Lansing United to Play in 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

On May 13, Lansing United will play in the prestigious Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Lansing United earned its spot in the cup and as one of 12 USPL teams in the competition by winning the Great Lakes Conference.

President and CEO of Lansing United, Jeremy Sampson said, “It’s an honor to represent Lansing and the NPSL in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This tournament is an opportunity for teams like ours in the fourth division to compete against the best teams in the United States.”

Started in 1914, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is no joke. The winner gets a $250,000 cash prize and last year it was Seattle Sounders FC, the MLS side that routinely draws the largest attendance of any American club, who took home the money, trophy and distinction.

Much like its English brother, the FA Cup, the U.S. Open Cup is a chance for smaller sides, like Lansing United, to compete against America’s best and prove their abilities on the big stage. The tournament inevitably pits David vs. Goliath, and there are enough teams so that a few Davids always prevail.

Although few could say they expect Lansing United to progress far in the tournament, it is a chance for the local club to show its talent and gain some publicity, and a chance for individual players to make a name for themselves.

“Competing in the US Open Cup also gives us the opportunity to showcase the talent on our roster,” head coach and general manager Eric Rudland said. “It could bode well for pushing players on to the next level.”

This year, 91 teams will be setting their sights on the Cup, an increase from the 80 that competed last year.

Lansing United will play teams from around the country, beginning with a USASA or PDL team on May 13. Afterward, if they progress, Lansing United would play a USL Pro squad on May 20.

“It’s going to be surreal to hear the Sons [of Ransom] singing on a national stage,” Rudland said.


Isaac Constans is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports

Photo: Lansing United