Charlotte FC have a chance to earn bragging rights outside of Major League Soccer as they prepare to face Greenville Triumph on Wednesday in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The game is at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.
The Open Cup is a national competition organized by American football in which lower division teams compete against higher division teams, such as MLS, with the winner earning a bid for the 2023 Concacaf Champions League. Charlotte FC head coach Miguel Ángel Ramírez noted that the tournament was important and could benefit the team, not only “financially”, but also with a CCL bid.
“All these matches are always a special moment and a learning moment,” Ramírez said. “(It’s) a chance to keep learning and keep playing together and keep consolidating ideas. It’s a great opportunity.
Charlotte FC are coming off a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution last Saturday and sit eighth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings with a 3-5-0 record. This is the first midweek game Charlotte will play since the start of its inaugural MLS season as a 2022 expansion team.
Charlotte is set to return to MLS competition against the Colorado Rapids this Saturday (9 p.m. at Dicks Sporting Goods Park), so there will be a tight deadline and hectic travel schedule for the team aiming for their first victory over the road. Greenville (0-1-1 in League One) welcomes Charlotte to its Triumph Stadium in South Carolina.
How to watch Charlotte FC-Greenville Triumph
A direct link to the ESPN+ stream is available here. A valid subscription is required.
What is the Open Cup?
The US Open Cup tournament was first held in 1914 and is the oldest domestic football competition in the country. Charlotte FC are one of 17 MLS teams entering the third round this week and are set to face the Triumph by draw in which Charlotte was guaranteed to play against a lower division side.
The Open Cup tournament has been on hiatus due to the pandemic for the past two years, so 2019 title winner Atlanta United are the defending tournament champions. Nine MLS teams played on Tuesday with two of those teams, the Chicago Fire and the Columbus Crew, upset by their lower division opponents.
Union Omaha beat the Fire 5-4 after a penalty shootout. It was the first time a USL League One team knocked out an MLS club. Charlotte FC are aiming to avoid a similar outcome on Wednesday.
The match will be on ESPN+ without cuts.