ATLANTA — The winner of Thursday night’s Atlanta United-Charleston Battery game will play at the Columbus Crew in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16 next week. Open Cup officials announced the pairing, which comes via the round-of-16 draw, Thursday morning.
Officials did not announce a date for the game. Round-of-16 action will take place between June 18 and June 23.
Columbus defeated the USL Championship’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1-0 in its fourth-round game.
The Five Stripes and Battery kick off behind closed doors at 7 p.m. ET at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. U.S. Soccer originally scheduled the game for Tuesday, June 11, at MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston. However, bad weather and worse field conditions squelched that plan. The head match official abandoned the game Tuesday night. U.S. Soccer Wednesday evening announced the decision to play in Kennesaw. The Battery released a statement sharing their ‘deep disappointment’ with the decision to move the game out of the Holy City.
“We believed we had found a venue to play, however, U.S. Soccer determined the best option was to play in Kennesaw and we abide by their decision,” the statement read.
Atlanta and Charleston are playing with no fans in attendance “due to the immediate rescheduling of the event with insufficient time to secure staff and security personnel at the venue,” according to U.S. Soccer.
The Crew defeated Atlanta at home on March 30. Columbus won 2-0 in a game that was marred by heavy rain, wind and a waterlogged pitch.
Should Atlanta defeat Charleston and Columbus, it will play the winner of FC Cincinnati and St. Louis FC in the tournament’s quarterfinals. The Five Stripes and Cincinnati played to a 1-1 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 10.
This is the third consecutive season to feature an Atlanta-Charleston Open Cup game in Kennesaw. In 2017, the Five Stripes came from behind to win 3-2. Atlanta eased to a 3-0 win in 2018.
Atlanta has never advanced past the round of 16 in the tournament. The Five Stripes exited at that stage with a 1-0 defeat to the Chicago Fire at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last June.