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Riverhounds will travel to Columbus for the 4th round of Open Cup

Old friends become foes. The longstanding rivalry between Western Pennsylvania and Ohio continues. The Riverhounds will meet the Columbus Crew next round.

US Soccer announced the draw for the fourth round of the US Open Cup this Thursday, and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds have been matched with MLS originals the Columbus Crew. The date and time for the match has yet to be announced, but is tentatively set for June 11 or 12.

In their 16 years of competing in the US Open Cup, the Hounds have never faced Columbus. The club’s overall US Open Cup record against MLS opponents is 1 win, 4 losses, with their lone victory coming in 2001 against the Colorado Rapids. The 2001 tournament also marks the deepest run into the USOC the Riverhounds have ever made, as the team went all the way to the Quarterfinals before being dispatched in a 3-2 extra time loss to DC United.

The last time the Pittsburgh Riverhounds faced an MLS opponent in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup was in 2015. It was DC United with a knockout win, once again, and it took place in extra time, once again, as the Hounds went out of the tournament at the hands of a 3 to 1 defeat.

Columbus and Pittsburgh don’t have a competitive history with one another, but rather a history of cooperation. In 2016 and 2017, Columbus and Pittsburgh had a formal affiliation deal, resulting in  MLS players like Ben Swanson, Marshall Hollingsworth, Lalas Abubakar, and Zack Steffen getting significant playing time at Highmark Stadium. This season, Crew goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard is on loan with Pittsburgh.

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The Riverhounds had been drawn into a ‘Mid-Atlantic’ pool of teams for the fourth round USOC 2019 draw. The other possible opponents were DC United and the Philadelphia Union.

The hosting venue was also assigned by random draw, assuming a team has a venue suitable to US Soccer for an Open Cup match. Of the remaining 11 USL And NPSL teams left in the Open Cup, 3 will be hosting MLS teams; Saint Louis FC will host the Chicago Fire, Memphis 901 FC welcomes Orlando City FC, and USL originals Charleston Battery will host MLS upstarts Atlanta United.

Mark Asher Goodman is a writer for Pittsburgh Soccer Now, covering the Riverhounds, the Pitt Men's and Women's teams, and youth soccer. He also co-hosts a podcast on the Colorado Rapids called 'Holding the High Line with Rabbi and Red.' He has written in the past for the Washington Post, Denver Post, The Athletic, and American Soccer Analysis. When he's not reading, writing, watching, or coaching soccer, he is an actual rabbi. No, really. You can find him on twitter at @soccer_rabbi

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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