Apple did not feature the US Open Cup in its recent docuseries Messi Meets America. It provided a heavy focus on the highlights of Messi’s Leagues Cup win and his foray into Major League Soccer. However, there was no mention of the oldest soccer competition in the United States. The nonsensical decision may have come from the related TV deals. Apple does not have the rights to the US Open Cup. Those belonged to CBS, while Apple and MLS Season Pass broadcasted Major League Soccer and the Leagues Cup.

The omission ignored the history of soccer in the United States. Instead, it displayed the new era of change that is seeping through the entire country. While growth is something worth celebrating, history is irreplicable. It deserved a mention to help demonstrate that soccer in the United States goes well beyond Major League Soccer.

Josh Hakala is the Creator and Senior Editor at The Cup, an authoritative source on the US Open Cup for more than 20 years. He says it does not make sense to leave out the US Open Cup from the documentary about Messi’s inaugural season. He provided a few reasons why the US Open Cup should be included in this series.

“If your goal is to only focus on Lionel Messi, then he dramatically led Miami to the Final with an incredible individual performance in the Semifinals in front of a huge crowd,” Hakala told World Soccer Talk.

“They played pretty well without Messi in the Final, so if the focus is on the team, that’s an important storyline, but if the focus is on Messi, that would be a dramatic twist that he got injured and was unable to play.”

Messi has helped US Open Cup exposure despite Apple’s snub

Messi Meets America does not promote the US Open Cup, but the tournament has benefitted from the Argentine’s presence. If anything, that demonstrates more of a reason to include the competition.

“The well-deserved hype train that is Lionel Messi has brought so much attention to the tournament, that for some of those soccer fans will refer to it as ‘that tournament Messi plays in’.”

According to Hakala, knowledge of the tournament was remarkably low among many before Messi. People, including members of the media, reached out to him for information on how the US Open Cup works and what it means.

“I’ve still had people on production teams and play-by-play announcers who reach out to me for explanations on how the tournament works, or about its 108-year history. If the US Open Cup is excluded from this series, I’d like to put that more on ignorance of the competition, but at this point in our soccer nation’s development, I would think there has to be someone on the production team who knows about the tournament who see that as a glaring omission in Inter Miami’s story.”

The next episode of Messi Meets America debuts on Nov. 1 on Apple TV+. Again, it will not feature the US Open Cup. Instead, it glosses over it and jumps into the side’s MLS campaign.