Time to get up for the Cup.
Nashville SC is set to make its debut in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as a Major League Soccer club this Wednesday night at GEODIS Park at 7 p.m. CT. The Boys in Gold have been drawn against 2019 Open Cup champion Atlanta United for the Round of 32 matchup.
Nashville is coming off a 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon in MLS regular season play over Real Salt Lake, the club’s first-ever win at GEODIS Park. Defender Dave Romney and forward CJ Sapong scored to help stretch the club’s home unbeaten run to 21 matches.
Tickets for Wednesday’s match are still on sale starting at just $5 for kids 12 and under and $15 for Supporters Section tickets. Click here to get yours.
Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup match:
Win or Go Home – The U.S. Open Cup is one of the most unique competitions in American sports, pitting clubs from every level of the U.S. Soccer pyramid against one another in a single elimination tournament.
The tournament has been played since 1913. Up until its pause in 2020, it was one of the oldest continuously operating club competitions in the world.
For more information on how the U.S. Open Cup works, click here.
The 2022 iteration of the tournament now enters the Round of 32, when Nashville and the remaining seven MLS clubs enter Open Cup play. Twenty-one MLS clubs are still alive in the competition, along with five USL Championship clubs, four USL League One clubs, one MLS NEXT Pro club and one NISA club.
With the single-elimination format, Wednesday’s match should be energetic as Nashville SC looks to advance in its first-ever Open Cup as an MLS club.
Home Momentum – Nashville SC is unbeaten in its first two home matches at the brand-new GEODIS Park.
In the club’s win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday, Nashville owned 54% of possession and took 21 shots compared to RSL’s six. Romney says playing at home makes a difference in the way the team performs.
“I think the momentum difference is huge,” Romney said. "The first eight matches we played on the road, it was so easy to sit in and take chance after chance from other teams. Then in the first game against Philly, we were on them the whole first half. This game, we were pinning them in the whole game. It’s building more and more confidence, and if we keep doing it in more games, we’re going to get better and better and have a swagger about us.”
Southern Clash – Wednesday marks the first match of the season between southern rivals Nashville and Atlanta. In 2021, Nashville went unbeaten against Atlanta with a win and two draws. With forward Josef Martinez, goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Miles Robinson all out due to injury, Atlanta’s lineup should look very different than the one that last played Nashville in August 2021.
This season, Atlanta currently sits in seventh in the Eastern Conference in MLS. In the team’s last outing, Atlanta beat Chicago Fire FC 4-1 at home. Forward Ronaldo Cisneros leads the team in scoring with four goals.
Atlanta is also the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won the competition the last time it was played in 2019.