All Access Soccer


CHICAGO (Aug. 17, 2016) – A record 64 amateur teams will take the field this September and October for the chance to play professional sides in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the 104th edition of U.S. Soccer’s national club championship. In the first step toward making this dream possible for these local clubs, U.S. Soccer announced the match-ups for the first and second qualifying rounds earlier today.

The 64 squads – including clubs from 18 states and 23 leagues – will be competing through the local qualifying path of the tournament’s Open Division (the track involving all teams other than Division I, II and III professional teams). Rounding out the Open Division are the Premier Development League and the National Premier Soccer League, two national leagues who opted to bypass local qualifying and will instead use 2016 league results to determine their entrants into the 2017 Open Cup. The final number of slots for each method of entry into the tournament will be determined by early January. Those teams advancing will see action in the 2017 Open Cup first round, tentatively scheduled for May 10.

Fifty-six of the 64 local entries will participate in the first qualifying round, scheduled for Sept. 10-11 and Sept. 17-18, while eight other sides will receive byes to the second qualifying round, set for Oct. 15-16 and Oct. 22-23. Match-ups were determined based on geographic proximity (with three or more teams from the same area paired via blind draw), while the selection of home teams was conducted via blind draw or coin flip. A determination regarding the third qualifying round pairings and bracket will be made after the second qualifying round is completed.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion annually since 1914. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt. Major League Soccer (Division I) clubs FC Dallas and New England Revolution will face each other in the 2016 Open Cup Final in Frisco, Texas, in September on a date to be determined.

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