US Soccer yesterday released the schedule for the play-in round, plus the first and second round of this year's US Open Cup. While Sporting Kansas City won't be entering the tournament until the fourth round of the competition, local amateur side, the KC Athletics have returned to the Open Cup this year and will be competing. As the closest USASA qualifying team to USSSA qualifiers Harpo's FC, the Athletics will be competing in the play-in round in Boulder, Colorado on April 25th. The two teams actually have faced each other twice fairly recently as they met in the USSSA qualifying tournament. Harpo's one the group stage match, but lost to the Athletics in the final of the tournament. Since the Athletics had already qualified for the tournament through the Region II USASA qualifying, Harpo's got the USSSA spot. So the two teams will have a rubber match to get into the first round of the tournament.
Should the Athletics defeat Harpo's they'll have to travel again, this time heading further west and taking on PDL side, the BYU Cougars, the club soccer team at Brigham Young University. That match would take place on May 13th should the Athletics advance. A win there and KC would be headed back to Colorado, this time to take on the expansion USL side, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks a week later on May 20th. It certainly won't be an easy path for the Athletics with all that travel, but hopefully they can put in a good showing in this year's tournament.