On Tuesday, the Portland Timbers head onto the pitch at Providence Park against Orlando City U-23 in the fourth round of U.S. Open Cup (7:30pm PT, TICKETS, Webstream). The U.S. Open Cup is a very old American soccer tournament, designed to pit teams from all divisions in the U.S. soccer pyramid against each other. Let's take a look at five numbers to know about the Open Cup before Tuesday's match.
One So why do you want to win the Open Cup? It's simple. The champion not only grabs an historic shiny piece of hardware to add to their trophy cases, but a berth to the CONCACAF Chamions League as well. Portland is a member of the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League after finishing the 2013 MLS season with the best regular season record in the conference opposite the Supporter's Shield winner New York Red Bulls.
101The U.S. Open Cup play has been in existence for more than a century, with the 2014 edition being the 101st entry into the North American soccer tourney. The very first final was played in 1914 after FIFA sanctioned the United States Football Association (USFA). In the first final, the Brooklyn Field Club beat Brooklyn Celtic in front of a crowd of nearly 10,000 people.
FiveMaccabi Los Angeles and Bethlehem Steel have won the U.S. Open Cup a record five times. Maccabi Los Angeles took the honors in 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, and 1981 while Pennsylvania's Bethlehem Steel won it in 1915, 1916, 1918, 1919, and 1926. Last year, D.C. United picked up their third U.S. Open Cup after beating Real Salt Lake 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium in front of a crowd of 17,608.
16 As members of the first division in American soccer, 16 U.S.-based teams from MLS automatically qualify for play in the Open Cup. Meanwhile, lower division sides battle it out in the first three rounds to cut down the pack to 16 teams. From there, the fourth round, quarter and semifinals all lead up to the final match, which is played in late summer.
6 The farthest the Portland Timbers have made it is the semifinals, the sixth round in U.S. Open Cup play. In 2013, the Timbers advanced after beating the USL Pro's Wilmington Hammerheads, NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies and then MLS' FC Dallas to advance to a match against Real Salt Lake.