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LAFC to host Fresno FC in 2018 U.S. Open Cup

Two expansion teams square off in domestic cup competition.

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Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

U.S. Soccer conducted the fourth round draw of the 2018 U.S. Open Cup on Thursday, the round in which MLS teams enter the competition. Of particular note, Los Angeles Football Club was drawn to face USL side Fresno FC, at Banc of California Stadium on June 6.

The U.S. Open Cup is the annual domestic cup competition for men’s soccer in the United States. The oldest continual soccer competition, this year is the 105th edition of the tournament. It’s a single-elimination knockout tournament, similar to NCAA Basketball’s March Madness, although it takes place over a longer period of time, with games taking place midweek throughout the tournament.

It is an interesting trivia question, as the game will pit two expansion teams against each other. Fresno FC, a USL side, have won two games in the competition to date, downing local NPSL side Orange County FC 2-0 in the second round, then defeating another amateur side, Sporting Arizona FC, 2-1 on the road in extra time in the third round on Wednesday.

In USL play, Fresno FC currently sit in 11th place in the Western Conference, albeit only two points out of the final playoff spot. They will be in the area this weekend, as they’ll face LAFC’s USL affiliate Orange County SC for the first time at Orange County Great Park on Saturday evening.

So, it should be a good game, and hopefully LAFC can make a run at the title, even if it is their first season. Bob Bradley won the Open Cup in the Chicago Fire’s first season, after all, and even if the competition is a bit bigger these days, there are recent USOC winners on LAFC’s roster, including Benny Feilhaber and Latif Blessing, who won the title just last year with Sporting Kansas City, Walker Zimmerman won with FC Dallas in 2016, Aaron Kovar won with the Seattle Sounders in 2014, and Dejan Jakovic won with D.C. United in 2013.

Kickoff for the game will be at 7 pm PT. Ticket info for the game has not yet been released.

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