Possible Future Of The US Open Cup


As we are all awaiting the future of our top professional leagues in MLS & the USL when the 2010 calendar starts this coming January there will be some questions before their respective seasons start. At the same time we are going to also await the future structure of the next edition of the US Open Cup. This past summer you have seen and read hard nosed reporting by Kartik Krishnaiyer & Brian Quarstad of Inside Minnesota Soccer on the situation of the United Soccer Leagues from the start to a rocky finish with the sale by Nike that was suppose to go towards the Traffic group, but got blindsided when friends of Francisco Marcos came out of nowhere to help keep the league remain in Marcos hands.

There is growing concerns that those clubs leaving the USL to create  a new breakaway league will become a reality and could force the Open Cup Committee to rearrange the structure of the tournament. What could’ve been a possible eleven to twelve clubs in the USL-1st Division next season( Not Counting Montreal, Puerto Rico & Vancouver) could be split in half and at the same time we don’t know if any of the eight USL-2nd Division sides ( Not Counting the Bermuda Hogges) will be joining this breakaway league.

Maybe it’s time for the Open Cup Committee to give some spots in the first round to that other Semi-Professional League along with the PDL & the USASA. For some people they are known & for some they might be hearing about it for the first time, but I think the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) should get their chances as well. A league with five conferences and a grand total of 27 clubs has enough to fill in certain spots and make this competition better.

My structure would be rounds one thru four with the Quarters, Semis & the Championship Final. The first round would be eight PDL sides with one wild card (two per conference), Eight USASA with one wild card (two per region) & Ten NPSL sides with one wild card (two per conference). Joining them would be the three USL-2nd Division clubs that finished seventh to last in the 2009 standings, pairings would be geograhical.

Second Round would have sixteen first round winners face against five USL-2nd Division sides, five of the six USL-1st division sides & the six clubs of the new breakaway league. Pairings would be considered a blind draw as Round 1 winners will be in one bowl & the clubs starting in Round 2 would be in another. One ball picked per bowl would determine the matchups.

Third Round would have sixteen second round winners face against the fifthteen American MLS Sides & the winner of the 2009 USL-1st Division. If one of the clubs that is apart of the possible new league wins the USL-1st title, then they would join the MLS sides in the third round. Matchups remain with the blind draw as described for the second round.

Fourth Round will be the round of sixteen as third round winners will face each other in a blind draw in one bowl. Then the Quarters & semi-finals. US Soccer can continue to keep their bid process for which of the four semi-finalists will host the championship final of the US Open Cup.

While I understand that there are still plenty of matches remaining on the MLS & USL Schedules and the playoffs haven’t arrived yet, sometimes you have to sit back and think outside the box and be aware of the possible changes that are coming in the future of US Club Soccer. There have been reports that the NPSL have submitted a proposal to US Soccer to earn an additional four spots for their clubs to compete in. I think this idea would definitely be in favor of the NPSL.

After this past front office feud between Kevin Paign of DC United & Adrian Hanauer of the Seattle Sounders giving some spice to the tournament, I believe that there is plenty of passion and excitement for the future of the US Open Cup. But now it’s time for US Soccer & the Open Cup Committee to come together and match that same passion and excitement from us supporters who loves this version of England’s FA Cup.

14 thoughts on “Possible Future Of The US Open Cup”

  1. This is so cart-before-horse (not to mention self-congratulatory, considering the “breakaway league” rumors were surfaced somewhere else) that it can’t be taken seriously. As of right now, there IS no “breakaway league.” End of story.

    Wake me up when something is announced. And while we’re at it, fix it so all 16 MLS teams get into the USOC. Imagine if EPL teams had to qualify so only half could enter the FA Cup…?

    1. Every MLS team had a chance to qualify. In my opinion, those qualifiers were all US Open Cup games. Seattle won from that qualifying position.

    2. Uh, Michael? Did you forget something? One of the 16 MLS teams is in Canada, therefore can’t be in the Open Cup.

      Otherwise, I agree with your post.

  2. I am honestly dumber for having read that.

    “fifthteen American MLS Sides?” fifthteen? WTF?

    “with the sale by Nike that was suppose to go towards the Traffic group, but got blindsided when friends of Francisco Marcos came out of nowhere to help keep the league remain in Marcos hands.”

    Thought it was “supposed” to go towards the Jeff Cooper group, first off…secondly, I’m not sure you or anyone has proven a connection between Marcos and NuRock, not to mention the fact that Marcos owns little or no stock in the company now and is president emeritus without much power, so I’m not sure exactly how the league remains in Marcos (sic) hands.

    So you’re talking about 63 poorly-attended US Open Cup games instead of just the 40 or so we have now? WTF is with you people?

    This site has zero editing or journalistic standards, and some of you people want to give them a Peabody for regurgitating old information about what’s going on with USL. Child, please.

      1. Actually, it would be NICE if they covered MLS. When was the last article on this site about MLS?

        We’re going into the MLS playoffs, 3 MLS teams are playing in CONCACAF Champions League, and this site is dedicated to USL coaches and the USMNT.

        1. When was the last
          USL article on this site? I’m a bit disappointed that the USL playoffs are starting tonight yet silence. Some of us actually read this site because they have more than the cookie cutter “mls is great, blah, blah, blah,” stuff.

          I wonder if Kartik stopped covering USL to appease all you people. If so, shame on him.

          As for the USMNT, that is the centerpiece of soccer in this country, like it or not.

          This week, this site has had 3 or 4 articles on MLS. Innovative things like scheduling, stadium designs, revamping the open cup, not the cookie cutter, “columbus looks good, could be dangerous in the playoffs.”

          As for CONCACAF, MLS sides still cannot so much as draw with Mexican ones even at home, so why bother?

  3. >>>This is so poorly written I can’t even read it!

    Shouldn’t there be a comma between “written” and “I” ? 😉

    Please be critical of the content and message, as obviously, virtually none of the soccer fans are English majors.
    My opinion: I don’t think that attendance is really the goal of the US Cup. Make sure everyone is included and hopefully we will have some fun upsets, Cinderellas and a good tourney ( with the Sounders winning it all again )

  4. Believe it or not, I actually wanna talk about the article.
    I think that Seattle refreshed the Open Cup and made some MLSer a bit jealous of their success. These people might be paying a bit more attention next year.

    One issue that’s the most critical for the Open Cup is timing. It’s the biggest problem with the cup and the 2010 world cup will only complicate things. I would call for the Open Cup to be contested earlier in the year. MLS teams will have a more of a reason to compete if they can use it as a warm-up to the season. Two games a week can be grueling during the ‘dog days’ of summer, but in the spring this could be very valuable for teams looking for chemistry.

  5. these 2 play is a totally different type of game, cant compare. I love to watch mexico beat brazil, but i love it even more when we beat the U.S. Yes, mexico (before th

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