On Wednesday, one of the most eagerly anticipated coin flips in U.S. Soccer history will take place.
With the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup down to the semifinal stage, the venue for the final on Sept 29 or 30 has yet to be decided and U.S. Soccer will have a coin flip to decide which club hosts the final of the oldest knockout competition in U.S. soccer history. Is that famous scene in Friday Night Lights from Permian’s 1988 season flashing into anybody else’s mind here? Just me? Anyway…
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The four teams still left in the competition are all from Major League Soccer, with the Chicago Fire taking on the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Aug. 12 and a re-match of the 2013 final between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake will take place at Sporting Park, Kansas on the same day.
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You can watch the event live on U.S. Soccer’s YouTube channel on Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET, and although this is going ahead and many people believe it is the fairest way to determine the hosts for the final, here are some other options for the future:
- Have the U.S. Open Cup final at a neutral venue: the same stadium every year in the nation’s capital Washington D.C.?
- Again, a neutral venue but pick out a stadium which is smack bang in the middle of the two teams in the final. Should there really be home advantage for a domestic title? Plus, there is over a month between the semifinals and final so that seems like plenty of time to plan logistics in advance.
- The team with the best record (goal differential, then goals scored) get to host the final
Again, those are just suggestions, and I understand why clubs involved in the final have been given the option to host the event as in the past Open Cup finals were often poorly attended and took place hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from the home cities of teams who were participating.
Any thoughts out there as to how U.S. Soccer can shake things up?