"The US Open Cup is BS."

So I was told via Twitter by David from Portland last night.

The US Open Cup has history, a romantic format, and...not much else. Save the possibility of a lower division side (there is only one left in this year's edition) shocking the big boys of MLS on occasion, there's little compelling about a tournament that those big boys treat as a de facto reserve league. Hindered by packed schedules and a lack of quality depth, teams would rather use the games to rest their starters than truly go after the trophy.

After losing to the Sounders at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila last night, Bruce Arena flatly stated his problem with the Open Cup:

"...to me these games don't make sense. Essentially it was a reserve game tonight. I think the timing of this competition isn't right for MLS teams; it's a difficult time to try and play these games. I think if see both teams, obviously both want to win, the competition is water down due to the fact that each team is juggling players and see who you want to play and who you don't want to play. For us tonight there were valuable minutes for some players and others not so good."

This is not a new dance, neither for Arena and other MLS coaches nor those of us who watch the tournament every year in the hope that something will change. Seattle seems to care and brought a bit of new life to last year's edition; whether down to MLS first-year enthusiasm or a holdover from their USL days, it was a refreshing thing to see. The final in DC even managed to build a bit of buzz thanks to some bad blood with United.

But that can only go so far and only applied to one game in the long 2009 tournament. 2010's version has crept by, the games getting little to no attention, little to no attendance, and little to no respect. This is no longer about what the US Open Cup should be, but about the reality. US Soccer sits idly by year after year, MLS teams have no real reason to risk their league chances by going all out for the Cup, and fans are naturally disinterested because their teams clearly don't care. Vicious cycle complete.

The romance of the little guy having a shot at the big guy means nothing when the big guy doesn't care. Goliath didn't have a stand-in half his size for the fight with David.

Rumors are swirling that CONCACAF may take away the Champions League spot given to the USOC winner. If the competition remains in this state, that would certainly be understandable.

So what's the solution? Monetary incentives? Splitting off the MLS teams? Killing the competition altogether?

MLS say they have a committee to address the problems with the Open Cup, and that they'll submit their recommendations to US Soccer. Will the federation listen to whatever they propose? Or are we destined for weak lineups, small crowds, and coaches complaining until the end of time?
blog comments powered by Disqus
    KKTC Bahis Siteleri, Online Bahis



    Privacy Policy