Thursday morning saw Columbus Crew SC drawn to face the winner of the Third Round regional United Soccer League opponents Louisville City FC and FC Cincinnati. A coin toss — to be held at the U.S. Soccer Federation's headquarters, Soccer House, in Chicago — will be held at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET to decide the Fourth Round match's host; Crew SC will host at MAPFRE Stadium on June 14 if the coin lands on tails.
Columbus enters the 2017 tournament in celebration of its Open Cup championship campaign's 15th anniversary.
All Open Cup matches that Columbus is drawn to host will be played as true home matches at MAPFRE Stadium — the site of Crew SC's 2002 U.S. Open Cup Final victory. All 2017 Crew SC Season Ticket Members receive tickets to all Crew SC U.S. Open Cup matches through the quarterfinals as part of their memberships.
The winner of the U.S. Open Cup qualifies directly for the CONCACAF Champions League with a chance to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup against world-powers like Real Madrid, Boca Juniors and other regional champions.
The 2017 tournament features the largest field in modern-era U.S. Open Cup history. Among the sides in the 104th installment of the competition are Crew SC and 18 other Major League Soccer clubs, six participants from the North American Soccer League (NASL) and 18 teams from the United Soccer League (USL), including the Pittsburgh Riverhounds — Columbus' USL affiliate.
Crew SC holds a 23-16-2 record in the U.S. Open Cup, including a 13-5-1 record in the opening match in the competition dating back to the Black & Gold's tournament debut in 1998. Columbus is 14-6-1 all-time at home in the U.S. Open Cup.
Crew SC next visits New England Revolution on May 21 and Toronto FC on May 26.
The Black & Gold return to MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus to host the defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders on May 31.