KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Sporting Kansas City hosts the Portland Timbers in the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.
Should Sporting Kansas City defeat the Timbers on Tuesday, the club will advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament and travel to the winner of the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC on July 8 or 9.
Sporting KC advanced to the fifth round of this year's tournamnet after defeating North American Soccer League opponent Minnesota United FC 2-0 at Sporting Park. Minnesota's Cristiano Dias was shown a red card just after the halftime intermission. 21-year-old striker Soony Saad opened the scoring for Sporting Kansas City in the 76th minute and 11 minutes later, Alex Martinez doubled the lead with his first professional goal.
Portland defeated USL Premier Development League side Orlando City U23's in their fourth round match by a scoreline of 3-0. Timbers forward Gaston Fernandez scored two first half goals and rookie Taylor Peay added an insurance goal in the second half in his first professional appearance.
Portland's roster features two players who combined for more than 350 appearanes in Kansas City in Jack Jewsbury and Michael Harrington. The two players each won an Open Cup while playing for Kansas City with Jewsbury winning in 2004 and Harrington in 2012.
Sporting Kansas City are two-time U.S. Open Cup champions having defeated the Chicago Fire at Arrowhead Stadium in 2004 and Seattle Sounders FC in a penalty kick shootout in 2012. The Timbers are seeking the club's first Open Cup title. In 2013, Portland advanced to the semifinals of the tournament falling 2-1 to eventual runners-up Real Salt Lake.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer's National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The oldest annual team tournament in American sports history, the U.S. Open Cup has origins in 1914 and is named after Lamar Hunt, the original founder of Sporting Kansas City.
This year's competition began on May 7 with the largest field in the modern era (1995-present) featuring 80 teams.
The single-elimination tournament will continue through the championship match on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1 with the winner receiving $250,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League and their name on the Dewar Challenge Trophy.
Fans can follow Tuesday's match online at SportingKC.com/Gameon or via Twitter @SKCGameday.
Sporting Kansas City will face a short turnaround this week as following Tuesday's match, the club will travel to Portland to play the Timbers in their first League match following Major League Soccer's two-week World Cup break.
That match will kick off Friday night at 10 p.m. CT and can be seen on KMCI's 38 the Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV.