Monday, February 28, 2011

SKC to Head to Houston For Open Cup Qualifier

Sporting KC's road trip to start the season just got 1 game longer with the announcement today of the US Open Cup draw. The Wizards will take on the Houston Dynamo in the second stage of the qualifying process for MLS teams. The qualification process is based mainly on geography, although the worst three teams from last year (Philadelphia, DC, and Chivas) and expansion side Portland all have to compete in three rounds to qualify for the Open Cup proper while the other six teams only have to win twice.

To decide the host, a coin flip was done. Sporting lost the coin flip and will head to Houston some time in April for a game against the Dynamo. Already in April, the Wizards have 4 games on the road against Vancouver (2nd), Columbus (16th), New England (23rd), New York (30th). Should KC advance by Houston, then they'll move on to a game against one of three teams, either New England, or the winner of DC and Philadelphia. According to the layout, KC could potentially host that game should they win. That could see KC at least at home once before the home opener against Chicago.

Here are the full Open Cup qualification brackets.

Game A: (10) Portland Timbers vs. (8) Chivas USA
Game B: (9) D.C. United vs. (7) Philadelphia Union
Game C: (2) San Jose Earthquakes vs. Game A winner
Game D: Game B winner vs. (6) New England Revolution
Game E: (4) Chicago Fire vs. (1) Colorado Rapids
Game F: (5) Houston Dynamo vs. (3) Sporting Kansas City
Game G: Game C winner vs. Game E winner
Game H: Game F winner vs. Game D winner

In other scheduling news, the team announced on Twitter the team's final two preseason games. Both of those games will be against Real Salt Lake. The game on the 8th will be "first team", while the game on the 9th will be a game for the reserves.

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