It’s that time of year again.
On Wednesday, Republic FC will kick off their 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign against San Francisco City FC at Sacramento State University. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT at Hornet Soccer Field and will be the first time the university hosts an official match for the Indomitable Club.
This year marks the 104th edition of what is the longest-running national soccer competition in the United States. Founded in 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is a tournament unlike any other in American sports—a single-elimination contest that pits teams from all levels of the American soccer pyramid against each other, including MLS, USL and even semi-pro and amateur teams.
The open format of the Cup gives birth to intriguing storylines each year, as it creates the possibility of David versus Goliath matchups at every twist and turn. To draw a comparison to another sport, it’d be the equivalent of the Sacramento River Cats facing off against the New York Yankees, or a G-League team against the Golden State Warriors, in a knockout tournament. For many players and fans, it’s a rare chance to face an opponent they otherwise would never encounter on the field of play.
Republic FC enter the Second Round of this year’s competition following a 2017 U.S. Open Cup run where they defeated Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake 4-1 en route to a Round of 16 finish, the furthest the club has progressed in the competition.
On the other side of the pitch will be San Francisco City FC, which plays in the Premier Development League, the unofficial fourth tier of American soccer below USL and the yet-to-launch USL D3. SFCFC defeated CD Aguiluchos 4-0 on May 9 to advance to the Second Round and face the Indomitable Club, the first-ever official matchup between these two sides.
The winner of Wednesday’s contest will advance to the Third Round and face off against the winner of Reno 1868 FC versus Portland Timbers U23.
Updates on the match will be provided by @SacRepublicFC on Twitter, as well as by following #USOC2018. To see more matchday information, visit SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide.
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