May 8, 2012

Local Teams Set for First Round 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Action

A few teams from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia are set to compete in this years Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Wikipedia: The tournament is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the U.S. and is presently open to all United States Soccer Federation affiliated teams, from amateur adult club teams to the professional clubs of Major League Soccer.

FIRST ROUND - Tuesday, May 15

Carolina Dynamo (PDL) at Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC
 (USASA): Maryland SoccerPlex Stadium; Boyds, Md.; 7:30 p.m. ET

SECOND ROUND- Tuesday, May 22

Carolina Dynamo (PDL) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO): Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.; 7 p.m. ET

OR
Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) at Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC (USASA): Maryland SportsPlex Stadium; Boyds, Md.; 7:30 p.m. ET

*A great site to keep up to date with U.S. Open Cup news is TheCup.us.



2012 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP PAIRINGS ANNOUNCED
FOR FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS

Opening Round of 99th U.S. Open Cup Kicks off May 15; Second Round Starts May 22

CHICAGO (May 1, 2012) - The 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first- and second-round pairings have been announced, with first-round matches kicking off Tuesday, May 15, and second-round games on Tuesday, May 22.

The 99th edition of the U.S. Open Cup includes a 64-team field, which represents the largest in the modern era (1995 to present), eclipsing the previous record of 42 teams set in 2005 and 2006.

All Division I, II and III professional clubs are participating in the tournament proper for the first time ever. The Division I field includes all 16 U.S.-based Major League Soccer teams, which is double the representation from the past five years and the first time since 2006 that all Division I teams will take part. Meanwhile, all six U.S.-based North American Soccer League teams (Division II) and all 10 U.S.-based USL PRO teams (Division III) complete the balance of the 32 professional sides competing (also a modern record). This 2012 competition marks the first year that clubs representing the NASL will participate in America's oldest national soccer tournament.

The amateur entries feature 32 teams from various leagues with the U.S. Adult Soccer Association (including USASA regional qualifiers, the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League and the National Premier Soccer League) and US Club Soccer.

All 2012 U.S. Open Cup matches until the final are scheduled for Tuesdays, with the championship taking place on either Tuesday, Aug. 7, or Wednesday, Aug. 8. In the first round, 32 amateur-level sides are paired geographically, with the restriction that teams from the same qualifying pool (meaning USASA regional qualifiers, PDL and NPSL) cannot be paired. The first-round winners face Division II or Division III clubs in the second round based on geographic proximity. Second-round winners play Division I clubs in the third round, matched on a geographic basis.

The opening portion of the U.S. Open Cup schedule will occur in rapid fashion as the first four rounds take place in back-to-back weeks from May 15 to June 5. The quarterfinals are set for June 26, the semifinals for July 10, and the final for Aug. 7 or 8. The majority of the tournament will have only a minimal overlap with CONCACAF Champions League play.
The Richmond Kickers of the USL PRO have the strongest U.S. Open Cup ties among this early-round field. The Kickers won the 1995 U.S. Open Cup when they were part of the USL's Premier Development League, defeating the El Paso Patriots in a shootout following a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time. In this year's tournament, the Kickers will either face the PDL's Carolina Dynamo or the USASA's Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC in the second round on May 22.