Hello everyone, and welcome back to American Pyramid! Currently I'm on the second of four articles focusing on fixing things in lower league soccer in the United States. As voted on by you, the readers, the first piece came out last week, Let The Conflict End, and you can read it by clicking Here.
Before we go any further, I'd also like to encourage you to check out my other site for the National Amateur Cup. I'm trying to help generate more interest in, and put more eyeballs on, a competition run exclusively for amateur teams in the United States. Not only will you be able to see how the tournament progressed this year, but you can review all kinds of history, too. You can check that website out by clicking Here.
Today's article will focus on something that seems to be endlessly debated. Fixing the US Open Cup. There are a lot of things wrong with it, but for the sake of keeping things moving, I'm only going to discuss the five changes that I believe need to be made. Before we get started, here's an interesting point of comparison for a Cup competition in another country with a, for now, closed system, Australia.
A comparison of the Round of 32 for the US Open Cup & Australia's FFA Cup.
A-League teams in Round of 32: 10. Only 7 can advance, 3 all A-League games in the Round of 32, 9 teams from lower leagues can advance to the Round of 16. In the Round of 32, 3 teams are from what Australia considers Tier 3, 1 from Tier 4, 18 are from Tier 2.
MLS teams in Round of 32: 21. 5 all MLS games, 14 advanced to Round of 16, only 2 teams from lower leagues advanced, only 11 teams from the lower leagues competed in the Round of 32, 10 from USL Championship, 1 from the NPSL. The Round of 8 features 6 MLS teams, 2 USL Championship teams, and 2 all MLS games.
Granted, the A-League is smaller than MLS, but this will still give you a good idea of what level of imbalance exists in the US Open Cup.