The potential pairings for the Fourth Round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are set, and the Columbus Crew is slated to face the winner of Indy Eleven vs. Dayton Dutch Lions in its first match of the tournament. All United States-based MLS clubs enter the tournament in the Fourth Round.
"I think we have a good relationship with both of those teams, and that’s what’s important," said Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter on the matchup possibilities. "It will be good to play them in a formal competition, whether Dayton, our affiliate partner, or Indy Eleven, who we played in preseason and have good contacts there. Either one will be a good showcase."
The time and date of Columbus' Fourth Round match are yet to be determined, but the match will take place at FirstEnergy Stadium in Akron, Ohio. The Crew is the designated home team for the Fourth Round match regardless of who advances to face it between Indy or Dayton.
"It’s a great opportunity for us to expand our brand into other areas of Ohio," said Berhalter on playing the match in Akron. "We’re Columbus’ team, and Ohio’s team, and we’re proud of that. It gives us a chance to play in another market and reach another fanbase."
FirstEnergy Stadium is home to the Akron Zips' college soccer program, one of the most successful in the nation. The Crew has several ties to Akron's program, including current players like Homegrown standouts Wil Trapp and Chad Barson.
"[FirstEnergyStadium] is one of the premier college soccer venues in the country," continued Berhalter. "For us, it’s a great place to have a game. They have a great atmosphere there; I’ve been to games before there. The atmosphere makes the game exciting. We’re going to be looking forward to playing there against a good opponent, and it will make the game an interesting game."
Indy plays Dayton on May 28 in the Third Round of play at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis.