There have long been calls to make the U.S. Open Cup draw a bit more of a public affair. Wish granted.
Although U.S. Soccer has been allowing media to observe the draw for at least a couple years, the first truly public draw will occur tonight during a live taping of the ESPN radio show "Men In Blazers." The event will take place as part of the MLS All-Star Game festivities and be held at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland and start at 9 p.m. Pacific. The event will be broadcast on MLSsoccer.com.
In previous years, the final's host was decided through a bidding process. The Sounders were winners of that bid in 2010 and 2011, but lost the bid in 2009 and 2012, the year they notoriously had an "equivalent" bid with Sporting Kansas City and lost the subsequent coin flip.
This year, the process is a bit more straightforward as all four semifinalists will engage in a series of coin flips to determine the host of the final. The Sounders will play the Chicago Fire in one semifinal on Aug. 13 and FC Dallas will play the Philadelphia Union in the other on Aug. 12. Depending on who hosts the final, it will be held on Sept. 16, 17 or Oct. 1.