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.