Atlanta United continues the journey to defend its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title on Wednesday, May 11 with a matchup against Nashville SC in the Round of 32.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET at GEODIS Park.
It’s Atlanta United’s second match in this year’s U.S. Open Cup competition. The team entered the tournament in the third round and handled third-tier club Chattanooga FC 6-0 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on April 20. For the Round of 32, Atlanta United was placed in the South region and drew Nashville SC as its next opponent.
Wednesday marks Atlanta’s second mid-week match of the 2022 season. The club is coming off a 4-1 win at home on May 7 against Chicago Fire FC in MLS competition. This weekend, the team returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to take on the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners, New England Revolution, in MLS play.
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What Is The U.S. Open Cup?
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup returned this year after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Atlanta United is the current champion and won the title in 2019.
The U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination competition that features teams from a variety of American soccer leagues, including MLS and USL. The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the U.S. and the third-longest-running open soccer tournament in the world.
More than 100 teams qualified for this year’s tournament. As an MLS club, Atlanta United entered the tournament in the third round along with 16 other MLS clubs. The winner of the Open Cup will win prize money and earn an automatic spot in the 2023 Concacaf Champions League.
About Nashville SC
Nashville SC is an MLS club based in Tennessee that competes in the Western Conference. This will be the first meeting between the two sides in the span of 10 days. Atlanta United will travel to Nashville on May 21 for an MLS rivalry match that will be nationally broadcast on FOX.
While Atlanta United enters the match as reigning champions, Nashville SC is competing in its first-ever U.S. Open Cup as an MLS franchise. Nashville SC is one of eight MLS clubs to qualify automatically for entrance in the Round of 32.
This will be the sixth all-time meeting between the two sides, and the series is evenly split with two wins for each club and two draws. In 2021, Atlanta United met Nashville SC three times. Two of those three resulted in a draw, and Nashville SC won the most recent meeting 2-0 on Aug. 28, 2021.
"Nashville’s a great team,” defender Alex De John said. “They have a good fan base, new field, new facility. We’re up for it. It’s going to be an awesome atmosphere. And those are when the best games are made, when everything’s up against you and all the adversity’s against you. You have to show up and bring the game.”
The match on Wednesday kicks off at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tenn. The brand-new 30,000-seat venue is the largest soccer-specific stadium in the U.S. and Canada.
Nashville SC played the first match in club history at GEODIS Park on May 1, 2022. Nashville SC has yet to lose at its new home venue, which gives extra motivation for the 5-Stripes.
“We want to be the first team to have a victory against them in the stadium,” Pineda said. “That’s up to us. So, that’s the mentality I want to have with the players is we have to be the first team that beats Nashville in their new stadium. And hopefully we can get that.”
On The Line
If Atlanta United beats Nashville SC on Wednesday, the club will advance to the Round of 16. The draw for that round takes place on May 12 and fixtures will be May 24-25.
Kickoff for Atlanta United and Nashville SC is 8:00 p.m. on ET on Wednesday, May 11.