Entering its 103rd year of competition, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is set to kick off the 2016 tournament on May 11 and will feature a tiered-bracket and single-game knockout format, with a record number of teams participating.
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has been awarded two additional slots to reach a total of 15 participating teams:
Qualified via 2015 NPSL playoffs: AFC Cleveland (Ohio), CD Aguiluchos USA (Calif.), Chattanooga FC (Tenn.), Clarkstown SC Eagles (N.Y.), Indiana Fire (now called Indy Eleven NPSL), Myrtle Beach Mutiny (S.C.), Sacramento Gold (Calif.)
At-Large Berths previously awarded: Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves, FC Wichita (Kan.), Fredericksburg FC (Va.), Miami Fusion FC
At-Large Berths newly awarded: Chesterfield United FC (Va.), Corinthians FC of San Antonio (Texas), Detroit City FC, Kraze United (Florida)
NPSL teams will begin play in the first round on May 11th. Teams in this round will be paired geographically with the restriction that teams from the same qualifying pool cannot be paired to play each other.
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 102 consecutive years dating from 1914. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.
Sporting Kansas City is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won a second tournament title after a penalty shootout road victory against the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 30, 2015 at PPL Park, in Chester, Pennsylvania.