The San Jose Earthquakes posted another victory today - albeit the victory came in the form of a coin toss deciding who would host their first round U.S. Open Cup play-in match with Real Salt Lake. The match will be announced at a later date, but must be completed before the end of the month of April.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament is the longest running club soccer competition in the United States, with a history going back to 1914. Last year saw the MLS expansion Seattle Sounders FC capture the cup over D.C. United in an exciting 2-1 victory. Courtesy of that triumph, the Sounders were entered into the 2010 CONCACAF Champions League competition -- a regional tournament not unlike the UEFA version or the Copa Libertadores in South America.
Since MLS was founded in 1996, the league has entered 8 teams into the quarterfinals stage of the tournament. The procedure calls for the six best teams in the 2009 regular season to be entered automatically, with the remaining two teams determined by matches in a play-in bracket. These seeds for these qualifying match-ups were determined from their 2009 regular season results.
San Jose finished 7th out of the eight bottom teams, while Salt Lake finished 2nd. Earlier today, a coin toss determined that the Earthquakes would host the defending MLS Cup champions at Buck Shaw Stadium. With the Quakes starting the 2010 regular season with the same opponent, fans will get their fill of Kyle Beckerman, Robbie Findley, Nick Rimando, and the rest in the coming month.
Should San Jose beat Real Salt Lake, the Earthquakes will advance to play the winner of the FC Dallas at D.C. United match for a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.