U.S. Open Cup: The Skinny Is Fat

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup resumes with the Second Round today (scoreboard), but that's not the good news - especially given that seeing these games anywhere "normal" isn't an option (the "abnormal" avenues are, however, improving).

The heartening thing comes with evidence that various local media across the country have taken the time to churn out reports on their local teams. These aren't blow-out/fold-out special sections or anything - typically, they're back-page "blurbicles" (not quite articles, not quite blurbs) - but the existing coverage at least beats the echoing silence of yesteryear. No less significantly, the reporters writing these stories appear to have some sense of what they're writing about - e.g. they're hep to the teams involved (the report below* for the Richmond Kickers v. Cleveland City Stars is particularly solid in that regard) and they know that big, potentially more lucrative games (HA!) against Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs loom in the next round. Actually, the way the majority of these articles talk up those potential ties speaks to a growing cache for this country's first division.

But the nicest thing about all this is the fact I found every article linked to below through Our Sports Central - e.g. this stuff is easy to find if you know where to look. That's right: even the genuinely lazy can now keep up with this stuff, so let's have no more excuses, people.

So, without further ado, enjoy the partial primer for the U.S. Open Cup Second Round:

The U.S. Open Cup official site did fairly well with their all-in-one preview of tonight's action.

Regional Coverage (starting locally)
Seattle Sounders v. Portland Timbers
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The Oregonian
On a personal note, I'm pissed this one's not in Portland. I finally have the time and money to go tonight and they're in Seattle (and, yeah, I know about this Saturday's game...can't make it...I've got critters). Dang it. Judging by the USL Division 1 standings and the one-eye-on-'em attention I've paid to the Timbers this year, this ought to be a decent game. And go Timbers.

Rochester Raging Rhinos v. Western Mass Pioneers
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Charleston Battery v. El Paso Patriots
Charleston Post and Courier

Richmond Kickers v. Cleveland City Stars
Richmond Times-Dispatch (*I liked this one)
Cleveland Plain Dealer (One of my favorite paper names)

Ocean City Barons v. Harrisburg City Islanders
The Harrisburg(?) Patriot-News

Well, that's it for the Our Sports Central stuff - and I still count that a decent haul (must be feeling a little glass half-full today). Now, for shits and giggles, let's see what I can find on the games not found on that site...and I'm not going to cheat by searching blogs...at least not yet.

Carolina Railhawks v. Bavarian SC (viva los amateurs!)
Oh well. I went back to Our Sports for this one...feels like cheating somehow. Still, a Chicago paper (presumably; it looks at this from the Chicago Fire's perspective), The Daily Herald, at least mentions this game since the winner will play the Chicago Fire in the third round....lucky bastards. (OK, yeah, the actual article is about the U.S. Men's problems with finishing.)

Atlanta Silverbacks v. Charlotte Eagles
Mmm...I'm not going to say I didn't find anything (see?), but it all feels a little outdated.

Minnesota Thunder v. California Victory
Dang it! Glass is draining...I will not rely entirely on Our Sports...

I'd like to think it's getting better anyway. In any case, hope anyone who lives near any of the above teams has the time and money to get to a game. I've seen my share of Open Cup games and they're fun little things.

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