Danny Szetela will have an opportunity to participate in the Open Cup again. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
Cosmos B has been allowed to compete in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup.
U.S. Soccer’s Open Cup committee has granted permission to three National Premier Soccer League teams — Jacksonville Armada, Miami FC 2 and Cosmos B — to participate, the organization announced Friday night.
The teams have until Monday at 4 p.m. ET to confirm their participation. In a press release, Cosmos B indicated it will be participating in the tournament.
“The committee carefully considered the teams’ exceptional situation which involved all three moving from Professional Division II status in 2017 to solely Open Division league participation earlier this year,” an Open Cup committee statement said. “Since the move occurred after the Open Division league’s 2018 Open Cup entry deadline in mid-2017, the Committee decided to allow the three teams the opportunity to compete in the 2018 edition of the U.S. Open Cup.”
Cosmos B will have to perform in a play-in match May 5 or 6, which mean it will have to reschedule its season opening match at Boston City FC on May 5.
“This is a victory for our fans,” Cosmos chairman Rocco Commisso said in a statement. “I said that I would continue to fight for the Cosmos and for independent soccer. This is a win off the field and now we have a chance to win on it.”
The opponent, start time and host venue will be determined next week.
The play-in round foes will be one team drawn from the NPSL and two from the Premier Development League who have already qualified for the competition and are in close geographical proximity to the three invited teams. After identifying the list of possible opponents meeting this criteria, the exact opponents will be selected by random draw in cases where multiple options exist.
The opponents of the three NPSL sides will be given the first option to host the play-in match. U.S. Soccer said that it will cover reasonable and standard venue license fees and referee expenses for this round should the teams that already had qualified decide to host games.
“First off, I’d like to thank commissioner Paul Marstaller and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup committee for taking a thorough and objective review of these three teams and ultimately allowing them entry into this year’s competition,” Miami FC CEO Sean Flynn said in a statement. “The spirit of this tournament is based on inclusion, to determine the champion of soccer in the United States. It’s a tournament that enabled Miami FC to jump into the spotlight of the national soccer stage in 2017 by beating two quality MLS clubs en route to the Quarterfinals.”
After the U.S. Soccer Federation rescinded the league’s Division Two status, the NASL has decided not to compete this year.