The US Open Cup is the second-longest continually operating soccer tournament in the world but is treated like a meaningless afterthought by what feels like most of the US soccer community.
The round of 16 matches kicked off last night and you would be forgiven if you had no idea. TheCup.us does a great job of covering the tournament and I highly recommend you reading that site and giving them a follow on Twitter. But the reality is there is not nearly enough media coverage and fan attention for this competition.
Most matches are relegated to YouTube and while production quality has improved over the years on that platform, it’s still well below the standards that this competition should command. It was awesome to see Christos FC get national media coverage and it’s great that ESPN2 is showing tonight’s FC Cincinnati vs Chicago Fire match. It’s simply not enough though. Growing an audience for a sport on television requires consistent programming and committed advertising. Neither of these exist for the US Open Cup right now.