The University of Akron will host the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match featuring the Columbus Crew of MLS and the Indy Eleven of the North American Soccer League at 7:30 p.m. June 17.
The Crew and Eleven will meet on UA’s FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field.
Ticket prices range from $12-$20 and start at $10 for groups of 20 or more.
“The U.S. Open Cup has been around for 100 years and is an important tournament in the landscape of U.S. Soccer,” UA men’s soccer coach Jared Embick said in a statement.
“It is a tremendous honor to host the Columbus Crew in an Open Cup match and a tribute to our school and the success of our soccer programs. We have a lot of passionate soccer fans in Northeast Ohio and I’m happy they will have the opportunity to watch another team that plays attractive soccer on our home field. It’s also a great benefit for us to provide additional value to our season ticket holders with the presale offering.”
It will also be an opportunity for Zips fans to see three former UA players in person again as current Crew teammates. Chad Barson, Wil Trapp and Ben Speas played for UA.
Barson was a four-year starter and two-time team captain at central defense from 2009-12. He played on the Zips’ 2009 national runner-up team and on the 2010 national championship team.
Trapp starred at midfield from 2011-12 before signing with the Crew as a Homegrown Player following his sophomore season.
Speas, a native of Stow and a Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy graduate, was a member of the Zips’ 2010 NCAA national championship team before transferring to North Carolina for his junior year in 2011 where he helped the Tar Heels win a national title.
FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field “is one of the premier college soccer venues in the country,” Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said. “For us, it’s a great place to have a game. They have a great atmosphere there; I’ve been to games before there. The atmosphere makes the game exciting. We’re going to be looking forward to playing there against a good opponent, and it will make the game an interesting game.”
Open to all
Dating back to 1914, the U.S. Open Cup is the oldest cup competition in U.S. soccer and is among the oldest in the world. Open to all affiliated amateur and professional teams in the U.S., the annual U.S. Open Cup is a single-elimination tournament. Cup competitions are open in the early stages to any club that can qualify, giving local amateur teams a chance to compete against the best teams a country has to offer.
The Crew will be entering in the fourth round of the tournament along with the other 15 MLS teams based in the U.S.
The 101st edition of the U.S. Open Cup features 80 teams, an increase from the 68 that competed last year, making it the largest field in the modern era (1995-present). The expansion from 68 to 80 teams in this year’s tournament field includes both the largest number of amateur teams (42) in the tournament proper — exceeding the previous record of 34 set last year — as well as the largest contingent of pro clubs (38, surpassing last year’s record of 34), with all Division I, II and III professional sides participating for a third consecutive year.
The Crew was crowned the 2002 U.S. Open Cup champion following a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Crew also reached the Open Cup Final in the club’s first appearance in the tournament in 1998 and in 2010.