Wednesday, February 04, 2015

US Open Cup Format Announced

US Soccer today announced the format for the 2015 US Open Cup, the 102nd edition of the tournament.  The field will see a record 91 teams compete for the trophy this year, including 47 professional teams. One change that will take place is that once the round of 16 is set, those 16 teams will be divided (regardless of league affiliation) into groups of four. There will then be a draw of those four teams to see who plays who. The winner of the two matches will then face off in the quarterfinals. The groups will also be paired with another group, who would be the semifinal opponents.  Teams with a "shared-ownership" affiliation will be kept out of the same group.

So what that means is that KC could be put into a "geographical grouping" with Colorado, Chicago, and Dallas. Meanwhile there could be another group that contains two NASL teams, one USL-Pro team, and one PDL team.

Sporting KC will enter the tournament one round before that, with the 17 other MLS teams with those games being on June 16th or 17th. Sporting KC is off from league play the weekend before that, and goes to Salt Lake for Sunday game on the 21st. Should KC advance, their next game would be on June 30th or July 1st, between a weekend game at home against Colorado, and an off weekend from league play.

Sporting isn't the only team in the competition this year though, as the KC Athletics have once again qualified for the tournament. Assuming since they're not one of the three wildcard teams from the USASA qualifying that they'll not have to play in the "play-in" round, the Athletics would kick off their US Open Cup campaign in the first round on May 13th. Hopefully they're able to find a proper field if they end up winning the right to host their game.

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