While the World Cup is taking soccer's main stage, local soccer fans are in for a treat tonight when the Minnesota United FC plays the defending Major League Soccer Cup champion Sporting Kansas City in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Britt's Pub and Nomad World Pub will have viewing parties for the game. Fans can also watch the action live at Sporting KC's team site.
In defense of their title, Sporting KC is off to a 6-5-4 start in the Eastern Conference; just behind the New England Revolution and D.C. United. The Loons are 6-1-2 one year after their North American Soccer League title.
United head coach Manny Lagos says his team is ready for a step up in competition.
"We know we are playing against a team that has probably been the best team in North America in the last couple years," Lagos told the team's website. "They have created an amazing environment with their stadium and it's state of the art. We are excited about the challenge and we need to make sure we commit to the things we do well as a team and not really worry too much about what they have done in the past. They are a very good team and they play with a good tempo and pressing style. We have had a good week of training here after a bit of a break from our Spring Season and we are prepared for this game."
Not familiar with Sporting KC? Think of them this way: Two of their top players – Graham Zusi and Matt Besler – won't play tonight because they're playing for the U.S. at the World Cup in Brazil.
Both players are popular enough to have been mentioned during The Tonight Show starring Night with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday. Sure, it was a funny skit, but a mention nonetheless.