The US Open Cup MLS Play-In match-ups were announced today by the League, and Philadelphia Union will face the New York Red Bulls in the 8v9 match. The clubs will square off at Red Bull Arena at an April date to be determined. The winner of the Union/Red Bulls match will have the right to host the next US Open Cup match, which will be against the New England Revolution, also at an April date to be determined.
Philadelphia was seeded #9 as a result of being an expansion team. Consistent with 2008 and 2009, the format for the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will see six US-based MLS teams automatically qualify for the tournament’s round of 16, based on 2009 regular season finish, while two more US-based MLS teams will also qualify via play-in games.
The six teams that have automatically qualified are the Columbus Crew, LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire and Chivas USA. The remaining nine U.S.-based MLS teams (Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, Colorado Rapids, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Kansas City Wizards, San Jose Earthquakes and the New York Red Bulls) will play knockout games to determine the seventh and eighth teams to join the round of 16.
Philadelphia and New York will play first to determine New England’s opponent in a round of four knockout games (eight teams). Philadelphia would then have to beat New England in order to face the winner of Kansas City v Colorado. The winner of that game would qualify for the U.S. Open Cup’s tournament’s round of 16.
The teams have been seeded based on 2009 regular season finish and the games will be as follows [home team listed first]:
Game A (8 v 9/Expansion): New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union
Game B (1 v 8): Game A Winner v New England Revolution
Game C (2 v 7): San Jose Earthquakes v Real Salt Lake
Game D (3 v 6): Kansas City Wizards v Colorado Rapids
Game E (4 v 5): D.C. United v FC Dallas
** Play-in games A–E will be completed by the end of April. Teams will announce the date and times of games in the near future.
Game F: Game B winner v Game D winner
Game G: Game C winner v Game E winner
Winner of Games F and G qualify as the final 2 teams in the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
**Play-in games F & G by will be completed by the end of May. Teams will announce the date and times of games in the near future.
Home field advantage for these play-in games was decided by coin tosses. Officials from each team participated in the coin tosses live via a streaming web video conference.
1. Five coin tosses were conducted, in sequential order, for Games A through E to determine the hosts; coin tosses for Games F & G will be conducted shortly after Games A-E are completed.
2. Based on 2009 final regular season standings, the higher seed called heads or tails before the coin was tossed.