They make it hard, don't they? Some of us want to support the US Open Cup - the tournament has history, provides the only tangible evidence that the US soccer "pyramid" is actually interconnected, and gives the sport here a knockout competition in-line with what we see in almost every other serious soccer nation. But when the latter rounds, the most serious rounds after MLS clubs treat the early stages as a training exercise, are not broadcast or are placed in an inaccessible time slot, it's easier to just give up and call the thing a lost cause.
The US Open Cup Final is set: the Seattle Sounders will take on the Columbus Crew at Qwest Field in Seattle. Simply based on their track record, one would expect Sounders fans to show up in strong numbers, giving the Final an atmosphere missing from every tournament game that preceded it. That's a good thing. Unfortunately, if you live on the East Coast, you're going to need a very late night to actually enjoy it.
Because the game is on a weeknight on the West Coast, kickoff is set for 11 PM ET on October 5th. I can't imagine too many neutrals staying up.
Which is simply sad, if not downright ridiculous. I realize that whining about the state of the US Open Cup long ago reached "that's enough" status, and that a good portion of MLS fans would pass on a Final not involving our team even if it wasn't set to end in the wee hours; but surely you'll forgive me for expressing my disappointed that what is already the most marginalized of soccer tournaments is now even more so.
Like anything else American soccer, perhaps it will just take time with a well-run top-flight in existence for the Open Cup to climb the ladder of importance. That's if it doesn't go away completely, or become somehow further marginalized if US Soccer allows MLS to pull their teams out of the competition.