Amidst a busy week for the city of Sacramento and Republic FC in their push for Major League Soccer in the Capitol City, the club announced that they will host Reno 1868 FC in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 15. The match will be at Papa Murphy’s Park and will kickoff at 7:30pm.
Sacramento will be looking to eliminate Reno again this year (they defeated 1868 FC last year 1-0 on a goal from Keven Aleman), and perhaps more importantly, advance to the final Round of 16 for the third straight year.
As fans may recall, the Republic had a great run last year in the Open Cup defeating first San Francisco City FC 3-1 in the second round, Reno in the third round, and then knocking Seattle Sounders out 2-1 at home in the fourth round. They would eventually fall to Los Angeles FC in the Round of 16 (2-3) in a match where the Republic gave the home side all they could handle.
For those that will be watching the Open Cup this year, there is good news. Earlier this month, it was announced that U.S. Soccer and ESPN+ had come to a multi-year agreement to televise every match. Thankfully, fans will no longer have to watch an Open Cup match via a Facebook Live or Periscope feed.
It will be interesting to see how Manager Simon Elliott manages the Open Cup this year. Last year, and the year prior (under Manager Paul Buckle), the Republic went for it and made the single-elimination tournament a point of focus. I do expect Elliott to approach it same way this year especially given where the club’s MLS expansion bid sits.
Founded in 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the oldest national soccer competition in the United States. To learn more about the Open Cup, click here.