We’re back this week with another panel discussion with our staff. Today we’re gearing up for the US Open Cup match tonight for FC Dallas as they are getting set to host the Colorado Rapids. We felt that it was a good time to ask the question, is the USOC important to you?
There are plenty of ways to go about looking at the importance of the tournament. From winning the trophy and earning that automatic Champions League berth to what the tournament does to the club’s schedule should they go all the way.
Important. Should it be the number one goal? No. Should we moan if we crash out? No. But FC Dallas is in need of a championship, something to keep positive momentum in the franchise’s quest to ascend to MLS supremacy, and if we can’t get the MLS Cup, then an Open Cup would be a nice step in that direction. It’s been too long since FC Dallas has hoisted some hardware, so let’s do it.
Not that important.
It’s better to win the Open Cup than nothing, but I put the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield, and CONCACAF Champions League as much higher priorities. Do you realize that Houston has never won the Open Cup? Do we make fun of them because they don’t have an Open Cup trophy? No, the obvious rebuttal is that FC Dallas has never won an MLS Cup. Are Seattle Sounders fans satisfied that they won three Open Cups in a row from 2009-2011? No, they demand an MLS Cup.
I mean, the winner of the Open Cup does get a CONCACAF Champions League slot, so it’s a little important. But that’s only because I want to win the CCL.
I still like going to Open Cup games, but they’re really for the hardcore fans. We can tell from the lineups that most MLS teams throw out in the Open Cup that it’s used as a chance for the bottom half of MLS rosters to get some playing time. Until we reach the semifinals, it doesn’t bother me too much if we win or lose. It’s a success if our young guys get playing time and no key players get injured.
My attitude has always been to take every competition seriously so logically it’s the same with the U.S. Open Cup. The name of FCD’s former owner, the only trophy that the club has ever won in its history, and the opportunity to compete for a title in itself is enough reason to say that it’s important for Dallas, which I’m sure is the same way that Papi and the staff all feel about it.
It’s also a good chance to try out some of the depth players and youngsters to see what they can do, allowing them to gain experience and playing time that they otherwise probably couldn’t get during the season. The opportunity to play mixed lineups and be involved in the nature of cup soccer is always fun and as always, I’m definitely viewing the U.S. Open Cup as an important competition that FCD is taking part in and should be looking to compete for.
It’s hardware, y’all. For a team starved of any sort of titles and championships since the Dallas Burn won the U.S. Open Cup in 1997 with Mark Dodd as the starting goalkeeper, any sort of chance to win a cup should be taken seriously. This club also likes to focus on Lamar Hunt and his legacy on this organization. You cannot say that then turn around and not take the competition named after him seriously.
I want to see FC Dallas win it because they need to win something. As a die-hard, it means a good amount to me as of right now. If they go on a run of two MLS Cups and Supporters Shields in four years, maybe we can reevaluate their Open Cup priorities at that time.
Our panel has answered, but what is your response? Do you care about this year’s tournament? Do you want FC Dallas to push for the Cup? Or would you be fine if they crashed out early so they can focus more on the regular season?