The New York Cosmos and Charlotte Independence are the lone non-MLS teams waving the flag for the underdogs as the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup whittles 16 teams down to eight on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Cosmos knocked off regional rivals New York City FC in penalty kicks during the fourth round, while Charlotte surprised the New England Revolution with a 1-0 win on a goal by Colombian forward Jorge Herrera.
[ MORE: 2015 MLS Power Rankings, Vol. V ]
Both clubs will have to take to the road, and the Cosmos have a whale of a task ahead of them in hoping to oust the New York Red Bulls fo a second-straight year. Can you imagine the buzz if the NASL side is able to knock both the Red Bulls and New York City out of the tournament? Raul and the Cosmos will hope to do just that at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.
If Charlotte is to take down a second successive MLS side, they’ve got a reeling one on the docket. Chicago has had trouble winning matches this season, but may be looking to the Open Cup as a chance to kickstart its form against lesser competition.
We’ll also see another derby, with San Jose and L.A. squaring off mere days after the fresh Quakes took down a tired-looking Galaxy 3-1.
Here’s what’s on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday as the tournament stays regional:
Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew
Philadelphia Union vs. DC United
Chicago Fire vs. Charlotte Independence
Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids
New York Red Bulls vs. New York Cosmos
Sporting KC vs. FC Dallas
Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers
San Jose Earthquakes vs. L.A. Galaxy