The US Open Cup can provide some great memories for Colorado Rapids fans (who doesn't remember the run to the final in 1999) and some nightmares. But it is a tournament that is taking on greater importance and last year the Rapids were able to secure two home games and progressed into the fifth round in. Today, US Soccer announced the format and number of teams (a record 91!) and when the Rapids and our affiliate Charlotte Independence join the tourney.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The format for the 102nd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - <a href="http://t.co/iOjkwBD4y8">http://t.co/iOjkwBD4y8</a> Play in matches start 4/22! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOC2015?src=hash">#USOC2015</a> <a href="http://t.co/fSpHM5qq3l">pic.twitter.com/fSpHM5qq3l</a></p>— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) <a href="https://twitter.com/ussoccer/status/563064370679537664">February 4, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Some of the highlights:
Second Round: The 21 US based USL Pro teams join the tournament. This includes our affiliate in Charlotte. These matches will occur on May 20.
Third Round: The 9 US based NASL teams join the tournament. These matches will occur on May 27.
Fourth Round: The 17 US based MLS teams join the tournament. These matches will occur on June 16 and 17.
A feature of this years tournament (which is different from previous years) is geography impacting who plays where. That is, teams will be drawn into matches in their respective geographic regions. No more trips for Orlando City SC to play in Denver or LA Galaxy traveling to play Carolina Railhawks. This should help with costs that teams will incur but also allow for increased attendance as supporters will have to travel less distance.
What say you Rapids fans? Are you excited for the US Open Cup? Do you think the Rapids will get another home game? Let us know below!