With the Colorado Rapids now through to the round of 16 of the Lamer Hunt U.S. Open Cup, one of the surprise teams advancing to the next round with the Rapids are the Charlotte Independence, a team affiliated with the Rapids.

The Independence plays in the United Soccer League, which is the third tier in the American soccer pyramid. The Independence has been affiliated with the Rapids since being founded in 2014.

From the beginning, the partnership between the clubs has been extremely beneficial for both sides. The Rapids have sent promising players on loan spells to Charlotte. Currently, the Independence has three players on loan from the Rapids: Caleb Calvert, John Berner and Carlos Alvarez.

With the Independence beating MLS club New England Revolution 1-0 on Wednesday, they became the second lower division soccer club to advance in this year’s U.S. Open cup, joining the New York Cosmos of the NASL (second tier).

With the Rapids facing the Houston Dynamo in the fifth round and the Independence getting another shot at an MLS team in the Chicago Fire, time will tell if both these teams can make it to the quarterfinals or beyond.

With the Independence truly being the biggest Cinderella team remaining, if the Rapids fall it’s an easy choice as to which team Rapids fans should want to win the title.

In any event, a matchup between both teams in the future would be really exciting for fans and personnel alike.

Fifth round play in U.S. Open Cup occurs June 30 and July 1.

Sammy Mugharbil, a Mile High Sports intern and MSU-Denver student, contributed to this report