A week after a dramatic late win over the Philadelphia Union, D.C. United host New York City FC at Audi Field on Wednesday night, hoping to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup for the first time since 2013. The winner of the game on Wednesday night — the first matchup between the two Eastern Conference foes in the Open Cup — will go on to face either the New England Revolution or Orlando City in the quarterfinal stage.
The game kicks off at 7 PM ET and will be streamed on ESPN+.
The last time that United won at least two games in the Open Cup and advanced to the quarterfinal stage was back in 2013, when the Black-and-Red last hoisted the trophy. That year, United overcame a dismal MLS campaign to win the Open Cup, defeating Real Salt Lake 1-0 in the final to win the tournament for the third time.
Last week, after a scoreless 90 minutes, the Black-and-Red fell behind in the 113th minute, thanks to a goal from Union substitute Anthony Fontana. That seemed to doom United to a defeat in their first Open Cup game at Buzzard Point, but there was still time for a wild comeback.
Chris McCann headed in a Wayne Rooney corner kick in the 118th minute, and then D.C.'s captain converted a penalty kick in the 120th minute to send United into the Fifth Round. NYC got to the same stage of the tournament by defeating USL side North Carolina FC 4-0 last week.
With another week until United's next MLS game, head coach Ben Olsen is expected to once again field as strong as a side as possible. Against the Union, that meant starts for regulars Rooney, Luciano Acosta, Lucas Rodriguez, Steven Birnbaum, and Frederic Brillant, all of whom played for the entire 120 minutes.
Defender Leonardo Jara also played 120 minutes but spent most of regulation playing in an unusual defensive midfield role. United were also bolstered by the return of left back Joseph Mora, who had not played since March 31 when he broke his jaw against Orlando.
Bill Hamid is expected to be absent once again, but Russell Canouse and Donovan Pines, both of whom missed out on participating in last week's win over Philadelphia, could play a part on Wednesday night.
More notes from #DCU training:— Emily Olsen (@EmilyTOlsen) June 17, 2019
Pines and Canouse are back in full training.
While Odoi-Atsem did not train due to a hip flexor strain.
United and City have already faced off twice this year, meaning the only other time the two sides could meet is in the MLS playoffs in October. Back in March, United scraped a 0-0 draw against NYC at Yankee Stadium, before the Pigeons came to Audi Field in April and won 2-0.
After having just 15 players available in last week's win over NCFC, City head coach Dome Torrent has had his side bolstered by the return of Alexander Ring and Ben Sweat. Tony Rocha won't participate, but Torrent seemed to indicate that usual starters, Alexandru Mitrita, Heber, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi should get starts on Wednesday.
D.C. United Predicted Lineup: (4-2-3-1): Chris Seitz, Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, Leonardo Jara, Russell Canouse, Chris Durkin, Lucas Rodriguez, Luciano Acosta, Ulises Segura, Wayne Rooney