Once again after waiting and hoping on pins and needles about the dates and the format of US Soccer’s version on England’s FA Cup, we can all breath again and get ready for this season’s tournament. Since 1914 the second oldest cup competition in the game will begin its 96th season on June 15th.
A grand total of 40 sides will be participating in this seasons US Open Cup either thru automatic bids or thru qualifying. At the moment the US Adult Soccer Association (USASA) already has their Region I (East) & Region II (North) tournaments being played. Two Semi-finalists in all four regional tournaments will automatically advance to Round 1 Proper and face eight USL Premier Development League sides (2 Per Conference) along with all nine US clubs in this season’s USSF Division 2 league & Six USL-2nd Division clubs (Division III). The PDL sides will use their regular season schedule in the month of May that doubles into US Open Cup Qualifying Points to play in Round 1 Proper.
Major League Soccer already has six clubs qualified for Round 3 Proper and are waiting for the final two sides that are going thru qualifying right now. On Wednesday, May 12 New York Red Bulls will host the New England Revolution and the winner of that match will host the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, May 26th. DC United will face Real Salt Lake for the other Round 3 Proper spot on Wednesday, June 2nd. The six MLS Sides who automatically qualified for the Cup are Chicago, Chivas-USA, Columbus, Houston, Los Angeles and defending champions Seattle Sounders.
If you’re counting the amount of clubs being involved with this seasons tournament, maybe I can help you out with the math. 8 MLS sides, 9 USSF D2 sides, 6 USL-2nd Division sides, 8 PDL Sides & 8 USASA sides = 39 affiliated clubs of US Soccer. Where did I get 40 from? Well ladies and gentlemen reading the announcement from US Soccer there will be a one match play in. USASA received 8 1/2 spots while this new amateur league called US Club Soccer will have a 1/2 spot. The Sonoma County Sol from the NPSL Western Conference will face PSA Los Gatos Storm from a member organization of US Soccer will face each other for a Round 1 Proper spot.
Here is the schedule for the 2010 US Open Cup from Round 1 Proper all the way to the US Open Cup Final.
Monday, May 31st: Qualifying deadline
Tuesday, June 15th: First Round Proper
32 Lower Division teams enter the tournament
Tuesday, June 22nd: Second Round Proper
16 Round 1 Winners face each other
Tuesday, June 29th: Third Round Proper
8 Round 2 Winners face 8 MLS Sides
Tuesday, July 6th or Wednesday, July 7th: Quarterfinals
8 Round 3 Winners face each other
Tuesday, August 31st or Wednesday, September 1st: Semi-Finals
4 Quarterfinal Winners face each other
Tuesday, October 5th: Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Final
2 Semi-Final Winners face each other
Can you believe that this is the 96th edition of the US Open Cup being played in our country? Looking at the other championships that are played in the four major sports in the United States & Canada the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup is over 117 years old, while Major League Baseball’s World Series is ten years younger. That makes this competition the third oldest in our country while the Super Bowl & NBA Championship are behind.
Hopefully this tournament will earn alot more respect from the people who organize it every year because I know we who support the game in the country and support this tournament gives it it’s due every single year its played.
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