There was a couple nuggets from Crew training today about the newest Crew player Alvaro Rey. He has joined the team and is ready to go, additionally, he supposedly isn't eligible for the Crew's 5th Round Open Cup game against the Chicago Fire on Wednesday.
It's rare in American sports, but "Cup Tying" has a long history in soccer. Once you suit up for one team, that's your team for the year for Cup competitions. The U.S. Open Cup has a "Cup Tie" rule, but it would be odd to apply to Rey. Rey's former team Toronto F.C. isn't eligible to play in the U.S. Open Cup. Toronto did take part in the Amway Canadian Championship and Rey did make three appearances in that cup competition.
The team in response to a question by Adam Jardy confirmed that Rey is ineligible after checking with MLS. The league doesn't have eligibility rules for the Open Cup on their site.
The U.S. Soccer Federation, in their 2013/14 Policy Manual, does have a section pertaining to the U.S. Open Cup. In Policy 102(4)-1, Section 203 has a detailed listing of player eligibility.
Subsection A references that "Teams entering the Open Cup shall use their official league roster as their Open Cup roster." The policy does go on to describe certain stipulations on loaned players. Rey doesn't fit within that constraint.
The USSF further stipulates roster changes in Subsection B. "A team's Open Cup roster shall not be frozen at any time during the competition." adding "For Open Cup matches, a team may add players to or drop them from its league roster under the league rules currently in place." Again, Rey was added via the trade mechanism fully within MLS rules and is a rostered player with the Crew.
Subsection C is where the concept of "Cup Tying" comes in and the policy is clear, "Any player who plays in any part of an Open Cup match for a team, may not be included in the Open Cup roster or play for any other team in the Open Cup competition for that year." Rey has not played in the U.S. Open Cup this year.
Open Cup ace and site master for thecup.us Josh Hakala apparently got confirmation from the USSF that Rey isn't tied, but that prompted a response from from Crew Director of Media Relations Alex Caulfield with an update from MLS HQ.
Massive Report will be seeking clarification on MLS Player Personnel's feedback and the USSF's ruling on Rey's eligibility.