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2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Kicks Off April 25

CHICAGO (April 8, 2015) – U.S. Soccer  has announced the pairings for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in, first and second round matches.

Cal FC, the Cinderella amateur team of the 2012 tournament that knocked out Division III and Division I pro sides on its way to the round of 16, opens the 2015 Open Cup on April 25, when it visits first-time entrant San Francisco City FC (US Club Soccer) at historic Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, California, at 2 p.m. PT. An hour later, U.S. Specialty Sports Association qualifier Harpo’s FC (Boulder, Colorado) hosts the KC Athletics in a 4 p.m. MT game to conclude the play-in round schedule.

The two play-in round winners will join 40 amateur sides from the Premier Development League, National Premier Soccer League and U.S. Adult Soccer Association regional qualifiers in first round action, scheduled for May 13. A number of teams familiar with Open Cup success will be taking part, including 2014 Amateur Division prize winner Laredo Heat (PDL), multiple-time giant killer Michigan Bucks (PDL), 1991 champion Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) and four-time (1967-69 and 1974) Open Cup winner New York Greek American Atlas (USASA qualifier). Several local derbies highlight the first-round schedule, including a clash between NPSL success story Detroit City FC and the nearby Bucks.

One week later, the 21 first-round survivors will take on a Division III (United Soccer League) pro side in the second round on May 20. With the rapid expansion of USL in 2015, nine USL clubs will be experiencing the Open Cup for the first time, while others, like 1995 champion Richmond Kickers, 1999 winner Rochester Rhinos, and 2008 finalist Charleston Battery, have a long and storied history in the competition.

The third round match-ups – scheduled for May 27 and the first to include Division II (North American Soccer League) squads – will be determined on May 14 after first-round results are in the books. The possible fourth round pairings, when Division I (Major League Soccer) clubs enter the fray, will be announced on May 21 once the second round has concluded. The highly-anticipated round of matches between MLS teams versus survivors from previous rounds (with the exception of one all-MLS tilt) is set for June 16 and 17.

Matches from the beginning of the tournament to the fourth round are determined on a geographic basis within certain parameters. Those parameters include arranging pairings to prevent a lower division team from playing a parent club. Teams playing in their first Open Cup match also cannot be paired against another club from the same qualifying pool (the all-MLS fourth round match is the lone exception). In the event that three or more teams are within the same proximity, pairings for these teams are made by random selection.

In a new wrinkle for 2015, the pairings for the fifth round (June 30 and July 1) will be determined after dividing the 16 fourth-round winners geographically (regardless of league affiliation) into groups of four, with teams that have a shared-ownership relationship precluded from being in the same group. A random draw, scheduled for June 18, will determine the pairings within each group. The two fifth-round winners from each group will subsequently face each other in the quarterfinal (sixth) round July 21-22.  Each group will also be paired geographically with another group to pre-determine the pairings for the semifinal round August 11-12. Should two ownership-affiliated teams reach the semifinal round and be scheduled to face each other, the matches will be re-drawn to avoid this outcome.

The 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final will take place Sept. 29 or 30 at the home of one of the participating teams.

This year's winner will earn $250,000, a berth in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions' League and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize.

The 91 teams competing in the 102nd edition of the tournament mark the largest field in the modern era (1995-present) and the fourth consecutive year that has seen a participation record set. This year also marks the fourth consecutive competition in which all U.S.-based Division I, II and III professional teams will participate in the tournament proper.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer's National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 101 consecutive years dating from 1914. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

Seattle Sounders FC are the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won a fourth tournament title (following triumphs in 2009, 2010 and 2011) after a 3-1 overtime, road victory against the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 16, 2014.

2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule

Play-In Round

Date

Game

Time/Result

Venue

April 25

Cal FC (USASA) at San Francisco City FC (US Club Soccer)

2 p.m. PT

Kezar Stadium; San Francisco, Calif.

April 25

KC Athletics (USASA) at Harpo’s FC (USSSA)

4 p.m. MT

Prentup Field; Boulder, Colo.

First Round

Date

Game

Time/Result

Venue

May 13

Fort Pitt Regiment (NPSL) at West Virginia Chaos (PDL)

7 p.m. ET

Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium; Charleston, W.Va.

May 13

Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL) at Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL)

7 p.m. ET

Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.

May 13

RWB Adria (USASA) at Lansing United (NPSL)

7 p.m. ET

East Lansing Soccer Complex; East Lansing, Mich.

May 13

SW Florida Adrenaline (PDL) at Miami United (NPSL)

7 p.m. ET

Milander Park; Hialeah, Fla.

May 13

Triangle Brigade (USASA) at Upward Star (NPSL)

7 p.m. ET

Star Center; Spartanburg, S.C.

May 13

Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) at AC Connecticut (PDL)

7 p.m. ET

Westside Athletic Complex; Danbury, Conn.

May 13

Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) at Long Island Rough Riders (PDL)

7:30 p.m. ET

St. Anthony’s High School; South Huntington, N.Y.

May 13

Detroit City FC (NPSL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Ultimate Soccer Arenas; Pontiac, Mich.

May 13

Ocala Stampede (PDL) at Chattanooga FC (NPSL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.

May 13

New York Greek American Atlas (USASA) at Jersey Express (PDL)

8 p.m. ET

NJIT Soccer Stadium; Newark, N.J.

May 13

Reading United A.C. (PDL) at Maryland Bays (USASA)

8 p.m. ET

Calvert Hall College High School; Towson, Md.

May 13

Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) at Global Premier Soccer (USASA)

8 p.m. ET

Bennett Field; Wayland, Mass.

May 13

Madison Fire (USASA) at Des Moines Menace (PDL)

7:30 p.m. CT

Valley Stadium; West Des Moines, Iowa

May 13

Tulsa Athletics (NPSL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers (PDL)

7:30 p.m. CT

Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas

May 13

NTX Rayados (USASA) at Laredo Heat (PDL)

8:15 p.m. CT

Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex; Laredo, Texas

May 13

KC Athletics (USASA)/Harpo’s FC (USSSA) winner at BYU Cougars (PDL)

7:30 p.m. MT

BYU South Stadium; Provo, Utah

May 13

Chula Vista FC (USASA) at FC Tucson (PDL)

6:30 p.m. PT

Kino North Stadium; Tucson, Ariz.

May 13

Kitsap Pumas (PDL) at FC Tacoma 253 (NPSL)

6:30 p.m. PT

Mount Tahoma Stadium; Tacoma, Wash.

May 13

Burlingame Dragons (PDL) at Sonoma County Sol (NPSL)

7 p.m. PT

Santa Rosa High School; Santa Rosa, Calif.

May 13

Cal FC (USASA)/San Francisco City FC (US Club Soccer) winner at Ventura County Fusion (PDL)

7 p.m. PT

Ventura College Sportsplex; Ventura, Calif.

May 13

Golden State Misioneros FC (PDL) at PSA Elite (USASA)

7 p.m. PT

Weingart Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.

Second Round

Date

Game

Time/Result

Venue

May 20

Fort Pitt Regiment (NPSL)/West Virginia Chaos (PDL) winner at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

May 20

Ocala Stampede (PDL)/Chattanooga FC (NPSL) winner at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Legion Stadium; Wilmington, N.C.

May 20

AC Connecticut (PDL)/Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) winner at Richmond Kickers (USL)

7 p.m. ET

Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

May 20

Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL)/Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL) winner at Rochester Rhinos (USL)

7:05 p.m. ET

Sahlen’s Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.

May 20

Louisville City FC (USL) at Lansing United (NPSL)

7 p.m. ET

East Lansing Soccer Complex; East Lansing, Mich.

   OR

 

 

 

May 20

Louisville City FC (USL) at RWB Adria (USASA)

6 p.m. CT

KROC Center; Chicago, Ill.

May 20

Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) at Reading United A.C. (PDL)

7 p.m. ET

Don Tomas Stadium; Reading, Pa.

   OR

 

 

 

May 20

Harrisburg City Islanders (USL) at Maryland Bays (USASA)

8 p.m. ET

Calvert Hall College High School; Towson, Md.

May 20

SW Florida Adrenaline (PDL)/Miami United (NPSL) winner at Charleston Battery (USL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

May 20

Triangle Brigade (USASA)/Upward Star (NPSL) winner at Charlotte Independence (USL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Ramblewood Sports Complex; Charlotte, N.C.

May 20

Portland Timbers 2 (USL) at Detroit City FC (NPSL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Ferndale High School; Ferndale, Mich.

   OR

 

 

 

May 20

Portland Timbers 2 (USL) at Michigan Bucks (PDL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Ultimate Soccer Arenas; Pontiac, Mich.

May 20

Real Monarchs SLC (USL) at Long Island Rough Riders (PDL)

7:30 p.m. ET

St. Anthony’s High School; South Huntington, N.Y.

   OR

 

 

 

May 20

Brooklyn Italians (NPSL) at Real Monarchs SLC (USL)

7 p.m. MT

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

May 20

New York Red Bulls II (USL) at Jersey Express (PDL)

8 p.m. ET

NJIT Soccer Stadium; Newark, N.J.

   OR

 

 

 

May 20

New York Greek American Atlas (USASA) at New York Red Bulls II (USL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

May 20

Tulsa Roughnecks (USL) at Global Premier Soccer (USASA)

8 p.m. ET

Bennett Field; Wayland, Mass.

   OR

 

 

 

May 20

Seacoast United Phantoms (PDL) vs. Tulsa Roughnecks (USL)

TBD

TBD

May 20

Madison Fire (USASA)/Des Moines Menace (PDL) winner at Saint Louis FC (USL)

7 p.m. CT

St. Louis Soccer Park; Fenton, Mo.

May 20

Oklahoma City Energy (USL) at Midland/Odessa Sockers (PDL)

7:30 p.m. CT

Grande Communications Stadium; Midland, Texas

   OR

 

 

 

May 20

Oklahoma City Energy (USL) at Tulsa Athletics (NPSL)

7:30 p.m. CT

Tulsa Athletics Stadium; Tulsa, Okla.

May 20

NTX Rayados (USASA)/Laredo Heat (PDL) winner at Austin Aztex (USL)

8 p.m. CT

House Park; Austin, Texas

May 20

KC Athletics (USASA)/Harpo’s FC (USSSA)/BYU Cougars (PDL) winner at Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)

7 p.m. MT

Sand Creek Stadium; Colorado Springs, Colo.

May 20

Orange County Blues (USL) at PSA Elite (USASA)

7 p.m. PT

Weingart Stadium; Los Angeles, Calif.

   OR

 

 

 

May 20

Orange County Blues (USL) vs. Golden State Misioneros FC (PDL)

TBD

TBD

May 20

Chula Vista FC (USASA)/FC Tucson (PDL) winner at Arizona United SC (USL)

7:30 p.m. PT

Scottsdale Stadium; Scottsdale, Ariz.

May 20

Cal FC (USASA)/San Francisco City FC (US Club Soccer)/Ventura County Fusion (PDL) winner at LA Galaxy II (USL)

7:30 p.m. PT

StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium; Carson, Calif.

May 20

Burlingame Dragons (PDL)/Sonoma County Sol (NPSL) winner at Sacramento Republic FC (USL)

7:30 p.m. PT

Bonney Field; Sacramento, Calif.

May 20

Kitsap Pumas (PDL)/FC Tacoma 253 (NPSL) winner at Seattle Sounders 2 (USL)

7:30 p.m. PT

Starfire Stadium; Tukwila, Wash.

Third Round            May 27
Fourth Round          June 16-17
Fifth Round             June 30-July 1
Quarterfinals            July 21-22
Semifinals                August 11-12
Final                        Sept. 29 or 30

2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Participating Teams

Participating Professional Teams (47 total)
Major League Soccer (Division I - 17 teams, entering in the Fourth Round): Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City

North American Soccer League (Division II - 9 teams, entering in the Third Round): Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies

USL PRO (Division III - 21 teams, entering in the Second Round): Arizona United, Austin Aztex, Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Colorado Springs Switchbacks, Harrisburg City Islanders, LA Galaxy II, Louisville City FC, New York Red Bulls II, Oklahoma City Energy, Orange County Blues, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Portland Timbers 2, Real Monarchs SLC, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Sacramento Republic, Saint Louis FC, Seattle Sounders 2, Tulsa Roughnecks, Wilmington Hammerheads

Distribution of Amateur-Level Places (44 total)
U.S. Adult Soccer Association Regional Qualifiers (11 places [nine entering in the First Round, two entering in the Play-In Round): Region I – Maryland Bays, New York Greek American Atlas; Region II – KC Athletics (Kan.), Madison Fire (Wis.); Region III – NTX Rayados (North Texas), Triangle Brigade (N.C.); Region IV – Cal FC (Calif.-South), Chula Vista FC (Calif.-South); Wild Card Berths (3): Global Premier Soccer (Mass.), PSA Elite (Calif.-South), RWB Adria (Ill.). Five USASA regional qualifiers advanced to the third round in 2014, including Cinderella story PSA Elite, who reached the fourth round and faced the eventual champion Seattle Sounders FC.

Premier Development League (19 places, entering in the First Round): Division Winners: Des Moines Menace, FC Tucson, Jersey Express, Kitsap Pumas, Michigan Bucks, Ocala Stampede, Seacoast United Phantoms, Ventura County Fusion, West Virginia Chaos; At-Large Berths: AC Connecticut, Burlingame Dragons, BYU Cougars, Golden State Misioneros, Laredo Heat, Long Island Rough Riders, Midland/Odessa Sockers, Reading United, SW Florida Adrenaline, Western Mass Pioneers. The PDL is a national amateur league affiliated with the USASA. Two PDL sides advanced to the fourth round in 2014 (Orlando City U23s and Laredo Heat, which had the only amateur victory over a Division II club when they came from behind on the road to knock off the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3-2 with a penalty kick in the last act of regulation time).

National Premier Soccer League (12 places, entering in the First Round): Brooklyn Italians, Chattanooga FC (Tenn.), Detroit City FC, FC Tacoma 253, Fort Pitt Regiment (Pa.), Greater Binghamton Thunder (N.Y.), Lansing United (Mich.), Miami United (Fla.), Sonoma County Sol (Calif.), Tulsa Athletics (Okla.), Upward Star (S.C.), Virginia Beach City FC. The NPSL is a national amateur league affiliated with the USASA. Two NPSL clubs (Brooklyn Italians and Chattanooga FC) reached the third round in 2014.

US Club Soccer (one place, entering in the Play-In Round): US Club Soccer is an organization member of U.S. Soccer participating in its fifth Open Cup tournament in the last six years. San Francisco City FC won the US Club Soccer qualifying place on Jan. 31 and is making its first trip to the tournament.

U.S. Specialty Sports Association (one place, entering in the Play-In Round): The USSSA is an organization member of U.S. Soccer participating in its third consecutive Open Cup tournament. Its qualifier was decided on March 15 when Harpo’s FC from Boulder, Colorado, won the USSSA qualifying tournament.

Tournament Format, Match Dates and Pairings: The 2015 U.S. Open Cup will be conducted on a single-elimination, one-game-knockout basis utilizing a tiered-bracket format. Teams will be paired geographically. In the event that three or more teams are from the same proximity, pairings for these teams will be made by random selection. Pairings will be arranged to prevent the possibility of a lower division team playing a parent club (e.g. Portland Timbers 2 [USL] will not be pitted against the Portland Timbers [MLS], should both teams be in the competition in the same round) except for the Final.

Heads or Tails

The 102nd edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup begins with two play-in matches on April 25. In advance of those games, the U.S. Soccer Federation conducted a coin-flip to determine first and second round pairings, as well as hosting scenarios, on Wednesday, April 7.

While you can see all the pairings for the first round and potential scenarios for the second by clicking here, below is a blow-by-blow explanation of how things played out for the first two rounds.

First Round Draw
Two main provisions guide pairings for the first round: 1) Teams will be paired geographically and 2) Teams from the same league or association (PDL, NPSL, USASA, etc.) cannot face each other. In the case where three or more teams are from the same geographic proximity, pairings will be determined by random selection, which is usually, a coin flip or series of coin flips.

Based on that criteria and teams who applied to host (bolded), 14 pairings were made straight away without flipping any coins. They are:

Visitor

Host

SW Florida Adrenaline - FL (PDL)

Miami United - FL (NPSL)

Triangle Brigade - NC (USASA)

Upward Stars - SC (NPSL)

Greater Binghamton FC Thunder - NY (NPSL)

Western Mass Pioneers - MA (PDL)

Fort Pitt Regiment - PA (NPSL)

West Virginia Chaos - WV (PDL)

Ocala Stampede - FL (PDL)

Chattanooga FC - TN (NPSL)

Seacoast United Phantoms - NH (PDL)

Mass Premier Soccer - MA (USASA)

Madison Fire - WI (USASA)

Des Moines Menace - IA (PDL)

NTX Rayados  - TX (USASA)

Laredo Heat - TX (PDL)

KC Athletics - KS (USASA)/Harpo’s - CO (USSSA)  Winner

BYU Cougars - UT (PDL)

Kitsap Pumas - WA (PDL)

FC Tacoma 253 - WA (NPSL)

Chula Vista FC - CA (USASA)

FC Tucson - AZ (PDL)

Golden State Misioneros FC - CA (PDL)

PSA Elite - CA (USASA)

Burlingame Dragons - CA (PDL)

Sonoma County Sol - CA (NPSL)

Cal FC - CA (USASA)/San Francisco City FC - CA (US Club) Winner

Ventura County Fusion - CA (PDL)

From there, five other matchups were pre-determined, but needed a coin flip to award hosting rights as all 10 clubs applied for the right to host matches. Heads/Tails assignments were determined by alphabetical order of matchups. The results of who won flips were as follows:

Club

Heads

Tails

Club

Maryland Bays (USASA)

X

Reading United A.C. -PA (PDL)

AC Connecticut (PDL)

X

Virgina Beach City FC (NPSL)

Detroit City FC (NPSL)

X

Michigan Bucks (PDL)

Midland/Odessa Sockers - TX (PDL)

X

Tulsa Athletics (NPSL)

Lansing United - MI (NPSL)

X

RWB Adria - IL (USASA)

The final two first round matchups had to be determined by coin flip, as four teams in the New York/New Jersey area were from close enough geographic proximity to warrant it, and two, the PDL’s Jersey Express and Long Island Rough Riders, applied to host first round games.

In this instance, the NPSL’s Brooklyn Italians were assigned heads and the USASA’s New York Greek American Atlas tails, in a flip to determine who would be paired with Jersey Express of the PDL. The coin showed tails, setting up the final two matchups as we see below:

Visitor

Home

New York Greek American Atlas (USASA)

Jersey Express (PDL)

Brooklyn Italians (NPSL)

Long Island Rough Riders (PDL)

Proceedings then moved on to determine pairings and hosting scenarios for the second round where professional USL teams enter the competition. As in the first round, 15 pairings were determined by sensible geographic proximity.

 For this exercise, first round pairings were assigned Heads and USL teams, Tails. Teams that applied to host are bolded below along with the coin flip results:

Heads

Tails

(Chula Vista FC)/FC Tucson

X

Arizona United SC

NTX Rayados/Laredo Heat

X

Austin Aztex

Triangle Brigade/Upward Stars

X

Charlotte Independence

Maryland Bays/Reading United AC

X

Harrisburg City Islanders

Cal FC/San Francisco City FC/Ventura County Fusion

X

LA Galaxy II

Golden State Misioneros FC/PSA Elite

X

Orange County Blues

AC Connecticut/Virginia Beach City FC

X

Richmond Kickers

Greater Binghamton FC Thunder/Western Mass Pioneers

X

Rochester Rhinos

Burlingame Dragons/Sonoma County Sol

X

Sacramento Republic FC

Madison Fire/Des Moines Menace

X

Saint Louis FC

Kitsap Pumas/FC Tacoma 253

X

Seattle Sounders 2

Detroit City FC/Michigan Bucks

X

Portland Timbers 2

New York Greek Americans/Jersey Express

X

New York Red Bulls II

A further two pairings were pre-determined but didn’t require coin flips as one or another side of the bracket did not apply to host. They were:

  • Lansing United/RWB Adria winner will host Louisville City FC
  • Pittsburgh Riverhounds winner will host Fort Pitt Regiment/West Virginia Chaos winner

Because two USL sides (Charleston Battery and Wilmington Hammerheads) matched up well geographically with two other first round pairings, a coin flip determined that Charleston would host the winner of the SW Florida Adrenaline/Miami United matchup and dropped Wilmington into a match with Ocala Stampede and Chattanooga FC. Because the Tennessee side applied to host, another flip was done, with the coin coming up tails and giving Wilmington the hosting rights of that matchup.

Finally, to determine the pairings and hosting rights for the final four matchups, U.S. Open Cup Commissioner Paul Marstaller worked within the best geographic proximity for all teams when possible.

First, Marstaller convened a flip for whether Colorado Springs Switchbacks or Real Monarchs would host the winner of KC Athletics/Harpo’s/BYU Cougars matchup. The coin showed heads, giving Colorado Springs the matchup and dropped Real Monarchs down to another pairing. A second flip went tails (remember USL sides are assigned tails in hosting flips), to give the Switchbacks home rights in the second round.

Dropping to the next matchup, an initial flip was held between Oklahoma City Energy and Tulsa Roughnecks to determine which would face the Midland/Odessa Sockers / Tulsa Athletics winner. The coin showed heads, giving Oklahoma City the close matchup and dropping Tulsa into a pairing with Real Monarchs. As Oklahoma City did not apply to host, the default hosting rights were awarded to the first round winner.

Real Monarchs and Tulsa Roughnecks went into a further flip to determine who would face the Seacoast United/Mass Premier Soccer winner. The coin showed tails, giving Tulsa the matchup. As neither Tulsa nor Seacoast applied for hosting rights, a coin flip was done to determine who would host in the event the New Hampshire side was victorious in the first round. It went tails, awarding Tulsa the match.

Finally, with Real Monarchs losing two flips already, the Salt Lake City-base side was dropped into the final matchup with the winner of the Long Island Rough Riders/Brooklyn Italians matchup. The USL club went 0-3 in flips on the day as the final coin showed heads, giving the Rough Riders hosting rights if they win their first round match.

Out of 21 total second round matchups, three will require one team to travel outside reasonable geographic proximity:

  • Portland Timbers 2 vs. Detroit City FC/Michigan Bucks winner
  • Tulsa Roughnecks vs. Seacoast United Phantoms/Mass Premier Soccer winner
  • Real Monarchs vs. Long Island Rough Riders/Brooklyn Italians winner

In the first case, without another logical first round amateur matchup for Timbers 2, the decision was made to pair the team with Midwest-based Detroit City FC or Michigan Bucks, who also didn’t have a logical USL pairing.

In the case of bullets two and three, the final pairing exercise was also setup to first pair some teams geographically, but to ensure teams that lost flips would be traveling to the Midwest from the East Coast or vice versa.

102nd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Unveils Format, Record Number of Teams

CHICAGO (Feb. 4, 2015) – The 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, which kicks off in late April, will feature a record number of participating teams and a revised format starting at the Round of 16 setting a fixed bracket to the championship match.

The 102nd edition of the tournament will feature 91 teams, an increase from the 80 that competed last year, including the largest field of professional teams with 47 from Division I, II and III.

The tournament will be played over the course of five months with the opening play-in matches of the tournament taking place from April 22-26 and culminating with the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Sept. 29 or 30.

A significant update to the tournament format will be a new, geographically-based random draw that will determine the Round of 16 matches and set a fixed bracket to the Final. The change was implemented to minimize the possibility of clubs being required to travel long distances for matches. As in earlier editions, matches from the beginning of the tournament to the fourth round will be determined on a geographic basis, with certain restrictions in place.

This year's winner will earn $250,000, a berth in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions' League and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize.

2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Format Changes:
Record Tournament Field

The 91 teams competing in the tournament mark the largest field in the modern era (1995-present) and the fourth consecutive year where a record has been set. This year also marks the fourth consecutive competition in which all U.S.-based Division I, II and III professional teams will participate in the tournament proper: 17 from Major League Soccer (entering in the fourth round), nine from the North American Soccer League (starting in Round 3) and 21 from USL PRO (whose first matches will be in the second round).

The field’s remaining 44 spots will be filled by amateur teams: 19 from the Premier Development League, 11 from U.S. Adult Soccer Association (USASA) regional qualifying, 12 from the National Premier Soccer League, one from US Club Soccer and one from the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). Forty of the 44 amateur sides will start in the first round, while the lone US Club Soccer and USSSA representatives each will face a USASA side in a play-in round to kick off the 2015 competition between April 22 and 26.

New Round of 16 Draw
The 16 winners from the fourth round will be divided geographically (regardless of league affiliation) into groups of four, with teams that have a shared-ownership affiliation precluded from being in the same cluster. A random draw, scheduled for June 18, will determine the pairings within each group for the fifth round. The two winners from each group will subsequently face each other in the quarterfinal (sixth) round.

Each group will also be paired geographically with another group to pre-determine the pairings for the semifinal round. Should two ownership-affiliated teams reach the semifinal round and be scheduled to face each other, the matches will be re-drawn to avoid this outcome.

Geographic Pairings and General Provisions
Matches from the beginning of the tournament to the fourth round will be determined on a geographic basis, with certain restrictions in place. Those restrictions include that pairings will be arranged to prevent a lower division team from playing a parent club, and teams playing in their first Open Cup match cannot be paired against another club from the same qualifying pool (an exception to this last restriction will be made in the fourth round when two MLS teams will meet in their first tournament game).

In the event that three or more teams are within the same proximity, pairings for these teams will be made by random selection.

Tournament Format and Match Dates:

Qualifying Deadline

  • Date: March 29

Initial Pairings Announcement

  • Date: April 8
  • Play-In and First Round games as well as Second Round possibilities announced.

Play-In Round

  • Number of Games: 2
  • Date: April 22-26
  • Participants: Lone US Club Soccer and USSSA representatives each will face the USASA side geographically closest to it.

First Round

  • Number of Games: 21
  • Date: May 13
  • Participants: Two winners from Play-In Round are joined by remaining 40 amateur sides.
  • Description: Teams will be paired geographically with the restriction that teams from the same qualifying pool (e.g. USASA regional qualifiers, PDL, NPSL, etc.) cannot be paired to play each other.

Second Round

  • Number of Games: 21
  • Date: May 20
  • Participants: Winners of 21 First Round games face 21 USL PRO clubs.
  • Description: At the time the First Round pairings are made, each USL PRO team will be matched geographically to a specific First Round pairing and be scheduled to play its winner.

Third Round

  • Number of Games: 15
  • Date: May 27
  • Participants: Winners of 21 Second Round games are joined by nine NASL sides.
  • Description: After each Second Round matchup has been determined, each NASL team will be paired geographically to a specific Second Round matchup and be scheduled to play its winner. The 12 remaining Second Round matchups not paired with a Division II side will be paired up geographically, with the winners playing each other.

Fourth Round

  • Number of Games: 16
  • Date: June 16-17
  • Participants: Winners from 15 Third Round games are joined by 17 MLS clubs.
  • Description: After each Third Round matchup has been determined, 15 of 17 MLS teams will be paired geographically to a specific Third Round matchup and be scheduled to play these winners, while two MLS teams will face each other to complete the bracket.

Fifth Round Draw

  • Date: June 18
  • The Fourth Round winners will be divided geographically (regardless of league affiliation) into groups of four, with teams who have a shared-ownership affiliation precluded from being in the same group. A random draw will determine the pairings within each group, resulting in a fixed bracket for the remainder of the tournament. Should two ownership-affiliated teams reach the semifinal round and be scheduled to face each other, the matches will be re-drawn after the quarterfinals to avoid this outcome.

Fifth Round

  • Number of Games: 8
  • Date: June 30-July 1
  • Fourth Round winners face each other as determined by the Fifth Round Draw.

Quarterfinals

  • Date: July 21-22

Semifinals

  • Date: Aug. 11-12

Final

  • Date: Sept. 29 or 30

Note: The day following each of the dates listed above is reserved as a make-up date in the event of a weather postponement.

Participating Professional Teams (47 total):
Major League Soccer (Division I - 17 teams, entering in the Fourth Round): Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City

North American Soccer League (Division II - 9 teams, entering in the Third Round): Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies

USL PRO (Division III - 21 teams, entering in the Second Round): Arizona United, Austin Aztex, Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Colorado Springs Switchbacks, Harrisburg City Islanders, LA Galaxy II, Louisville City FC, New York Red Bulls (USL PRO), Oklahoma City Energy, Orange County Blues, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Portland Timbers 2, Real Monarchs SLC, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Sacramento Republic, Saint Louis FC, Seattle Sounders 2, Tulsa Roughnecks, Wilmington Hammerheads

Distribution of Amateur-Level Places (44 total):
U.S. Adult Soccer Association Regional Qualifiers (11 places [nine entering in the First Round, two entering in the Play-In Round): Region I – Maryland Bays, New York Greek American Atlas; Region II – KC Athletics (Kan.), Madison Fire (Wis.); Region III – NTX Rayados (North Texas), Triangle Brigade (N.C.); Region IV – Cal FC (Calif.-South), Chula Vista FC (Calif.-South); Wild Card Berths (3): Mass Premier Soccer (Mass.), PSA Elite (Calif.-South), RWB Adria (Ill.). Five USASA regional qualifiers advanced to the third round in 2014, including Cinderella story PSA Elite, who reached the fourth round and faced the eventual champion Seattle Sounders.

Premier Development League (19 places, entering in the First Round): Division Winners: Des Moines Menace, FC Tucson, Jersey Express, Kitsap Pumas, Michigan Bucks, Ocala Stampede, Seacoast United Phantoms, Ventura County Fusion, West Virginia Chaos; At-Large Berths: AC Connecticut, Burlingame Dragons, BYU Cougars, Golden State Misioneros, Laredo Heat, Long Island Rough Riders, Midland/Odessa Sockers, Reading United, SW Florida Adrenaline, Western Mass Pioneers. The PDL is a national amateur league affiliated with the USASA. Two PDL sides advanced to the fourth round in 2014 (Orlando City U23s and Laredo Heat, which had the only amateur victory over a Division II club when they came from behind on the road to knock off the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 3-2 with a penalty kick in the last act of regulation time).

National Premier Soccer League (12 places, entering in the First Round): Brooklyn Italians, Chattanooga FC (Tenn.), Greater Binghamton Thunder (N.Y.), Lansing United (Mich.), Miami United (Fla.), Tulsa Athletics (Okla.), Upward Star (S.C.), five others to be determined in March. The NPSL is a national amateur league affiliated with the USASA. Two NPSL clubs (Brooklyn Italians and Chattanooga FC) reached the third round in 2014.

US Club Soccer (one place, entering in the Play-In Round): US Club Soccer is an organization member of U.S. Soccer participating in its fifth Open Cup tournament in the last six years. San Francisco City FC won the US Club Soccer qualifying place on Jan. 31 and is making its first trip to the tournament.

U.S. Specialty Sports Association (one place, entering in the Play-In Round): The USSSA is an organization member of U.S. Soccer participating in its third consecutive Open Cup tournament. Its qualifier will be decided on March 15 from among seven teams: Colorado (3): Colorado Rovers, FC Denver, Harpos; Florida (2): KC Kaiser Internationale, Mellow Mushroom; Texas (2): Austin Thunder, Wickham FC.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer's National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 101 consecutive years dating from 1914.

Seattle Sounders FC is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won a fourth tournament title (following triumphs in 2009, 2010 and 2011) after a 3-1 overtime road victory against the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 16, 2014. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final: Highlights

Seattle Sounders FC overcame a halftime deficit to claim the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship, beating Philadelphia Union 3-1 after extra time.

Photo Gallery: 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final

Photos for the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. Seattle Sounders FC beat the Philadelphia Union 3-1 after extra time.
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