- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 28, 2009
- 10 Comments
- 2009 US Open Cup, Gary Smith, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
Colorado Rapids manager Gary Smith does not like the US Open Cup. At all.
The Colorado Rapids head coach lashed out on the sad state of the U.S. Open Cup after his side’s 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday. His hits on the USOC included the venue of last nights game down to the importance of the Cup itself.
“(The way) the whole system has been conducted has led us down a path that it was obvious the MLS league games are far more important to everybody in our league,” Smith said. “Why should we risk our best players when nobody actually sees this as an important competition?
“I come from an environment and culture where Cup games are part of the fabric as English football and European football. I think people at the top have demeaned this competition by playing it here for starters. Why don’t we play the games at Qwest? Why, when we offered up the facilities at our own turf, are we not there?
“I understand there was a coin flip that nobody saw, and strangely enough Seattle won the toss. The difference tonight is they are at home and maybe they are slightly more adept to playing on a plastic surface. They go through to the next round and good luck to them.”
Smith was also a bit unhappy about the draw to play in Seattle and how it was done. Most may not know it but it was done by the flip of a coin. Yes, somehow a coin flip decided who hosted this match.
“Why can’t we promote the Cup in a more sensible fashion so everyone can get behind it?” he said. “There is a behind close door draw done and we end up here in a facility that is below par. We have seen two very good teams do battle on a below-par surface and facility.
“I don’t understand that with the strides the MLS and the league made in this country. Seattle has proved this week already what a good team they are. It doesn’t suit them either and I’m surprised.”
To be real honest Smith brings up a lot of valid points here. I’m behind the notion that the Open Cup should take on more importance for all clubs. The way it is set up is still a bit of a joke in some ways. I know there are certainly plenty of ways to improve the Cup but that is another post for another day.