The Portland Timbers were drawn in the Western Region Third Seed of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 this morning, pairing off the Timbers against Real Salt Lake on the road this round and giving the team a potential home match against the LA Galaxy or San Jose Earthquakes in the quarterfinals if they advance.
The match, whose timing will be announced later today, will fall on either 6/30 or 7/1, sandwiched between the Timbers' home match against the Seattle Sounders on 6/28 and their home match against the Earthquakes on 7/5.
Update: US Soccer has announced that the Timbers' will play at Real Salt Lake on 7/1 at 7:00 p.m. PT. The Timbers' potential quarterfinals opponents, LA and San Jose, will play on the same day at 7:30.
This will be the Timbers' fifth away match in the Open Cup against MLS competition, never having hosted an MLS team in Cup play since joining the league in 2011. The Timbers have hosted several lower division teams, including the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2014. The Timbers almost hosted an MLS in the Open Cup in 2011, playing the now defunct Chivas USA at Merlo Field, but that match was a play in game and not a part of the Open Cup itself.
The Timbers have not seen RSL since the opening match of 2015, a 0-0 draw at Providence Park, and the weeks since then have not been kind to RSL. While the Timbers have been moving up the ladder in the West in recent weeks, RSL have been sliding down it and now sit in 9th place, with 18 points. Of course, those same 18 points put them only four points behind the Timbers and would put RSL in 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Timbers have squared off against RSL in the Open Cup previously, losing a 2-1 result in 2013 that ended the Timbers' deepest Open Cup run to date in the semi-finals of the competition.