The Lamar Hunt Open Cup, the annual tournament involving many of the various leagues and divisions of soccer based within the United States, is in it's third round as we speak. As typical for this tournament, MLS teams will be entering the competition in it's fourth round. Thecup.us has posted the scheduled date and locations for all of the Round 4 matches coming our way next month. New York City FC will be entering the Open Cup tournament on June 15th, where they will face off against either the New York Cosmos from NASL or the NY Pancyprian Freedoms, the Queens based side who are affiliated with the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and USASA.
New York City FC will be the home team for this match, but of note is that they will not be playing at Yankee Stadium. The club will instead be hosting this 4 round match at Fordham University's Coffey Field. The stadium is located in the Bronx and has a capacity of 7,000. It is easily accessible by Bus, Subway, and even Metro North by fans. In terms of alternative locations, it's not a bad solution other than it's capacity limits.
Many fans will no doubt wonder why Yankee Stadium will not be used to host the match, especially if they get to have their rematch versus the New York Cosmos. The club played their first cup match in franchise history last year against the New York Cosmos on their home field over in Hofstra University. The result was a one and done exit for the Hudson Blues as they lost the match to the Cosmos in a penalty shootout. A very frustrating beginning for the club's history in the Cup tournament to say the least.
Among the many things Vieira is trying to improve this season, one has to imagine having a stronger showing in the Open Cup will be one of them. While some MLS sides may not value the tournament as highly as their regular season matches, there are benefits to performing well in this tournament. Namely, the winner of the Open Cup is guaranteed a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League Tournament. One has to imagine that an international tournament of this level has to be an aspiration of CFG's for NYCFC. Vieira, a man who played in the UEFA Champions League, probably also understands the value in this tournament as well.
For now, though, Vieira and the club will remain focused on their MLS Cup campaign, as they face cross-river rivals New York Red Bulls this weekend.