Scheduling for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has hit a snag.
Quarterfinal matches for the USOC are scheduled for July 21-22. The New York Red Bulls are scheduled to host Chelsea FC on July 22 at Red Bull Arena, forcing the need for some rescheduling.
No big deal, right? Washington Post writer Steven Goff reported that the United States Soccer Federation would move the match to July 15 to accommodate the ICC, a major money making tournament for MLS.
USSF moves Red Bulls' potential U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal up a week to July 15, avoiding conflict with Chelsea friendly #USOC2015
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) July 1, 2015
Unfortunately, this would severely inconvenience the Philadelphia Union, who host Premier League team AFC Bournemouth on July 14 in a friendly. It also would happen to be Bournemouth's first ever overseas friendly. It is safe to say the Union would try to avoid playing the game on this date at all costs:
A spokesperson for the New York Red Bulls told Once a Metro that the team would not comment on potential matchdays for the quarterfinal match, as "the process is ongoing," between the two clubs.
According to the rules for the 2015 U.S. Open Cup, teams can petition to move matchdays to after the initially scheduled window for the round, given that both teams are in the same league. From the Open Cup handbook:
CONSIDERATION FOR ALTERNATE DATES:
For the Fourth, Fifth and Quarterfinal Rounds, a team can petition U.S. Soccer to request a change of match dates upon mutual consent of the participating teams.
Only for exceptional circumstances will U.S. Soccer consider a request for a new match date that is later than the date already established for the round.
Date change requests must include documentation from each of the participating teams agreeing to the date change. Any incremental costs incurred to accommodate the change of dates (i.e. incremental travel costs for the referee crew or Match Commissioner, etc.) must be covered by the team that initially proposes the request. Teams requesting a date change for the Fourth, Fifth and/or Quarterfinal Rounds must do so no later than 48 hours prior to the start of the previous match.
U.S. Soccer strongly encourages such agreements between the participating teams be arranged as early as a week prior to the previous match, with the formal request sent to U.S. Soccer at that time. (We suggest separate contingency agreements with each possible opponent.) This would allow for the maximum amount of time to arrange logistics and market the event.
U.S. Soccer will make best efforts to approve date change requests. All documentation should be faxed to 312-808-9295 or scanned/e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Given that both teams are still negotiating a date, it is possible the match could be played after July 22. The only midweek match available for the Red Bulls would be July 28 or 29. The Red Bulls will play a friendly against Portuguese giants S.C. Benfica on July 26.
The Union have a match against DC United on the 26th, but are open that Tuesday or Wednesday. If one of those dates were chosen, the Red Bulls and Union would play each other twice in a 3 or 4 day span, as the clubs will meet for an MLS regular season match on August 1.
U.S. Soccer did not respond to a request for comment by the time this story was published. We will update if or when we get a response.
The Red Bulls have not made the quarterfinals of the USOC since 2011 when they lost to the Chicago Fire. The winner of the Red Bulls/Union match will host the winner of the Chicago Fire/Orlando City Soccer Club.