The Columbus Crew is set to embark on the team’s 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup journey after drawing Indy Eleven in the third round draw on Thursday night. This was the first stage of the tournament featuring Major League Soccer teams.
The game will take place on either Tuesday, April 25 or Wednesday, April 26 and will take place at Lower.com Field. This game will come between the Black & Gold’s match at Charlotte FC on Saturday, April 22 and the home game against Inter Miami on Saturday, April 29. There is no kick off time for the match at the time of publishing.
Indy Eleven is yet to kick off its 2023 USL Championship season. The team’s first game will take place on Saturday, April 8 and Indy will play three leagues games before facing Columbus.
The Crew has history in the Open Cup, reaching the final three times and winning the tournament during the 2002 season with a 1-0 victory against the LA Galaxy at Historic Crew Stadium. This was the Black & Gold’s first trophy in club history.
Last year, Columbus was defeated by Detroit City FC in the fourth round of America’s longest soccer tournament. Former Crew striker Gyasi Zardes converted an early penalty in the seventh minute giving the Black & Gold the lead, but it was Detroit who had the last laugh when Maxi Rodriguez scored a brace in the second half to give the home side the win.
Columbus last made it past the team’s first game in 2019 when the Crew was eventually defeated by Atlanta United 3-2. The Black & Gold have faced rivals Chicago Fire the most times during their tenure with five matchups, the latest coming in 2018 when the game was decided by a penalty kick shootout with Chicago winning 12-11.
The Crew will have to juggle a heavy workload this season with MLS, Open Cup and the Leagues Cup coming into play down the road.
Columbus currently holds a 23-17-3 record in the Open Cup and is 0-3 on penalty kick shootouts. The Blackk & Gold a 7-3-1 record against tier 2 teams, 6-2-0 against tier 3 and 1-0-0 against amateur clubs.
About the U.S. Open Cup
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is the longest-running tournament in the country.
Founded in 1914, the tournament was named the National Challenge Cup. It was then renamed and dedicated to North American Soccer League (NASL) and MLS executive Lamar Hunt in 1999.
Last year marked the return of the tournament after the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thus ending its 106-year consecutive run.
Since 2014, the tournament has been contested by 80 teams from MLS, the USL Championship, USL League 1 and the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), along with premiere development leagues such as USL League 2, National Premiere Soccer League (NPSL) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).