Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 6/25/13
The quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup have two underdogs left. The Carolina RailHawks, of the Division 2-NASL, and Orlando City of Division 3-USL Pro, will try to win Wednesday night and move forward to the semifinals in the 100th edition of the U.S. Open Cup, one of the oldest Soccer tournaments in the world. Of course, there is plenty on the line in this championship. The winning team will be awarded with an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2014 and the prestige of being crowned the champs of all pro and amateur soccer teams in the U.S. Since the inception of Major League Soccer in 1996, only one outsider to MLS has won the tournament. That was the Rochester Rhinos in 1999.  Two other minor league teams have reached the final, as Rochester lost in 1996 and the Charleston Battery lost in ’08. There are a few other reasons that advancing will mean so much to Raleigh and Orlando fans. It has already been decided that if they win, they will host each of the semifinal matchups. They are on opposites sides of the bracket, which makes that even more exciting. And, then, there is the elephant in the room. By winning it all, Raleigh or Orlando could stake a legitimate claim to an invitation from MLS to become a new franchise in the league. MLS has no teams in the Southeasten United States right now and wants a presence there. Both Orlando and Raleigh, are capable of putting together substantial marketing promotions to brand a successful pro team. Orlando already has the Magic in the NBA, and Raleigh has the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL. Miami, Tampa and Atlanta would want their say about the prospects of becoming a First Division team (MLS).  But, they are not the ones left standing in the quarterfinals of this year’s U.S. Open Cup and can’t prove their skill any longer on the pitch/field. Orlando has not made any secrets about wanting to become part of MLS. Carolina has not been as vocal from its front office, but with its stadium has already expanded to accommodate more than 15,000 fans. The idea of jumping to MLS would definitely gain more traction by winning the U.S. Open Cup. Here’s to the underdogs, the minor leagues, the guys looking for their breaks, working relentlessly to get noticed.  To two teams looking for respect and one championship forever to be remembered. In a century-old tournament, is this the year for another unlikely team to step up and win it all? There are six MLS teams left ready to knock off the dark horse teams still out there. Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com The post Orlando, Raleigh have a chance to impress in U.S. Open Cup appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Broncos DB on Brock Osweiler: ‘None of this is a surprise to us’

Jarius Wright: ‘Everybody’s embracing their role’ on Vikings

Rob Gronkowski seems to agree he's been targeted on P.I. calls

Harbaugh on kick-six: ‘Never seen anything like it in my life’

Report: Josh McCown’s season likely over

Antonio Cromartie: Beckham Jr. still has room to grow


NFL pulls officiating crew from SNF after error-filled game

Jason Garrett: Tony Romo has a lot of football left in him

Jerry West: It’s painful watching Kobe Bryant

Brett Favre compared Browns QB Austin Davis to Tom Brady

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Okafor reportedly will have security guard when he goes out

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Josh McCown laments how he got job back from Manziel

Paul George: Kobe Bryant was my Michael Jordan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker