U.S. Soccer today announced that Seattle Sounders FC is set to host the Portland Timbers in the Fourth Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The match is being played at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, with the exact date and kickoff time to be finalized and announced later today.
A draw to determine the Fourth Round pairings was held earlier today by U.S. Soccer, with the home venue determined by coin flip. Sounders FC is 23-5-4 all-time in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play, a domestic knockout tournament that Seattle has won four times since joining MLS in 2009 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014). Should the Rave Green advance past Portland, the team’s Round of 16 opponent and location will be determined via another draw following the Fourth Round.
WeRTacoma (Tacoma Rainiers, Reign FC, Tacoma Defiance) season ticket holders will receive a presale offer to purchase tickets for this match in Tacoma later today. Tickets are being made available to the general public at 10:00 a.m. PT on Monday, June 3 via Ticketmaster.com.
Portland is a well-known adversary of Seattle in both MLS and Open Cup play. In the latter, Sounders FC has faced the Timbers on five occasions, coming away with a 4-1-0 record, most recently having hosted the Cascadia rival in the Fourth Round of the 2017 U.S. Open Cup tournament where Seattle advanced on a 2-1 result.
“We are excited to not only open another Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign, facing one of our historic rivals in the Portland Timbers, but also to further deepen our connections to the South Sound and the City of Tacoma with this Fourth Round matchup,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “With our thriving partnership with the Rainiers and our joint efforts with Tacoma Defiance, we already feel at home in the South Sound. Bringing a First Team match to Tacoma is something we’re thrilled about, and we know our fans will continue creating their hallmark home-field advantage on the south side of the sound.”
The match also marks the first time that Sounders FC’s First Team is scheduled to play a competitive match at Cheney Stadium, which has been home to the club’s USL side, Tacoma Defiance, since 2018, and has further welcomed NWSL club Reign FC beginning this season.
Sounders FC is no stranger to the South Sound, with the organization jointly operating Tacoma Defiance alongside its partners at the Tacoma Rainiers. In a series of key announcements on January 30 at a press conference inside Cheney Stadium, the Rainiers and Sounders FC unveiled the long-awaited new brand for the organizations’ USL club. Beginning play under this Defiance identity earlier this year, Tacoma’s professional soccer side now officially bears the name of its hometown, while proudly paying homage to the city’s maritime roots and deep sense of civic identity.
In November of 2017, Sounders FC and the Tacoma Rainiers announced that beginning in 2018, the USL club’s previously-announced transition to Tacoma was accelerating, allowing the team to play its home matches at Cheney Stadium while progress continues toward a new soccer-specific facility. The two clubs previously reached a historic agreement to build a 5,000-seat facility in Central Tacoma on the footprint of Cheney Stadium. While that process moves forward, South Sound soccer fans can continue to be able to see their USL side play in Tacoma several seasons ahead of schedule.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – the oldest continuous soccer competition in the United States and the third-longest domestic cup competition globally – is open to all United States Soccer Federation (USSF) affiliated teams. With its four Open Cup titles, Sounders FC is tied with the Chicago Fire for the most titles among MLS clubs. Maccabi Los Angeles and Bethlehem Steel FC hold the record with five wins apiece, but neither club is active any longer. In 2011, Sounders FC became the first team since 1968 to win three consecutive Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships.