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FC Cincinnati finishes sixth in Eastern Conference, play Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday; bracket here

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FC Cincinnati (12-10-10, 43 pts.) mounted a 4-3 comeback win against Toronto FC II Saturday night and then waited for Bethlehem Steel FC’s result Sun. afternoon – a 1-1 draw against Saint Louis FC – to learn that the Orange and Blue would finish sixth in the Eastern Conference and travel to third-seeded Tampa Bay Rowdies (14-7-11, 53 pts.)
 
The two teams will play Saturday, Oct. 21 at Al Lang Stadium with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. FCC has faced the Rowdies three times, falling 1-0 in their initial meeting in 2016 in U.S. Open Cup action and then tying 1-1 at Nippert Stadium in their first meeting this season following the Rowdies’ move to the USL. FCC would drop a 2-0 decision in Tampa Bay in July. 
 
The Eastern Conference Quarterfinals begin Fri. night with No. 1-seed Louisville City FC playing host to No. 8-seed Bethlehem Steel FC at Slugger Field at 7:30 p.m. ET. The No. 4-seed Rochester Rhinos play host to the No. 5-seed Charlotte Independence on Sat. night at Capelli Sport Stadium and Charleston Battery, the No. 2 seed, will host seventh-seeded and defending champion, New York Red Bulls II, Sat. night at MUSC Health Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.

Playoff bracket

The Western Conference Quarterfinals also kick off on Fri. night as 2017 USL Regular Season Champion and overall No. 1-seed Real Monarchs SLC play host to No. 8-seed Sacramento Republic FC at 10 p.m. ET at Rio Tinto Stadium.
 
No. 2-seed San Antonio FC will make its USL Cup Playoffs debut on Sat. night when it hosts No. 7-seed Tulsa Roughnecks FC at Toyota Field at 8:30 p.m. ET, as will No. 3-seed Reno 1868 FC as the expansion side hosts No. 6-seed OKC Energy FC at 8:45 p.m. ET at Greater Nevada Field.
 
Defending USL Western Conference-champion the Swope Park Rangers are the No. 4-seed and will host No. 5-seed Phoenix Rising FC on Sat. night at 8:30 p.m. ET at Children’s Mercy Victory Field.
 
The 2017 USL Cup Playoffs feature seven teams making their first appearances, including five in the Western Conference. The postseason featured four former champions, with the Charleston Battery (2012), Sacramento Republic FC (2014), Rochester Rhinos (2015) and New York Red Bulls II (2016) all aiming to add a second USL Cup.
 
The 2017 USL Cup will air live on ESPNU and SiriusXM FC on Monday, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. ET

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