Reaching the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup would be a significant accomplishment for an MLS expansion team, but it’s one the Los Angeles Football Club could add to a growing list of achievements with a win over the Sacramento Republic on Wednesday at Banc of California Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The U.S. Open Cup, which features a field of 94 teams from all tiers of the U.S. soccer ladder, is the oldest ongoing competition in the country. Sacramento is one of three teams from the second-tier United Soccer League still alive in the tournament.
The Seattle Sounders won the tournament as a first-year club in 2009, but since then just one of six MLS expansion teams eligible to play in the competition made it as far as the quarterfinals
The game marks the end of LAFC’s brief World Cup break; the team returns to MLS play Saturday when it plays host to Columbus. Coach Bob Bradley remains without four starters who went to Russia with their national teams, but he is expected to start the rest of his first-team players against the Republic (8-4-4), which is third in the USL’s Western Conference standings.
LAFC is 7-4-3 in MLS play, also good for third in that league’s Western Conference table.
Sacramento’s roster contains a half-dozen former MLS players including one-time Galaxy midfielder Jaime Villarreal and Scottish midfielder Adam Moffat, who made more than 130 MLS appearances with five teams over eight seasons. The Republic eliminated Seattle in extra time a round of 16 game two weeks ago.
Three MLS teams have already been knocked out of the Open Cup by USL sides this month. The winner of Wednesday’s game will play the Portland Timbers in the quarterfinals next month.