It's nearly Lamar time again

And it's never too early to bookmark Josh's www.usopencup.com.

Some interesting teams in the lower rungs so far. I never took Hollywood United seriously, because, well, the focus of the team seemed to be about keeping ex-pats in shape. (And their women's - sorry, girls' team - sets the cause of women's soccer back five hundred years.) Their website also sort of forgets to make it clear that no, Allen Hopkins, Alexi Lalas, Paul Bravo, Richard Gough and Frank LeBoeuf aren't back in the sport...and no, we're not going to see Steve Jones at forward. Qualifying for the Open Cup is a wonderful accomplishment for them, even if their stay is likely to be shorter than the Sex Pistols' EMI contract.

At the other extreme as far as tradition and seriousity are the Pancyprian Freedoms. A mainstay in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, which dates back to 19-freaking-23, the Freedoms are three-time Open Cup winners, and above such modern frippery as websites. Google Books once again provides invaluable information here about their origins. They extremely briefly played in the USL under the "New York Freedoms" moniker, seeing as how overt political affiliations in the USL are about as welcome as a ship full of plague rats, but nowadays are back in the business of winning amateur games and (one assumes) frowning at Turks. The Freedoms, Josh reminds us, are the last team to win the Open Cup in consecutive years.

The other USASA entrants so far are Boston Olympiakos, RWB Adria and AAC Eagles out of Chicago, and the Arizona Sahuaros (another USL veteran, now NPSL bigshots - try a Sahuaros super shake.)

Qualifying continues at a torrential pace this week into next. Something to get your mind off of Steve Morrow being fired - man, I should know better than to dilly-dally with these blog entries by now. The news never stops.