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