The matchups and hosting scenarios for the third round of the US Open Cup were drawn today, and it couldn't have worked out better for Sounders fans. If Sounders FC 2 and their Portland counterparts win their respective opening matches of Cup competition, S2 will get the chance to eliminate their rivals at home in a mini-Cascadia showdown at Starfire.
It's a tantalizing prospect, but of course we can't count on it yet. After Kitsap Pumas dismantled their first-round competition, FC Tacoma 253, they'll take on S2 at Starfire on May 20. S2 need to survive that round and Timbers 2 have to travel to Pontiac, Mich. and defeat Columbus Crew PDL affiliate Michigan Bucks in order to arrange the third round meeting.
If Kitsap beats S2, they'll have a shot at knocking T2 (or the Bucks) out in the third round, but they would have to do it on the road. As with any single-elimination tournament, anything could happen. After an exciting first round of matches with the most PK shootouts in the modern era, we'll have to hope the stars align for a mini-Cascadia battle in Tukwila.
The only potential downside: All third-round matches will be played May 27, which means S2 could be hosting T2 on the same evening that Sounders FC hosts the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field.