KC Athletics withdraw from 2013 US Open Cup after Dearborn Stars’ protest upheld

Posted by | April 28, 2013

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.


  • MTL says:

    Sad to see another game go down in protest. But they know the rules and chose to play at a field that did not meet said rules.

  • Dearborn Stars says:

    Dearborn Stars Soccer Club Press Release:

    — Fans of the great sport of soccer. Never have we had more of a sickening feeling in our guts, then we have had over the past week. It should never have come to this, but it unfortunately has. We as a club of over 30 years are extremely disappointed that a game between two very competitive teams could not have been settled on a level playing field, respectful of this enormous and historical US soccer competition.

    To say in any way, shape or form, that what we walked into in Kansas City on April 21 was comprehendible, would be a complete twist of the truth. For accomplished players, to be playing on that field, on that day was absolutely insulting. Upon arriving to the field, it was apparent to all involved including players, referees and state commissioner that there was a major problem with field dimensions. We were immediately given the option of turning around, going back home and forcing Kansas City to travel to Dearborn to play the game. This after spending in the thousands of dollars travel expenses. We would never agree to play that type of match on that type of pitch. We were advised at that point by the commissioner that we had the option to stay and play under a full protest PRIOR to the game. We followed every complete step, filed an immediate formal protest and all involved were well aware of the circumstances PRIOR to the game. There is transparent paperwork to verify all of this. To suggest that Kansas City did not know about this would be a slap in the face to all involved.

    In terms of changing the game to a Sunday, both teams had agreed in advance. Our club would have had the same full roster for a Saturday game. If Kansas City had said no, then no problem we show up as normal on Saturday. Our club will always stand on principal. There are rules in place for a reason, and those rules are not meant to be broken to your advantage.

    It was a very sad ending to the weekend, but never soured our view on Kansas City. Leading up to the game, we had a great time and were treated great. The airport, hotel and restaurants were phenomenal. To the fans of Sporting KC that we mingled with in the hotel, it was an absolute blast. In the spirit of competition, we hope to play Kansas City again in the future and hope all the passionate fans that have voiced their opinion come out to the game.–

  • KC Fan says:

    KC did not knowingly play a game on a field that was not regulation size. KC Athletics were under the impression the field was of regulation size. It should also be made clear the per the USASA rules the Protest by Dearborn should have never been upheld, as the protest was not filed in the correct manner.

    If you read the article link you will see why.

    Needless to say they both went out to play on a field 3 yards less the minimum, which all fans of soccer know should not and was not the difference in the match.

  • El Conductor says:

    If the field was too narrow (which both sides seem to agree) then either team COULD protest, but obviously, only the loser is going to. Was 3 yards the difference in the match? If it’s against the rules, yes.

  • JustAFan says:

    Sounds to me that KC tried to pull a fast one and got called out on it.Yes Dearborn should have just left without playing in my opinion.Reading on KC’s past history they’ve always had a hard time fielding players, therefore not enough subs, therefore keep the field small so that they can conserve energy.Its really really sad, because from the outside it looks like both teams have good players.

  • KC Fan says:

    El Conductor, the point being made is the protest should have been over turned because it wasnt filed correctly per the same rules that include minimum field size, so why follow one rule and ignore another?

  • Doug says:

    I’d feel differently about this if anybody actually knew that the field was too short, but there was never a reliable measurement. Expecting an amateur team to travel with 3 days notice when it is not actually known how wide the field was is bush-league.

    “There are rules in place for a reason, and those rules are not meant to be broken to your advantage.”

    Which is exactly what Dearborn did by not following the rules for handling the protest to the letter. And the suggestion that they played on this field in order for the Athletics to gain an advantage is classless. Most of my complaint is with the way the Region handled this, but statements like this eliminate any sympathy I have for Dearborn.

  • IL Kicks says:

    The LEAST one of the “officials” (from the Cup and from both clubs) could have done was pull out a measuring tape and take an official measurement. In any event–like USA/Costa Rica WCQ match–if both teams knew of the field condition and still wanted to play, then the match is official. The losing team in that contest also protested. I this case, both clubs were affected by the narrow pitch. Hopefully, Cup officials will be more proactive and scout pitches in the future to prevent this type of amatuerish result.

  • IL Kicks says:

    Doug, I agree with your statements. With the Region making the decision to essentially NOT make a decision and order a replay, making both clubs travel on three days notice, is frustrating for US Open Cup fans like myself. The Commissioner should have made a definative decision and then investigate ways to prevent this type of issue in th future.

  • El Conductor says:

    IL Kicks, you’re being impractical. The step-off measurement is all that’s required. Since KC didn’t dispute the field size the step-off measurement was upheld.

    KC Fan, They did follow procedure. They had 3 days to file, not 72 hours. By presenting paperwork in the 74th hour, they were ruled to have met the 3 day requirement (keep in mind, the rule doesn’t speak in terms of hours – as you’d like, it speaks in term of days).

  • KC Fan says:

    El Conductor, read the Article their first protest was to dispute the field siz. With no official measurement how can anyone be certain of field size, so I am not sure where your getting the facts from.

    I also would like to know when 74 hours becomes 3 day, instead of 3 days and 2 hours, and hey if its just 2 hours no big deal right, but 3 yards that is a big deal.

    Even if we dismiss the first two protest then what about the rule stating a captian must present the protest to the ref with the opposing teams captain present. That did not happen, according to KC, meaning the protest was invalid. Its the same reason Costa Rica’s protest was over ruled.

    Whats your take on that?


  • Mathew says:

    I never knew that 3 days had 74 hours in it…

    And can someone explain to me what would’ve happened if Dearborn won the original game? Would they have protested? Would KC have been allowed to protest?

    It seems that it was in Dearborn’s advantage to play the original game. If they win they advance, if they lose, they get a replay. KC won and were forced to replay game, however if they had lost, I doubt the game would be replayed.

  • Doug says:

    “Sounds to me that KC tried to pull a fast one and got called out on it.”

    Why in the world would you think that? The only reason the game was played on this field, which the Athletics had not used before but had been assured would be adequate, is because they were accommodating Dearborn’s request to reschedule the game to make sure that Dearborn would not have to forfeit. If KC had not been accommodating to Dearborn, this is a non-issue because it would have been played on a field that had been used before.

    “Since KC didn’t dispute the field size the step-off measurement was upheld.”

    According to the Athletic’s general manager, they did dispute the use of the step-off measurement. Dearborn disputed the size and in effect KC said if you dispute the size, then you have the burden of showing that the size was a problem. Again, the problem is that Dearborn’s protest was inadequate and should not have been upheld.

  • El Conductor says:

    Requiring the USASA to verify the exact time the game ended, is ridiculous and unnecessary. The rules state the protest time limit IN TERMS OF DAYS. So the USASA looked at the day the game happened, then looked at the day the protest paperwork was received. It was received on the third day and thus fulfilled the “3 day” requirement.

  • Mathew says:

    El Conductor,
    It just seems odd that when it comes to three feet of field, the letter of the law is followed exactly. However, when it comes to two hours, being specific and precise is not important anymore.

    In my view it is quite simple to verify the exact time a game ends. Doesn’t the referee check his watch when the game starts, at half-time, and to end the game?

    In addition, I’d love to hear your thoughts on why they even played the game. It seems like it was a lose lose for KC. Either they win and have to participate in a replay, who if they lost I suspect they could not have protested the match.

  • SAM says:

    Stars to advance to the next round , end of story. LOL.

  • John says:

    Sounds like Dearborn lost to a team better than them and whined. Ah well, they’ll get spanked in the next round and protest they didn’t have enough money to pay for better players..

  • Jin says:

    How disappointing. I was looking forward to seeing KC Athletics play in the Open Cup again this year and to think it’s because of whiny losers and poor USASA management. Now I only have Sporting Kansas City to cheer for.

  • localreferee says:

    I have refereed on that field. Look at a google satellite image of the field. The field is a dual purpose field marked primarily for high school pointy football which mandates white lines so the soccer markings are in black. The optional encroachment marks are clearly visible along the goal line. Seeing as the official width of the penalty area is supposed to be 44 yards and the encroachment marks are supposed to be 11 yards from the corners therefore 44 + 11 + 11 = 66 yards. Without an official measuring device you can tell that the field is less than 65 yards just by looking at it, and yes, this is even apparent from the satellite image and easily could have been known BEFORE the match was played.

  • Jim F says:

    It is each team’s responsiblility to do all they can to win. Dearborn saw a way to protest and did, and did ti before the match. Of course they would still play if given the chance because you never know how a protest will turn up. KC could have used a different field, they could have come to Chicago for the replay. If you are made at the protest, you’re only beef is with USASA officials. It may be only 3 yards but it’s even more than that compairede with FIFA Recomendations. No its not a major rule violiation, and no I don’t think KC did it on purpose, but you can bet they won’t do it again.

  • W says:

    In terms of changing the game to a Sunday, both teams had agreed in advance. Our club would have had the same full roster for a Saturday game. If Kansas City had said no, then no problem we show up as normal on Saturday.

    Then why even ask to change the date? That seems pretty silly.

    We would never agree to play that type of match on that type of pitch.

    You mean one that is supposedly a few yards short that you didnt bother to measure with a range finding laser or other certified device? Yeah, that sounds like a major miscarriage of the rules of the game.

  • JustAFan says:

    WOW KC, WOW. Nice try, like I said before tried to pull a fast one with a bunch of beer league players on a small field so they don’t get tired and got busted.

    “At The Star’s request, officials at Olathe North measured the school’s turf field and determined it was actually 174 feet, 4 inches — or a shade over 58 yards wide, which is nearly 7 yards below the mandated minimum.

    “Of course I sympathize with that,” Bruno Trapikas said. “A game should be played on the field, and that’s why the chance for a replay was offered. The national cup committee could have disqualified KC Athletics completely based on the original violation, but they did not do so.”

  • Rules says:

    Here is a link to the rules:


    As it states n all rounds played in the National Cup competitions, the playing rules are the FIFA Laws of the Game in effect at the time of the deadline of entry, with the following exceptions:

    You can see the link for exceptions, protest are not included therefor fall under the rules of the FIFA Laws of the game which require the protesting teams captain to file a complaint with the head official and the opposing teams captain. This was not done.

    Your right just a fan the field was to narrow and gave Dearborn the right to file a protest, but the protest was not filed correctly and should not have been upheld.

    Which is the only reasonable protest the Athletics could come up with, and they do appear to be right.

  • KC Athletics says:

    Since official statements are being made here. I would like to add ours from the Athletics.

    My name is Kyle Perkins and I am the player coach for KC.

    I would first like to say as frustrated as we are with the situation we know and understand Dearborn was well within their right to protest.

    I would also like to state that we had no idea the field was less than the minimum 65 yards wide, and had no intention to play on a field that was no suited to the rules of the game.

    That was my responsibility and I failed my team in not getting the exact dimensions of the field.

    With that said, we do feel a bit aggrieved in how the situation was handled.

    First because it was implied by both the region and by Dearborn that we selected a smaller field as a tactic to win the game.

    That was not the case we have used the Olathe School District Fields before and the fields measured correctly, we were told all fields were regulation size, and unfortunately this field was not.

    Secondly, we did move the game in the spirit of Fairness to Dearborn, despite their claims that the could make it Saturday. Otherwise why ask us to change the date.

    It should also be known that due to that fact that we had to move the date of the it limited our field options to Olathe North.

    In this case our attempt to do the right thing came back to bite us.

    Those are points of frustration and we understand that the fact is the field was not regulation size. That is not up for debate.

    Our appeal has and still remains on how the protest was handled by the region and national cup committee.

    We were subject to the rules, which is the right way things should have been handled.

    Our only issue is that the way the protest was filed was not subject to the very rules we are being punished by.

    We as a club know nothing will change the minds of the Region. We accept the judgement as it is, whether we agree with it or not.

    I would also like to thank the soccer community of Kansas City who fully supported us through the entirety of this process.

    We wish all Region II Representatives the best of luck in the Open Cup.

    And for all our fans we will be back next year!

  • ScoJo77 says:

    JustAFan: “Tried to pull a fast one.”? I don’t think the world is as interesting as you imagine it. KC messed up and Dearborn took advantage. They had their protest in their back pocket and had nothing to lose. If they really, truly believed it was unfair: Don’t play in the first place.

  • OldNews says:

    This is old news, everyone should just move on. Best of luck to all.

  • John says:

    It does not matter if the field is 2yards shorter it would of not made a difference. If u can’t finish from 10 yards away that is your own fault as a player. You should lose the way you win with pride. Not threw a judge or protesting the game. I bet if KC would of lost they would not protested that they had a small field and say let’s play again. And I will bet you if Dearborn would of one they would of never complained or took it to judge to play it again. And I know that they supposedly said something before the game.But come on you lost and that should be it. No pride and sore losers. What about the first team that played should they get a rematch? They did not complain. Win on the field not by a commitee. If Dearborn is happy about winning like that they should be ashamed!

  • Jim F says:

    They did put together a fairly decent promo video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgKF9vrb7TU&feature=share

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