Preview: FC Cincinnati takes on Miami FC in U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals

We proved that Hell is Real. We put out the Fire. Now, it's time to take our talents to South Beach! In the quarterfinal match of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, FC Cincinnati takes on Miami FC, where one 2nd tier team will advance to the semi-finals for the first time since 2011.

The match will take place at Riccardo Silva Stadium on the campus of Florida International University (FIU). You can watch the game on Spectrum Sports in Ohio, and it can also be streamed on

So far the road to the quarterfinals for FC Cincinnati has not been an easy one. First, we took on in-state opponent Cleveland AFC and squeaked out a 1-0 victory in extra time. Next, FCC beat bitter rival Louisville City FC 1-0 without needing the extra time. In the 4th Round of the U.S. Open Cup, we faced another in-state opponent in Columbus Crew SC and once again won by a final score of 1-0, thanks to a beautiful header by Djiby. Then in front of 32,000 fans at Nippert, and over 300,000 across the United States on ESPN, the Orange and Blue did the unthinkable by beating MLS front-horse Chicago Fire 3-1 on PK's. For us, it has truly been a remarkable run even if it ends tonight.

Miami has taken an equally as difficult path, taking down two MLS teams currently in the top 5 of the Eastern Conference standings. The results of their U.S. Open Cup wins are as follows:

3-2 Win over South Florida Surf
2-0 Win over Tampa Bay Rowdies
3-1 Win over Orlando City SC
3-2 Win over Atlanta United FC

Miami has scored 11 goals in 4 games while FC Cincinnati has scored just 3. However, in 4 games Miami has allowed 5 goals while FC Cincinnati as allowed 0 goals in 420 minutes of regulation and extra time. Pretty impressive if you ask me. If Mitch continues to say no, it will create a huge advantage, as FC Cincinnati should have an easier time creating offensive opportunities than they did against both Columbus and Chicago.

While I'm no soccer guru, I would be a little shocked if FC Cincinnati doesn't play in a formation that was similar to the 3-4-3 attack that they displayed in a 2-0 win against Richmond on Sunday. While FCC only scored 2 goals from this formation, they created many opportunities with McLauglin and Wiedeman on the wings, and with Djiby as the striker. Also, expect defender Harrison Delbridge to be back in the lineup after missing the last two games with an ab strain.

For the first time this tournament--

FC Cincinnati will have to travel into a hostile environment. If the players can keep their cool and create quality attacking chances, FCC could very well be two wins away from the U.S. Open Cup.