Lesson 101: Phoenix FC vs FC Tucson – What is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup?

Phoenix FC vs FC Tucson

Courtesy of FC Tucson PR/Media czar Jose Bosch, below are some facts about the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

For more details check out what we posted yesterday, here.

What is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup?

–The first tournament was held in 1913-14 and was called the National Cup

–The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament that runs from May 7 to October 1.

–The tournament proper contains 68 teams from eight different leagues across eight rounds.

–Major professional teams from Major League Soccer, the National Premier Soccer League and the North American Soccer League participate, but this tournament isn’t just for large professional teams. Your average adult league club can also qualify for this tournament and have a chance to slay a giant during a Cinderella run.

–Last season’s Cinderella team was Cal FC, who reached the fourth round of the tournament (beating MLS club Portland Timbers along the way) before losing.

–Fellow PDL team Michigan Bucks also had a Cinderella run of their own when they reached the fourth round of the tournament.

The U.S. Open Cup is just like the NCAA Tournament with its single-elimination format. But unlike the NCAA Tournament, the Sunday league player could potentially play alongside a professional soccer club for a chance at a championship. It’s the most democratic sports tournament in the county.

How big is FC Tucson v. Phoenix FC?

Imagine the University of Arizona facing off against Arizona State University in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Winning doesn’t just give you bragging rights: winning ends your rival’s season. Since this will likely be the only time the two clubs meet in 2013, the loser will have to spend over 300 days thinking about that loss until the next opportunity comes.

What is this rivalry like?

Arizona/Arizona State isn’t the only rivalry that can be used to describe FC Tucson v. Phoenix FC. Here are several other soccer (and other sports) rivalries to compare to:

Portland Timbers FC v. Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)

New York Red Bulls v. D.C. United (MLS)

Real Madrid v. FC Barcelona (La Liga, Spain)

Chivas v. Club America (Liga MX, Mexico)

Boston Red Sox v. New York Yankees (MLB)

Duke v. North Carolina (NCAA)

Michigan v. Ohio State (NCAA)

Ok, so we may not be Yankees-Red Sox but we’re in our first year of what we hope is a great rivalry.

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