U.S. Open Cup pull routine puts Portland Timbers during a disadvantage

The Portland Timbers will face an MLS foe for a third-straight year when they enter a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a fourth turn diversion against a Seattle Sounders on Jun 13.

Every group in MLS, solely a Timbers, has had a advantage of confronting a reduce multiplication bar in a fourth turn of U.S. Open Cup in during slightest one of a final 3 years.

And that’s not a coincidence.

According to a 2017 U.S. Open Cup Handbook, fourth turn matchups, that is a turn in that all MLS teams enter a tournament, are dynamic by geographical proximity, not by a pointless draw.

This year, 13 of 19 MLS teams in a contest were interconnected with reduce multiplication winners of third turn games, while 6 MLS teams were matched adult opposite any other formed on informal proximity. In 2015 and 2016, there were usually 17 MLS teams competing in a U.S. Open Cup and only dual of those MLS clubs were forced to face any other in a fourth round.

In any of a final 3 years, U.S. Soccer has finished a preference to span a Timbers with another MLS bar because, formed on geography, there has not been an apparent reduce multiplication foe tighten by to span with Portland. The Timbers have managed to understanding with a matchups well, violence a San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 during home in 2016 and ousting a Seattle Sounders with a wild 3-1 win on a road in 2015.

But a stream complement used to establish fourth turn matchups raises questions about equitability.

MLS teams are approaching to kick their reduce multiplication opponents in a fourth round, and that’s a vital advantage in a contest where a leader will acquire a desired berth to a CONCACAF Champions League.

“I’m not certain because a matchups need to be regional,” Timbers manager Caleb Porter said. “I know because they’ve finished it, though we cruise in terms of environment a contest up, we don’t cruise it’s a right approach to set it adult if we wish it to be equal… When we enter a tournament, we wish it to be as satisfactory as possible. we cruise that’s a key.”

There is now no resource in place to safeguard that MLS teams are not interconnected with MLS opponents in a fourth turn of a U.S. Open Cup in uninterrupted years, according to U.S. Soccer Director of Communications Neil Buethe.

While Buethe pronounced that U.S. Soccer does not wish a same teams confronting any other in a same turn of a contest year after year, he also pronounced that a series of factors contingency be taken into care when last matchups. The contest structure mandates that third turn winners contingency play MLS opponents in a fourth turn and, in last matchups, U.S. Soccer contingency cruise a singular time between rounds for teams to ready to possibly horde a diversion or travel, as good as a additional time, appetite and responsibility incurred by visiting teams if they have to transport longer distances for a match.

“There is a regard about a same teams confronting any other during a same theatre of a contest year over year,” wrote Buethe in an email to a Oregonian/OregonLive. “This contingency be balanced, however, opposite a series of other facilities relating to a competition.”

According to Buethe, U.S. Soccer and a U.S. Open Cup Committee, that is comprised of member from any veteran league, a pledge turn and a actor representative, will continue to examination a pull routine annually in an try to urge a tournament.

But for now, a Timbers have no choice though to rigging adult for another fourth turn U.S. Open Cup conflict opposite an MLS opponent. 

— Jamie Goldberg | jgoldberg@oregonian.com

503-853-3761 | @jamiebgoldberg

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