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U.S. Open Cup First Round Preview

The 106th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicks off on Tuesday with 32 amateur teams and the six eligible members of USL League One in action.

The participating clubs come from USL Leagues One and Two, the NPSL, and eight local qualifiers from USASA sanctioned adult leagues. A record 52 professional clubs will take part in this year’s tournament, including the League One participants in the first round.

The U.S. Open Cup sees the return of two amateur sides that moved along far enough in the tournament to take on MLS teams a year ago. NTX Rayados, a local qualifier out of Dallas composed mostly of school teachers, were smacked 5-0 by the Houston Dynamo in the fourth round in 2018 and they return to the Open Cup once again, where they will open their campaign against Little Rock Rangers of the NPSL. They are in their eighth straight Open Cup overall.

USL League Two’s FC Golden State Force are also back. They fell to the LA Galaxy in the fourth round last year and they will play the NPSL’s Orange County FC on Tuesday.

Another Open Cup regular participating this year is Milwaukee Bavarian SC, who are also playing in the tournament for the eighth straight season. The club is celebrating its 90th anniversary and they qualified by winning the 2018 National Amateur Cup. Their long history in American soccer includes a second place finish in the 1994 U.S. Open Cup. Bavarian SC will host USL League One side Forward Madison FC on Tuesday night.

Other teams familiar to the U.S. Open Cup are FC Motown and AFC Ann Arbor of the NPSL, and The Villages SC of USL League Two.

The winners of these matches will face the 25 eligible teams from the USL Championship in the second round next week. MLS teams come into the competition beginning in the fourth round.

The winner of the U.S. Open Cup will earn a spot in the Concacaf Champions League as well as $300,000 in prize money. The loser of the final gets $100,000 and the team that advances the furthest from each lower division receives $25,000.

All of the matches can be streamed live on ESPN+. Here is the full schedule for the first round of the U.S. Open Cup:

U.S. Open Cup First Round Schedule

Tuesday, May 7

Richmond Kickers (USL1) vs. Virginia United FC (LQ)
New York Red Bulls U-23 (USL2) vs. FC Motown (NPSL)
FC Baltimore Christos (NPSL) vs. West Chester Predators (LQ)
Lakeland Tropics (USL2) vs. The Villages SC (USL2)
South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 (USL2) vs. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (USL1)
Milwaukee Bavarian SC (LQ) vs. Forward Madison FC (USL1)
Laredo Heat SC (NPSL) vs. Brazos Valley Cavalry FC (USL2)
Academica SC (LQ) vs. El Farolito (NPSL)
Cal FC (LQ) vs. FC Mulhouse Portland (NPSL)
Orange County FC (NPSL) vs. FC Golden State Force (USL2)

Wednesday, May 8

Erie Commodores FC (NPSL) vs. Dayton Dutch Lions (USL2)
Lansing Ignite FC (USL1) vs. AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL)
Reading United AC (USL2) vs. Philadelphia Lone Star FC (NPSL)
New York Cosmos B (NPSL) vs. Black Rock FC (USL2)
Greenville Triumph SC (USL1) vs. South Georgia Tormenta FC (USL1)
Miami FC (NPSL) vs. Florida Soccer Soldiers (LQ)
Little Rock Rangers (NPSL) vs. NTX Rayados (LQ)
Des Moines Menace (USL2) vs. Duluth FC (NPSL)
Midland-Odessa Sockers FC (NPSL) vs. FC Denver (LQ)

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