With questions surrounding how the USL’s new Division II status would affect the tournament, U.S. Soccer announced the format and list of participating teams for the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The first round of the tournament is set for May 10th as 28 matches will be played by 56 Open Division teams from the PDL, NPSL, and local qualifiers. The 28 winners from the first round will match up against the 24 eligible Division II teams, six from the NASL and 18 from the USL, in round two on May 17th, answering the query of how U.S. Soccer would resolve two Division II leagues entering the tournament.
The 26 winners from round two will then face off in round three on May 31st to narrow the field to 13 teams. Round four on June 14th sees the 19 eligible MLS teams enter, 13 of whom will pair against round three winners, while six MLS sides will face off against one another. The 16 remaining teams will then feature in a set bracket to determine the champion, with the round of 16 set for June 28th, the quarterfinals set for July 11th, the semifinals for August 9th, and finally ending with the championship match on September 20th.
The winner of the 2017 Open Cup will receive $250,000 in prize money and a berth in the 2019 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League. The runner up will receive $60,000 and the highest advancing team from each lower division will earn $15,000 each.