There was little surprise for the Crew and their opponents when the draw for the Third Round Open Cup matches was announced on Wednesday. Columbus faces the winner of the Dayton Dutch Lions and the Dearborn Stars. There was surprise when they announced the game would be on Wednesday, May 29th.
With the date pushed back to Wednesday, the Crew's Open Cup opener is scheduled to start 30 minutes ahead of the U.S. National Team's friendly match against Belgium in Cleveland. With the friendly announced over three months ago, many Crew supporters made plans to head north to watch the national team. The U.S. team's supporters group, the American Outlaws have a bus trip planned for fans to travel in style. The conflict has created some headaches for fans wanting to see both games.
The U.S. Soccer Federation initially announced that the Open Cup Third Round would be played on Tuesday, May 28th. It is a date that falls between two busy weekends of MLS play, including three matches on Sunday, creating short turnaround schedules for several teams that have to travel, the Crew being among them. The date hopping began in ernest.
A Crew team spokesman confirmed that the Crew did request for the Wednesday match date due to the team having a travel day on Monday. He then also added that both the Dayton Dutch Lions and Dearborn Stars agreed that the adjustment to Wednesday suited their clubs the best as well. The U.S. Soccer Federation switched the match date.
The Crew aren't alone in the rescheduling shuffle. Ten matches are being contested on the 28th as originally planned. There are six other matches that have been pushed back to the 29th, including those involving Columbus, Houston, Portland, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. The Sounders, Galaxy, Houston, and the Crew all are away on Sunday and have to travel to the midweek game. Portland, playing in Washington D.C. on Saturday, fly back to the Pacific Northwest for their game.