Minnesota United’s road to the U.S. Open Cup final will go through Allianz Field.
A Thursday afternoon draw determined the home teams for the semifinal matches on Aug. 7 and the Loons won their draw with the Portland Timbers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
On the other side of the bracket, Atlanta United will host Orlando City SC.
In a scheduling twist, the Loons will play Portland on Aug. 4 in an MLS match at Allianz, three days before their U.S. Open Cup match at the same venue.
“They’ve got a really, really strong squad,” Heath said on Monday. “It’s going to be a really difficult game because as we saw [Wednesday], they’re taking it serious as well.”
Portland edged host Los Angeles FC 1-0 on Wednesday in the Open Cup quarterfinals while Minnesota blew out New Mexico 6-1 behind Angelo Rodriguez’s hat trick.
The Loons are one of the hottest MLS teams, scoring 26 goals over their past six games. The last time they didn’t score at least three goals was on June 8, a 1-0 loss to Colorado.
Before their victory against New Mexico, Minnesota defeated Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo. The Loons trailed the Dynamo 2-0 at halftime but won 3-2.
The Timbers won their quarterfinal match on Jeremy Ebobisse’s goal in the 84th minute. Portland is led by Diego Valeri, Brian Fernandez and Sebastian Blanco, among others.
“They’ve got three of the best players in the league now,” Heath said. “There was one occasion last year where they had nine [designated players] on the field. Guys who’ve been DPs and managed to buy them down over the years.”
The Loons are second in priority order in hosting the Open Cup final. If the Loons advance to the final, they would host if Orlando City is their opponent but would go on the road against Atlanta.
None of the four remaining teams has ever won the Open Cup.
The semifinal appearance is Minnesota’s best showing in the national tournament that puts all levels of U.S. soccer against one another.
The Cup-winning team earns $300,000 in prize money and an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The presale for the Loons’ semifinal vs. Portland will begin at 10 a.m. Friday for season-ticket holders. Tickets for the general public will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.