The FFA Cup Quarter Finals fixtures have been announced, with the four games spread over three weeks in October.
Adelaide United will of course be taking part after their 2-0 victory against the Brisbane Roar at Coopers Stadium in the Round of 16.
Untied controlled that match, with goals to Bruce Djite and Sergio Cirio either side of half time ensuring Josep Gombau’s side would advance to the next stage.
The Reds are one of five A-League clubs to win through, joining Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory and the Central Coast Mariners in the last eight of the new competition.
The Quarter Finals kick-off with the Mariners away to Queensland’s Palm Beach Sharks on October 14.
The Adelaide United will also be away to Sydney FC on October 21, while the matches are rounded out on October 29 with Bentleigh Greens (VIC) to host Adelaide City, and Perth Glory at home to Melbourne Victory.
[quote]As the A-League itself begins on October 10, the Quarter Finals will be the first FFA Cup fixtures that run concurrently with the league and it will be interesting to see how the heavyweight clubs handle the mid-week cup ties backing up from weekend matches.[/quote]
As the A-League itself begins on October 10, the Quarter Finals will be the first FFA Cup fixtures that run concurrently with the league and it will be interesting to see how the heavyweight clubs handle the mid-week cup ties backing up from weekend matches.
The Reds first league match is against the Roar at Suncorp on October 12, so we’ll see if the recent match-up in the cup influences that result.
Clubs in more established competitions around the world have faced this dilemma for some time, of course, so it will be interesting to see how the Australian professional teams adapt.
Will it affect the fitness and stamina of the A-League sides who win through to the latter stages of the Cup at the pointy end of the A-League season?
Time will tell, but Football Federation Australia has eased into this overlap in scheduling the Quarters as the first stage of the cup that runs alongside the league.
What the increase in football will mean is that clubs rosters will have to run deeper than before, with players on the fringes having a better chance of getting game time with more matches played.
It may take a while to adjust, but it will be interesting to see which clubs handle it better, and which recruiters have done the best job in strengthening the depths of their lists.
United are certainly in with a shot at taking out the Cup and are a very good chance to beat Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.
The momentum gained from last season’s run to the finals, and good pre-season, as well as FFA Cup form stands the club in good stead.
Wouldn’t it be great to see the always excited Gombau’s celebrations should his team come out on top?
The A-League itself is also set to benefit from the momentum gained from early Cup fixtures, as crowds and viewers get a taste for football and anticipate what might come in the league.
The excitement of a good showing by the Socceroos at the World Cup is still palpable and the FFA will be looking to harness that to grow the game further in Australia, especially considering the Asian Cup is just around the corner and in our own back yard.
The game is building in this country and it’s exciting to watch it grow.
Will the Reds beat Sydney FC and make the Semi Finals of the FFA Cup?
Follow Chris on Twitter @cjm_sport