MLS had a rough night last night. The league’s teams faced off against America’s lower divisions in the third-round of the U.S. Open Cup. Not one, not two but seven clubs lost to lower division and amateur sides. A couple more barely held onto leads.
The New England Revolution took a 3-0 lead in extra time against the third-tier Harrisburg City Islanders, then blew the lead and lost on penalties. The LA Galaxy, without Beckham, Keane or Donovan, lost 2-1 to the second-tier Carolina RailHawks. The Chicago Fire lost 3-2 to the fourth-tier (amateur level) Michigan Bucks. The Columbus Crew lost to the third-tier Dayton Dutch Lions. FC Dallas lost 2-0 to the third-tier Charlotte Eagles. Real Salt Lake got thumped 3-1 by second-tier Minnesota Stars FC. The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers will try not to add to the casualty list tonight.
MLS clubs simply didn’t care. Why invest in a cup competition when you can conserve strength for a regular season, with parity and more than half the teams making the playoffs, that is virtually meaningless?
It’s an indictment of the league’s depth more than overall quality. The impact with mainstream sports fans should be minimal, as it would require fans knowing the U.S. Open Cup took place.
[Photo via Presswire]