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Local Soccer Rivalries Headline Round Three of the U.S. Open Cup

MLS: FC Dallas at Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium

Round three of the US Open Cup is where things really start to get interesting. MLS teams enter the fold and the table is set for big upsets. The third round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is headlined by three local soccer rivalries. Here we take a look at these matchups.

Local Soccer Rivalries Headline Round Three of the U.S. Open Cup

Battle of New England

In the first of the third round of local rivalries, the New England Revolution of the MLS takes on Hartford Athletic of the USL Championship. The game will be played at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, just about an hour and a half from Hartford Connecticut. This will be the first competitive match between the two sides. The clubs have previously played a couple of preseason friendlies in recent years. 

Hartford Athletic were founded back in 2018 as a USL Championship expansion franchise. It’s been an up-and-down first couple of seasons for the Blue and Green. Hartford’s highest finish in the USL Championship was in 2020 when they finished 1st in group F during a shortened season due to Covid-19. They’ve struggled in league play so far this year with just one victory in six matches, however, they’ve looked sharp in their Cup matches. They’re coming off a commanding 3-0 victory in the second round Cup play over Lansdowne Yonkers FC of the Eastern Premier Soccer League.

The New England Revolution have come out firing to begin the MLS season. Coming off a disappointing 2022 season, the Revs have six wins and just one loss in their opening nine MLS matches. They look to carry their fine form into the U.S Open Cup; a competition they won back in 2007.

Tune in at 7:30 PM EST on Tuesday, April 25th to watch the Revolution square off with Hartford Athletic in this local rivalry. Tuesday night will be an exciting one for all New England soccer fans.

READ MORE: Giacomo Vrioni Brace Sends the Revolution to the Top of the Shield Standings

Miami Clásico: Local Rivalry Renewed

For the second straight year, Miami’s MLS team, Inter Miami, faces off against their USL championship neighbors, Miami FC. Last year’s matchup was a defensive battle that saw Inter Miami sneak by with a narrow 1-0 victory. Striker Leo Campana was the hero for Inter Miami, scoring an 83-minute goal to advance his team to the fourth round of the competition.

The highly anticipated rematch is set to take place Wednesday, April 26th at 7:30 PM EST at FIU Stadium; the home field of Miami FC. Both teams have struggled to open the season. Inter Miami has just two wins in eight matches while Miami FC has just one win out of seven. With that being said, you can throw the records aside when these two meet.

Last year’s matchup was a hotly contested local rivalry. A total of eight yellow cards were shown between the two clubs. Inter Miami defender was sent off in the late stages of the game with a second yellow. Fans can expect a similarly intense match when the two teams face off again.

Chicago Derby

In the third and final local rivalry of the third round, the Chicago Fire of the MLS takes on the Chicago House of the National Independent Soccer Association. Chicago House are the lone representative of the National Independent Soccer Association remaining in the U.S Open Cup. They are coming off an exciting upset over USL League One opponent, Forward Madison. Chicago House won the match 3-2 in extra time after equalizing in the 92nd minute and putting home the winner in the 103rd minute of extra time.

The matchup will be especially exciting for Chicago House president, Peter Wilt, who was the original president and general manager of the Chicago Fire when they joined the MLS In 1998. Wilt was let go by the Fire in 2006, but not before helping lead the team find incredible success. During Wilt’s time with the club, the Chicago Fire won the U.S. Open Cup a total of four times. Lifting the trophy in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. They are tied with Seattle Sounders FC and Sporting KC for the most Cups won out of any MLS team. It will, without doubt, be an emotional return for Wilt.

The third local rivalry will also be a special one for Chicago Fire assistant coach, C.J. Brown. Brown was the first head coach of Chicago House, leading them during their inaugural season in 2021.  The Chicago assistant coach will surely be excited to square off against a number of familiar faces.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the longest-running domestic cup competition in United States professional soccer. The winner of the competition will earn a spot in next years CONCACAF Champions League.


Photo Credit: Eric Espada-USA TODAY Sports on April 8, 2023.


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