CHICAGO – U.S. Soccer Wednesday announced the pairings for the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The first round will begin after a three-game play-in round May 5-6, which was added to accommodate the Jacksonville Armada, Miami FC 2 and New York Cosmos B.
The first found will consist of one match May 8 followed by 25 others played May 9 and feature teams from the Premier Development League, National Premier Soccer League and Open Division local qualifiers in head-to-head, single-elimination competition.
The second round follows on May 16 and introduces 22 Division II professional clubs from the United Soccer League. Due to the time that was required for arranging the play-in round, the announcement of the possible second round matchups will take place April 11.
Home teams for each round are determined by a random selection process among those clubs that have applied to host and whose venues meet the minimum tournament requirements.
This year’s winning team will receive $300,000 (up from $250,000 last year), 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 American team sports. The runner-up will earn $100,000 (up from $60,000 last year), while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $25,000 cash prize (up from $15,000 last year).
Sporting Kansas City is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having earned the club’s fourth tournament title behind a 2-1 victory against the Red Bulls Sept. 20, 2017 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.
2018 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP SCHEDULE
|TBD||The Villages SC (PDL) vs. Jacksonville Armada (NPSL)||TBD||TBD|
|TBD||FC Miami City (PDL) vs. Miami FC 2 (NPSL)||TBD||TBD|
|May 6||Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) vs. New York Cosmos B (NPSL)||8 p.m. ET||Long Island University Brooklyn Athletic Facility; Brooklyn, N.Y.|
|May 9||AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL) vs. Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL)||6 p.m. ET||Scicluna Field (Eastern Michigan Univ.); Ypsilanti, Mich.|
|May 9||Western Mass Pioneers (PDL) vs. Elm City Express (NPSL)||7 p.m. ET||Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.|
|May 9||Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) vs. Kingston Stockade FC (NPSL)||7 p.m. ET||John Burns Park; Massapequa Park, N.Y.|
|May 9||FC Motown (NPSL) vs. New York Red Bulls U23 (PDL)||7 p.m. ET||Ranger Stadium (Drew University); Madison, N.J.|
|May 9||Reading United AC (PDL) vs. Christos FC (Md.)||7 p.m. ET||Don Thomas Stadium (Exeter Twp. H.S.); Reading, Pa.|
|May 9||Erie Commodores FC (NPSL) vs. Rochester River Dogz (N.Y.)||7 p.m. ET||Gannon University Field; Erie, Pa.|
|May 9||Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) vs. Kendall Wanderers (Mass.)||7:30 p.m. ET||Seacoast United Sports Park; Amesbury, Mass.|
|May 9||Detroit City FC (NPSL) vs. Michigan Bucks (PDL)||7:30 p.m. ET||Keyworth Stadium; Hamtramck, Mich.|
|May 9||New York Cosmos B (NPSL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.)
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.)
|7:30 p.m. ET
8 p.m. ET
|Commisso Stadium (Columbia Univ.); New York, N.Y.
Long Island University Brooklyn Athletic Facility; Brooklyn, N.Y.
|May 9||SIMA Aguilas (PDL) vs. The Villages SC (PDL)/Jacksonville Armada (NPSL) winner||7 p.m. ET||Montverde Academy; Montverde, Fla.|
|May 9||Charlotte Eagles (PDL) vs. Inter Nashville FC (NPSL)||7 p.m. ET||Mecklenburg County Sportsplex; Matthews, N.C.|
|May 9||Myrtle Beach Mutiny (PDL) vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC (PDL)||7:10 p.m. ET||North Myrtle Beach Sports Park (Field 6); Little River, S.C.|
|May 9||Miami United FC (NPSL) vs. FC Kendall (Fla.)||7:30 p.m. ET||Ted Hendricks Stadium; Hialeah, Fla.|
|May 9||New Orleans Jesters (NPSL) vs. Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL)||7 p.m. CT||Pan American Stadium; New Orleans, La.|
|May 9||Red Force FC (Fla.) vs. FC Miami City (PDL)/Miami FC 2 (NPSL) winner||8:30 p.m. ET||Tropical Park Stadium; Miami, Fla.|
|May 9||FC Wichita (NPSL) vs. OKC Energy U23 (PDL)||7 p.m. CT||Adair-Austin Stadium (Friends Univ.); Wichita, Kan.|
|May 9||Duluth FC (NPSL) vs. Dakota Fusion FC (NPSL)||7 p.m. CT||Public Schools Stadium; Duluth, Minn.|
|May 9||Midland-Odessa Sockers FC (NPSL) vs. Lakeland Tropics (PDL)||7:30 p.m. CT||Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas|
|May 9||NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. Fort Worth Vaqueros (NPSL)||7:30 p.m. CT||Richland Community College (Field 10); Dallas, Texas|
|May 9||FC Denver (Colo.) vs. Azteca FC (Colo.)||7:15 p.m. MT||Five Star Stadium; Thornton, Colo.|
|May 8||Portland Timbers U23 (PDL) vs. Kitsap Soccer Club (NPSL)||7 p.m. PT||McCulloch Stadium; Salem, Ore.|
|May 9||CD Aguiluchos USA (NPSL) vs. San Francisco City FC (PDL)||6 p.m. PT||Raimondi Park; Oakland, Calif.|
|May 9||FC Golden State Force (PDL) vs. L.A. Wolves FC (Calif.)||7 p.m. PT||Rio Hondo College; Whittier, Calif.|
|May 9||Orange County FC (NPSL) vs. Santa Ana Winds FC (Calif.)||7 p.m. PT||Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, Calif.|
|May 9||FC Arizona (NPSL) vs. Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.)||7 p.m. MST||John Riggs Stadium; Mesa, Ariz.|
|May 9||FC Tucson (PDL) vs. La Máquina FC (Calif.)||7:30 p.m. MST||Kino North Stadium; Tucson, Ariz.|
Play-In Round – May 5-6
- Number of Games: 3
- Participants: 6 – Jacksonville Armada (NPSL), New York Cosmos B (NPSL), Miami FC 2 (NPSL), Brooklyn Italians (NPSL), FC Miami City (PDL), The Villages SC (PDL)
- Competition: A Draw was conducted on April 2, 2018 at U.S. Soccer Headquarters to arrange single-elimination Play-In games to allow Jacksonville Armada, Miami FC 2 and New York Cosmos B to take part in the 2018 tournament.
First Round – May 8-9
- Number of Games: 26
- Participants: 52 Open Division teams, including three Play-In Round winners
- Competition: Teams will be paired geographically with the restriction that teams from the same qualifying pool (e.g. local qualifiers, PDL, NPSL) playing in their first game cannot be paired to play each other. The restriction many be disregarded if doing so avoids extensive travel on balance for the participating teams.
Second Round – May 16
- Number of Games: 24
- Participants: 26 First Round winners and 22 Division II (USL) clubs
- Competition: After the First Round pairings are made, each Division II team will be matched geographically to a specific First Round pairing and be scheduled to play its winner. The remaining First Round matchups not paired with a Division II side will be paired geographically, with the winners playing each other to complete the round.
Third Round – May 23
- Number of Games: 12
- Participants: 24 Second Round winner play each other
- Competition: After each Second Round matchup has been determined, the Second Round pairs will be bracketed geographically to create the Third Round matchups.
Fourth Round Draw – May 24
- The Third Round winners and 20 Division I (MLS) clubs will be divided geographically into groups of four, with teams who are precluded from playing each other until the Final per tournament regulations (i.e. pro teams and their affiliated Open Division sides) placed in different groups. Each group will have at least one and no more than two Third Round winners, with pairs drawn randomly but done so that each Third Round winner faces an MLS team.
Fourth Round – June 6*
- Number of Games: 16
- Participants: 12 Third Round winners and 20 Division I (MLS) clubs
- Competition: Twelve games will be between Third Round winners and MLS teams, while the remaining four matchups will be MLS vs. MLS affairs.
Round of 16 Draw – June 7
- The Fourth Round winners will be divided geographically (regardless of league affiliation) into groups of four, with teams who are precluded from playing each other until the Final per tournament regulations (i.e. pro teams and their affiliated Open Division sides) placed in different groups. A random draw will determine the pairings within each group, resulting in a fixed bracket for the remainder of the tournament. Should a precluded pair of teams reach the Semifinal Round and be scheduled to face each other, the matches will be re-drawn after the quarterfinals to avoid this outcome.
Round of 16 – June 20* (also June 16-17 if home team chooses and visiting team has at least two rest days on each side of chosen date)
- Number of Games: 8
- Competition: Fourth Round winners face each other as determined by the Round of 16 Draw.
Quarterfinals – July 18*
Semifinals – August 8* (date tentative)
Final – September 26 (date tentative)
* Any game in the Fourth Round, Round of 16, Quarterfinal Round and Semifinal Round where one of the participants has a league game the following Friday will be moved up a day (exceptions to this occur when the team’s opponent is scheduled for a league game the preceding Sunday; in this case, the provisions in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Handbook to determine the match date will prevail). In addition, any game chosen by U.S. Soccer to be broadcast nationally is subject to being moved up a day. The Commissioner shall have the authority to set outside of the confirmed schedule the date for any match if such a change is in the best interests of the tournament.
2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Participating Teams
Professional Teams Eligible to Participate (42 total):
Division I – Major League Soccer (20 teams, entering in the Fourth Round): Atlanta United FC, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles FC, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City (defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup™ champions).
Division II – United Soccer League (22 teams, entering in the Second Round): Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, FC Cincinnati, Fresno FC, Indy Eleven, Las Vegas Lights FC, Louisville City FC, Nashville SC, North Carolina FC, OKC Energy FC, Orange County SC, Penn FC (formerly Harrisburg City Islanders), Phoenix Rising FC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Reno 1868 FC, Richmond Kickers, Sacramento Republic FC, Saint Louis FC, San Antonio FC, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Tulsa Roughnecks FC
Open Division Teams (55 total, with six entering in the Play-In Round and 49 in the First Round):
Local Qualifiers (13 teams, listed alphabetically by state): Arizona (1): Sporting AZ FC; California (3): La Máquina*, LA Wolves FC*, Santa Ana Winds; Colorado (2): Azteca FC*, FC Denver; Florida (2): FC Kendall, Red Force FC*; Maryland (1): Christos FC*; Massachusetts (1): Kendall Wanderers; New York (2): Lansdowne Bhoys FC, Rochester River Dogz; Texas (1): NTX Rayados*
Premier Development League (20 teams, listed alphabetically): Charlotte Eagles (N.C.)*, FC Golden State Force (Calif.)*, FC Miami City (Fla.), FC Tucson (Ariz.)*, Lakeland Tropics (Fla.), Long Island Rough Riders (N.Y.), Michigan Bucks*, Mississippi Brilla FC, Myrtle Beach Mutiny (S.C.), New York Red Bulls U23, Ocean City Nor’easters (N.J.)*, OKC Energy U23 (Okla.)*, Portland Timbers U23 (Ore.), Reading United AC (Pa.)*, San Francisco City FC (Calif.), Seacoast United Phantoms (N.H.), SIMA Aguilas (Fla.), South Georgia Tormenta FC, The Villages SC (Fla.)*, Western Mass Pioneers*
(The PDL is a nationwide league affiliated with the U.S. Adult Soccer Association and opted to use 2017 league results to determine its qualifiers for the 2018 Open Cup).
National Premier Soccer League (22 teams, listed alphabetically): AFC Ann Arbor (Mich.)*, Brooklyn Italians (N.Y.), CD Aguiluchos USA (Calif.), Dakota Fusion FC (N.D.), Detroit City FC (Mich.), Duluth FC (Minn.), Elm City Express (Conn.), Erie Commodores (Pa.), FC Arizona, FC Motown (N.J.) (formerly Clarkstown SC Eagles)*, FC Wichita (Kan.)*, Fort Worth Vaqueros (Texas), Inter Nashville FC (Tenn.), Jacksonville Armada (Fla.), Kingston Stockade FC (N.Y.), Kitsap Soccer Club (Wash.), Miami FC 2 (Fla.), Miami United FC (Fla.)*, Midland-Odessa FC (Texas), New Orleans Jesters (La.), New York Cosmos B (N.Y.), Orange County FC (Calif.)
(The NPSL is a nationwide league affiliated with the U.S. Adult Soccer Association and opted to use 2017 league results to determine its qualifiers for the 2018 Open Cup, not including the three NPSL teams controlled by North American Soccer League franchises who were granted a special invitation by U.S. Soccer’s Open Cup Committee to participate).
* Participated in 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup