Colorado Rovers: 2014 USSSA Open Cup tournament champions
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) has announced the details for its qualifying tournament for the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
Just like last year, the Overland Park Soccer Complex in Kansas will host the tournament. Opening round games will take place on Friday, March 13 with the championship game played on Sunday, March 15.
“[The Overland Park Complex] was chosen to host again because it’s such a good facility,” said tournament director Craig Scriven. The location also worked well last year with the teams entering from Colorado, Missouri and the home state of Kansas.
For the third year in a row, the champion will receive the USSSA’s lone entry for the US Open Cup. In 2014, the Colorado Rovers won the tournament for the second straight year in a defense-heavy competition that saw a shutout in all 15 matches. The Rovers returned to the US Open Cup, but fell just short of winning the club’s match. In 2013, they were eliminated in the Preliminary Round by the NPSL’s Georgia Revolution in a penalty kick shootout, and last year, the Rovers lost to the USASA’s Red Force (Florida) on an 80th minute game-winner by David Olguin.
The United States Soccer Federation has yet to announce the format for the 102nd edition of the Open Cup, so it is unknown when the USSSA representative will begin play. It could be a play-in round or they could begin in the opening round of the tournament proper. The format is traditionally released in the Spring.
Scriven said he expects, “about eight teams,” including the defending champion Rovers in this year’s bracket. That would match last year’s eight-team field. Scriven said the tournament format should be the same as well: a group stage with games on Friday and Saturday followed by the semifinals and the final on Sunday.
“While three-peating would be very exciting and a big accomplishment, it will be very tough to do,” said Erick French, head coach of the Rovers. “The field of teams gets more diverse, more skilled and more determined every year.”
The qualifying tournament is open to any men’s team that plays in a USSSA sanctioned league and is a registered member of the USSSA. To register or for more information on the tournament, visit the USSSA website here. The deadline to register is March 1, 2015.