The Philadelphia Union get to stay at home when they enter the 2014 U.S. Open Cup. They'll host the USL PRO's Harrisburg City Islanders on June 17 at 7:00 p.m.
It's nice for the Union and their fans to have an Open Cup game at PPL Park, but it's probably not the ideal opponent. Harrisburg is the Union's official USL PRO affiliate, and carries four Union players - defender Richie Marquez and midfielders Jimmy McLaughlin, Cristhian Hernández and Pedro Ribeiro - on loan.
Four other City Islanders players have also spent time with the Union, whether as signings, draft picks or trialists: midfielder Robbie Derschang and Morgan Langley and forwards Clésio Bauque and Yann Ekra.
The U.S. Soccer Federation does its best to keep MLS teams apart from their USL Pro affiliates, but it also factors in geography to minimize travel costs and other hassles. So it's not too surprising that a possible Philadelphia-Harrisburg matchup was drawn.
It will be the second time they've met in the Open Cup. In 2012, the Union won, 5-2, in a quarterfinal matchup at at PPL Park. The ensuing semifinal loss to Sporting Kansas City is the farthest the team has ever gone in the tournament.
Looking at the rest of the fourth round draw, the biggest news by far is the matchup between the New York Cosmos and New York Red Bulls. It's no stretch to call that one of the biggest Open Cup games ever in the MLS era.
If you'd like to know more about how the fourth round draw came together, Jeff Crandall of the Chicago Fire's PR staff wrote this report on the event after watching the draw in person at U.S. Soccer Federation headquarters.
Here's the full fourth round draw. All times listed are Eastern. Games involving local teams are in italics.
1. Laredo Heat (PDL) at Houston Dynamo (MLS): BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas (10:00 p.m.)
2. Sacramento Republic (USL PRO) at San Jose Earthquakes (MLS): Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, Calif. (10:30 p.m.)
3. Real Salt Lake (MLS) at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL): Atlanta Silverbacks Park, Chamblee, Ga. (7:30 p.m.)
4. Chivas USA (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL): WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C. (8:00 p.m.)
5. New York Red Bulls (MLS) at New York Cosmos (NASL): Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. (8:30 p.m.)
6. San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) at FC Dallas (MLS): Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas (8:30 p.m.)
7. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at Philadelphia Union (MLS): PPL Park, Chester, Pa. (7:00 p.m.)
8. D.C. United (MLS) at Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO): Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester, N.Y. (7:05 p.m.)
9. Indy Eleven (NASL) at Columbus Crew (MLS): FirstEnergy Stadium at the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio (7:30 p.m.)
10. Orlando City (USL PRO) at Colorado Rapids (MLS): Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo. (9:00 p.m.)
11. Orlando City U23s (PDL) at Portland Timbers (MLS): Providence Park, Portland, Ore. (10:30 p.m.)
12. New England Revolution (MLS) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO): Richmond City Stadium, Richmond, Va. (7:00 p.m.)
13. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO) at Chicago Fire (MLS): Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill. (8:30 p.m.)
14. Minnesota United FC (NASL) at Sporting Kansas City (MLS): Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan. (8:30 p.m.)
15. PSA Elite (USASA) at Seattle Sounders FC (MLS): Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, Wash. (10:00 p.m.)