Atlanta United will host Chicago Fire at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20 in the Round of 16 of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The teams were drawn into the Mideast Region alongside Louisville City FC and Nashville SC. The winner of the Atlanta-Chicago match will then host the quarterfinal tentatively slated for July 18.
For Atlanta United season ticket members, the Round of 16 match is included in the season package as the 18th match. Those tickets will be automatically loaded onto accounts in the coming days. Single match tickets are as low as $28 and are on sale here, starting today.
“We’re excited to host our first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” club president Darren Eales said. “Over the last year, our amazing fans have helped us set nearly every attendance record in North America and we’re looking forward to getting another one in two weeks.”
Atlanta advanced to the Round of 16 for the second time in club history after beating Charleston Battery 3-0 on June 6. In front of the largest crowd for a sporting event in Fifth Third Bank Stadium history (9,742), Atlanta cruised to a win against its former USL affiliate with goals from Andrew Carleton, Ezequiel Barco and Romario Williams. During the 2017 tournament, Atlanta defeated Charleston 3-2 thanks to a game-winning goal from Brandon Vazquez in the 78′. The club lost in the Round of 16 to Miami FC 3-2 at Riccardo Silva Stadium.
The Chicago Fire advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup in dramatic fashion, defeating Columbus Crew SC 10-9 in an epic PK shootout on June 6. Goalkeeper Richard Sanchez was the hero of the night as he converted his penalty kick and then stopped the penalty of his counterpart Logan Ketterer to send the Fire to the next round. Nemanja Nikolic scored twice in the run of play as the Fire advanced to the Round of 16 for the sixth consecutive season. The Fire have won the U.S. Open Cup on four previous occasions, with the last win coming in 2006. In MLS play, Chicago holds a 5-7-2 record and currently sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Fire are 1-2 all-time against Atlanta United, 0-1 when playing on the road.
The winner of the Mideast Region will play the winner of the East Region, which includes Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls, D.C. United and Orlando City SC. A draw to determine the semifinal hosts will take place on July 19.
Unlike MLS Regular Season matches, USOC matches cannot end in draws. Should the two teams be level at the conclusion of the 90-minute regulation, they will play two 15-minute sessions. In the event the score is still tied after an additional 30 minutes, the match will head to penalties until a winner is decided. The winner of this year’s tournament is automatically qualified for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League, which begins next February. For more information on the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, click here.