Soccer American Style: Anything is Possible in the U.S. Open Cup
Especially with this Competition Schedule to Remember, if you can’t make it out to a game, catch the action of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on ESPN+, the home for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
As proof that soccer has reached new heights of popularity in America, this year’s U.S. Soccer’s 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup 107th edition of the history-filled annual tournament will kick off with a record number of teams.
RECORD-SETTING 100 TEAMS CONFIRMED
The 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicks off March 24 with a record number of professional soccer teams joining the best amateur sides to compete for the most important trophy offered by U.S. Soccer to its member clubs.
According to U.S. Soccer, one hundred teams will take part in the 2020 Open Cup, an increase of 16 over last year.
MODERN-ERA RECORD NUMBER OF PRO TEAMS TO TAKE PART
The new Division III professional league, National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), has eight teams competing in the pro circuit along with MLS and USL Championship teams.
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), which competes on the amateur soccer level in America has earned 14 slots in the Open Cup, and the USL League Two was awarded 11 slots.
This year, there has been a major restructuring of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This year, the competition format requires MLS’ 11 Division I clubs to enter in the Third Round, one round earlier than in recent years.
Teams entering in the Third Round (11): Chicago Fire FC, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, FC Cincinnati, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC, Orlando City SC, San Jose Earthquakes, and Sporting Kansas City
Plus, all eligible professional Division II and Division III sides will enter in the Second Round. The Open Division – which encompasses all clubs and leagues outside of the three professional divisions – will see their action in the First Round.
The rest of the MLS clubs not playing in the Third Round, which includes the four USA entrants to the 2020 Concacaf Champions League and the next four best American regular-season finishers in each of the league’s Eastern and Western Conferences — a total of 12 teams — will enter in the Round of 32 (previously labeled the Fourth Round).
Teams entering in the Round of 32 (12): Atlanta United FC (defending Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion), D.C. United, Los Angeles FC, LA Galaxy, Minnesota United FC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders FC
“DAVID VS. GOLIATH” MATCHUPS
Why the change? The idea is to increase the number of matches between Division I MLS teams and those from lower divisions.
In our DNA, America is founded on the belief in challenging the strongest of opponents.
It is the famous concept of allowing a small amateur team to test its abilities against an established professional club that makes the U.S. Open Cup essentially so American.
According to U.S. Soccer: The 2019 tournament saw 11 “David vs. Goliath” matchups involving MLS sides over the first four rounds, while 2020 will have the same number of clashes in the Third Round plus up to 16 others (depending on Third Round results and the Round of 32 Draw) in the following round.
38 Open Division teams in 2020 U.S. OPEN CUP
2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Competition Schedule First Round – West Region Match-Ups:
|March 24||ASC San Diego (NPSL) vs. Chula Vista FC (Calif.)||Triton Soccer Stadium (UC San Diego); La Jolla, Calif.|
|March 24||Cal FC (Calif.) vs. Ventura County Fusion (USLL2)||Orange County Great Park, Field 5; Irvine, Calif.|
|March 25*||FC Boulder Harpos (Colo.) vs. Crossfire Redmond (NPSL)||University of Denver Soccer Stadium; Denver, Colo.|
|March 25||FC Golden State Force (USLL2) vs. FC Arizona (NPSL)||Rio Hondo Stadium; Whittier, Calif.|
|March 25||Olympic Club (Calif.) vs. FC Davis (NPSL)||Negoesco Stadium (Univ. of San Francisco); San Francisco, Calif.|
For information on all other regions, please click here.
From U.S. Soccer: The 38 Open Division teams include 13 local qualifiers, 14 National Premier Soccer League clubs and 11 USL League Two sides. The teams, which constitute the best amateur sides from across the country, will each battle another Open Division club during one of the opening two days of the single-elimination tournament. As part of a First Round provision that allows avoidance of extensive travel at this stage of the competition, five of the 19 matches are between teams from the same qualifying pool.
2020 U.S. OPEN CUP SECOND ROUND PAIRINGS AND HOST SCENARIOS
The Second Round of the 2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with 25 Division II and 14 Division III pro teams facing 19 First Round winners and each other kick off on April 7 and the games continue until the 9th in the 107th edition of U.S. Soccer’s National Championship.
2020 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Competition Schedule Second Round – West Region Match-Ups:
|April 7||LA Force (NISA) vs. San Diego Loyal SC (USLC)||Jesse Owens Stadium (Cal State L.A.); Los Angeles, Calif.|
|April 8||FC Boulder Harpos (Colo.) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USLC)||Regency Athletic Complex (Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver); Denver, Colo.|
|April 8||Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USLC) vs. Crossfire Redmond (NPSL)||Weidner Field; Colorado Springs, Colo.|
|April 8||Phoenix Rising FC (USLC) vs. FC Golden State Force (USLL2)/FC Arizona (NPSL) winner||Casino Arizona Field; Tempe, Ariz.|
|April 8||Sacramento Republic FC (USLC) vs. Oakland Roots (NISA)||Papa Murphy’s Park; Sacramento, Calif.|
|April 8||Orange County SC (USLC) vs. California United Strikers FC (NISA)||Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, Calif.|
|April 8||Olympic Club (Calif.) vs. Reno 1868 FC (USLC)||Negoesco Stadium (Univ. of San Francisco); San Francisco, Calif.|
|April 8||FC Davis (NPSL) vs. Reno 1868 FC (USLC)||Ron and Mary Brown Stadium (Davis Sr. H.S.); Davis, Calif.|
|TBD||San Diego 1904 FC (NISA) vs. ASC San Diego (NPSL)/Chula Vista FC (Calif.) winner||Lincoln High School; San Diego, Calif.|
|April 9||Las Vegas Lights FC (USLC) vs. Cal FC (Calif.)/Ventura County Fusion (USLL2) winner||Cashman Field; Las Vegas, Nev.|
For information on all other regions, please click here.