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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Preview: US Soccer Open Round of 16 & Updated Bracket

At Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Tuesday's Round of 16 matchups are:

Harrisburg City Islanders of USL Pro (Division 3) host the MLS New York Red Bulls
MLS D.C. United hosts the MLS Philadelphia Union 
Michigan Bucks of USL PDL (Division 4) host the Dayton Dutch Lions of USL Pro
MLS Sporting KC hosts the MLS Colorado Rapids 
San Antonio Scorpions of NASL (Division 2) host the Charlotte Eagles of USL Pro
Carolina Railhawks of NASL host MLS Chivas USA
MLS San Jose Earthquakes host the Minnesota Stars of NASL
MLS Seattle Sounders host Cal FC of the USASA (amateur league-considered 5th or 6th Div.)

What's most interesting about this round is that of the eight remaining MLS sides, only a maximum of six can compete in the next round.

Two of the contests feature both teams from MLS.

There is the potential for six teams of lower divisions to move on to the quarterfinals, but, this is highly unlikely.

Other than the two matches featuring teams of lower divisions competing directly against one another, the teams with the best chances for an upset are the Carolina Railhawks and Harrisburg City Islanders. Both will be formidable challenges for their opponents to take on as away teams.

The updated 'Open' Bracket looks like this.

The Seattle Sounders will likely make sure Cal FC goes away.  As thrice defending US Open Cup champion-they can't afford to lose their crown to an amateur squad, or, maybe, this is exactly how they are supposed to lose it.  A Cal FC win would be one of this year's biggest upsets in sports and maybe one of the biggest ever in US Soccer club history.

Projecting ahead, US Soccer has established the home teams for the next round, which is played June 26th: The quarterfinal draw from the winners of the Round of 16.

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