Commerce City, Colo. - The Colorado Rapids are one of only 16 teams - out of the original 64 - that remain in the hunt for the 2012 U.S. Open Cup title. The next challenge comes on Tuesday when the Rapids face Sporting KC in the 4th Round of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park (6:30 pm MT, LIVE WEBSTREAM).
"From the first game, we've taking this tournament with a lot of responsibility, out of respect to the club and our supporters," Oscar Pareja said Monday before departing for Kansas City. "That level of compromise that the fans have towards us, we have to return by taking whatever tournament with the same responsibility. Logically there are players needing to recover, so we have to give minutes to others, but this is a tournament that is there for the taking. There are only eight MLS teams left so if we can advance to the next round, we have a good chance."
For the Rapids, Sporting KC is the first team they'll play for a second time this season. On May 19, KC took a quick 2-0 lead in Colorado before the Rapids fought back to earn the 2-2 draw. It was only the third time in the Rapids' 17-year history that the team came back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a point, and first time since 2006.
The teams also have a history of elimination games. KC has won three of the four playoff series between the two sides, but Colorado has won three of the four single-elimination Open Cup matches.
However, Pareja warns that history won't get the result on Tuesday.
"Every game draws up a different story," Pareja added. "The game begins at zeros. Each game generates different situations from the first minute, and there are never two games that are the same."
The winner of the 4th Round match will have an added bonus as they will host a Quartefinal match against the winner of tonight's Michigan Bucks versus Dayton Dutch Lions match on June 26.
"This is what we prepare for, to win whatever tournament we enter, because each presents a chance to win something," said midfielder Jaime Castrillon. "(Sporing KC) have a great team. In our home game against them, they scored two quick goals, but this will be a completely different game. We know we can't commit those mistakes because we want to advance to the next round. So we'll go in fully concentrated and try to play a great game so we can move on."