2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup preview: The Ohio Derby

Columbus Crew SC head South on I-71 for their first meeting with FC Cincinnati in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup preview: The Ohio Derby
FC Cincinnati supporters during a game in 2016 | Source: Kirk Irwin - Getty Images

It's the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. This round will see MLS teams come into play. But, it's very rare to have a derby in a cup tournament. In this round, there are four, but one stands out probably the most. 

Games before the match

Columbus Crew SC will travel down 71 South to take on FC Cincinnati of the USL division. This will be the first meeting between the teams. 

Crew SC is going into this match after having a week off from league play. Their most recent game saw them drop points on the road at Colorado when the Rapids defeated the Black and Gold 2-1. With not having a game this past weekend, preparations for the Ohio Derby began at the Obetz Training Center

FC Cincinnati, on the other hand, earned a hard-fought point against Charlotte Independence in front of 21,115 spectators. Justin Hoyte scored his first goal for the Queen City in the draw. 

Currently, FC Cincinnati sits ninth in the USL Eastern Conference with a 4-5-4 record. Meanwhile, Crew SC are in the top half of the MLS Eastern Conference with a 7-8-1 record. 

Federico Higuain celebrates his goal against the New England Revolution. (Photo: Sam Fahmi - Massive Report)

About The Cup

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is a domestic tournament in the United States that brings together amateur and professional soccer clubs in the US from all divisions. The first three rounds feature USL and amateur teams. Once those rounds are completed, MLS teams come into the picture in the fourth round. 

FC Cincinnati got the chance to host this match, due to a coin flip to determine the location between the two teams. 

Biggest Away Support? 

Ths matchup is set to be one of the biggest turnouts ever for a cup tie. But it's even bigger for Columbus. Check out how many fans they are bringing. When it comes down to it, the Black and Gold have a good record in the US Open Cup. They hold a 23-16-2 record in the tournament, which also includes a 13-5-1 record in the opening round. Against USL teams, Crew SC is 6-2-0 all time. They won the tournament in 2002 when they defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 at MAPFRE Stadium

After the Ohio Derby, Crew SC travel to Atlanta United before returning home June 24 to take on the Montreal Impact.  The match will be streamed live online at www.ussoccer.com and broadcasted live on Spectrum Sports Ohio channel 311 for Central and Southwest areas and 320 for Northeast areas. 

Prediction

Columbus definitely has the upper-hand in the tournament with their success. Due to recent performances, however, it looks like FC Cincinnati could put up a fight. We certainly don't expect head coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter to throw out a first team senior squad. But there will be lineup changes. With the experience on the Crew SC squad, and inexperience of FC Cincinnati, Columbus could easily win, but it won't be pretty. 

FC Cincinnati 1, Columbus Crew SC 2


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