The first Qualifying Round of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup begins this weekend (Sept. 17-18) with 70 teams competing in 35 games across the country.

The annual tournament, which just wrapped its 107th edition on Sept. 7 with Orlando City SC lifting the trophy, is the only high-profile event in American team sports where amateurs have the potential opportunity to face professionals in meaningful competition.

#USOC2023 First Round Qualifying Preview

A total of 37 sides received byes to the Second Qualifying Round which will take place in October. That will be followed by a further two rounds in November and December before the 2023 Open Cup proper kicks off on March 20.

Among the 42 teams comprising the East in this weekend’s first round are three clubs who have lifted the Open Cup (known before 1999 as the National Challenge Cup). The Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals are amateur descendants of the side that won four Open Cup crowns in the late 1950s and early ‘60s.

The New York Greek Americans – with four titles between 1967 and 1974 – are also in action. As are the New York Pancyprian Freedoms, who lifted the trophy three times back in the 1980s.

Nine teams are starting this weekend with hopes of making their second consecutive appearance in the tournament proper with a chance to face off against professionals. West Chester United SC (Pa.), City Soccer FC (Fla.), NoVa FC (Va.), Lansdowne Yonkers (N.Y.), Oyster Bay United FC (N.Y.), Miami United FC (Fla.), D’Feeters Kicks Soccer Club (Texas), Azteca FC (Colo.) and Escondido FC (Calif.) will try to make the tournament proper twice on the trot.

Open Cup Qualifying Schedule 

First Qualifying Round (Sept. 17-18)

Second Qualifying Round (Oct. 15-16)

Third Qualifying Round (Nov. 19-20)

Fourth Qualifying Round (Dec. 17-18)