Frank Klopas
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Match Commissioner, Frank Klopas talk U.S. Open Cup postponement

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Despite inclement weather in the Chicagoland area Wednesday night, both the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew kept hope that their fourth round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tie could be played.

That ended up not being the case as both clubs, in consultation with the U.S. Soccer Federation match comissioner, elected at 8:00 pm CT to postpone the match to Thursday afternoon at noon CT.

“Due to the inclement weather and not only what’s being but what we can see and keeping the integrity of the cup in mind, there’s no point in waiting for an 11-11:30pm kickoff when both teams want to know what’s going on,” said Match Commissioner Minos Vlamakis.

“Both teams were in agreement that that’s in the best interest of not only safety of the players but the fans especially with all these lightning strikes.”

The rescheduled match will be free and open to the public with gates opening at 11:00 am CT.

“Sometimes you can’t control the weather,” said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. “Safety is the most important thing and I think it’s good to make the decision fast because it doesn’t seem like the weather is going to let up anytime soon.

“Instead we’ll let the players go back, relax and get ready to play tomorrow.”

With heavy storms in the forecast, many wondered why a postponement didn’t occur earlier in the day. That’s because scheduling a tie before the quarterfinal round on June 26 would have been very difficult.

While the Fire sit idle this weekend, the Columbus Crew are set to face the Montreal Impact in an MLS fixture on Saturday night in Columbus. While the Crew are off next Wednesday, the Fire are set to host the Colorado Rapids in a league fixture at Toyota Park.

The two teams are then set to face each other in another MLS tie a week from Saturday in Columbus with the fourth round winner having to play the winner of Wednesday’s Sporting KC/Orlando City clash on June 26.

“In all honesty, Columbus was good sports about [postponing the game],” said Vlamakis. “They understand that its not something we have any control over. To be fair to them, they would prefer to know what the plan was vs. waiting two hours or two hours after that.”

Per the U.S. Open Cup Handbook, and backed up by Vlamakis, a postponed match must be played within 24 hours of the original start time unless severe weather or an “act of God” occurs.

The forecast for noon Thursday calls for 71 degrees, sunny and zero chance of precipitation.