament winner qualifies for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.
Ties to be played June 13-14: