Nashville SC vs Colorado Rapids
2018 U.S. Open Cup
Vanderbilt Stadium — Nashville, TN
June 6 - 6:30 PM MT
The Colorado Rapids will be eager halt Nashville SC's dreams of their first win over an MLS side when they head to Vanderbilt Stadium Wednesday evening for the Fourth Round of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.
Wednesday marks Anthony Hudson's first-ever U.S. Open Cup game at the helm, with hopes that the fixture will be a good opportunity to get the struggling Rapids (2-8-2) back on track after their recent form.
"We're not going to be going there thinking we're just going to stroll through this game," Hudson said in his mid-week media huddle. "Attitude is key in this game. We take confidence in the fact that we've played a lot of the top teams in our league and we're causing teams problems and creating chances, so it's a game we're looking forward to. It's a good break from the league and an opportunity for us to get back on track. We're taking it 100% seriously."
The Rapids are no strangers to the U.S. Open Cup, having played 30 games since 1996. However, the Burgundy Boys have not won multiple games in a single U.S. Open Cup tournament since reaching the final in 1999 where they fell to the Rochester Rhinos. The Rapids have faced a USL side 15 times in the competition, going 8-7, and have not lost to a USL side since 2013. Last year they beat OKC Energy FC, 3-2, in the Fourth Round before falling to FC Dallas, 3-1, in Frisco.
Nashville has fared well in their first season in the USL (5-4-2), currently riding a six-game unbeaten streak. They have also proven to be a force in the U.S. Open Cup tournament, dispatching two lower-level teams in the second and third rounds.
The club defeated Inter Nashville, 2-0, on a Tucker Hume brace in the Second Round of the Open Cup on May 16, then knocked off Mississippi Brilla, 3-1, in the Third Round, with Brandon Allen (the younger brother of Orlando City SC's R.J. Allen) opening the scoring.
What has lended to their success? Many fingers point to their head coach Gary Smith, who ironically coached the Rapids from 2008-2011 and led them to the 2010 MLS Cup.
"I had 4 successful and enjoyable years at [Colorado]. There is a bundle that has changed in the organization since I left…It's not going to be a normal environment for them or us. I'll have the lads on raw meat and razorblades all week, and we will ready."