The U.S. Open Cup format has changed immensely from past editions, and the pairings for the first two rounds of the tournament have been released.
The first round, which will be played in two weeks, contains all amateur teams from PDL, NPSL, USASA and U.S. Club Soccer, and the matchups are based on regional and geographical location.
Those winners will advance to the second round, where they will meet teams from the second and third divisions of U.S. Soccer, NASL and USL Pro. Those games will be held on May 22.
MLS teams have yet to be drawn into the tournament bracket, but all 16 U.S.-based teams in the league will be entered in the May 29 third round as opposed to past years in which six automatic entrants and two MLS qualifiers were entered into the tournament proper. The Round 2 winners will each advance to play against an MLS opponent. An MLS team has won the Open Cup in all but one year of the league's existence. The Seattle Sounders have won the last three tournaments and are preparing to make a run for an unprecedented fourth title in a row.
Here are the matchups for the first two rounds of the tournament:
U.S. OPEN CUP PAIRINGS
Jacksonville United (NPSL) at Orlando City U-23s (PDL)
Long Island Rough Riders (PDL) at FC Sonic (NPSL)
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) at Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC (USASA)
Jersey Shore Boca (USASA) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)
Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) at Georgia Revolution (NPSL)
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) at GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL)
N.Y. Greek Americans (USASA) at Reading United AC (PDL)
Croatian Eagles (USASA) at Chicago Fire PDL (PDL)
Des Moines Menace (PDL) at Milwaukee Bavarians (NPSL)
ASC New Stars (USASA) at Laredo Heat (PDL)
K.C. Athletics (USASA) at Real Colorado Foxes (PDL)
NTX Rayados (USASA) at El Paso Patriots (PDL)
Fresno Fuego (PDL) at Stanislaus United Turlock Express (US Club Soccer)
USASA Region IV Club (TBD) at Portland Timbers U-23s (PDL)
USASA Region IV Club (TBD) at Kitsap Pumas (PDL)
Ventura County Fusion (PDL) vs. Fullerton Rangers (NPSL)
Jersey Shore Boca (USASA)/Michigan Bucks (PDL) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO)
Long Island Rough Riders (PDL)/FC Sonic (NPSL) at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO)
USASA Region IV Club (TBD)/Kitsap Pumas (PDL) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO)
USASA Region IV Club (TBD)/Portland Timbers U-23s (PDL) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
Fresno Fuego (PDL)/Stanislaus United Turlock Express (US Club Soccer) at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
K.C. Athletics (USASA)/Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) at Orlando City Soccer Club (USL PRO)
N.Y. Greek Americans (USASA)/Reading United AC (PDL) at Charleston Battery (USL PRO)
Brooklyn Italians (NPSL)/GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL) at Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Jacksonville United (NPSL)/Orlando City U-23s (PDL)
Carolina Dynamo (PDL) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) or Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) at Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC (USASA)
Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Georgia Revolution (NPSL) or Mississippi Brilla FC (PDL) at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)
ASC New Stars (USASA)/Laredo Heat (PDL) at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)
Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) at Chicago Fire PDL (PDL) or Croatian Eagles (USASA) at Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO)
Minnesota Stars FC (NASL) at Des Moines Menace (PDL)/Milwaukee Bavarians (NPSL)
Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) at NTX Rayados (USASA)/El Paso Patriots (PDL)
Ventura County Fusion (PDL)/Fullerton Rangers (NPSL) at Los Angeles Blues (USL PRO)
Which potential second-round matchups do you have your eye on? Think a non-MLS team has what it takes to win the Open Cup? Are you a fan of the new format?
Share your thoughts below.
“Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) at Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC (USASA)”
all Virginia affair! kind of funny, i play indoor at Dulles Sportsplex.
Love this tournament and this new setup is much improved. Looking forward to seeing which lower division teams come away with the upsets. Last year Richmond knocked out Columbus and KC only to lose by a goal against Chicago. Pulling for my local team, The Blues. Vamos Azules!!! Hoping they make it to the 3rd round and play chivas.
Can’t wait to kick some Jersey Shore tail. Go Bucks!
Is Snooki a cheerleader?
I thought all U.S. Open Cup games had to be played in Seattle.
I love paying attention to this tourney. While I don’t commit to the streaming videos and all of the games, there is something about bracket tourneys that calls for attention. Guess is will my Red Bulls actually respect it, and take advantage of a trophy opportunity? History has said, ‘no.”
For that reason, “Viva Los Rough Riders”
Huge improvement over prior years in terms of tournament layout. Should be an interesting tourny. too bad the only team i have any connection to doesn’t play in until much later
wikipedia has a nice visual bracket set-up
You do realize that the Brooklyn Italians are one of the more successful semi-pro teams and actually has 2 open cup championships pre-MLS obviously and have basically existed since 1949, so make fun of the name if you will but there is actually some history behind the name. Jersey Shore Boca is another story though can’t really comment on that one.
With all that being true lol it still gives the US OPEN CUP a true cup feel. If I ran things I would let everyone in and start the competition in April and end in December right before or after MLS cup. It would be crazy and have a ton of teams but it would get everyone involved more involvement maybe more interest. But this is a good start.
Second and third division soccer in the USA must organize itself with a sound, efficient structure that’s sustainable. The names are horrid, the system in general sucks. Owners of the clubs change like the wind. Unreliable from season to season will not produce a sustainable system. This is one of the main reason why the promotion/relegation system will not work in America. The lower division soccer structure is a mess and completely unreliable. The MLS model is the only true soccer system in America. Open Cup really is no more than scrimmages for the MLS.
Real Colorado Foxes? Sounds like a mud wrestling tag team.
Jersey Shore Boca? Brooklyn Italians?
And people think MLS names are bad?
If both teams meet the basic standards, it’s a random lot. The bid system only remains for the semis and finals.
This is the most comprehensive US Open Cup site on the web. It’s more informative than the official US Soccer site.
A more thorough expanation of the format would be helpfull.
I would have liked to have seen USL teams play NASL teams.
Orlando vs tampa would have been interesting, but seems unlikely.
Does anyone know how the home teams were decided for the potential May 22nd match ups? Is it the bid system?
Confused as to how the Georgia Revolution could have outbid my Silverbacks (but I guess I wouldn’t be too surprised).