Also for the second straight year, fans will be able to follow the draw live as it unfolds at U.S. Soccer's website at www.us-soccer.com.
The 2001 edition of the oldest soccer cup competition in the United States will again see the tournament brackets divided into two regions (east and west). The single-elimination competition will have the four amateur first-round winners joining all 12 Major League Soccer (MLS) teams, and 16 A-League/D3-Pro League squads, in the field of 32, which is slated to begin second round action on June 27.
The draw will consist of four pots, two for each region (east and west), with eight teams in each pot. Both the east and west regions will have one pot that consists of six MLS teams along with two A-League squads. The other pot will have the remaining A-League/D3 Pro teams and the first round amateur winners.
The west bracket will be drawn first with the east to follow. The draw order will be numerical from top to bottom (Game 1 to Game 8) and the first team drawn from the first pot will be placed in its respective bracket. The opponent will come from the second pot and be placed below the first team in its respective game number.
For a second consecutive year, all 12 MLS teams will take part in the U.S. Open Cup tournament. Since the league's inception in 1996, the MLS teams have won four of five championships. The defending Champion Chicago Fire are the only squad to have captured two Open Cup titles (1998, 2000) in only four years as an MLS franchise.
The A-League/D3 Pro League have 16 spots in the 2001 tournament edition. A total of 35 teams competed in a 10 geographic qualifying groups. The 10 group winners along with six wildcards qualified for the Open Cup. In the last six tournaments, two were won one by A-League squads (Richmond Kickers 1995, Rochester Raging Rhinos 1999).
Rounding out the 32-team competition are four Amateur first round winners between the Premier Development League (PDL) and the U.S. Amateur Soccer Association (USASA).
For complete information on the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, log on to www.us-soccer.com.