The Five Stripes will have an opportunity to win its second trophy of 2019 Tuesday night when it will host Minnesota United during the U.S. Open Cup final. An interesting thing to note about this match is that both of these teams began competing in MLS in 2017.
The winner of the U.S. Open Cup will earn a spot in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League, a competition where Atlanta United advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to Monterrey earlier in the year.
Here is a preview for each team heading into Tuesday’s match:
The Five Stripes will be playing in the U.S. Open Cup final for the first time in franchise history, having only advanced to the round of 16 in the last two years.
This year, Atlanta defeated the Charleston Battery, Columbus Crew, St. Louis FC and Orlando City in the road that led to the championship appearance.
Atlanta has faced Minnesota four times and have three wins and one defeat against the Loons, including a 3-0 win at Mercedes-Benz on May 29.
The Five Stripes are currently on a six-game winning streak across all competitions and the team’s top goalscorer, Josef Martinez, has scored in 14-games in a row; Martinez has scored 17 goals in such stretch.
Just like Atlanta, Minnesota will be playing in the U.S. Open Cup final for the first time in franchise history. While the Loons have not enjoyed the same success as Atlanta, the team from the Twin Cities are enjoying its best season as they are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference and are only one point away from second place.
In order to reach the championship match, Minnesota defeated Sporting Kansas City, Houston Dynamo, New Mexico United and Portland Timbers in the earlier rounds.
The Loons lone victory against Atlanta came in 2017 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, when the Loons won 3-2 off a goal by Kevin Molino at the 96th minute.