The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup continues this week as the final eight teams will get underway in their respective quarterfinal matchups. The four matches in this round will feature six MLS teams with two lower-division teams still fighting their way toward the championship. One of those teams from the lower division is USL League One side Union Omaha, as they look to continue their Cinderella run against MLS side Sporting Kansas City.
This U.S. Open Cup match will kick off on Wednesday, June 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, SKC is unsurprisingly favored to win with odds at -250, while Omaha comes in at +600 on the board. While there won’t be a broadcast shown on TV, all the action can be caught via Livestream on ESPN+.
Sporting Kansas City v. Union Omaha SC
Date: Wednesday, June 22
Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Live stream: ESPN+
Odds: Sporting Kansas City -250, Draw +370, Union Omaha +600
Pick: Union Omaha +600
It might feel strange picking Omaha to win in regular time, but if any lower division team can knock out its MLS counterpart in the quarterfinals, these guys are the most likely to do it. They’ve had a great run in Open Cup play this year, knocking off Des Moines Menace 2-1 in the second round, followed by eliminating MLS side Chicago Fire in penalties in their third-round clash. They took down fellow USL1 side Hailstorm FC with a 2-0 score in the Round of 32, while defeating yet another MLS side Minnesota United with a 2-1 final score in the Round of 16.
Omaha hasn’t been dominating its MLS opponents by any means, shown in their win against Minnesota as they controlled just 26 percent of possession and logged half as many shots as the Loons did, but they’ve been getting the job done either way. Sporting Kansas City, historically one of the better teams in MLS through the last decade, is having a rough go this season so far. They sit in 12th place in the Western Conference with just four wins on the season out of 17 games played. Peter Vermes’ side has only won twice in their last 12 straight matches in MLS play, which includes a 7-2 smackdown at the hands of the Portland Timbers back on May 14.
SKC has been able to get by in Open Cup this season, defeating a 10-man FC Dallas squad in extra time with a 4-2 final score, while sneaking past the Houston Dynamo with a 2-1 score, thanks to a brace from Johnny Russell, with the game-winner coming as a penalty kick in the 73rd minute.
On paper, the home side should come out on top, but I like Omaha’s chances as they have all the momentum on their side and will look to take down their third MLS team in their Open Cup run.
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