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The heartbeat of American soccer: another reason to adore the U.S. Open Cup

May 30, 2012, 11:16 AM EDT

One of the reasons I love the U.S. Open Cup is the opportunity to discover American soccer in full depth. We can all find the top of the totem pole, the men’s and women’s national teams and MLS. But there’s a lot of soccer out there that’s not fully professional, that’s lesser adorned and not necessarily attached to network TV contracts.

Perfect “for instance:”

I would have never known that the Michigan Bucks, an amateur side that competes in the fourth tier of American soccer, plays its home matches in a crazy place like the Ultimate Soccer Arenas.

Congrats to the Bucks for upsetting the Chicago Fire in Wednesday’s third round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.

Past that, it’s heartening that we all know a little more about our complete soccer scene.

And one more thing: I want one of these in my neighborhood!

(The picture is from recent, youth action at the 2,000-seat facility.)

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  1. joeyt360 - May 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    By “Ultimate Soccer Arenas” I see they mean “abandoned aircraft hangar.” I’m pretty sure Howard Hughes used to park the Spruce Goose in there.

  2. Steve Davis - May 30, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Well, any day you can work “Spruce Goose” into the comments, I’ll just say “cheers to ya!”

  3. ndnut - May 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    We have a beautiful outdoor complex here in Sioux Falls, SD called Yankton Trail Park, but our over 18 team played at my high school’s field because it had permanent bleachers. Then they left. It was always fun signing up for youth rec league soccer because you got a shirt that got you in all the games for free. Good times, good times.

  4. ndnut - May 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Just thought of something! I think the old Golf Dome where the indoor football team practices is convertible to either 2 or 3 full size soccer fields. If they brought in temporary bleachers they would have a beautiful multi-sport stadium right behind the busiest commercial area in town. Maybe I should talk to the local soccer association in town about hosting a big winter tournament…

  5. jerichowhiskey - May 30, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    I didn’t watch the game in full, but reading tweets about balls hitting the ceiling multiple times was pretty funny.

  6. drewvt6 - May 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Had one 2 miles from my old job in the good ol’ ROC: http://www.totalsports-experience.com/

    Best part was they had a fitness center where you could sign up for a yearly membership, then your lunch hour pickup soccer was included in the price! I’d take 1.5hr lunches a few days a week and play a great game every weekday. In the Rhinos off season, some of the players would come by for a run. Remember one week some of the girls from Iceland’s national team hopped in a game after a weekend exhibition against the US Women. They had two arena fields plus a 100x50yd flat field…it was beautiful! Especially in the cold northeast!

    • californiaredskins - May 30, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Most surprising comment here: 1.5 hr lunches

  7. jhalion - May 30, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Haha, I remember those good old days at TSE!

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