After filing a protest against Los Angeles FC over the number of international players used in their quarterfinal loss, Portland Timbers have withdrawn their protest. US Soccer released the following statement on Friday night:
“After a thorough review of the Portland Timbers’ official protest, it has been determined that the inclusion of additional foreign players was a result of a good faith misunderstanding among U.S. Soccer, Major League Soccer and Los Angeles Football Club. Each organization involved has agreed to determine an improved process to ensure this will not happen again. In recognition of this fact, the Timbers have gracefully withdrawn their protest.”
The misunderstanding seemed to be in regards to Mark-Anthony Kaye, a Canadian player on LAFC. Since MLS has teams in both the US and Canada, Kaye is considered a domestic player in league play. However, in US Open Cup play, he would usually be considered an international player. Sources have told TheCup.us that LAFC contacted the federation to confirm that Kaye was eligible. He was reportedly approved.
Whether LAFC believed they had clearance to use Kaye as a domestic player, or simply forgot that the rules were different in the USOC, it seems all has been resolved now. The club released this statement:
“We are pleased the situation has been resolved,” LAFC Vice President of Soccer Operations & General Manager John Thorrington said. “From the start, we proactively did our due diligence with U.S. Soccer to ensure our roster was compliant with U.S. Open Cup guidelines. We have stayed within those guidelines throughout the tournament and will continue to do so moving forward. We are excited to turn our attention to taking on the Houston Dynamo in the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals.”
LAFC will move on to face Houston Dynamo in the semifinals. The host will be determined by a draw that will happen in the next few days.