CHICAGO – U.S. Soccer is accepting applications from local amateur teams to enter the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The entry deadline is Monday, Aug. 13 at 3 p.m. ET.

The annual tournament, currently at the auarterfinal stage in its 105th year, is the only high-profile competition in American team sports in which amateur sides have the opportunity to face professionals in meaningful competition.

Any team outside of the professional leagues (Division I Major League Soccer, Division II United Soccer League and Division III [no leagues currently operating]) and outside of any amateur league that chooses the Open Division National Leagues track to enter the Open Cup (National Premier Soccer League and Premier Development League have done in recent years, using league results from the previous year to determine its qualifiers) may enter the Open Division local qualifying track.

To be eligible, a team must meet basic criteria spelled out in U.S. Soccer’s Open Cup policy, including belonging to a club or league of any organization member of U.S. Soccer and competing in a league with at least four teams in which each plays at least 10 league matches during the year. Teams may enter by submitting an official application and entry fee via an online portal at ussoccer.com.

Register here at  2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Qualifying

After certifying a team’s eligibility to participate, U.S. Soccer will process rosters for approval, arrange matches, appoint match commissioners and officiating crews, administer discipline, promote the games in advance and their results afterwards, and provide a clear path through the qualifying rounds to the final tournament, projected to begin in May 2019.

Open division local qualifying will be conducted on a single-game, knockout basis, with three rounds of matches in this fall and up to an additional two rounds in the spring of 2019, scheduled for designated weekend dates. U.S. Soccer will determine the exact number of qualifying rounds shortly after the close of the local qualifying entry deadline Aug. 13.

All local qualifying entrants, regardless of level, organization member affiliation, or other attributes, will start on equal footing and must be able to host games in every qualifying round. Matches will be determined geographically to minimize travel time and expense, with random selection used when practicable to determine exact pairings. Home teams will be determined by coin flip and will be responsible for arranging the field of play, game balls, paying the officials, and other expenses relating to staging games, while each visiting team will cover its own travel-related costs (except for any portion of U.S. Soccer-subsidized airfare costs, if flights are necessary). U.S. Soccer will appoint the match officials.

A preliminary allocation of 2019 U.S. Open Cup first round slots to each of the Open Division qualifying pools (i.e. local qualifiers and each national league entered) will be made shortly after the local qualifying entry deadline closes. The final allocation will be determined in January 2019 after the Division I, II and III professional leagues’ entry deadline closes on Dec. 31, 2018.

Key dates

July 27 (5 p.m. ET) — Entry fee deadline for Open Division leagues entering Open Cup via National Leagues track

Aug. 13 (3 p.m. ET) — Team application and entry fee deadline for Local Qualifying track

Aug. 22 — U.S. Soccer announces teams approved for local qualifying, number of local qualifying rounds and preliminary allocation of First Round slots among Open Division qualifying pools

Aug. 27 — Matchups for first qualifying round announced

Sept. 5 (5 p.m. ET) — Fall roster submission deadline for teams in Local Qualifying track

Sept. 22-23 — First qualifying round

Oct. 20-21 — Second qualifying round

Nov. 17-18 — Third qualifying round

Jan. 10, 2019 — Final allocation of First Round slots among Open Division qualifying pools announced

March 9-10, 2019 — Fourth qualifying round (if necessary)

April 6-7, 2019 — Fifth qualifying round (if necessary)

May 8, 2019 — 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup First Round (date tentative); dates for remaining rounds will be determined by January 2019