Giovanni Savarese directed the Cosmos to a pair of knockout wins over NYC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups in 2015 and 2016. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
ORLANDO, Fla. – New York City FC will take on a familiar face in the quarterfinals of the MLS Is Back Tournament Saturday night – Giovanni Savarese.
As head coach of the Cosmos, Savarese directed his underdog side to victories over NYCFC in two other knockout round competitions – the 2015 and 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups.
Savarese is coach of the Portland Timbers, who will meet City at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Timbers qualified by besting FC Cincinnati in a shootout, 4-2, after playing to a 1-1 draw Tuesday night.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored just three minutes after entering the match in the 67th minute, tallying a goal for a second consecutive match to put Portland ahead, 1-0.
FC Cincinnati rallied with a late goal to send the match to penalty kicks.
In the shootout, goalkeeper Steve Clark saved Jürgen Locadia’s attempt in the third round, while Kendall Waston missed his attempt in the fourth round before Niezgoda converted to give Portland the victory.