U.S. Open Cup cancelled for second year in a row

For the second year in a row, there will be no U.S. Open Cup.

U.S. Soccer made it official on Friday, citing "the combined logistical and financial challenges still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Open Cup Commissioner Paul Marstaller:

“The logistical and financial burdens to have the tournament take place this spring in the current environment are substantial. Even though all of U.S. Soccer’s member professional teams will be playing in their respective league competitions this year, the Committee did not feel it wise to have clubs divert important resources during the next two months for Open Cup play. Instead, we will look further into the future to see what possibilities might exist for 2021. After that, a full-scale 2022 Open Cup is less than a year away.”

(U.S. Soccer’s Open Cup Committee will evaluate the possibility of conducting a competition later in the year.)

The 2021 edition had already been modified twice. Instead of the 100 teams entered in 2020, just 24 teams were scheduled to take part in the 2021 tournament, its 107th edition. Then the opening round was cancelled, reducing the field to 16 teams:

-- Eight from MLS (the eight top U.S. teams in the overall standings after the first three weeks of the regular season;
-- Four from the USL Championship (El Paso Locomotive, Louisville City, Phoenix Rising, Tampa Bay Rowdies, the 2020 playoff semifinalists);
-- 2020 USL League One champion Greenville Triumph;
-- 2020 NISA fall champion Detroit City FC;
-- One Open Division local qualifier (drawn at random); and
-- 2019 U.S. Adult Amateur Cup champion Newtown Pride.

The decision to cancel the tournament is not unexpected. As part of its plans for 2021, the Open Cup Committee set deadlines to go forward, first with a 24-team tournament and then whether to proceed at all. The second deadline was Monday. The round of 16 was slated to start on May 18-19.

TheCup.us, a primary source for Open Cup coverage for years, reported on April 1 that the United States Adult Soccer Association recommend that the 2021 Open Cup be cancelled due to the costs of pandemic-related travel protocols (travel by bus or charter, no commercial flights, individual hotel rooms, no doubles, and three days of COVID-19 testing beginning 48 hours before the game).

3 comments about "U.S. Open Cup cancelled for second year in a row".
  1. Wallace Wade, April 17, 2021 at 10:46 a.m.

    I'd like to see some tough questions asked of the Federation and the Open Cup Committee. How can a individual League Cup competition take priority over our only National Cup Competition? Doesn't make any sense. You know things are out of order at the top when the National Cup Competition can't take place but MLS Cup is perfectly fine to continue 

  2. Guy Walling, April 18, 2021 at 6:59 p.m.

    There are deeper pockets within the MLS clubs compared to USL and other amateur clubs. Therefore, the US Open Cup would of placed even more of a financial burden. I'm sure this okayed a role in the decision as well.

  3. Wallace Wade, April 19, 2021 at 2:10 p.m.

    I can't speak for all the Amateur Clubs, not that's not entirely the case. We would have relished the opportunity to play in the spot we earned on the pitch through 3 Rounds of qualifying. We were not asked or conferred with at anytime. We just had our spot stolen from us. Many other Amateur Clubs feel the same. Could be the decision was made due to money, however, not the money your referencing 

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