June 8, 2009

2009 US Open Cup. 1st Round (32 teams: 8 USL-1 teams, 8 USL-2 teams, 8 PDL teams, and the 8 teams which qualified via the USASA).


This map was made in collaboration with the Albion Road site { }. 

2009 US Open, 1st Round Bracket  {click here}.

The American soccer pyramid has Major League Soccer at the top.  There is no relegation or promotion betrween this top tier and the second tier,  which is the United Soccer League First Division (USL-1).  There is movement of teams between the USL-1 and USL-2,  as well as between the lower levels,  but this is not based on performance,  but upon costs constraints of the teams themselves.  Sometimes teams volunteer to be relegated from, say USL-1 to USL-2,  as a cost-cutting measure.  [This pretty much sums up the hand-to-mouth situation of professional soccer in the USA.]  Teams can also move up the pyramid,  as have the Cleveland City Stars this year (from USL-2 to USL-1).   

The fourth level of the pyramid is shared by teams in the Premier Development League,  the National Premier Soccer League,  and the Pacific Coast Soccer League [note: no teams from the PCSL qualified this year for the cup.].  Premier Development League teams compete in a seperate sub-competition for qualification to the US Open Cup;  while NPSL and amateur teams compete in a different sub-competiton for qualification to the US Open Cup,  under the aegis of the United States Adult Soccer Association (the USASA) .

The US Open Cup was established in 1914,  as the National Challenge Cup.  In 1952,  the competition became the National Open Cup.  The present name was adopted in 1959.  This name was amended in 1999,  when US Soccer honored one of the most important architects of the sport in America,  Lamar Hunt,  the Kansas City Chiefs gridiron football team owner,  who went on to be instrumental in the formation of the MLS,  including his ownership of the Kansas City Wizards MLS team.  Hence the present-day official name of the competition:  the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Since Major League Soccer was established in 1996,  a MLS team has won the US Open Cup Title every season,  except 1999,  when,  I am proud to say,  my hometown team,  the Rochester Rhinos,  won the cup,  beating the Colorado Rapids 2-0,  before 4,555 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. 

Unlike most European nations’ cups,  which are modelled after the English FA Cup,  all top flight teams in the USA (ie, MLS teams) are not guaranteed a spot in the competition…only 8 of the 14 American MLS teams qualify [ ! ?.].  The 8 MLS teams get a two-round bye,  though,  and enter in the 3rd Round.  However,  the 16 American teams from the USL (USL-1 and USL-2) automatically qualify for the US Open Cup 1st Round.   

This year’s competition features regional draws for the 1st Round,  to save on costly travel expenses for the lower-level teams.  Here is the US Open’s 2009 qualification page {click here}.

All sixteen games will take place Tuesday, June 9.  Here is the US Open Cup First Round schedule  {click here}

Thanks to Jeremy,  at the site {click here}.  Jeremy wrote the USL-1, USL-2,  and PDL teams’ write-ups on the map.   Thanks to .   Thanks to .   Thanks to Lynch’s Irish Pub FC site {click here}.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here,  set at 2009 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup page)}.

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