Sporting Kansas City is still just under 2 months away from beginning their campaign to repeat as US Open Cup champions. Another Kansas City based team is getting ready to start their campaign to qualify for the 100th edition of the competition. The KC Athletics begin their campaign for their second straight and third overall appearance in the competition Saturday.
The Athletics play their first qualifier at Olathe Northwest High School at 2pm Saturday against FC Indiana. It's the first of their Region II qualifiers. KC is one of six teams from the USASA Region II competing for two spots in the US Open Cup proper. The six teams have been divided up to play each other in the first round. The three winners will advance to the semifinals along with one of the three first round losers (the one with the best goal difference in regulation). The semifinals will take place on April 20th. The winners of the two semifinals will earn entry into the Open Cup proper.
Last year the Athletics won their first round qualification match up 10-2 over the Cincy Saints. With that being the largest win of the first round matches the Athletics advanced directly to the US Open Cup proper. No matter the score Saturday the Athletics will still have to win one more match after that to qualify for the tournament proper.
Last year after qualifying, the Athletics defeated PDL side, Real Colorado 3-1 in the first round. In the second round, with a chance to face off against Sporting KC, the Athletics fell to Orlando City 7-0.
With Sporting KC playing on Friday night this week, that leaves Saturday open for fans to attend another soccer game and cheer on a local side in their attempt to qualify for the Open Cup.