We asked coach Sigi Schmid today what he thought of the Sounders' possible U.S. Open Cup opener three time zones away in Tampa, plopped between MLS road matches in Los Angeles.
The only place we could have played is Miami that’s further away, unless Puerto Rico is considered part of the Open Cup. Obviously for us it presents a unique problem. I know Bruce Arena mentioned their problem, but our problem’s worse. We have to go – if the NASL Tampa team wins – we go from LA to Tampa and back to LA. So we have to go across the country and play three games, and then we have a reserve game as well at the end of that – so we have four games in a grand total of seven days, and we’ll have to go cross country to get it done. It’s definitely not optimal. Last year I got in trouble saying things about the Open Cup, so I guess I can’t say too much about it to not get in trouble. But I’m never quite sure if they re-draw it every round, if it’s done on a regional basis: Sometimes you think it’s regional when you see that D.C.’s going to play Richmond, that Chivas drives 20 miles down the road and played the LA Blues, and the other time you see LA playing Carolina and we’re playing Tampa, so it doesn’t look very regional at all. Again: Lay it out there, let everybody see it, but a bracket out there right from the beginning, and then there’s no ifs, ands or buts and no questions.