MLS pulls teams out of Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
The shock decision will free up a couple of midweek dates in 2024.
Major League Soccer revealed some shocking news on Friday afternoon. The league that at its recent Board of Governors meeting its clubs voted to have MLS NEXT Pro teams represent the organization in the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. MLS will coordinate with U.S. Soccer regarding participation in the tournament.
Here is the boilerplate statement from MLS in their press release:
This decision will provide emerging professional players with additional opportunities for meaningful competition. The move also benefits the MLS regular season by reducing schedule congestion, freeing up to six-midweek match dates.
The inclusion of MLS NEXT Pro clubs in the Open Cup follows the involvement of dozens of MLS NEXT Pro players in the 2023 tournament, where they were called up to MLS first teams.
MLS remains committed to working with U.S. Soccer to evolve and elevate the Open Cup for everyone involved in the years ahead.
What does this all really mean?
I mean, geez. I guess you could easily point to Apple as being part of this decision. None of the games are broadcasted on the league’s steaming platform, therefore the two sides earn no new revenue from that competition. MLS (and Apple) want the eyeballs on the products they produce together, like the regular season, Leagues Cup, and playoffs. The USOC doesn’t provide anything there.