Adding a fourth US Open Cup could start with a couple thousand mile journey. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is larger and removes the blind bidding process. The chance that an MLS side would go on the road increased after changes to the bidding structure. The Seattle Sounders possible matchup for their entry in round three could see travel to face the Atlanta Silverbacks or hosting the Georgia Revolution of the NPSL at Starfire. Those two teams face off next Tuesday at RYSA Soccerplex in Conyers, Georgia with the southern Revs hosting.
With today's announced potential parings, a total of 19 of the 32 possible opponent/host combinations will have lower divisions travel to MLS sides. The variety of travel and hosting situations is certainly broader than in years past. For the most part NASL & USL Pro teams would host MLS sides. With the lack of lower level pro teams west of the Mississippi, MLS sides from the West are those traveling the most. Portland to North Carolina, Colorado to Tampa, and LA to NC are the other long trips revealed.
Fourth Round match ups will be determined at a future date.
Seattle and Atlanta have a bit of history as both were active in the old USL-1. Their biggest game was the 2007 USL-1 Final at Starfire which the Sounders handled easily. Mac Kandji played for the Silverbacks while Roger Levesque and Zach Scott were among those that suited for the Sounders 2.0. Shortly after this trophy the Sounders' jump to MLS was announced.
Se4ttle is a goal for 2012. It could start with a long road trip.