18 NPSL Teams Headed to U.S. Open Cup
Entering its 104th year of competition, the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup format is now set, with the remaining eligible Open Division local qualifiers advancing directly to the First Round on May 10. As a result, the tiered-bracket and single-game knockout format will see a modern era record of 99 teams participate.
“The U.S. Open Cup is one of America’s oldest sporting events and the NPSL truly is honored to be part of it,” NPSL Chairman Joe Barone commented. “We’re excited to have even more teams in the tournament this year and we know that our fans and supporters will be cheering them on from the very beginning. The Open Cup is such a special event and it has become an obvious favorite for so many in the American game.”
As has been the case the past two years, teams will be paired geographically from the First Round through the Fourth Round. After the Fourth Round, a geographically-based random draw will take place to determine the Round of 16 matchups and set a fixed bracket to the Final, scheduled for Sept. 20.
A total of 56 Open Division teams (including clubs from the National Premier Soccer League) will enter in the First Round, while 24 clubs from the Division II North American Soccer League and United Soccer League will see their first action in the Second Round on May 17. The Third Round takes place May 31, with the winners from this stage joined by 19 Division I Major League Soccer clubs in the Fourth Round on June 14.
This year’s winning team will receive $250,000, a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions’ League and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in U.S. team sports. The runner-up will earn $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $15,000 cash prize.
Owned and operated by Lamar Hunt’s sons Clark and Dan, FC Dallas is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having earned the club’s second tournament title (following its triumph in 1997) thanks to a 4-2 win against the New England Revolution on Sept. 13, 2016 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 103 consecutive years dating from 1914. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor United States soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
The NPSL opted to use 2016 league results to determine its qualifiers for the 2017 Open Cup.
NPSL Teams Participating in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Qualified via 2016 NPSL playoffs (8): AFC Cleveland* (Ohio), Albion SC Pros (Calif.), Chattanooga FC* (Tenn.), Clarkstown SC Eagles* (N.Y.), Grand Rapids FC (Mich.), Miami United FC (Fla.), New Jersey Copa FC (N.J.), Sonoma County Sol (Calif.)
At-Large Berths (10): AFC Ann Arbor (Mich.), Atlanta Silverbacks*, Boston City FC (Mass.), Dutch Lions FC (Texas), FC Wichita* (Kan.), Fredericksburg FC* (Va.), Jacksonville Armada U-23 (Fla.), Legacy 76 (Va.), OSA FC (Wash.), Tulsa Athletics (Okla.)