#USOC2023 Format: Underdog Dreams & 72 Pro Teams for 108th Open Cup

The 108th edition of the U.S. Open Cup – our country’s annual national championship – consists of eight Rounds and 100 teams from all tiers of American soccer.
By: @OpenCup Staff

The 2023 edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the longest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and the only platform in American team sports where amateurs and pros can square off directly, kicks off between March 21-23.

The First Round, consisting of 14 games contested by 28 Open Division sides (the bottom rung of the U.S. Soccer pyramid) will be followed by a Second and Third Round in April. The Second Round will see the winners from the First Round, amateur and semi-pro teams all, take on lower-division professional opponents, with all 24 Division II (USL Championship) teams entering the competition as well as all the Division III pros (MLS Next, NISA and USL League One). 

The number of pro teams for the 2023 Cup stands at 72, a modern-era record for a second straight year.
Union Omaha of the third-division USL League One beat two MLS teams in 2022

The Third Round welcomes the top professionals in American soccer from MLS (Major League Soccer), with 18 of their teams entering. The remaining eight sides from MLS – who’ve produced all but one Open Cup champion since the league’s debut in 1996 – start play in the subsequent Round of 32.

From there on out, the tournament progresses through a Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semifinals and, finally, the Final in late September to crown our 108th champion.

It’s worth noting that every year, without fail, the predetermined script is tossed aside in the Open Cup – a tournament where underdogs have their say in a dramatic way. We need only look back to recent editions, like last year’s, when Third-Division Union Omaha beat two MLS teams to reach the Quarterfinals. Amateurs FC Motown and NC Fusion both got the better of pro opponents and Sacramento Republic, of the second-division USL Championship, upset the established order by reaching all the way to the Final.

2023 U.S. Open Cup Schedule

First Round (March 21-23, 2023)
Second Round (April 4-6, 2023)
Third Round (April 25-26)
Round of 32 (May 9-10, 2023)
Round of 16 (May 23-24, 2023)
Quarterfinals (June 6-7, 2023)
Semifinals (August 23, 2023)
Final (September 27, 2023)

Orlando City of MLS are defending U.S. Open Cup champions

Orlando City, of Major League Soccer, are the reigning Open Cup champions. They beat Sacramento Republic 3-0 at home in front of a capacity crowd last September to lift the trophy a the first time – and become only the second winner from the state of Florida (after amateurs St Petersburg Kickers in 1989).

All 100 Teams for 2023 

Professional Division Teams

Division I – 26 teams – Major League Soccer (8 entering in the Round of 32 and 18 entering in the Third Round):

Entering in Third Round – 18 teams:

Atlanta United FC, Charlotte FC, Chicago Fire FC, FC Cincinnati, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo FC, Minnesota United FC, Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, St. Louis CITY SC

Entering in the Round of 32 – 8 teams:

Austin FC, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles Football Club, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union

Division II – 24 teams – USL Championship (entering in the Second Round)

Birmingham Legion FC, Charleston Battery, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, Detroit City FC, El Paso Locomotive FC, Hartford Athletic, Indy Eleven, Las Vegas Lights FC, Loudoun United FC, Louisville City FC, Memphis 901 FC, The Miami FC, Monterey Bay FC, New Mexico United, Oakland Roots, Orange County SC, Phoenix Rising FC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Rio Grande Valley FC, Sacramento Republic FC, San Antonio FC, San Diego Loyal SC, Tampa Bay Rowdies, FC Tulsa

First-year Northern Colorado Hailstorm beat MLS side Real Salt Lake in 2022

Division III – 1 team – MLS Next Pro (entering in the Second Round)

Rochester New York FC

Division III – 9 teams – NISA (entering in the Second Round)

Albion San Diego, Chattanooga FC, Club de Lyon (D3), Flower City Union, Gold Star FC, Los Angeles Force, Maryland Bobcats FC, Michigan Stars FC, Savannah Clovers

Division III – 12 teams – USL League One (entering in the Second Round)

Central Valley Fuego FC, Charlotte Independence, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, Forward Madison FC

Greenville Triumph SC, Lexington SC, North Carolina FC, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC, One Knoxville SC Richmond Kickers, South Georgia Tormenta FC, Union Omaha

Open Division Teams

U.S. Adult Soccer Association National Amateur Cup (USASA) champion

Bavarian United (Wisc.)

Open Division Local Qualifiers (9 advanced from original field of 107 entrants)

Beaman United FC, Capo FC, Chicago House AC, Club de Lyon FC (open), International San Francisco, Lansdowne Yonkers FC, Miami United FC, UDA Soccer, West Chester United SC

Chicago House AC are among the 28 Open Division teams for the 2023 Open Cup

National Premier Soccer (8 teams based on 2022 league competition)

Appalachian FC, Hartford City SC, Cleveland SC, Crossfire Redmond, El Farolito, FC Motown, Jacksonville Armada FC U23, Tulsa Athletic

USL League Two (10 teams based on 2022 league competition)

Brazos Valley Cavalry FC, Des Moines Menace, Lionsbridge FC, Manhattan SC, Nona FC, North Carolina FusionU23, Ocean City Nor'easters, Park City Red Wolves SC, Project 510, Ventura County Fusion