Atlanta United will host Charleston in U.S. Open Cup

March 11, 2018 Atlanta: A Atlanta United fan toasts the team as they take on the D.C. United during their home opener in a MLS soccer game on Sunday, March 11, 2018, in Atlanta.    Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
March 11, 2018 Atlanta: A Atlanta United fan toasts the team as they take on the D.C. United during their home opener in a MLS soccer game on Sunday, March 11, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta United will host Charleston Battery in the U.S. Open Cup for the second consecutive year. The game will be played at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium on June 6.

The U.S. Open Cup is an annual tournament that started in 1914. It features amateurs, semi-professional and professional teams.

Atlanta United went 1-1 in last year's Open Cup. The Five Stripes defeated Charleston 3-2 in Kennesaw on goals by Kevin Kratz, Brandon Vazquez and Josef Martinez in a game delayed 2-1/2 hours because of lightning. More than 9,400 tickets were sold and distributed for that game.

Atlanta United advanced in the tournament and was beaten at Miami 3-2 in the final minute of injury time in the second half in the next game. Former Silverback Kwadwo Poku scored the winning goal for Miami, which played in the NASL, at Riccardo Silva Stadium. Vazquez and Julian Gressel scored for Atlanta United. Andrew Carleton played well in the game.

The Battery this season feature two players who are on loan from Atlanta United: Gordon Wild and Patrick Okonkwo. The team, which plays in the USL, is 5-3-2 this season. Wild, selected in this year’s SuperDraft after an All-American career at Maryland, has three goals in nine appearances. Ataulla Guerra leads the Battery with five goals in 10 appearances.

MLS teams don’t enter the U.S. Open Cup until the fourth round. Several of the league’s teams were drawn against each other: New York Red Bulls will host NYCFC, Real Salt Lake will host defending champ Sporting KC, Portland will host San Jose and Columbus will host Chicago.

Atlanta United likely will use a mix of less-experienced and experienced players in the fourth round. Miles Robinson, Chris McCann and Vazquez earned their first starts with Atlanta United last season in the game against Charleston, and Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu made his debut as a sub. Carleton and Lagos Kunga featured in the next game at Miami.

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