Monday, February 28, 2011

USOC Qualification Announced

MLS announced the qualification format and hosts for this year's U.S. Open Cup. As in the past 4 years some MLS teams, including the Rapids, will have to qualify for the U.S. OPEN Cup. The top 6 teams in last years standings qualify automatically. Colorado, by virtue of the meltdown to FSL in the last 5 minutes of the final regular season game, finished 7th (but probably got an easier road to their MLS Cup victory).

The Rapids will play Chicago in the second round, after getting a first round bye, then if they win they'll play the winner of San Jose and the winner of the Portland-Chivas first round match-up for a spot in the true U.S. Open Cup.

As int he past 3 years, the hosts for the play-in games were determined by a "coin flip". I put coin flip in quotes because for the 7th and 8th straight time, the Rapids lost the coin flip to host either possible round this year. The odds of losing 8 straight coin flips are 1 in 256, or 0.39%. Only one of the eight coin flips was filmed for public viewing. Not only that, but a majority of the prior coin flip losses occurred when it would be convenient for the Rapids to play on the road since they had a league match in their opposition city scheduled that same week. I was actually hoping that would work in our favor, since Chicago is here in May, but I guess not.

Given what Gary Smith said 2 years ago about "back room deals" in deciding the sites of the game, I don't think anything has changed. Now that we have a MLS Cup though, I don't mind nearly as much. While I still want to win the U.S. Open Cup, at least we have a trophy in our case already.

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