This Ain’t Your Daddy’s Open Cup

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is not just a bit of a mouthful to say, but more importantly the most venerable competition in American soccer, running since way back in 1914. Well, it’s finally been brought into the modern era. No more Byzantine qualifying schedule for professional clubs, no more secretive hosting application process.

According to the excellent chroniclers of America’s most under-appreciated competition, theCup.us:

The competition will feature a Modern Professional Era (1995-present) record 64 teams, including every US-based professional club in the American soccer pyramid from Major League Soccer (16 teams), the North American Soccer League (6 teams), and USL PRO (10 teams). The remaining 32 spots will be filled by amateur clubs from the Premier Development League (16 teams), United States Adult Soccer Association (9 teams), National Premier Soccer League (6.5 teams), and US Club Soccer (0.5 team). An NPSL club will square off with a representative from US Club Soccer for a spot in the 2012 competition.

As reported by TheCup.us last week, another significant change is the elimination of the sealed bidding process for determining the host team for each round through the quarterfinals. This year, each team can apply to host each round and if both teams’ venues meet USSF’s standards, the federation will conduct a blind draw to determine the host. In the past, in addition to meeting USSF venue standards, teams would have to submit a financial bid, and the team that bid the most was awarded the home game. That process, a sometimes controversial method profiled in depth recently by TheCup.us, will remain in effect for just the Semifinals and the Final this year.

We like it. KCKRS is of the opinion that the Open Cup is a perpetually under-utilized competition, and appreciates the teams, like Chicago, D.C., and especially Seattle, that take it seriously and treat it with respect.

Full Story: ussoccer.com

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