Always a good read, the 2019 U.S. Open Cup handbook has been published. It doesn’t have the controversy associated with the orphaned NASL teams, but there is some interesting stuff in there. Not the least of which is the suspended list. Anyone who got a red card in their last game of the tournament in a particular year has those additional game suspensions carried over.

Of course, many of these players don’t play in the tournament going forward for a variety of reasons (moving overseas, retirement), which means you end up with players who have suspensions continuing in perpetuity. Well, not quite that long, but such suspensions can last between 10 and 20 (!) years, depending on how the suspensions were procured. If it was through the course of the game, the suspensions last ten years; if through the disciplinary committee, you’ll have to wait twenty years to see them come off the books. Which of course is basically a (sports) life sentence.

Given the life of a professional soccer player is about 12 years (at best), I think the USOC committee could probably change the rule to cut that down to about 5 or 7 years. Seems like a waste of paper (or bandwidth) to have four pages of suspensions.

As always, the award for most amusing ongoing suspension goes to Cuauhtemoc Blanco, the former Chicago Fire star who was suspended for multiple games back in 2008 for various shenanigans.

U.S. Soccer’s Most Wanted
U.S. Soccer’s Most Wanted

Aside from that, the USOC has cleaned up the entry requirements, to prevent issues that previously caused issues with the orphaned NASL teams trying the enter the tournament.

Additionally, there are plans in place to broadcast all USOC games on a more accessible and reliable platform. Everything I’ve heard suggests it will be ESPN+, with the Federation assuming those costs. I assume they will once again bid out the last couple of rounds (including the final) to get those on actual television. News on that should be out soon.

Give it a read.

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