U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday that Phoenix Rising FC will be hosting a second-round U.S. Open Cup match.
Rising FC will be hosting fellow USL Championship side New Mexico United on either May 14 or 15. Phoenix hosted New Mexico earlier this year in Week 2 where the two sides shared a point following a dramatic 3-3 draw.
The U.S. Open Cup is a separate knockout-only competition that includes all 84 teams within U.S. Soccer, even MLS teams. It is completely separate from the USL Championship Cup playoffs that follow USL Championship’s regular season.
The difference between a USL Championship regular season game and U.S. Open Cup game is that the match cannot end in a draw. A winner must be decided. Therefore, should the game end with a level scoreline, the match will then go into a 30-minute extra time (overtime) period followed by a penalty shootout should the two sides not be seperated after playing for 120 minutes.
The U.S. Open Cup begins with clubs from the lower tears of U.S. Soccer such as USL League One and Two, and the National Premier Soccer League playing each other in Round 1. As the competition goes on, teams from higher tiers such as USL Championship and MLS join, much like a bye in other sports’ bracket formats. These “byes” are determined by the team’s place in the standings in their respective leagues from the previous season.
There are nine total rounds in the U.S. Open Cup. Phoenix Rising joins in Round 2 after essentially getting a round-one bye. If PRFC was to advance to the fourth round, there is a possibility that Rising could both play and host an MLS team. That means the likes of LA Galaxy’s legendary forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be coming to the Valley. Rising FC lost in the second round of last year’s edition to Sporting Arizona FC on penalties.
Phoenix Rising FC take on USL Championship newcomer Austin Bold FC Wednesday on the road in Bold Stadium.
Kickoff time is set for 5:30 p.m., and the match can be audio streamed on ArizonaSports.com.