The magic of the U.S. Open Cup continues to sparkle for FC Cincinnati and Miami FC.
The USL and NASL clubs pulled off dramatic stunners to send the Chicago Fire and Atlanta United packing and continue their U.S. Open Cup runs, reaching the quarterfinal round where they will square off against one another.
FC Cincinnati, which is vying for an MLS expansion bid and beat Columbus Crew SC in the round of 32, outlasted the Fire in penalties after a 0-0 draw, with heroic goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt making three saves in the shootout in front of a raucous crowd of over 30,000 at Nippert Stadium.
Miami FC, meanwhile, used a goal at the death from former NYCFC midfielder Kwadwo Poku to oust Atlanta 3-2 and claim a second straight MLS victim after ousting Orlando City in the previous round.
MLS sides take up the remaining six spots in the quarterfinals, after the New England Revolution beat D.C. United 2-1; the LA Galaxy avoided an upset at the hands of Sacramento Republic, winning 2-0; Sporting Kansas City beat the Houston Dynamo 2-0; defending champion FC Dallas downed the Colorado Rapids 3-1; the New York Red Bulls ousted the Philadelphia Union in penalties after a 1-1 draw; and the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Seattle Sounders 2-1 on a late goal from Danny Hoesen.
The quarterfinal pairings are (all times Eastern):
July 10 - 10:30 p.m. - San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
July 11 - 8:30 p.m. - Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas
July 12 - 7:30 p.m. - Miami FC vs. FC Cincinnati
July 13 - 7:30 p.m. - New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls.
The Miami-Cincinnati pairing means one non-MLS team is guaranteed a place in the semifinals for the first time since 2011.