Monday, August 21, 2006

Welcome to the US Soccer Carnival, Part IV

Welcome, welcome, welcome to the carnival of Carnivals.

Everyone around these parts has their costumes on and is getting ready for the samba music to begin. Today’s songs all dance around the cord of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. This oldest soccer tournament in the US often goes unnoticed as it shakes is groove thing past the reviewing stands of American soccer fans, but we here in the US soccer blogosphere are looking to change that.

So how can we get more peepers on the Open Cup dance?

Kinney over at DCenters thinks information is key. Let the people know how the dance goes and who the dancers are by use of the internet and a free program of sorts.

Mike the Soccer Dad at On the Pitch wants the USL to step up and promote the event harder since they have the most teams in it. Also, he likes the idea of building the early rounds around the possibility of 'David vs Goliath' upsets.

Brian from DC Sun Devil does the two-step thanks to two articles on the subject. He looks at the Open Cup specifically and thinks better scheduling, a set location for the final and a CONCACAF Champions Cup spot would help make this into something. He also looks at broader picture and how the US Open Cup could fit into a US Super Cup.

Over at The Offside, Bob not only comes up with a cure for the Open Cup, he also cures cancer. His secrete, include European teams in the tournament.

Zathras at The Fool's Prerogative provides what some might call "the sobering dose of reality" all drunken dance fests need as he argues that the Open Cup will continue to be an obscure event till soccer really takes off in the US.

Finally, I put my grey matter to this issue and decide the secret is in the money or something like that.

I would also like to include the Soccer Orb in this carnival, even through The Guy did not think enough of his post to include it. He points to sponsorship as a key to improvement.

I would also like to point your attention to three articles by Daniel Feuerstein, which, even through they were not written as part of this carnival, are must reads. (1, 2, 3)

By the way, Wednesday is the Quarterfinals for this year's Open Cup. DC will host New York, the Fire welcome New England to town, Colorado crosses the mountains on their way to play LA and Dallas ventures to Houston for another installment of the Texas smack down.

Thanks for all those who took part. If you are interested in hosting the fifth carnival of US Soccer, drop me a email at Please include your idea and the date you would like to post it live.

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Blogger twohundredpercent said...

Well, I've learnt something anyway. I'll refrain from offering to host the next one (still being not entirely certain of what it entails, as this stage), but I'll keep looking to see if it's a subject that I can contribute to next time!

2:13 PM  
Blogger Pitch to Pub said...

I like the idea of having the final at the same venue every year. You look at how Omaha has embraced the college world series, or Williamsport with the Little League WS and how well those events do now that ESPN has made a commitment to cover it, and you quickly see how some sense of familiarity is important to viewers.

I think one great challenge the cup faces in efforts to win over casual American sports fans (not fanatic footie fans like us) is that Americans are not used to a tournament taking several weeks to unfold. The NCAA basketball tournament occupies 1 month, as do playoffs for the major sports in the US.

The concept of a tournament imbedded within a season, that is not related to that season is foreign to Americans.

A final idea I haven't seen anyone touch on, but Brian from DC Sun Devil gets close to in his venue talk, is trying to utilize the online/vegas sports book gaming industry's marketing power to push this tournament. Whether you like it or not, if American's are betting on it, people will watch it. By putting the event in Vegas, you will naturally get sportsbooks to cover it. Get them to cover it, and people will bet on it (even people who don't know much about soccer), get people betting and viewership will go up.

Thanks for hosting Mike!!!

5:20 PM  

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