The U.S. Open Cup is always subject to some unorthodox lineups due to it often being a midseason-midweek matchup, and the rules of the contest itself; the most notable of which is no more than five international players being allowed on the team sheet.
And despite a fifth-straight USOC failure looming large, Domé Torrent has reportedly confirmed that Wednesday’s cup match against North Carolina FC will see NYCFC field a lineup of mostly reserve/depth players including Juan Pablo Torres, Keaton Parks, Danny Bedoya, and Justin Haak.
For me, this is absolutely the right move. North Carolina are a lower-division team and the talent level between the MLS and the USL have grown considerably over the past few years. And with almost all of NYCFC’s reserves being Americans, this is a perfect time to put them in some hot water and see if they can take it. Beating North Carolina will hardly be a cake walk, but we’ve seen City’s depth come up big in the past.
Should they win this fourth-round matchup, NYCFC will advance to the Round of 16 and play against either the New England Revolution or the rival New York Red Bulls on any date between June 18 and June 23.