SANDY -- Real Salt Lake has an opportunity to add to its own history tonight.
The Claret-and-Cobalt have never advanced past the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, but are presented with a perfect opportunity to just that tonight.
Salt Lake hosts the Carolina RailHawks at 7:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium, with the winner punching a ticket to the 100-year-old tournament's penultimate round later this summer.
Real staged a dramatic rally during their Round of 16 victory over the Charleston Battery, shaking off an early 2-0 deficit to rally for a 5-2 result in extra time.
Carolina, which currently leads the second-division North American Soccer League, defeated Chivas USA 3-1 in extra time on June 12 to earn their way into tonight's match.
Should Real Salt Lake be victorious tonight, it will host one of two semifinal-round matchups on August 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium against the winner of tonight's Portland vs. Dallas match in Frisco, Texas.
The match will cap a massive seven-match homestand by Real Salt Lake, which hasn't played on the road since a May 19 win at Chivas. Real is unbeaten (6-0-1) in its last seven matches across all competitions, including 2-0-0 in Open Cup play, with both victories coming in extra time.
Real is 7-8-0 all-time in the U.S. Open Cup, scoring 29 goals and conceding 31 across 15 matches. The Claret-and-Cobalt are 3-2-0 against lower division teams.
Rookie forward Devon Sandoval has scored three of RSL's six goals in the Open Cup this season, already tying for the most goals in franchise history in the competition with former forward and current head man Jason Kreis and midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
After tonight's match, Salt Lake will quickly return to Major League Soccer action when it travels to Toronto to face the Reds at 11 a.m. on Saturday.