Thursday, April 25, 2013

KC Athletics Out of US Open Cup

Yesterday the announcement came down that the KC Athletics would have to replay their US Open Cup "Win and You're In" qualifier against the Dearborn Stars because the Stars' protest of the result due to the field width had been upheld.  Today, the Athletics officially withdrew from the competition because of the replay.  There were a multitude of reasons why the Athletics could have chosen to drop out, expenditures with traveling 530 plus miles to Chicago, the 3 day notice for their players to take time off work, change social schedules, etc, or even out of spite because of the decision. 

According to the Athletics General Manager/coach, Kyle Perkins though it was because of "Principal."

"We have proven 3 ways why the protest should be over turned, they refuse to acknowledge that fact.  We don't agree, and won't play in a game that shouldn't be played." Perkins added.

Over the rest of this post I'll break down the three ways that Perkins is referring to and what did or did not happen in that process.  And in the end led to the decision by Perkins and the Athletics to not travel to Chicago for the replay.

The first challenge to the protest had a couple points to it.  The first argument was in regards to the fact that the Athletics moved the game from Saturday to Sunday because without that move, the Stars were possibly going to have to forfeit the game due to not having enough players able to make it to KC. KC didn't have to move the game, but chose to.  Another argument was the fact that while Dearborn filed the protest, they still agreed to play the game.  Would they have continued the protest if they'd have won the game, or withdrawn the protest?  I'm going to guess they would have withdrawn.

The biggest part of the first challenge in my opinion was the measurement of the field.  The only way the field was measured was by walking the field off by the match officials.  I'm sure they have a decent idea of how to measure off a field, but if there is a protest about the size of the field, shouldn't there be a measurement done to confirm that the field is in fact that length?  The argument isn't that the field was or was not too short, the problem is the fact that with the official protest, instead of guessing by measuring only by walking it off, there should have been an official measurement of the field done with some sort of measuring tool.  To confirm the validity of the protest there should have been an official protest.

After those challenges were turned down, the Athletics came back with another issue.  As part of the rules, when a team files a protest they have to submit a copy of the protest and their $500 fee to the Regional Commissioner and a copy to the opposing team with 3 days.  The game against the Stars ended at 2pm on April 21st.  That would mean that by 2pm on the 24th, the Athletics should have received a copy of the protest. At 2:55pm the Athletics had still not received a copy of the protest so they contacted the Regional Commissioner with this information requesting that the protest be thrown out.  Shortly after the team contacted regional director, Debra Trapikas, Perkins received an email from the Stars with the proper information.  When Perkins confronted Trapikas about this, he was told that the period is until midnight of the third day.  None of that though is in the rule, 3(b)(1), which you can read below.

  • The original protest  and a protest fee of $500.00 shall be submitted to the State Cups Commissioner for state rounds of competitions, and the Regional Cups Commissioner for regional rounds of competitions, within three days of the game to which the protest relates.  A copy of the protest must be forwarded to the opposing team in the game. The protest shall be submitted to the appropriate cups commissioner and the opposing team by overnight express mail, telephone facsimile, or electronic mail.
I can't be the only one that sees it as convenient that the protest shows up in Perkins' inbox, shortly after he sends an inquiry after the game was 72 hours old about the above rule. Especially since Trapikas is from Michigan.

With the midnight interpretation of the rule, from Trapikas, the protest was still upheld according to that interpretation of the rules.

The final attempt that the Athletics made to challenge the protest was to do with the interpretation of the playing rules.  In the rules, it states "In all rounds played in the National Cup competitions, the playing rules are the FIFA Laws of the Game in effect at the time of the deadline of entry."

The Athletics challenge to the protest was that Dearborn then needed to follow FIFA regulations when it comes to terms on protests.  Those terms (thanks to the USA vs Costa Rica World Cup qualifier in Denver as an example) state that a protest must "immediately lodge a protest with the referee in the presence of the captain of the opposing team."

Perkins said that this did not happen and because of this FIFA regulation, the team felt that the protest should have been over turned.  This argument as well was turned down by the regional commissioner.

With those three options exhausted, the Athletics requested their seven day grace period after they received the protest to prepare a statement in accordance with rule 3(c) of the protest rules, seen below:

  • The opposing team shall have seven days from the date the copy of the protest was forwarded to it, to submit to the appropriate cups commissioner its statement regarding the protest, if any. A copy of the statement shall be submitted to the opposing team by overnight express mail, telephone facsimile, electronic mail.
This was rejected by Trapikas because of rule 410, which apparently states that "the commissioner may make the decision when time is of importance."

This meant that the Athletics were not going to get their 7 day period to prepare their response.  This is because the list of qualifiers from Region II are due next week to US Soccer.  So with all that done, the Athletics decided to withdraw from the competition.

To me, this all comes off as a load of bull shit.  The Athletics made legitimate challenges to the protest that do not appear to have been heard by the commissioner.  The ones that really gets me, are the first two. On the first one, if there's an official protest about the field size made before the game, then an official measurement of the field should take place to get an official measurement, not a "walk off" of the measurement. As for the second one it really is sketchy to me that shortly after Perkins makes the call on it, the protest magically appears in his inbox.  It could all just be coincidence, but that it one hell of a coincidence if true.

It's a frustrating situation that at this point there appears to be no more recourse for the Athletics.  The US Open Cup and the Region II finals are going to move forward without them (although it'd be interesting if Dearborn returns to KC for the regional finals and a large group showed up there).  The interesting part has come up from the casual soccer community in KC who knew that the Athletics had qualified and are now actively either cheering against the team or hoping they advance far enough to play Sporting and hope that Sporting crush them.

In the end I feel sorry most for the Athletics players who won the game on the field.  Both teams had to play on the same field, both teams had to deal with a yard and a half short on each side.  And in the end the Athletics took the game. The Athletics could have been dicks to Dearborn and not even moved the game for them, and I bet next year if something like this were to happen they'd likely think about it harder before making the decision. It's just frustrating the whole situation.


Chip said...

This sounds like BS to me, too. I don't have a clue how they could uphold a protest about the field being slightly too small without having a legitimate measurement of that field. If the field being too short was so significant to Dearborn, why did they play the game at all (which is related to the 3rd challenge - the issue should have been dealt with at the time if the FIFA rules about protests had been followed)?

Do you know which field the game would have been on if the Athletics had not rescheduled to accommodate Dearborn? Have they used this field in the US Open Cup before?

I sure hope the Athletics get matched up with Dearborn next year.

Anonymous said...

Convenient that the regional commissioner lives in Michigan and region 2 headquarters is their hmmm....suspicious.

This is ridiculous and I will gladly spread the word about how big of a joke the Dearborn Stars club is, unfortunate that the $500 is more important than the integrity of the competition here, what a joke.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

It likely would have been at Olathe Northwest, where they played the first game. They've not used this field as far as I understand.

Chip said...

So basically the only reason they played on a small field was because they rescheduled the game to accommodate Dearborn? That makes it even worse.

JayWalk said...

Wow, dick move by Dearborn Stars. Any team that meets them in the future shouldn't give anymore courtesy should they ever need to postpone a game again.

Anonymous said...

How can you say the Dearborn Stars are a joke of a club when they traveled and spent over $10,000 on this trip to show up to play on a shoebox of a field!! After those expenses of course they were going to play the game under protest, rather than turn around and fly back because KC can't find a legitimate field. It's not Stars fault you can't make it to Chicago for the replay. Sounds to me like KC is scared to play knowing what really should have happened in KC. 9 out 10 games played against each other would go to the Stars!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous "dumbass" Dearborn fan. The game was supposed to be played on Saturday, but the Athletics moved it to Sunday to accommodate your team. Had they not moved the game "for you", you would not be in this position. Hell, you probably would have won and not filed the protest. It's also not the Athletics fault that Dearborn couldn't make the game on Saturday... But you know... It sounds like your Dearbon Stars are butt hurt they lost.

Anonymous said...

Well the actual result of the game goes against your opinion, considering KC won. As for 'shoe box' of a field, if you think a yard and a half on each side of the field makes that big a difference, you're having a laugh.

Mathew said...

To the Dearborn fan: I find it highly hypocritical that you say it's not Dearborn's problem if the Athletics couldn't make the Saturday game when the Athletics accommodated your teams travel constraints in order to play the original game.

Anonymous said...

I think it should be made clear that no one thinks Dearborn is a joke of a club. They do however come off as sore losers. The difference is 1.5 yards on either side of the field. 3 yards difference doesn't make the field a shoe box nor did it have an effect on the game. If the Stars want to use that as their excuse for losing they can.

I have read the stat line off the US Open Cup. Each team had 9 shots. Dearborn with 5 on target KC with 3. I don't see how Dearborn can think they dominated the game, its sounds like it was an evenly played match.

The fact that Dearborn missed their chances is on them. The three yards made no difference to the game.

KC Did also allow the stars to play which is a fact they continue to overlook. KC could have said tough look get here Saturday or forfeit. They did not they moved the game to accommodate the Stars, a fact which there fans post seem to gloss over.

It should also be made very clear that KC Athletics were told the field was of adequate size and in no way tried to pull something over on anyone.

If KC was really trying to use a small pitch on purpose what would be the point of it being 3 yards short, that makes no difference. If it was a 10 yard difference then maybe you have a real case but that was not situation.

Yes Dearborn had a right to protest, should they have that's up to each person's moral judgment.

The fact of the matter is that it looks like Dearborn's protest should have been overturned according the rules the USASA put out.

There is no way to argue that fact.

Trolling a KC blog to call another team scared, is not going to make Dearborn look like the good guy in all this.

You have your opinion and that's fine but the way you go about expressing that opinion may need some work.

Anonymous said...

"Dumbass"!? The reason for the change in days from Saturday to Sunday was because of an emergency you have no idea why! We are grateful to the Athletics for that. We had the numbers to travel Saturday that wasnt the issue.

Anonymous said...

First I want to apologize for previous comments made, emotions got the best of me. I also agree that your follow up protest is legitimate, but I truly believe that adding "3yards" is still to me and most professional fields a small ass field. Our stadium is 120 by 80 so for us that is a bit tough to get used to. I know the minimal is 65 but in my opinion (and that's all it is) no men's team should play on a field that size. Especially in the open cup, when whoever progress to the ladder stages will see stadiums that are truly legit. With all that being said, I did not want for either team to move on like this. Also after looking at game tape I feel the stats are skewed but that's again a minor detail. True, we did not finish the chances we created. Would have been nice to play the game again! Sorry for any feelings you have towards us. Best of luck in your season this year and I'm sure we will meet again in the future and hopefully this beautiful game will do all the talking.

Anonymous said...

Just a busch league deal all the way around. At the end of the day, the two teams played on the same field, under the same conditions. Don't like the result? Be better. I understand that a smaller field isn't ideal, and may not suit your style of play, but it's absurd to me that any objective mind could see this situation as anything but second rate. Frankly, Dearborn should be embarrassed that they resorted to this and are taking the "win" in this fashion. I, as a man, would have too much pride to weasel my way into the Cup in this fashion. It reflects quite negatively on the club as a whole.

The class by the Athletics to withdraw shouldn't go unnoticed as well. If it were me, I would have considered not telling anyone that we don't plan on showing up until Dearborn made the trip (ironic that the 'neutral site' is 4-5 hours closer to Dearborn than KC).

El Conductor said...

From the facts, KC is responsible. Point #1 is irrelevant. Agreeing to move the game, even in friendliness to the visitors, doesn't excuse issues with the new venue. Point #2 is also irrelevant. Dearborn filed the protest before the game and were given the (fairly standard) option to play under protest. They played the game and then did not withdraw the protest - which is their right. Point #3 is the only valid point. And to help themselves, KC should have made a measurement of the field themselves and submitted it as proof that the field was wide enough. However,it doesn't seem KC has ever maintained the field was within the rules, so perhaps there is no way to help themselves here.
The additional point is pretty subjective. The rule speaks in "days", not "hours", so some reasonable allowance has to be made. Twos hours is reasonable.

Most of KC's arguments are based on subjective guessing of what might have been, "well if this hadn't happened, then the other team would have done THIS", and frankly, there's no way a ruling body can find in favor of that much guesswork.

Anonymous said...

Point 1 was that the field was not measured so that point is valid. There was no burden of proof on Dearborn except a walk off, I would like to see how you would handle getting a speeding ticket on an estimate of how fast your going.

Point 2 is that according the the rules the opposing team must recieve a copy with in three days from the game. Which the team had not recieved until the 73rd hour, which is 3 days 1 hour, and only after the had brought the issue to the Commissioner did they recieve a copy.

There is no guessing on subjective reasoning to either of those points.

Even with those two points off the table, the protest was not submitted to the ref with the opposing team captain present, so no it was not filed correctly per the rules, which Dearborn wants followed to the letter unless it affects them.

Its strange to think, the exact rule was good enough for FIFA to overturn Costa Rica's protest in a World Cup Qualifer, where there is cleary much much more at stake, but here in a regional amatuer game its not good enough.

They only person who is subjectivly reading into the rules is you El Conductor. Well 3 days doesnt mean 72 hours, and if they wanted to prove the field was 65 yards thats on them to prove it.

Its obvious your either a Dearborn player of someone affliated with their club.

Your clearly entilted to your opnion even when your wrong, but quit trying to use faulty logic to make a point that you clearly cant make.

It seems everyone on here and on the Open Cup site no matter where there from thinks KC got screwed, but they must be wrong.

Enlighten us more El Conductor...we all await your vast wealth of knowledge.

El Conductor said...

A walkoff IS a measurement. It it's the one that suits you, so you want another, but it IS a measurement. (BTW, measuring speeding by an officer's judgment is STILL valid proof in traffic court).

Any time limit is going to have some reasonable discretion to it. The rule doesn't use hours, minutes or seconds, because those units are too short to accommodate the ambiguity of the exact instant the game ended. But a day is long enough that it accommodate little variances, like 2 hours here or there. If the paperwork had arrived at 70 hours, you wouldn't say it was 2 days, 22 hours, you'd say, "3 days."

The KC captain wasn't notified of the protest? The article written that day mentioned it. Also, Dearborn's account indicates that a state commissioner was aware of the size issue and discussed options before the game. Dearborn contends both teams were aware of the issue and the protest before the game.

However obvious my affiliation of Dearborn may appear, it is still nonexistent. I became aware of both teams a few weeks ago and of this issue the day it occurred.

The number of people who agree with either of us is irrelevant. But a more careful reading of the article on site shows each side has more representation than just you and me.

Anonymous said...

I went out and did a walk off measurement and found it to be 65 yars would that have held up in the argument? No, so why should any other walk off.

Especially when the stakes were as high as they were.

Again per the letter of the law an official protest must be brought to the referee by the captain of the protesting team in the presence of the other captain which again did not happen.

So if you so letter of the law why is Dearborn not responsible for following the letter of the law?

KC was made aware the day of, as they walked out to line up for the kick off, by the commissioner, who informed them that if they were to win by a large margin of victory the protest would be dismissed.

So no options were given to KC but try to play and win by as much as possible to avoid dealing with a protest.

El Conductar you assume more facts than you actually know. You also assume your right but,I am sure you know as well as anyone your not.

Anonymous said...

the DEARBORN STARS is a big club with a soccer history and so is KC ATKLETIC ,so stop the insults and if KC cannot cover the travel expences they should man up about it and say so .They played home and they had only 11 players , Stars went there with a full roster and 4 personels a total of 22 members , so you do the math knowing that they flew to KC , therefore it is their right to protest and win the game after KC forfeted because abvioustly the cannot afford to travel .

Anonymous said...

Who said KC couldn't cover travel expenses?

Anonymous said...

So is that guy saying that because Dearborn has more money they should move on?

Or is he just super proud that even though his team has the money to fly with a full roster and 4 personels a total of 22 members, and still lose to a team with on 11.

That team is pure class

W said...

@el conductor:

"BTW, measuring speeding by an officer's judgment is STILL valid proof in traffic court"

In most states, this is false. It's also why you can usually get a speeding ticket thrown out if the PD can't produce the accuracy test records for the radar gun.

As for the arguments about days vs hours, you are both wrong. In most every legal language situation, days can be used as an exact measurement for numbers of hours, or it can be used to represent days on the calendar. It appears that in this case it is used to represent days on the calendar. The interesting thing here would be to explore previous protest records to see if there is a precedent for this or if it was the regional commish doing whatever they wanted.

"The KC captain wasn't notified of the protest? The article written that day mentioned it. Also, Dearborn's account indicates that a state commissioner was aware of the size issue and discussed options before the game. Dearborn contends both teams were aware of the issue and the protest before the game."

You are missing the point. The FIFA rules don't care if the protest was known by some people before the game. They say that the protest must be officially lodged with the game official in the presence of the opposing captain before the end of the game. It doesn't sound like they did that at all, and regardless of who they told about the protest beforehand, they failed to meet the requirements for PROCEEDING with their protest.

El Conductor said...

KC Star weighs in on the issue:
The actual field size is even narrower than first reported (~58 yards).
The USASA isn't bound by the same FIFA rules regarding protests in the presence of opposing captains.
And the USASA Region II Director stated, "The national cup committee could have disqualified KC Athletics completely based on the original violation, but they did not do so."
Nobody's saying this was a great outcome, but with the Open Cup deadline looming, this was the best solution to the original issue - the field was too narrow.

xFDWx said...

If it makes any of you feel better, The Dearborn Stars got matched up with the Michigan they're about to be reamed by one of the better semipro teams in the nation :-O

Beau Dure said...

58 yards wide? That's insane.

Then the KC Star story wipes out the protest-procedure angle.

All due sympathy to the Athletics, who were clearly trying to do the right thing, but it's really no different than finding out after a game that you fielded an ineligible player. Better luck next time.

Anonymous said...

2-0 stars beat bucks