While recent reports show that MLS is getting higher attendance numbers than the NHL and NBA, it should come as little surprise given soccer's long history in the United States.
With yesterday's announcement that the Timbers would be hosting either Cal FC or Wilmington Hammerheads in a third round match of the U.S. Open Cup on May 30, it's a good time to read up on just what is and why the U.S. Open Cup matters. We'll be having more in the lead-up to next week's match--we've got Valencia tomorrow in a friendly and a Cascadia Cup clash with Vancouver on Saturday--but Steven Goff of the Washington Post wrote a great love letter on Monday to just why he likes this unique soccer event:
I have a confession. I like the U.S. Open Cup. There, I said it.
[The] Open Cup offers the small clubs a long-shot dream of bumping off high-caliber opponents and advancing to international competition (the CONCACAF Champions League).
Best of all, the Open Cup creates David vs. Goliath matchups unseen in American sports outside the NCAA basketball tournament. One particularly dreamy pairing is close to coming to fruition. On Tuesday night, the Aegean Hawks, an amateur outfit from the D.C. area, will play the third-division Richmond Kickers at Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County.
Take a few moments and read the whole thing--the U.S. Open Cup has a tremendously rich history. While the Timbers lean more towards the Goliath in their upcoming match next week, it certainly doesn't discount the interesting clash of teams across American soccer. This year's tournament is the 99th edition of the competition. Who says there's no soccer history in the U.S.?
Starting at $10, tickets go on sale to the general public Wednesday at 10 a.m. through the JELD-WEN Field box office, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phoning (800) 745-3000.
Next Tuesday, May 15, presents a unique double-header event for Timbers fans.
The Portland Timbers of MLS travel to Houston to take on the Dynamo in the first evening home game at BBVA Compass Stadium at 5:30pm PT on ROOT SPORTS / 750 AM The Game. Also on the same day, The Timbers U-23s of the PDL begin their U.S. Open Cup campaign hosting the USASA's PSA Elite at 7:30pm PT.
You may be asking yourself, how can I--devoted Timbers fan that I am--watch them all in the same place?
JELD-WEN Field has you covered in four simple steps:
Step 1. Get yourself a ticket to the Timbers U-23s match for Tuesday. Tickets for U-23s are only $7 bucks general admission and can be purchased at the JELD-WEN Field box office or via Ticketmaster.
Step 2. Come to JELD-WEN Field on Tuesday beginning at 5:15pm with beer specials and $7 hotdog/soda combos available.
Step 3. Watch the Timbers-Dynamo match on the big BIG screen in the House of Pain that starts at 5:30pm.
Step 4. Stick around for the Timbers U-23s U.S. Open clash following the MLS match that kicks off at 7:30pm.
What are you waiting for? It's a simple four-step process. See you on Tuesday.
Got a story, tip, soccer tidbit to share? Send it in to thebackcut (at) portlandtimbers.com.