UPDATE: The 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup format and draw for the first two rounds has been announced with largest tournament field in Modern Professional Era (1995-present), an extra round, and a weekend gameday.
The United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) has changed their qualifying deadline for the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which has created some confusion among fans who follow the tournament from its earliest stages.
This year, the USASA decided to move their qualifying deadline to Dec. 31. This means each of the four regions (Region I – Northeast; Region II – Midwest; Region III – South; Region IV – West) had until the end of 2013 to decide which two clubs they will submit to the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
While the format of the 2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup has yet to be announced officially by the US Soccer Federation, multiple USASA officials have told TheCup.us they expect to retain their eight spots in the tournament for the 11th year in a row. This format has been in place since 2004, with the exception of 2012 when nine teams were awarded.
Luckily for Open Cup fans, the worst of the confusion is over.
Here is where we stand (unofficially):
MLS (Division I): All US-based clubs (16 teams: Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, DC United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City)
NASL (Division II): All US-based clubs (8 teams: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Minnesota United, New York Cosmos, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Bay Rowdies)
USL Pro (Division III): All US-based clubs (14 teams: Arizona United SC, Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Dayton Dutch Lions, Harrisburg City Islanders, LA Galaxy II, OKC Energy FC, Orange County Blues FC, Orlando City SC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Sacramento Republic FC, Wilmington Hammerheads FC)
PDL (Division IV): Teams TBA (will be based on 2013 league results)
NPSL (Division IV): San Diego Flash, CD Aguiluchos USA (Winners of 2014 qualifying tournaments); remainder of clubs will be based on 2013 results
USASA (Division IV)
USASA Region I: NY Greek American Atlas (2013 Region I Amateur Cup champion), Icon FC (2013 Region I Open Cup champion) USASA Region II: FC Schwaben AC (2013 fall qualifying tournament finalist), Des Moines Menace USASA (2013 fall qualifying tournament finalist)
USASA Region III: Red Force (2013 Region III Open Cup runner-up), North Texas Rayados (2013 Region III Open Cup champion) USASA Region IV: PSA Elite (2013 Region IV Open Cup champion), Cal FC (winner of Region IV fall play-in game)
US Club Soccer (Division IV): 2014 qualifying tournament information unavailable
USSSA (Division IV): Colorado Rovers (2014 USSSA Open Cup champion)
We have learned that all of the professional teams from Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League and USL Pro will continue to send all of their US-based clubs.
Not much is expected to change with the amateur ranks either. The only unknown is how many teams each league will be awarded. The Premier Development League will continue to base their entries on the previous year’s league results, and just like last year, the National Premier Soccer League will do the same, with the exception of their western conference teams. The three western divisions in the NPSL have all completed their play-in tournaments and when the dust settled, the San Diego Flash and CD Aguiluchos USA were the two clubs that emerged victorious.
With the deadline moved up, the four regions of the USASA didn’t have time to organize a full tournament. Region I and III decided to submit their champions from 2013, while Region IV had a single play-in game and Regions II held a brief 8-team tournament last fall.
Here are the 2014 qualifying results from the USASA:
2014 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup entries from USASA (unofficial):
USASA Region I entries:
* NY Greek American Atlas (East NY – 2013 Region I Amateur Cup champion)
* Icon FC (New Jersey – 2013 Region I Open Cup champion)
USASA Region II entries (Fall 2013 tournament details):
* Schwaben AC (Illinois)
* Des Moines Menace – USASA (Iowa)
USASA Region III entries:
* North Texas Rayados (North Texas – 2013 Region III Open Cup champion)
* Red Force (Florida – 2013 Region III Open Cup runner-up)
USASA Region IV entries (Fall 2013 play-in game details):
* PSA Elite (2013 Region IV Open Cup champions)
* Cal FC (Fall 2013 play-in winner)
Why did 2015 US Open Cup qualifying begin last fall?
With 2014 teams already determined and the qualifying deadline moved to Dec. 31, the qualifying tournaments that have been going on since the fall of 2013 for the USASA are feeding into the 2014 regional tournaments. Those regional tournaments will determine each region’s entry for the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
During the last two months of 2013, three state qualifying tournaments took place in Region I. Eastern Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Eastern New York crowned champions which will feed into the 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Here are where each region stands for 2015.
2014 USASA REGION I OPEN CUP
(Home teams on right)
Preliminary Round (April 6)
AC Blaugrana (RI) L:W Mass Premier Soccer (MA)
ACB won original match 2-0, but were DQ’d for use of ineligble player
Quarterfinals (April 6)
Newtown Pride FC (CT) 1:5 Lansdowne Bhoys FC (East NY)
Maryland Bays (MD) 3:1 West Chester United (East PA)
Oak Avalon (West PA) 1:3 Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC (DC/VA)
Icon FC (NJ) 0:5 Mass Premier Soccer (MA) – April 13
Semifinals (May 4)
Lansdowne Bhoys (East NY) at Mass Premier Soccer (MA)
Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks FC (CT) at Maryland Bays (MD)
Final (June 15)
Teams TBD – Winner qualifies for 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
2014 USASA REGION I AMATEUR CUP
First Round (April 13)
Danbury United (CT) 6:0 Manzanillol Deportivo (NH)
Maryland Bays (MD) 6:1 FC Motown (NJ)
NY Greek American Atlas 5:0 Mass United FC (MA)
Vereinigung Erzgebirge (East PA) 3:3 Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks (DC/VA)
VE advances 4-3 in penalty kicks
Semifinals (May 11)
Danbury United (CT) at NY Greek American Atlas SC (East NY)
Vereinigung Erzgebirge (East PA) at Maryland Bays (MD)
Final (June 15)
Danbury/NYGAA vs. VE/Maryland Bays
Winner qualifies for 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
2014 USASA REGION II OPEN CUP
(No state qualifying information available)
Region II finalists qualify for 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
2014 USASA REGION III OPEN CUP
Details: Louisiana state tournament
(No other state qualifying information available)
Region III finalists qualify for 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
2014 USASA REGION IV OPEN CUP
(No state qualifying tournaments)
Region IV finalists qualify for 2015 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup
Still confused? Ask your US Open Cup qualifying questions in the comments below.