COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The Colorado Rapids will go on the road to face USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC in the Round of 32 of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer announced today. The Round of 32 will take place across May 9 and May 10; the date and time of the Rapids’ match against Sacramento will be announced a later time.
Colorado advanced to the Round of 32 following a 3-1 win against Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC in the Third Round on Wednesday night. It was the first Open Cup win for the club since 2017, when the Rapids beat USL Championship side OKC Energy FC in the Fourth Round. The Rapids last made an appearance in the Round of 32 last year, which resulted in a 2-1 road loss to Minnesota United FC in a match that spanned across two days due to inclement weather.
Last year’s Open Cup runners-up, Republic FC qualified to the Round of 32 in this year’s iteration after defeating fellow USL Championship side Oakland Roots SC 1-0 on Wednesday. Last year, Sacramento made history as the first non-MLS team since 2008 to reach the Open Cup final, ultimately falling 3-0 to Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium. Republic FC is currently undefeated in league play and top of the standings in the USL Championship.
Introduced in the 1913-14 season as the National Challenge Cup and rebranded in 1999, the U.S. Open Cup (USOC) is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States. The competition enters its 108th edition after suspending play in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The single-elimination tournament includes clubs from different professional leagues including Major League Soccer (MLS), the United Soccer League (USL) and the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), as well as semi-pro and amateur teams who qualify through the first two rounds of the tournament. It spans across eight rounds, with the winner getting an automatic bid in the Concacaf Champions League.