DETROIT, Michigan – The Detroit City Football Club (4-2-1 in all competitions) welcomes the Columbus Crew (2-2-3 in all competitions) to Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck on Tuesday for the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Kick off is set for 7:30 pm ET on ESPN+.
Tuesday marks the first-ever matchup for Le Rouge with an MLS first-team and the first time DCFC has made it to the third round of the U.S.’ national championship. Le Rouge has made four previous appearances in the Open Cup – all coming as an amateur side – most recently in 2018 (DCFC qualified for the 2020 and 2021 tournaments that were not played due to COVID).
Detroit City earned its spot in the third round after a 3-0 victory against the Michigan Stars on April 5. DCFC tallied two goals in the 45th minute – both off midfielder Maxi Rodriguez corner kicks. Centerback Matt Lewis – who scored the matches’ second tally – added an insurance goal in the 63rd off a volley from forward Connor Rutz to complete his brace.
Detroit City’s head coach and general manager Trevor James – while on staff with the LA Galaxy – signed Gyasi Zardes to the Galaxy’s academy. Zardes’ has further ties to Michigan, with his mother having her roots in the state. Additionally, the two clubs share a limited history on the field between City as an amateur side and the Crew’s reserve squad. DCFC has squared off with the Crew juniors five times between 2012 and 2017. Crew won four of the five, with the last meeting going in Detroit’s favor, 3-2.
Forward Antoine Hoppenot has scored three goals this season and two in as many outings – notching the game winner against Birmingham last time out. The 31-year old has 34 goals in his USL Championship career. He currently is averaging a goal every 172 minutes of play in 2022. Hoppenot leads the team in shots on target and successful dribbles per match.
Goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher went 265 minutes without seeing a shot on target – a testament to the play of Le Rouge’s backline – before Birmingham forced him to make a stop in the 23rd minute on Friday night. Steinwascher made four saves in the outing, posting his fourth clean sheet of the season and 25th in 39 matches since 2020.
Detroit City ranks fourth in the league in winning possession in the final third, causing 43 turnovers through six matches. Right back Rhys Williams is fourth among all players in the USL Championship – forcing 10 turnovers in the attacking third. Forward Antoine Hoppenot ranks 14th in the stat. Williams enters Tuesday fourth in FotMob’s Top 100 Players in the USL Championship with a 7.9 rating through six matches.
Columbus is one of seventeen MLS clubs to enter the tournament in this round, with the remaining teams to kick off Open Cup play in the Round of 32.
The Crew come into the matchup having lost its last three matches after starting the season off with four unbeaten. Columbus currently sits in 9th of the MLS’ Eastern conference. After scoring seven goals in the first two contests, the Crews’ offense has slowed to just 3 in the past five fixtures – none in the past three.
Midfielder Lucas Zelarayan paces the Crew with four goals this season, while midfielder Derrick Etienne leads the team with two assists. Much of the Columbus offense flows through Zelarayan, who enters Tuesday with 4.1 key passes per match and five big chances created. Etienne has been active defensively while in the final third, forcing 11 turnovers in the attacking area of the field. Etienne and Zelarayan combine for 16 of Columbus’ 33 shots on target.
In the 2019 Open Cup – last to be played – the Crew entered in the fourth round with a 1-0 victory over the Riverhounds before falling to Atlanta United, the eventual champions, 3-2, in the Round of 16.
Columbus has made the finals of the Open Cup on three occasions – most recently 2010 – and have lifted the trophy once in 2002 with a 1-0 victory over the LA Galaxy.
Any Open Cup matches played at Keyworth Stadium are not included with season ticket purchases. Tickets can be purchased at tickets.detcityfc.com. Gates open at 6:30 pm on Tuesday.
About the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Heading into its 107th edition, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – U.S. Soccer’s National Championship – is the only high-profile competition in American team sports where amateur sides can face professionals in meaningful competition. The history-filled tournament, conducted on a single-game, knockout basis and open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, crowned a champion annually from 1914 until 2019, with a hiatus for the last two years due to the pandemic.
In 1999, the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and the world’s third-longest continuously running open soccer tournament was renamed to honor United States soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
The 2022 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy – one of the oldest nationally-contested trophies in American team sports – now on permanent display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The runner-up will earn $100,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $25,000 cash prize.
Atlanta United FC is the defending Open Cup champion, having earned the club’s first tournament title thanks to a 2-1 victory against Minnesota United FC on Aug. 27, 2019, in front of an Open Cup Final record 35,709 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
COURTESY DETROIT CITY FC COMMUNICATIONS