Year after year the conversation goes in circles: How can the Open Cup be bigger and better?
So many ideas – some creative, others outlandish – are discussed among the fans. But what is the single most important move that could change the face of the 100-year-old tournament?
Two MLSsoccer.com editors tell you the first thing they would do if they were in charge in the latest Big Debate.
Who do you agree with? Have other ideas? Give us your comments below.
|The Argument||Create a new agency to handle all things USOC||Condense the competition to make it an event|
U.S. Soccer has a FIFA World Cup to worry about in 2014. MLS and its clubs have plenty of big fish to fry – from stadiums, to DPs and TV deals. The lower divisions have their own day-to-day concerns. There's no knight in shining armor galloping in to save the US Open Cup from the current soccer establishment. The USSF and various leagues need to set up a new agency (in-house or third party) to manage, sell, televise and market the US Open Cup. And given where things stand today, the right group with industry connections and a strong enough proposal would probably have a great chance of landing the account.
As it currently stands, MLS teams enter the round of 32 at the end of May and the final is played four months later. Any drama, any intrigue is sucked out of the competition by long breaks in action that make the Open Cup an afterthought rather than a priority for the participants. So lets condense things, making it an event rather than a monthly distraction. Six weeks, five matchdays to reach the final on July 4. Clear the middle of the week for USOC action, and make the dog days of MLS summer the soccer equivalent of the NCAA Tournament. Most importantly, create a buzz where there wasn't one before. The US Open Cup deserves it.
Who do you agree with? Let us know in the comments below.