As always, I was thrilled with results from the Open Cup last night. You had several exciting intense matches and even a couple of upsets. But then, I read this misinformed piece.
Mr. Monfried argues that because the Open Cup doesn’t gain any attention from media and fans, it should be scrapped or reduced to an amateur competition without MLS clubs. He brings up fixture scheduling problems as another problem as well.
Sorry Mr. Monfried, but I seem to have followed this competition a lot more than you have. The reason the Open Cup seems to be an after thought is because it is. From a business point-of-view, USSF runs the competition in a way which will lose a little money as possible rather than creating a second competition on par with any of the leagues in this country. If any effort (and investment) was made into this competition, we’d see more attention given to what is already a great tournament.
Let’s look at it another way, I remember 5 years ago the LA Times listed an upcoming Open Cup match against a lower division club as an exhibition. This week, the LA-Chivas Cup game was covered (with reporters) by all the local rags. Small steps, but it’s definitely heading in the right direction.
As for playing in smaller stadiums…why not? USSF is the promoter for each match and rely on the home teams to drum up support. I’m not even sure they get anything if they sell out the match. One day I’ll learn what the deal is on these…but there’s certainly things which can be done to improve matters.
Bottom line, lets look at what happened on Wednesday night. The Home Depot Track Stadium got a decent crowd as LA maintained their dominance of Chivas. Rochester and Minnesota pulled upsets over MLS clubs. How can you not love that? DC, Kansas City and San Jose beat lower division opposition. While Chicago and Dallas knocked out MLS opponents.
Each of the matches has it’s own story…and some great ones there. Two reds in Columbus, 4 goals from one player in the Minn-Colorado match. Read more at USOpenCup.com. It’s a fan run site Mr. Monfried. It’s the fans which want this competition and maintaining it is the least MLS can do. Anything can happen over a 90 minute match, upsets are created more often than now and they are something fans love. Why change something that with minimal effort actually works?