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Open (Cup) to Ideas

D.C. United and most other MLS teams are interrupting their league schedule this week for round-of-16 matches in the U.S. Open Cup, which is our little FA Cup. I used to hate this tournament, but have begun to warm to it. I like the idea of second- and third-division clubs facing the big, bad MLS teams in what is perhaps their biggest match of the summer. I like to see MLS stars having to play in a high school stadium or municipal park and am intrigued by the thought of an upset or two (Dallas needed PKs to beat Atlanta last night). But that's the key: There have got to be a few shockers; otherwise, we're left with the same type of MLS matchups in the quarterfinals that we see every weekend: D.C.-New England, Dallas-Houston, L.A.-Chicago, Colorado-Chivas USA.

Wednesday night, United will take on the third-tier Harrisburg City Islanders, who have decided to host the match at a high school in the town of Landisville, which is actually closer to Lancaster than the Pennsylvania capital. After playing Sunday in Houston and having to prepare for Saturday's match against Dallas, DCU Coach Tom Soehn is in a tricky situation. He does not want to wear out his regulars, but at the same time, he does not want to be embarrassed by a USL2 club. The question is how much faith he has in his reserves and how many minutes he believes he can use a few regulars without fatiguing them.

So who should he start? Moreno got the weekend off so I wouldn't be surprised if he plays the first 60 minutes. Pair him with Addlery (unless Kpene has recovered from injury and is ready to go). Dyachenko could be your central midfielder, Moose and Mediate on the flanks and Simms behind them. Burch at left back, Namoff (if healthy) on the right and McTavish paired with Boswell in the middle. If Namoff can't go, slide Mediate back there and insert deRoux into midfield.

Your thoughts on the DCU lineup and the Open Cup in general?

On a side note, before I make the drive to Landisville, I will be hosting a live online chat Wednesday at 1 p.m. on washingtonpost.com. Submit your questions here and be sure to join me for the live discussion.


By Steve Goff  |  July 10, 2007; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: DCU Injury Update

Comments

I say play the reserves and who cares what happens. No matter how hard I have tried to make myself care, the USOC means nothing to me. Let the reserves use it to gain experience.

Posted by: Ron | July 10, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and let the reserves, who are underpaid anyway, split the prize money if they do win it all.

Posted by: Ron | July 10, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Goff - I have grown to like the decision of choosing whether to start the reserves or play the regulars, a scenario regularly faced by the bigger clubs in Europe.

However, until there is proper promotion and relegation, I think the gulf in class will always be too wide for a smaller club to win it. And until they win it (or at least PLAY in the final), I think the Cup will continue to be undervalued by them, and therefore undervalued by MLS sides who can waltz to it if they choose to.

Posted by: Kyle | July 10, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

i love the idea of the "minor" leagues playing the big boys. based on some of the crowds i see at the usl games, there's definitely support for these smaller market teams and it's a good chance for them to show off their skills and maybe get some offers. nonetheless, i think this is merely a beginning move toward relegation and promotion. forget whether a team is going to make the playoffs or not each year, how about the pressure of the bottom two teams getting relegated and two "minor" teams getting promoted? that would be incredible.

Posted by: g | July 10, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"However, until there is proper promotion and relegation, I think the gulf in class will always be too wide for a smaller club to win it."

Would you count Rochester as a smaller club in this case?

I'm interested in the open cup if only because it creates more games for teams to worry about, which adds that much more "authenticity" to the league. I hate to hear MLS players talk about the demanding schedule when most clubs rarely play more than 45 matches per season. (most of which are in the noncompetitive midsummer slog of the MLS regular season)

Posted by: d, dc | July 10, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The theory of the Open Cup is interesting, but the reality is not. Once all of the lower division teams are eliminated, who really cares which MLS team wins the trophy? Seems like England is the only country where all clubs big and small place a great importance on winning the domestic Cup competition.

One option to improve the Open Cup is to eliminate the MLS Cup playoffs, award the MLS Championship to the team with the best regular season record, and start the Open Cup Third Round after the end of the regular season. Of course, this would confuse many casual fans who are wondering why the lower division teams are playing in what they perceive to be the MLS playoffs. But it might make the Open Cup more exciting if all games with MLS teams were played at the end of the season, instead of during the regular-season grind.

A second option is to keep the current system but modify the bracket so that each remaining MLS team plays a lower division team in the quarterfinals, instead of the third round. This may improve the chances of lower division teams reaching the semi-finals and final game.

Posted by: SSMD | July 10, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Relegation will definitely happen in MLS... right about the time that the US brings home the World Cup. Until then, forget about it. The league is still not turning a profit so no investors would even consider sinking money into a team that wouldn't stay top tier. No DP deals would ever happen either. The single entity structure of MLS... ad infinitum.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | July 10, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Well Leesburg, since some on this site and convinced the U.S. will win the World Cup within the next 20 or so years, I suppose it's not too too far off.

Since I'm a bit more realistic than that, I agree with you for the most part. However, the situation is fluid, and I think it is a little premature to say the soccer world couldn't find a way to in 20 years. Honestly, the best chance of this happening is if a judge finds the structure to a breach of anti-trust laws. While I don't know that area of the law particularly well, I will tell you there's a reason MLB fights to keep its exemption.

Posted by: Kyle | July 10, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of the US Open Cup, but why should MLS clubs just face USL teams in the third round? I would like to see USSF handle the draw the way England does for the FA Cup. There, they draw the lower (and non-) league teams and the Premiership teams together, resulting in some Premiership teams facing each other (and elimination) and lower league clubs do the same (with one advancing to the next round).

As for who should be in the line-up, I agree that we should go with non-starters and reserves. Why not give Adderly, Moose, Nolley, Mediate, Kpene, and Burch a chance to prove themselves. If they can't beat a USL2 team, Soehn should question whether MLS is the place for them.

Posted by: ho | July 10, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm a big fan of the USOC, even though I watched my (PDL) BYU Cougars fall to the (USL1) California Vicotry. I can't wait until next year, maybe they'll be able to advance a bit further.

Posted by: Pat Eyler | July 10, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"i think this is merely a beginning move toward relegation and promotion..."

Posted by: g | July 10, 2007 10:45 AM

There will never be relegation/promotion in US Soccer. Not going to happen. Ever. MLS asks owner/investors to put up quite a bit of cash to buy in. There's no way you'll attract investors with the possibility of all his/her/their cash going down the drain because of a dodgy PK from Brian Hall on the last day of the season. Not going to happen. And then there's the whole stadium issue which involves politicking on the local level. No way you'll get investors who would be willing to take this on with relegation a possibility. The other domestic leagues around the world have close to or over 100 years on us and grew out of a completely different culture. Those clubs were born as clubs not investments. Their league play grew organically into various divisions; it wasn't deemed from on high as being the top division of domestic football as US Soccer did with MLS.

Oh yeah, the Open Cup. An attempt to emulate Euro stuff in the US. Argentina doesn't have a domestic cup competition. We should emulate them.

Posted by: Relegation/Promotion | July 10, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Love SSMD's first idea, that not only enhances the MLS Cup but also places more importance on the regular season. I wouldn't wait all the way til the end for MLS teams to start playing, but definitely shift towards last third or so of season. That gives the teams out of regular season hunt a renewed focus.

Posted by: Jason | July 10, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Oh yeah, the Open Cup. An attempt to emulate Euro stuff in the US."

I believe it's the oldest domestic cup competition in the world, actually.

Posted by: Willis. | July 10, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Would you count Rochester as a smaller club in this case?"

Remember, they were playing the CRapids at (I believe) sea level. I think that is the only US Open final, to date, that was broadcast to a national audience on ESPN.

There are always a few "upsets" when an MLS team decides to play its reserves or, otherwise, takes the opposition lightly. I think it's a boost to the lower div teams when they can knock off a "giant." Soccer in the US needs that kind of motivation and reward.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 10, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Kyle, my apologies as a realist to an optimist. I didn't mean to rain on your World Cup parade. I just meant to say that it would never happen in the next twenty years and probably longer still.

As to the Open Cup, I like the idea of the McGuire Cup for youth clubs, but think it should stop with the kids. Without a serious reward for winning the thing, no one takes it seriously. If you were to replace the birth for the MLS Cup into the CONCACAF tournament with the Open Cup champion, then maybe someone would care. Even then we'd still be talking about whether to start deRoux or Mediate out wide, while saving Emilio, Fred, and Gomez for a "real game."

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | July 10, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

willis, i'd like to have some of whatever you're smoking. unbelievable.

Posted by: huh? | July 10, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I say start the reserves with Perkins in goal. I don't trust Nolly, even against a USL team.

Posted by: Seth | July 10, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The US Open Cup should be very important, because it has the history that warrants that kind of respect. It's the only thread to a long soccer past that most people don't even realize exists.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | July 10, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Open_Cup

Not the oldest in the world, but it certainly isn't a recent creation.

Posted by: whatchatalkinabout | July 10, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"before I make the drive to Landisville"

The merchandise isn't as cheap, but the travel time is shorter than going to China.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 10, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Oh yeah, the Open Cup. An attempt to emulate Euro stuff in the US."

I believe it's the oldest domestic cup competition in the world, actually.

Posted by: Willis. | July 10, 2007 11:22 AM


Actually, it's not. The FA Cup is.

Posted by: Actually, it's not. | July 10, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

what are kpene and namoff's injuries again? i've never really heard what their issues are.

Posted by: pat | July 10, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"Honestly, the best chance of this happening is if a judge finds the structure to a breach of anti-trust laws. While I don't know that area of the law particularly well, I will tell you there's a reason MLB fights to keep its exemption."

Actually, a court already ruled on the antitrust aspects of the MLS single entity structure - at least as it pertains to the restriction of competition between teams for players' services. A jury in Boston found that the market for soccer/football players' services is worldwide (vice the U.S. or even North America) and therefore a breach of antitrust laws by a US-only league was impossible. The players' argument (which was a good one) is that most of our domestic players cannot play in other top-flight leagues (which MLS presumably is) in other countries because they'd be hard-pressed to get a work permit. So, the market truly is US-based. Guess the jury couldn't comprehend.

Anyway, because of the jury's finding, the case was dismissed, MLS players appealed, dismissal was affirmed - it eventually went all the way to an application for Writ from the U.S. Supreme Court...which was denied.

It's too bad really because, while I love MLS and think it's doing great things for soccer in the U.S., the single entity structure is awful and it definitely stifles competition for players' services...at least once you step below that top tier of players. For the most part, a player cannot opt out of his $40K contract with say DCU because he thinks the Revolution will pay him $60K. His contract is with MLS - if the Revs think he's worth his current salary (or even more) they can trade for him, but they cannot sign him to a different contract.

Posted by: DE | July 10, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Misinformation abounds!

Both g and Relegation/Promotion seem to think the tournament was cooked up recently, when in fact it is 93 years old.

Kyle argues that the gap between MLS clubs and lower-level teams is too great for the lower-level teams to ever have a chance. The 1999 Rochester Raging Rhinos would beg to differ, since they were the Open Cup champions that year (knocking off Chicago, Dallas, Columbus, and Colorado on the way). Also, you can make that argument for any domestic cup open to lower-level teams; that doesn't make it not worth playing.

d, dc laments complaints about MLS having a demanding season because there are fewer games. While I've never lived through the demands of an MLS season or, say, a Premiership season, I'm guessing the long distances travelled and high temperatures present throughout the season make the theoretically easier MLS season very difficult despite the lower number of games. I'm not saying it's as hard as the Premiership; I'm just saying that maybe the complaints about the season being difficult should not be dismissed.

Finally, to answer ho: In the FA Cup, Premiership and Championship clubs do not partake until the 3rd round, just as in the Open Cup. The difference is that the FA Cup has hundreds of participating teams and many rounds of qualifying before the actual First Round, while the Open Cup has a much lower number of participants.

If it's not already obvious, I am a big fan of the concept of the Open Cup. The lack of prize money involved, coupled with the lack of promotion (most MLS teams do not budget for any promotion of their games in the tournament), really hurts what could be a very interesting event. Think about it: the NCAA basketball tournament, featuring no-name teams rubbing shoulders with the big shots, is a massive event, even for people that do not follow college basketball. The Open Cup, on a (much) smaller scale, could be looked at the same way for soccer. Who doesn't love an underdog?

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 10, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Namoff and Kpene both pulled their hammies.

Posted by: DE | July 10, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Leesburg, my apologies if I wasn't clear. There's no way the U.S. is winning the World Cup in the next 20 years. It just takes too many of the right circumstances coming together perfectly, and then, a lot of luck. Ask the Germans, a perfectly capable side playing at home in 2006, how easy it is to win the thing.

There's a reason only 7 countries have ever won the thing, and in the modern era it's hard to take Uruguay's seriously. So, we're looking at Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and Italy. While France and England both have titles, they won them on home soil. That's really our only chance, and I doubt we could get it done even given the chance.

Posted by: Kyle | July 10, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Every year, folks on BS and other forums debate the Open Cup. Never seems to go anywhere - basically, you have a small contingent who flat out dislike it, a small contingent that want to make something more of it, and the vast majority who think its decent but dont really see many feasible, realistic ways of making it better/more important/have more more meaning.

I like it, certainly in theory and somewhat in practice. With more publicity and maybe some TV deal with FSC(?), the Open Cup could actually become a bigger part of the US soccer landscape. For now, its still marginal.

I am going up to PA though...and here is my lineup.

Nolly
Burch Boswell McTavish Deroux
Moose Simms Dyachenko Mediate
Addlery Moreno

Wouldnt mind seeing this lineup though - lest me forget there are TWO Carroll's on this team. Moose at the CAM and Deroux in the mid, with Dyachenko as a withdrawn forward.

Nolly
Burch Boswell McTavish J. Carroll
Mediate Simms Moose Deroux
Addlery Dyachenko

Posted by: the cheat | July 10, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The Open Cup is also a great way to spread MLS to smaller towns -- I loved it when DC played one of their games against Carolina at UVa...

Posted by: RK | July 10, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't anybody like me?

Posted by: Brian Hall | July 10, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

It would probably be too much game time for Fred in one week, but I'd like to see him operate in the middle of the field as he did in Melbourne. Maybe we'll get that chance later in the year if Christian needs a rest.

Posted by: PVL | July 10, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goff,

Any chance we could get the full entry in our RSS readers? Right now we just get a blurb and sometimes when I click through, there is a full story (like today), but sometime it's just another sentence or two.

Many thanks.

Posted by: leafblower | July 10, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the trialist from Athletico Mineiro (Vagner)?

Posted by: vamos_united | July 10, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Vagner's trial starts Friday? Did I read that correctly. And also I'd like to say that I'm now officially a Chest Rockwell fan. Great name + reasoned and knowledgeable analysis. Thanks Chest!

Posted by: Dan | July 10, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

off topic...but ouch. harsh words indeed in this piece on beckham and mls.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19692682/

"Los Angeles Galaxy, a minor league soccer team of sorts that plays in a league that is major in name only."

Posted by: lst | July 10, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Give Namoff a break. Give Addlery a chance. If DeRoux can't compete against the Harrisburg City Islanders (who, by the way, have a SWEET themesong), then maybe that's indicative of his future as an MLS player.

Addlery Moreno
DeRoux Simms Dyachenko Moose
Burch Boswell McTavish Mediate
Nolly

Fred for Jaime
Gros for DeRoux
Kpene (if healthy) for Addlery

Posted by: DWE4 | July 10, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If US Soccer covers travel costs...then a blind draw is a realistic possibility. At the moment, we're left with US Soccer to determine the draw regionally. This year is the FOURTH TIME in the last FIVE YEARS that Rochester has played New England in the Open Cup...that's not good.

Then beyond that, more prize money needs to be involved to give extra incentive and the games need to be put on TV somewhere.

It's truly one of the best kept secrets in American sports.

Posted by: Josh | July 10, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I checked out the MSNBC item about Beckham. It didn't contain an original thought. However, it did lead me to the associated message boards, where I found a reference to this site: http://livefooty.doctor-serv.com/. Does anyone know anything about it? One MSNBC poster suggested it might be carrying the USA-Uruguay U-20 match on Wednesday.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 10, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

at least the HS colors are black and red. But in the heat on that artificial turf field I think we need to rest as many regulars as possible.

Posted by: Glenn | July 10, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Both g and Relegation/Promotion seem to think the tournament was cooked up recently, when in fact it is 93 years old.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 10, 2007 11:46 AM

Right back at ya, fool. Get hooked on phonics and read. R-E-A-D. I never said any such. I said it's a copy of the Euro cups and it is. The FA Cup is older and is the model. So there.

Posted by: Relegation/Promotion | July 10, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I like the Open Cup if only for the purely selfish reason that when I move to North Carolina it will be one of my few chances to see David Stokes and the mighty Railhawks take on an MLS team.

As for DCU I'd like to see Burch and DeRoux get starts

Posted by: marc | July 10, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Beckham statue stolen!

Roban una estatua de Beckham en Birmingham
Una estatua de bronce del ex jugador del Real Madrid David Beckham, que estaba en un jardín a las afueras de la ciudad de Birmingham, ha sido robada, según informó la policía este martes. La estatua de 90 centímetros, valorada en 800 dólares, y en la que el jugador posaba con un pie sobre una pelota, fue robada hace unos días en una casa a las afueras de esta localidad inglesa.

Posted by: RK | July 10, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"Kyle argues that the gap between MLS clubs and lower-level teams is too great for the lower-level teams to ever have a chance. The 1999 Rochester Raging Rhinos would beg to differ, since they were the Open Cup champions that year (knocking off Chicago, Dallas, Columbus, and Colorado on the way). Also, you can make that argument for any domestic cup open to lower-level teams; that doesn't make it not worth playing."

----

Just to inject a little reality into your equation there, Rochester's little run happened entirely in their own stadium. They failed to travel a single minute in their quest for the Open Cup. They were bringing in lots of players to push for a stadium deal, and put a lot of effort into putting a pretty good product on the pitch.

By comparison, the 2000 Rhinos traveled to DC and lost a 3-0 third round decision that wasn't even that close. Most folks count that 2000 team as either the worst, or second worst, squad that DCU ever put on the pitch.

Since then, only two lower division squads have even made the semis. 2004 Charleston Battery and 2005 Minnesota Thunder, both assisted by lucky draws. Last year, no lower division side even made the quarters.

One lower division side making the quarters is the general rule. The reality is that without significant outside help, lower division sides cannot compete with the MLS clubs. Certainly no lower division side has been able to sustain any kind of success long enough to warrant even a sniff of interest from MLS. We simply don't have a big enough talent pool to draw on.

Posted by: le Rouge | July 10, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Welcome y'all to Hempfield. It will be steaming hot. Local media is expecting a large crowd. Although the game is at the same time as the Atlantic League All-Star game in Lancaster. I really like the Open Cup, how else can I see DC without driving 2.5 hours. I will be there with my wife (a soccer watcher newbie) and my Screaming Eagles scarf. I hope to meet some of the esteemed SE/BB/EN people at the game.

Posted by: Menno Soccer Man | July 10, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I like the Lamar Hunt. I like giving the smaller teams and markets a chance. I actually watched the FCD/Atlanta game last night (it was free on mlsnet) and enjoyed it. Atlanta's play was pretty poor, but they kept FCD in check for 120 minutes, despite going a man down for most, if not all of overtime. I'm hoping some of the other matches this week will be available for free on the ol' internet.

Posted by: stevo | July 10, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

UP THE CITY ISLANDERS!

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | July 10, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

This is my first year following the Cup. I'm pretty excited about it. I know that it is mostly ignored but I can see a lot of potential in this kind of tournament. It's remarkably like the NCAA basketball tournament where you have these mammoth underdogs trying to take down the big names. When that happens, it's an amazing story. So fun to watch. I think if FSC or ESPN got behind it and started showing the games it could really grow. Imagine LA Galaxy with Donovan and Beckham losing to a USL team. How great would that be?

Posted by: lawrenceterp | July 10, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Dan-

Thank you.

Relegation/Promotion-

You seem insulted. What I took from your post was that you didn't know it was an old tournament. Maybe I misread it?

Are we really going to say that something 93 years old is still just a knock-off? That seems harsh to me. Also, by your logic, all other soccer knockout tournaments are copies of the FA Cup. Since you think ours is a copy and we should do like the Argentines and not have one, do you also think every other country should scrap theirs? They are all just copies, after all.

le Rouge-

As I said: "Also, you can make that argument for any domestic cup open to lower-level teams; that doesn't make it not worth playing."

If the odds of an amateur or PDL team are long, how do you think amateur English teams feel against a Premiership team? The odds of an upset of that magnitude are incredible. And yet, the FA Cup is seen as quite prestigious.

I guess I'm confused as to what you're getting at. Is it that the Open Cup will remain a minor tournament? I never disagreed with that point. I just said that you can't write off the lower-level teams. If Rochester could assemble a strong team in the USL because of its new stadium, couldn't someone else do the same? That rumored USL-1 team to be based in Maryland will eventually need a real stadium, right? Maybe the owners will get a tiny bit of the Abramovich Fever. You never know.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 10, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

For Sale: Statue of David Beckham posing with his foot on a ball. May be used as an effigy at the tailgate party on August 11. The statue is approximately 35 inches tall and imported from England. Asking price - $800.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 10, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I can almost guarantee that this Beckham-statue theft is a marketing ploy.

Posted by: RK | July 10, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

My point is that the '99 Rhinos are the exception that proves the rule. They had everything tilted in their favor, and could not replicate their success without that intervention.

USL sides can't compete with MLS sides. Period. The talent gap is every bit as large as Kyle suggested. And the ability to close that gap is non-existent in the current talent pool. Abramovich-style spending sprees are non-sustainable in this country even if you could guarantee the results. And that's setting aside the bigger problem of having nowhere to go.

As it happens, playing in this tournament is fine with me, I don't have any feelings on the matter one way or the other. But don't let's try to compare this to the FA Cup. At one time, it was the only means to produce a national champion. That's no longer the case. More importantly, no one outside the miniscule soccer community in the US even knows it exists. Everybody in England knows about the FA Cup--it's been the focus of the footballing year forever.

Look, it is what it is. I don't think there's anything wrong with it as it stands. I don't think we need to justify its existence, I don't think we need to increase its importance. It's another competition, and it's fine. I'll follow the team just as closely as I would any other competition.

Posted by: le Rouge | July 10, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

A marketing ploy? By whom? Not the Galaxy. Addidas, perhaps. Sounds too wacky for them. To me it's just some bored English press covering a non-event in the offseason.

Posted by: David | July 10, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

My biggest problem with the Cup, aside from the lack of publicity and lower play quality, is the difficulty in finding streaming video, or even live audio of the game. I wanted to catch the end of New England and Rochester, but couldn't track down any video and didn't have much more success on working audio links.

Posted by: Sandwich | July 10, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Both the Kickers and the Battery beat MLS sides last night.

Posted by: RR1213 | July 11, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

"My biggest problem with the Cup, aside from the lack of publicity and lower play quality, is the difficulty in finding streaming video, or even live audio of the game. I wanted to catch the end of New England and Rochester, but couldn't track down any video and didn't have much more success on working audio links."

You won't have that problem tonight. As Goff noted on another thread, as well as this morning's dead-tree version of the Post, audio play-by-play will be offered at the United Web site.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 11, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

how is it possible not to love the USOC? Maybe as a Fire fan winning the thing a few times helps, but I love the idea of "minor" clubs having a chance to beat the "top flight" guys. Great stuff.
I don't know if pro/rel would really help, other than keeping rivalries alive when/if one rival is relegated and the other is not.
It's a great tournament that has been around forever and should be cherished and respected IMO.

Posted by: papa bear | July 12, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

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