There are few things in the world of international football quite like the domestic cup competition. A chance for the little guy to get up and try its hand against the best in the business, with some surprises often coming along the way. Teams from different divisions and different wage bills coming up against one another for a chance at being the champion of the competition. US Open Cup: Saint Louis FC host Forward Madison
Strong/severe storms will move in from the SW this afternoon, spreading NE. Storms will be near Jeff City & Ironton by 4 PM, STL metro area by 5-7 PM, then into NE MO/WC & SW IL by 8 PM. Main threats: large hail, damaging winds & isolated tornadoes. #stlwx #mowx #ilwx #midmowx pic.twitter.com/xiK1x9OkZD
— NWS St. Louis (@NWSStLouis) May 29, 2019
Note – Brian Bement, pictured above, is a SLUH alum playing for Forward Madison in his fifth pro season. Check out the PHOTO GALLERY from the exhibition game in March that featured Forward Madison at the Soccer Park. I featured Brian in a story on his professional pursuits in February.
It all comes here tonight, as St. Louis FC takes on Forward Madison FC in the biggest sporting competition on the night to involve a team from the Gateway City. Perhaps that’s a stretch, but there was once a time, many yesteryears ago, that getting one’s hands on the US Open Cup was more prestigious than lifting Lord Stanley’s.Read about Patrick Schulte, the 18 y.o. goalkeeper who stood out in his first professional match, stopping three penalty kicks in STLFC’s third round win against the Des Moines Menace, sending them to this fourth round game.
STLFC come into this match sitting in fifth place of the USL Championship Eastern Conference table. The team is going through a bit of a scoring drought, with three of the last four league matches ending in scoreless draws. It will be key for the team to find its form in front of goal in order to keep pace at the top of the table in USL play as well as making a run into the Open Cup.
Forward Madison, on the other hand, come into the match on the wrong end of the table in USL League One. In most other pyramids in the world, the Wisconsin based outfit would be sitting in the relegation zone, picking up just eight points from as many games, though sitting only four points out of the top four. Winless in their last three league matches, the date with St. Louis offers a chance to rejuvenate their season, with an iconic ‘cupset’ to be looked upon as a massive success in their first season.
As the match draws nearer, the cards should point toward a victory for the home side, but sometimes fate isn’t drawn up on paper, and as often seen in these cup competitions, the paper can often be thrown in the bin. It will be crucial that STLFC come out flying to avoid an embarrassing defeat at the hands of lower league opposition, as they do nearly did just two weeks ago.
SLIDESHOW Forward Madison FC at Saint Louis FC, March 2019 exhibition match
It's U.S. Open Cup match day! Join us as we battle Forward Madison FC for a potential MLS opponent in the next round and enjoy throwback concession pricing from 6-7pm! pic.twitter.com/R2GYRgeS1W
— Saint Louis FC (@SaintLouisFC) May 29, 2019
Anthony Kristensen is a sophomore at St. Charles Community College and an alumni of Francis Howell North. He’s just finished his second season playing for the Cougars, and plans on transferring to Mizzou in the fall to pursue a degree in journalism. He writes pieces on social issues ingrained in soccer, as well as covering St. Louis FC and FC Maritsa. You can find his pieces here.