U.S. Open Cup Reinvigorated Through Needed Change

It’s taken nearly three months for US Soccer to carry out the draw of matches for the revamped Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Everyone can finally celebrate the near-arrival of the latest edition of the historical event. Whether they plan to hold viewing parties or hang out on their computers, laptops or tablets to see who will face whom, there has been new life breathed into this competition. 

At the same time as the match-ups have been determined, the US Adult Soccer Associations Region IV qualifiers finally finished up this past weekend. The Portland Timbers U-23’s & Kitsap Pumas were waiting with bated breath to see which amateur California side would be slated to visit their grounds.

As most domestic soccer fans already know, US Soccer decided to revamp the tournament for the better after people complained about the handling of the US Soccer Club Championship. From this point forward, all professional sides automatically go through, while PDL sides in 4 divisions will advance by winning their respective groups, including the second place American finishers.

For me personally, these changes are a welcoming sight. This annual Cup competition can finally get the respect it deserves. While more needs to be done to allow for increased television viewership on a network that wants to promote it, the internal strife has disappeared.

Here are the Round 1 matches for the 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, set to begin on Tuesday, May 15, 2012:

#1 Orlando City U-23’s (PDL) Vs. Jacksonville United (NSPL) Seminole Soccer Complex; Sanford, FL. 7PM EST

#2 FC Sonic of Lehigh Valley (NPSL) Vs. Long Island Rough Riders (PDL); Ulrich Sports Complex; Lehigh Univ., Bethlehem PA. 7:05PM EST

#3 Aegean Hawks (USASA) Vs. Carolina Dynamo (PDL); Maryland Soccerplex Stadium; Boyds, MD. 7:30PM EDT

#4 Michigan Bucks (PDL) Vs. Jersey Shore Boca (USASA); Ultimate Soccer; Pontiac, Michigan 7:30PM EDT

#5 Georgia Revolution (NPSL) Vs. Mississippi Brilla (PDL); RYSA Soccerplex; Conyers, GA. 7:30PM

#6 GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) Vs. Brooklyn Italians (NPSL); Memorial Field, Deering High, Portland, ME 8PM EDT

#7 Reading United AC (PDL) Vs. NY Greek Americans (USASA); TBD

#8 Chicago Fire Premier (PDL) Vs. Croatian Eagles (USASA); Toyota Park Practice Field, Bridgeview, Ill 6PM CDT

#9 Milwaukee Bavarians (NPSL) Vs. Des Moines Menace (PDL); Bavarian Soccer Park; Glendale, Wis. 7PM CDT

#10 Lardeo Heat (PDL) Vs. ASC New Stars (USASA); Texas A&M University, Laredo, TX 8:15PM CDT

#11 Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) Vs. K.C. Athletics (USASA); Shea Stadium; Littleton, CO 7PM MDT

#12 El Paso Patriots (PDL) Vs. NTX Rayados (USASA); Patriots Stadium; El Paso, TX 8PM MDT

#13 Stanislaus UTD Turlock Express (US Club Soccer) Vs. Fresno Fuego (PDL); Academica Fields; Turlock, CA 7PM PDT

#14 Portland Timbers U-23’s (PDL) Vs. PSA Elite (USASA); Jeld-Wen Field; Portland, OR 7:10PM

#15 Kitsap Pumas (PDL) Vs. CAL FC (USASA); Bremerton Memorial Stadium; Bremerton, WA 7:15PM PDT

#16 Fullerton Rangers (NPSL) Vs. Ventura County Fusion (PDL): Santa Ana Stadium; Santa Ana, CA 7PM PDT

8 thoughts on “U.S. Open Cup Reinvigorated Through Needed Change”

  1. 2 Question/Suggestions… 1) If it’s going to be a 64-team
    tournament, why not make it a true 64 team tournament and have MLS
    teams enter at the round of 64? Make the first 4 rounds regional
    and there you go. 2) Why not play it on Saturdays during
    International weeks? Sure, some of the MLS players will be away on
    international duty but the vast majority will not be. Give folks
    something to watch in between the USMNT games on international

  2. I understand what you’re saying, but at the moment this is the
    right way to go. Only six second division and ten third division
    American sides for Round 2. Alot of PDL sides and not everyone
    wants to compete. We need the lower levels to grow to get to where
    they want to be and at the same time grow the US Open Cup in being
    better. Just happy that US Soccer made these important changes to
    improve and respect this Cup Competition.

    1. Yes, this is an improved format over what it was but it still has
      to include elements that just don’t make any sense. My point is
      just put all 64 into a single 6-round bracket (w/ regional seeding
      like the NCAAs). I don’t want to add teams that aren’t currently
      participating; I just want to organize the teams that are
      participating into something that is easy to follow. We’re closer
      to that than where we were but we’re a long, long way from where we
      need to be.

  3. Thanks for posting this Daniel, I agree this looks like a big
    improvement. I might go the Colorado Foxes game, I’ve never seen
    them play before. This article prompted me to go the US Soccer
    official site for more info. MLS teams enter in the 3rd round (May
    29th), and can’t play each other in that round.

  4. This is good changes. However, it’s still a mickey mouse tournament
    that no one really cares about currently. They need more money,
    more tv sponsorship, etc for it to grow into a bigger deal that it

  5. I too would like to see this tournament go big. Overall, I’d like
    to see the entire USA system revamped to a model closer to Europe.
    For example, get rid of the playoff system entirely and put more
    emphasis on the CONCACAF Champions League and The US Open Cup. I
    hope something like this happens down the road.

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