Monday, April 12, 2010

USOC Play-In Tomorrow!

The Rapids are still in Kansas City for tomorrow night's U.S. Open Cup qualifier against the Wizards. Game time is 6:30pm MDT. The best coverage we can hope for is a MatchTracker or Twitter feed with game updates. The winner of this game will play the team that comes out of the New England/New York/Philly group for a spot in the full U.S. Open Cup. I'm not going to do a full preview because there's no way to know how "seriously" the Rapids are going to take this game. Based on prior years I expect well see lots of reserves starting and no real concern about if we'll win or not. Maybe they'll surprise me.

This exposes the flaw in the "qualification process" that U.S. Soccer and MLS has gone to since 2007. The public reasoning for this process was to reduce fixture congestion but adding qualification rounds for half the league doesn't do that. There's not much point in an "Open Cup" that's not 'open" to every team. Only 8 MLS teams get to play in the true U.S. Open Cup using full Open Cup rules and everything. Not a surprise that this competition is seen as, and treated as by many MLS teams, as something not worth winning.

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