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Lamar Hunt's Forgotten Cup

Andrea Canales of L.A. Soccer News says that it's time the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup got a little more respect. The granddaddy of all soccer tournaments in the United States is similar to the English FA Cup in that the competition includes teams of all levels: any team registered with the U.S. Soccer Federation, from amateur leagues to the pros, is eligible to play. Sure, like the FA Cup, teams from the top league (in this case, MLS) usually win it, but remember the Rochester Rhinos, which hoisted the trophy in 1999? Or what about Dallas Roma FC, the first amateur club to advance past an MLS team, when it beat Chivas USA on penalties last year.

Though the Open Cup is run by U.S. Soccer, it certainly doesn't seem like it. Canales says there's little promotion of the tournament. There is also little television coverage, which means little to no press coverage. Canales says the tournament would be more meaningful if the winner actually received something like qualification for the CONCACAF Champions Cup (although these days, the second berth goes to the MLS team with the best regular-season record). Then, maybe all the MLS clubs (not just Chicago, a four-time winner) would put their best resources behind trying to win it.

"We've often said that it's a big tournament," pointed out Fire coach Dave Sarachan. "There's more teams that enter the Open Cup than any other competition. I do believe that that team should be recognized in future competitions."

Read the whole story at L.A. Soccer News »

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