MLS pulls teams out of 2024 US Open Cup

Major League Soccer teams will not compete in the 2024 US Open Cup, the league instead sending second-tier development clubs to the nation’s oldest football tournament, MLS announced on Friday.

The single-elimination competition, which dates to 1914, is open to all US clubs but MLS teams have dominated the event since the league’s 1996 debut.

Inter Miami, playing without injured star Argentine midfielder Lionel Messi, lost this year’s US Open Cup final 2-1 at home to the Houston Dynamo in September.

The only non-MLS club to win the Cup since the league launched was the Rochester Rhinos in 1999.

MLS said its club owners voted to have MLS Next teams compete in the 2024 US Open Cup, adding in a statement that “MLS will coordinate with US Soccer regarding participation in the tournament.”

“MLS remains committed to working with US Soccer to evolve and elevate the Open Cup for everyone involved in the years ahead,” MLS said in a statement.

MLS commissioner Don Garber has criticized the US Open Cup and the league sees pulling out as a way to ease schedule congestion for clubs in the wake of newer tournaments.

Dropping the US Open Cup would make up to six mid-week match dates available for MLS teams.

Among those other events is the Leagues Cup, a tournament of MLS and Mexican League teams which debuted this year with Messi leading Inter Miami to the crown.

MLS also cited the benefits of the move in helping emerging talent on MLS development teams play additional matches. Several MLS teams called up second-tier players for US Open Cup matches this year. BSS


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