Update: Dallas beat Real Salt Lake, 2-0, tonight in Frisco, Texas. That means if the Sounders beat LA tomorrow, they will host Dallas in the U.S. Open semifinal Aug. 30 at Starfire. If the Galaxy wins, they will visit Dallas for the right to go on to the cup final.
Pregame:The Sounders and LA Galaxy will meet in a quarterfinal match of the U.S. Open Cup at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Starfire.
However, the winner's semifinal opponent will be determined tonight as Real Salt Lake visits FC Dallas.
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The Sounders are probably rooting for Dallas tonight, because while Dallas would travel to Seattle for that semifinal match, the Sounders would have to travel to Salt Lake if those are the clubs that advance.
That is due to a sealed bidding process that has been controversial since at least 2009 when the Sounders were surprised to have to travel to Washington, D.C. for the title game, and general manager Adrian Hanauer pushed for a more transparent process.
This week, I spoke to Hanauer again on the topic:
Q: Has the bidding process changed since 2009?AH: It’s the same sort of blind bidding process. Unless something has changed internally in u.S. Soccer that I’m not aware of.
Q: Were you surprised that Real Salt Lake apparently out-bid you? AH: We were a little bit surprised. I think on the positive side, no matter what coaches say once they’re eliminated, how they don’t care about the Open Cup, before they’re eliminated they do care. And their organizations are taking it seriously enough to make a significant bid, because I know we made a significant bid. So I’m assuming Real Salt Lake made an even more significant bid. Again, I think slowly but surely and with a little more work we can turn the tournament into an even more meaningful tournament.
Q: If you advance, when must you bid to host the final? AH: I’m sure some of the business guys are working through the numbers on what we might bid. But we’ve got a tough game on Wednesday against L.A. and we if can somehow get through that, then we’ll worry about bidding for finals.
Hanauer also said that if the club advances, its bid to host the final would be based on the game being played at CenturyLink Field.