The US Open Cup is a very under developed tournament in the US. It is time for that to change.
It could be used to better promote the full structure of US professional soccer in the USA.
Q-How many US 13 year old kids know how they might become a pro soccer player. Do they understand the path to becoming a professional player? Do they think there are opportunities for them? How many US 13 year old kids know how to become a pro baseball player?
It could be used to help promote lower devision local D2, D3 and PDL soccer teams.
Q-Is it easier to sell tickets for the Dayton Dutch lions vs the Charlotte Eagles game or the Dayton Dutch Lions vs the Chicago Fire game?
The MLS will do less and less to develop US based players as the league gains TV fans and attendance in the future. The MLS will become more of the big money/entertainment league for the US. It will have more and more foreign players and coaches.
We need to develop the D2,D3, and PDL leagues to have a better player development program in the US. Collage teams have more and more school and NCAA restrictions placed on them as far as student time involvement with the school sponsored sports team. We can't rely on the US collage system to develop the players that will beat Brazil someday.
16 players and 1 coach moved from D2 up into the MLS this past season. Many PDL players move up into MLS as their collage days come to and end. These are real leagues with real infrastructure in place.
The 2012 US Open Cup demonstrates that D2, D3, and PDL teams all play good soccer now. The lower levels will become stronger once again once the USSF Development Academy players get older and continue on with their professional soccer careers. The play at the lower levels has developed quickly in the last few years and this whole idea needs better recognition now. The US Open Cup, if marketed correctly could be just the vehicle to push that idea forward.
Still not many people are following this tournament in the USA. The D2 (NASL), and D3 (USL Pro) teams have the most to gain and it is a highlight of the year for most local fans of these leagues. US Soccer does not seem to promote it at all and MLS does little also.
Question we should be asking more around the US Soccer landscape:
Do you support the US Open Cup tournament in your area?
Did anyone promote the US Open Cup games in your area that you are aware of?