Thursday, August 3, 2017

Commentary: U.S. Open Cup Cooks Up an Underdog Story

Click here to view my commentary on underdog stories and the U.S. Open Cup.

The Seattle Sounders celebrate winning the 2010 U.S. Open Cup.

Below is a transcript of my commentary on underdog stories and the U.S. Open Cup. Click here to view the video.

Underdog stories are among the most compelling in sports. Soccer, requiring just a field and a ball, is particularly prone to breeding these stories. It's an egalitarian game, and this is borne out in domestic cups several nations sponsor each year. Each nation will hold a cup where the largest and smallest clubs will compete for one piece of hardware. In France last year, 7,000 teams competed for the Coupe de France.

There is one of these competitions in the United States as well, called the U.S. Open Cup. Earlier this year a team called Christos FC made headlines when, despite being sponsored by a liquor store and practicing just once a week, they took on the mighty D.C. United, going up 1-0 in the first half. Christos FC ultimately lost 4-1, but there is no shortage of underdog stories this year.

On Aug. 2, Miami FC and Cincinnati FC, two teams in the second tier of U.S. soccer, will play in the quarterfinals of the Open Cup. The winner will take on New York Red Bulls on Aug. 9 in the semifinals. Already, the competition is shaping up for another iteration of a lovely David and Goliath story.

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