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Sporting KC Travels to Omaha for U.S. Open Cup

May 7, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Sporting Kansas City News Release


Sporting Kansas City will begin the club's quest for a record-tying fifth U.S. Open Cup championship this Wednesday when the team travels to play USL League One foe Union Omaha at 7 p.m. CT at Caniglia Field on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Wednesday's winner will host the victor between USL Championship sides FC Tulsa and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the Round of 16 on May 21 or 22.

The Round of 32 match-up between Sporting KC and Union Omaha will stream live on MLSsoccer.com and Sports Radio 810 WHB will be on site to broadcast the cup clash with an audio feed available via the Sporting KC App for listeners.

Sporting Kansas City will host a special event at Backlot Taphouse in Omaha from 2:30-4 p.m. on Wednesday - covering each fan's first drink -- and the supporters groups will team up for a joint tailgate on the top level of East Garage from 4-6:30 p.m. with complimentary food and drinks.

Built in 1949, Caniglia Field was renovated in 2012 and a new artificial surface was installed in 2023 for the NCAA Division I men's and women's soccer programs at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Wednesday's capacity is anticipated to accommodate 4,300 fans as the venue hosts a Major League Soccer club for the first time.

Notably, Sporting KC has played two previous exhibition matches in Omaha -- first during the club's inaugural season in 1996 in a friendly against the USISL's Omaha Flames at Phelps Field and again in April 2002 in a scrimmage against Creighton University at Tranquility Park to raise funds for the construction of Morrison Stadium. The 6,000-seat venue opened in 2003 and has hosted marquee matches for the city, including visits by Liga MX side Atlas FC in July 2008 and the U.S. Women's National Team in July 2010.

Union Omaha began play in 2020 in the third division of American soccer and has enjoyed sustained success, reaching the USL League One Final in each of their first two seasons - highlighted by lifting both the Players' Shield and league championship trophies in 2021 as the top team in the regular season and postseason. In 2022, the Owls debuted in the U.S. Open Cup and upset two MLS teams on a remarkable run to the quarterfinals before falling to Sporting KC at Children's Mercy Park. Last season, Union Omaha again claimed the Players' Shield with a first-place finish and a 15-game unbeaten run to end the campaign that earned Dominic Casciato USL League One Coach of the Year honors.

This year began with Union Omaha announcing plans for a $60-million downtown stadium and has continued with the Owls tying a league and club record with an eight-match unbeaten run across all competitions to start the season. Three of those eight results came in the U.S. Open Cup with Union Omaha defeating USL League Two sides Western Mass Pioneers and Des Moines Menace in the opening two rounds before upsetting USL Championship squad El Paso Locomotive FC on penalties to improve to 4-0-1 at home in U.S. Open Cup play and 18-0-5 in their last 23 matches across all competitions.

Union Omaha's roster includes former Sporting Kansas City defender Mechack Jerome (2013-14), who is one of three players in the squad with MLS match experience along with PC and Missael Rodriguez. The 21-year-old Rodriguez, on loan from Chicago Fire, has three goals in the past week after scoring twice in the USL Jagermeister Cup on May 1 and adding a goal as a second-half substitute on Saturday.

Sporting Kansas City is one of eight Major League Soccer teams entering the field for the 109th edition of the U,S. Open Cup. The competition will crown a champion in September after eight rounds of single-elimination play and the winner will claim the Dewar Challenge Trophy along with $300,000 in prize money and a berth in the 2025 Concacaf Champions Cup.

The U.S. Open Cup, named in honor of former Kansas City Wizards owner Lamar Hunt, has crowned a champion since 1914 and Sporting KC are four-time winners (2004, 2012, 2015, 2017) of U.S. Soccer's national championship, tied for the most among MLS clubs. Sporting have prevailed in 25 U.S. Open Cup matches since 2012, more than any other team in American soccer, and Designated Player Daniel Salloi is the team's all-time leader with eight career U.S. Open Cup goals, including a brace in the team's 6-0 win against Union Omaha in 2022.

Sporting Kansas City at Union Omaha

2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup | Round of 32

Wednesday, May 8 | 7 p.m. CT (7:03 kickoff)

Caniglia Field | Omaha, Nebraska

Broadcast Schedule:

Live Stream | Free on MLSsoccer.com

English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB


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