2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Kicks Off With 32 Games Between Amateurs and Professionals

First Round Will See 32 Division III Professional Teams Against 32 Amateur Clubs From Open Division; 109th Edition of Tournament Begins with Nine Games on March 19, 13 Games on March 20 and 10 Games on March 21

CHICAGO (March 2, 2024) – The First Round of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – U.S. Soccer’s annual club championship – kicks off with 64 teams and 32 First Round games across the country between March 19 and 21.

The 32 contests of the First Round will pit amateurs from the Open Division and Third Division Professional clubs in direct competition -- with massive potential for dramatic outcomes and underdog storylines. The upcoming First Round will mark the first time since 2008 that all matchups will be exclusively contested between amateur and professional teams. Overall, this year’s edition of the tournament will feature the most First Round matchups between amateur and professional teams in the tournament’s 109-year history, more than doubling the previous amount of 16.

The Open Division sides will consist of the 11 winners from the four Qualifying Rounds held between September and November of last year. They will be joined in the amateur ranks by SC MesoAmerica -- last year’s USASA National Amateur Cup winner and the 2023 Spring’s UPSL National Champion AS Frenzi of Florida. Eight more teams will come from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and 11 more from USL’s League Two.

The Division III Pro sides taking part in the First Round will come from MLS NEXT Pro (11) – debuting as a league in the historic Open Cup – the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) (9) and USL League One (12).

Pairings between the amateur and professional teams in the First Round were drawn geographically while accounting for available venues. When there was no logical geographic pairing or three or more one teams in the same proximity, pairings were determined by random selection. Hosts were selected by random selection.

The first of the nine games on March 19 pits Chattanooga FC of MLS NEXT Pro at home against Local Qualifiers and Open Cup regulars Miami United FC. Tulsa Athletic – the Open Division side that went farthest in last year’s Open Cup –also make their 2024 debut on the first day of First Round action. March 20th opens with USL League One pros and 1995 U.S. Open Cup champions the Richmond Kickers taking on Maryland Super Soccer League stars Christos FC in a rematch of the Second Round game won by the Baltimore-area amateurs in 2017.

Also in action among the 13 games on the March 20 are 2023 Open Cup standouts Chicago House AC and USL League Two powers – and historic Open Cup giant-killers – Des Moines Menace of Iowa.

The Final day of First Round action (March 21) will see a slate of ten games, with a Pacific Northwest clash between USL League Two amateurs and tournament debutants Ballard FC and new USL League One pros Spokane Velocity FC. USL League Two’s NoVa FC will travel to Greensboro to take on Carolina Core FC of MLS NEXT Pro.

The 32 winners of the First Round will play each other in the Second Round of the tournament in early April. 

The winners of that Second Round will then be matched up against the 16 Division II professional teams from the USL Championship which will enter the competition in the Third Round. The remaining eight USL Championship teams and eight Major League Soccer (MLS) teams (Atlanta United FC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo FC (Defending U.S. Open Cup Champion), Los Angeles FC, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC and Sporting Kansas City) will enter the 2024 Open Cup in the Round of 32, along with the winners from the Third Round.

U.S. Soccer will be making its largest-ever investment in the tournament in 2024. With new commercial partners – including Marriott, Michelob Ultra, New York Life, and Nike – U.S. Soccer has prioritized enhanced financial incentives for participating teams, including significantly increased travel reimbursement. The Federation’s financial commitment also represents the most significant effort to date towards promotion of the tournament, underscoring U.S. Soccer’s dedication to fostering a more vibrant Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup experience for teams and fans alike. 

2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule

First Round          Tuesday, March 19 - Thursday, March 21
Second Round     Tuesday, April 2 - Wednesday, April 3
Third Round         Tuesday, April 16 - Wednesday, April 17
Round of 32          Tuesday, May 7 - Wednesday, May 8
Round of 16          Tuesday, May 21 - Wednesday, May 22
Quarterfinal         Tuesday, July 9 - Wednesday, July 10
Semifinal              Tuesday, Aug. 27 - Wednesday, Aug. 28
Final                      Wednesday, Sept. 25
*Dates are subject to change

About the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Now in its 109th edition, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup has crowned a champion since 1914 in every year except 2020 and 2021 (due to the Covid-19 pandemic). The history-filled tournament is conducted on a single-game-knockout basis and open to all professional and amateur teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. In 1999, the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

The 2024 U.S. Open Cup winner will earn $300,000 in prize money, a berth in the 2025 Concacaf Champions Cup and have its name engraved on the Dewar Challenge Trophy – one of the oldest nationally-contested trophies in American team sports – now on permanent display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. The runner-up will earn $100,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will take home a $25,000 cash prize.

Houston Dynamo FC are the defending Open Cup champions, having earned the club's second tournament title thanks to a 2-1 victory over Inter Miami last Sept. 27 in front of a capacity crowd at Fort Lauderdale’s DRV PNK Stadium.

usopencup.com is the official website of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Fans can also follow the competition on Twitter and Instagram @OpenCup and Facebook @OfficialOpenCup.