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The 2017 US Open Cup third-round match-ups are set

US Soccer has finalized pairing and hosting scenarios for the third round of US Open Cup 2017.

Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

The first round of the 2017 edition of US Open Cup was played (mostly) on May 10. The second round will be played (mostly) on May 17. And the third round is scheduled for May 31.

US Soccer has now finalized the tournament's schedule through the third round. The second round of the Cup includes three matches featuring teams local (ish) to the New York Red Bulls:

Date Kick-off Home Team Away Team Stadium
May 17 7:00 pm, ET Rochester Rhinos FC Motown Capelli Sport Stadium, Rochester, NY
May 17 7:30 pm, ET Reading United New York Cosmos Exeter Township High School, Reading, PA
May 17 7:30 pm, ET Ocean City Nor'easters Harrisburg City Islanders Carey Stadium, Ocean City, NJ

The third round will channel all three of those games into two matches:

  • Rochester Rhinos/FC Motown vs Boston City FC/GPS Omens
  • Ocean City Nor'easters/Harrisburg City Islanders vs Reading United/New York Cosmos
The hosting scenarios are as follows for the Rochester/Motown vs Boston City/GPS Omens match-up:
2nd round results 3rd round match-up Date Time Stadium
Rochester wins Rochester Rhinos vs Boston City FC/GPS Omens May 31 7:00 pm, ET Capelli Sport Stadium, Rochester, NY
Motown & Boston win Boston City FC vs FC Motown May 31 7:00 pm, ET Jordan Field (Harvard University), Boston, MA
Motown & GPS Omens win FC Motown vs GPS Omens May 31 TBD Home team TBD

In a nutshell, if Rochester beats Motown in the second round, Rochester hosts its third round game. Boston hosts a match-up between itself and Motown. Motown and GPS Omens is TBD (and also arguably one of the least-likely possible pairings from the second round).

The hosting scenarios are as follows for the Nor'easters/Islanders vs. Reading/Cosmos match-up:
2nd round results 3rd round match-up Date Time Stadium
Reading United wins Reading United vs Ocean City Nor'easters/Harrisburg City Islanders May 31 7:30 pm, ET Exeter Township Stadium, Reading, PA
OCN & Cosmos win Ocean City Nor'easters vs NY Cosmos May 31 7:30 pm, ET Carey Stadium, Ocean City, NJ
Cosmos & HCI win NY Cosmos vs Harrisburg City Islanders May 31 7:00 pm, ET Rocco B. Commisso Stadium, Columbia University, New York, NY

If Reading United beats NY Cosmos, Reading hosts its third round game. Ocean City Nor'easters will host a match-up with NY Cosmos. Cosmos only get to host in the third round if paired up against Harrisburg City Islanders. (And HCI doesn't get to host at all.)

One or both of these third-round matches will feature the New York Red Bulls' most-likely fourth-round opponent in US Open Cup. The Cup is not quite as "open" as it might be: the draw is regionalized, with pairings  in part determined by relative proximity. That regionalization is likely to persist through the fourth round (and beyond), and if there is a local, lower-league opponent in the draw it can be expected to be matched up with RBNY (or NYCFC).

At this moment, one would expect to see RBNY matched up with either Rochester (as happened in USOC 2016) or New York Cosmos (as happened in USOC 2014) - as those are the favorites to make the fourth round from the cluster of NY/NJ lower-league teams remaining in the tournament.

But USOC works in mysterious ways, and for every predictable draw there is a less-expected one, like the USOC 2015 fourth-round pairings, which sent NYCFC to play Cosmos and Rochester to play Philadelphia Union, while landing RBNY with Atlanta Silverbacks.