by Devon Rowcliffe

The US Open Cup is perhaps the most compelling sport competition in the United States. An opportunity for amateur clubs to pit their skills against the best professional sides in competitive play – the only such tournament in the “big five” American team sports – is what makes it truly special. A pub team that plays in mismatched kits down at your local park on Sundays could, in theory, end up facing the Major League Soccer champions.

In one of the country’s key soccer regions, Washington and Oregon, despairingly few amateur clubs participate in the Open Cup. Why is this? Will recent changes to US Open Cup qualification entice more of these amateur Cascadian clubs to join?