The Kansas City Athletics will no longer be representing USASA Region II in the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The Athletics clinched their second straight spot in the US Open Cup on April 21 with a 1-0 win over the Dearborn Stars, however, that celebration was short lived as the Stars filed a protest prior to the match. Their complaint was that the field the game was played on at Olathe North High School in Olathe, Kan. was too narrow. USASA National Cup rules call for fields to be a minimum of 65 yards wide, and according to the Stars it was “about 62 yards” based on a pre-game walk-off by multiple game officials.
According to Athletics general manager Kyle Perkins, no measuring device was used to confirm the size of the field, but Region II ruled in favor of Dearborn and ordered a replay of the match rather than disqualifying Kansas City. On Wednesday, April 24, Region II cup commissioner Debra Trapikas announced to the teams that a replay would take place in Chicago on Sunday with the winner qualifying for the Open Cup.
Perkins attempted to appeal the decision but with Sunday’s qualifying deadline looming, Trapikas evoked Rule 410, which gives the cup commissioner the power to make final decisions when time is limited.
Perkins decided that he would be unable to gather a full squad to travel to Chicago on a few days’ notice, so he decided to withdraw his team from the competition, and thus forfeit the game. The Athletics voiced their frustration with the situation through a Kansas City-based blog “Down The Byline.”
As a result, the Dearborn Stars will represent Region II at the 2013 Open Cup. The Stars are the first USASA-based Michigan team since 2010 to qualify, and are just the third (2010 – Detroit United; 2001 – Chaldean Arsenal) to make the cut in the Modern Professional Era (1995-present). They will begin play in the First Round which is scheduled to kick off May 14.