The US Open Cup has crowned a champion 107 times since 1914. Sporting Kansas City hopes that they will be that champion in 2023.
That quest will begin by hosting Tulsa Athletic in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The third-round matches will take place April 25 or 26. MLS clubs enter no earlier than the third round of the tournament.
It has been a long time since Sporting Kansas City has lifted a trophy. The last time was when the team won the US Open Cup in 2017. The US Open Cup has been a very successful tournament for Sporting Kansas City with Championship wins in 2004 (as the Wizards), 2012, 2015 and 2017. But it has been a long and disappointing stretch with no Cups.
The 18 participating MLS teams join the tournament in the 3rd round and will face one of the remaining lower division teams. The teams remaining in the tournament were grouped geographically and were then drawn to pick the match ups. Sporting Kansas City was placed in the Midwest Group with St. Louis City SC (MLS), Union Omaha (USL League One) and Tulsa Athletic (National Premier Soccer League). Because no MLS club will face another MLS club in this round of the competition Sporting knew ahead of the draw that only Omaha or Tulsa were their possible opponents.
To summarize what we've tweeted today:
1. No MLS vs. MLS matchups this round.
2. Group names are irrelevant labels and have zero impact now and on future rounds.
3. They will remake the groups again from scratch for rd 4
4. Divisional separation is more important than geography.
— TheCup.us (@usopencup) April 6, 2023
How Did Tulsa Get Here?
Tulsa Athletic are an amateur team and they were the only one to advance from the second round (though there are two remaining matches in round two). This is the first time Tulsa have reached the third round of the competition. Tulsa Athletic defeated Brazos Valley Cavalry FC in the opening round and upset another Tulsa team, FC Tulsa from the USL Championship, with a 1-0 second round victory.
Following the end of the third round all remaining teams will be regrouped from scratch for round four.
Update 4/7/23: Sporting KC will play on Tuesday the 25th at 7:30 PM CT.
— Thad (@TheBackpost) April 7, 2023