U.S. Soccer has made a significant change to the participation list ahead of the 2016 U.S. Open Cup.
A policy change has been made by U.S. Soccer that will prevent all MLS-owned USL teams from participating in next year’s tournament. The ban is set to keep eight teams, including expansion clubs, Orlando City B, Bethlehem Steel and Swope Park Rangers, out of the country’s biggest cup tournament.
“Any Outdoor Professional League Team that is majority owned by a higher-level Outdoor Professional League Team shall be ineligible to participate in the Open Cup,” the recent amendment reads. “The Open Cup Committee shall review and determine team eligibility annually pursuant to this provision and report its decisions to the National Board of Directors.”
The amendment comes on the heels of some controversy regarding roster usage of teams with direct USL Pro affiliates. Several teams, most prominently New York Red Bulls II, opted to field weakened rosters so as to not cup tie fringe players ahead of a potential U.S. Open Cup run by the team’s parent club.
The U.S. Open Cup is nearing the start of its third qualifying round, which will kick off on Nov. 14.
What do you think of the new rule? Think its fair? How would you handle MLS-owned USL clubs?
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