FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Dwindled down from an initial field of 91 teams spanning both the professional and amateur ranks, this year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has reached the final four.
Only two will book spots in the U.S. Open Cup title game, and the first finalist will be decided on Tuesday night when the New England Revolution host the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m., and tickets are available HERE. Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman will handle the call on ESPN2’s national television broadcast, while Brad Feldman and Paul Mariner will have local radio listeners covered on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Portuguese radio listeners can tune into WMVX 1570 AM.
The winner of Tuesday night’s semifinal will advance to the U.S. Open Cup title game to face either the LA Galaxy or FC Dallas, who’ll play at StubHub Center on Wednesday night. Should the Revolution advance to the final, they would be on the road regardless of their opponent.
Current Form: Revs eager for home cooking after pair of difficult losses on the road
A trio of home games could be just what the doctor ordered for the Revolution following a pair of road losses to Orlando City SC and Toronto FC the past two weekends. This past Saturday night at BMO Field the Revs were overrun by reigning MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, who racked up a hat trick in New England’s 4-1 loss.
There’s no time to dwell on those results, however, as the Revs had just two days to prepare for Tuesday night’s Open Cup semifinal. New England have reached this stage of the Open Cup for the first time since 2008, having advanced past the Carolina RailHawks (NASL), New York Cosmos (NASL) and Philadelphia Union.
“We haven’t been getting the results we want in league play, but we’re still above the red (playoff) line, which is a good thing,” said Andrew Farrell. “Now we’ve got three important games at home, but obviously we’re focused a lot on this semifinal against the Fire. It’s a big one for us.”
Farrell was one of several regular starters – along with Teal Bunbury, Scott Caldwell and Je-Vaughn Watson – who started on the bench Saturday in Toronto, offering head coach Jay Heaps some fresh legs ahead of Tuesday night’s semifinal. It’s the first semifinal the Revs will host since 2007, the year they won the Open Cup.
Chicago’s last Open Cup title came the year prior, in 2006. This season they’ve advanced past Indy Eleven (NASL), Columbus Crew SC and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL), winning all three of those games on their home ground at Toyota Park.
In fact the Fire haven’t won on the road in any competition in more than two years, and they’ve picked up just two points from 11 road games (0-9-2) in the current campaign.
Past Meetings: Revs hope to make it a clean sweep over Fire in third meeting at Gillette
New England and Chicago have met at Gillette Stadium four times in the past two years, with the Revs winning all four of those matchups while conceding just one goal in the process.
The Revs haven’t so much as allowed a shot on target against the Fire in two meetings in Foxborough this year, winning 2-0 back on May 14, and 1-0 just two weeks ago courtesy of a late Watson goal.
“We know them well, they know us well,” said Caldwell. “I’m sure we’re going to see something different out of them, but at the same time, we’ve just got to bring the same type of mentality that we brought in the last few home games where we’ve gotten results.”
This will be the third time that these two sides have met in the Open Cup, and the first since 2006. Chicago has prevailed on both occasions, in the fourth round in 2005 and the quarterfinals in 2006.
Injury Report: Agudelo continues to progress as Koffie returns to starting lineup
Juan Agudelo (knee) has been sidelined since the Revolution’s victory over the Cosmos in the Open Cup Round of 16 back in late June, but the forward is inching closer to a return. He recently resumed most training activities and has been upgraded to “questionable” on the Revolution’s official injury report.
Gershon Koffie, meanwhile, continued his path back from a knee injury as he made his first start since mid-May this past weekend at BMO Field, going 57 minutes before being replaced.
Final Thoughts: Opportunity knocks for Revolution with a home Open Cup semifinal
“It’s really big. Obviously our fans have traveled when we’ve been in [MLS Cup] in LA, but having a big game like a semifinal on ESPN2 at home is going to be awesome,” said Farrell. “Guys have been excited, especially after the past couple results, to get back home and win for our fans.”